Amazon YA Best Book of the Month "Rapture Practice"

“Hartzler’s coming-of-age memoir is funny, laugh-out-loud funny at times, and his slide into ‘sin’ is fraught with a combination of thrill and guilt…” Omnivoracious

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TylerR's picture

Editor

Nobody can knock The Hunt for Red October . . .

 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

TylerR wrote:

Nobody can knock The Hunt for Red October . . .

Other than the language.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

TylerR's picture

Editor

You wrote . . .

Other than the language.

You had to get Scriptural, didn't you?

 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Wayne Wilson's picture

Not to spoil the humorous mood, but I am curious if the author of this little piece, once the barriers were broken to the "movie house", has standards to which he adheres in judging his entertainment choices today,  For many, the little crack in the door pretty much flings it wide open.  

 

I love good movies, by the way. 

TylerR's picture

Editor

The description from Amazon says this:.

But as he turns sixteen, Aaron finds himself more and more attached to his life on Earth, and curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn't want the Rapture to happen, just yet; not before he sees his first movie, stars in the school play, or has his first kiss. Before long, Aaron makes the plunge from conflicted do-gooder to full-fledged teen rebel.

 

Whether he's sneaking out, making out, or at the piano playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can't be found in the Bible. He discovers the best friends aren't always the ones your mom and dad approve of, and the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you.

I am not sure whether this is a Christian coming of age memoir, or the account of somebody who feels they have finally escaped the "cloistered" halls of Christianity. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Brenda T's picture

It doesn't really matter if the movie is good or bad or if Christians should go to movies or not.

I didn’t see a movie in a movie theater until I was 15 years old. My mom and dad felt that most movies were not pleasing to God, so I wasn’t allowed to go. And yet, when I stood on that curb at the theater with all of my friends from camp that summer, all of those warnings were no match for the thrill of taking my seat in a darkened room, and watching the opening credits. My heart was racing, and my hand was sweaty as I clung to that little yellow ticket stub.

I saved the tickets for every movie I saw that summer.

The author disobeyed his parents - repeatedly, knowingly, and purposefully - and now makes light of that in this "laugh out loud funny" memoir in which he expresses the "thrill" of that disobedience. Yes, he says there was "guilt" but the thrill prevailed and he relished it by saving the stubs and writing the dates on the back.

Does the author claim to be a Christian now? I've never heard of  him, so I don't know.

TylerR's picture

Editor

Wayne:

I am curious if the author of this little piece, once the barriers were broken to the "movie house", has standards to which he adheres in judging his entertainment choices today,  For many, the little crack in the door pretty much flings it wide open.  

This has been a tough issue for me personally. I freely admit a fondness for intelligent, well-done movies. I will not watch anything with sexuality in it, but will allow violence (e.g. the Bourne films). I tolerate language to a point. 

I am a nerd, so I appreciate intelligent movies, not stupid, mindless action. I'll watch older classics all the time. I do not watch many newer movies at all, with a few exceptions - I watched Lincoln the other night. I saw Argo a while back. I don't watch TV at all; the contact I had with cable were the West Wing re-runs I watched on Netflix recently. 

Some people would say I'm committing terrible sin by watching these things. On the other hand, last year I picked up a ticket stub in a pew from Magic Mike, so I can safely say that some Christians have some major discernment issues when it comes to movies. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TylerR's picture

Editor

The author disobeyed his parents - repeatedly, knowingly, and purposefully - and now makes light of that in this "laugh out loud funny" memoir in which he expresses the "thrill" of that disobedience. Yes, he says there was "guilt" but the thrill prevailed and he relished it by saving the stubs and writing the dates on the back.

The author could merely be re-counting his own Christian coming of age story, or he could be hostile to Christianity now, having "seen the light." I'd like to know what his book is about so I know how to evaluate it! 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TylerR's picture

Editor

You're much smarter than me. I was scanning through the preview pages at Amazon and got nowhere . . .

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TimNT's picture

The following is a quote from a reviewer on the Amazon website for the book:  "This is a must read for teen readers who are interested in understanding the interplay of faith and LGBTQ issues. It's also a must read for older readers looking for the same thing. I simply have trouble imagining anyone walking away from this book not having felt a lot, and learned a lot from the experience" Bill Konigsberg

Sin and rebellion have consequences that go far beyond the thrill of it or simply the coming of age by repressed teens raised in a "Christian" home.

Jay's picture

Tyler-

Sounds to me like a guy that grew up in a Christian home that was hypocritical, saw the hypocrisy in their lives, and bailed out of Christianity in his teens.  That's usually how the story goes, anyway.

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

PhilKnight's picture

I greatly appreciate Sharper Iron, although I don't post here often, and I can't ever remember an occasion where I've seriously questioned their wisdom in the selection of articles posted--until tonight.   Given the content, I assume this was posted in the spirit of warning.  However, in this case, I think it would have been good to make the warning explicit.

After skimming the linked article, and reading the follow-up comments, I don't see any redeeming value in the linked work.   Essentially, the author is making a mock of very serious sin.   The work glorifies direct disobedience to parents, and makes sport of the guilt feelings that accompanied that first presumptuous sin--followed, no doubt by recounting of the further slide into sin that resulted after the author stepped over his conscience in defiant act of rebellion against God.   If anyone is seriously considering reading this work for entertainment, you should seriously question your heart attitude.   Genuine Christlike love should compel us to pity and pray for this poor blinded soul.  "Love rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth," and "rejoicing in iniquity" includes vicarious enjoyment (through media) of someone else's sin for the purpose of entertainment--especially when  the sin in question is being mocked.  ("Fools make a mock at sin."). 

This book is very dangerous--particularly if it is well written humor (from a pure literary perspective).  Frankly, I wouldn't want my kids (teenagers) anywhere near it unless it were being quoted from as a negative example in a context where they were being instructed in righteousness with an attitude of godly fear.   As thoughtful Christians, it is vital that we guard our affections to ensure that they are ordinate, and levity, when contemplating sin, is never ordinate.

Philip Knight

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

SharperIron Filings are links to current Web wisdom and folly chosen for their likely interest to SI readers. (Per Web custom, we do not seek permission to link to content.) Views expressed are those of the linked sites and quite often not those of SI.
Suggestions/tips for Filings items: contact form, category: "Filings item suggestion."

Filings are posted for a variety of reasons, one of which is as a 'warning'. For instance, the above Filings post brings attention to a book that is being marketed and promoted to teens as a 'laugh-out-loud coming of age memoir'.

As for posting an explicit warning, we give plenty of room for folks discuss the implications of articles posted and come to their own conclusions, rather than giving specific directions to frame the conversation. 

This book is very dangerous--particularly if it is well written humor (from a pure literary perspective).  Frankly, I wouldn't want my kids (teenagers) anywhere near it unless it were being quoted from as a negative example in a context where they were being instructed in righteousness with an attitude of godly fear.   As thoughtful Christians, it is vital that we guard our affections to ensure that they are ordinate, and levity, when contemplating sin, is never ordinate.

I agree. But it is also a warning to parents as to how we disciple our children, and the possible fruits of hypocrisy and behavior modification instead of a focus on regeneration and the issues of the heart. I know dozens of 'churched' young people who sound just like this author. 

PhilKnight's picture

Susan,

Thanks for the explanation.  It's obvious I failed to fully distinguish between the purposes of "About Filings" and normal Sharper Iron articles.  Candidly, when I visited Sharper Iron last night, I had just finished reading with grief a set of Facebook posts from a gentleman I've know for many years.   He has rejected in a very public way the Christian teaching he has received.   His Facebook posts were filled with expressions of personal, emotional pain (dark depression & near-suicidal thoughts) and misguided propagation of post-modern "moralisms" intermingled with cynical attacks on any sort of religious verities (including Christianity).    My reaction (over-reaction) to the filing was no doubt colored by the emotions I was feeling at the time and the lateness of the hour.

Reflecting on this in light of your explanation (and the benefit of sleep Smile ), I understand the rationale (and usefulness) of this filing.    As a Christian (and especially as a parent), I think it is good to see first hand where mere behavioristic, performance-oriented parenting (and Christianity) leads.   When thought of in that way, this post serves as a poignant, sober warning, and a strong motivator to live a life filled with Godly joy that models right affection to my family and the world.

Your comments are premised (correctly) on this truth:  Genuine, full-orbed Christianity engages the whole person:  mind, affections and will (i.e., the heart).   Any attempt at Christian living and instruction that doesn't engage all three is defective.   I mention this because I think it's key to avoiding the sort of personal tragedy exemplified by both Rapture Practice and the Facebook posts of the gentleman I mentioned earlier.  For many years many Christians--including some Fundamentalists who, of all people, should have known better--focused too much on the mind and/or the will while neglecting (at least in terms of relative emphasis) right affections.   Some individual fundamentalists (e.g. A.W. Tozer) saw this clearly a number of years ago, but for many it was a big blind spot.   The works of Piper, et. al. in recent years have been a corrective.   Piper has taken much of the sound biblical reasoning in this area that Jonathan Edwards articulated years ago in A Treatise Concerning  Religious Affections and made it more accessible to modern readers.    Though not perfect, Piper's work has moved us in the right direction.  I'm very thankful for it, and also for the work of others (like Scott Aniol) who continue to resurrect, explain and re-apply biblical truths that lead us to a right practice of a "theology of the affections" in our modern age.  May their tribe increase!

Philip Knight