The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose: An Introdutction

The book was suggested to my the Assistant Pastor that is part of the American University United Methodist Student Association I might like to read after he heard two friends and I talking about Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. The Assistant Pastor said it would provide me with insight into Liberty’s inner workings.

You might find it odd that my friends and I were talking about Liberty University but the conversation started with one of my friends talking about a ten-hour train trip from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburg, PA. According to my friend this was not ordinary ten-hour Amtrak, shortly after boarding the train at D.C.’s Union Station my friend was quickly joined by a girl who had an obsession with writing down Bible verses in a notebook with a pink gel pen (who knew those still existed?). My friend said this went on for a few hours until my friend asked the girl where she went to university. The response: Liberty University.

After hearing this story from my friend and hearing other odd happenings about Liberty from friends who had read The Unlikely Disciple or who had friends in the Lynchburg area, I just had to read the book. I was also sold when I was told that the book was written by the assistant to author AJ Jacobs who wrote the book A Year of Living Biblically and other like books about living by the extreme. As soon as I arrived home I down loaded the book onto my iPad. Then D.C.’s epic 2016 winter storm hit and I had nothing else to do other than start reading but before I read too far I had to finish the current book I was reading about the Roman Legions.

So, about Kevin Roose. He was a Brown University student who, during his sophomore year, decided to study at Liberty University for a semester to better understand his Evangelical Christian peers instead of studying abroad in Europe like so many other university students. In terms of personal backgrounds Kevin could not have been any more the opposite of his Liberty University peers. Kevin came from liberal Brown University known for it’s liberalism and Left Wing politics while Liberty is known for it’s ultra-conservative Christianity, Right Wing politics, social conservatism, and as a safe-haven for conservative. Regardless, Kevin jumped right in.

As for Liberty University itself, the school is advertised as an institute of higher education where Evangelical students don’t have to sacrifice their Christian values. Jerry Falwell, the founder of the university, proudly proclaims that the school is a safe haven for conservative students where liberal professors are not hired and where liberal values are not welcomed. To go along with the branding theme Liberty also brands itself as patriotic Bible boot camp. Not like we need more of those crazies.

Join me next time as I write about Liberty’s personality following of Jerry Falwell and Christian apologetics concerning creationism.



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