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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 77.
- Review Date: 2008-03-10
- Reviewer: Staff
At age 23 Gall walked away from a lucrative advertising job, determined to uphold his ethical standards while revolutionizing the world and the church. Five years later, after dropping out of seminary and quitting jobs with a rehab program, a community center, a home for developmentally disabled men, Bud’s Warehouse and a plumbing distributor, he returned to his Midwestern family, musing, “What do you call someone who leaves the ordinary world on a hero’s journey, but fails?” Like Rob Bell (Velvet Elvis) and Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz), Gall is edgy the evangelical way: he keeps sex and swearing mostly offstage, but, like other good guys, drinks, doubts and unleashes scathing sarcasm at the conservative Christian subculture.Now in his mid-30s, Gall mocks his younger self throughout: a “fat blond guy” with “no car, no cash, no direction, no prospects, no discipline.” Relentlessly ironic, he may invite misunderstanding: do his harsh criticisms reflect his present view of evangelical reality, or are they meant to show his postadolescent pomposity?Nevertheless, his themes are clear: God doesn’t need an image consultant; it is better to be authentic than great; and to achieve authenticity we must forsake “our deepest sin and our love for our most beautiful idol: to be our own god.” (May)