Read The Road Trip that Changed the World: The Unlikely Theory that will Change How You View Culture, the Church,and, Most Importantly, Yourself by Mark Sayers Online


Can’t find no satisfaction? There’s no shortage of prescriptions for restlessness out there: Seek adventure. Live your life. Don’t hold back.Sound familiar?The Road Trip that Changed the World is a book challenging the contemporary conviction that personal freedom and self-fulfillment are the highest good.Like the characters in a Jack Kerouac novel, we’ve dirtied the dreamCan’t find no satisfaction? There’s no shortage of prescriptions for restlessness out there: Seek adventure. Live your life. Don’t hold back.Sound familiar?The Road Trip that Changed the World is a book challenging the contemporary conviction that personal freedom and self-fulfillment are the highest good.Like the characters in a Jack Kerouac novel, we’ve dirtied the dream of white picket fences with exhaust fumes. The new dream is the open road—and freedom.Yet we still desire the solace of faith. We like the concept of the sacred, but unwittingly subscribe to secularized, westernized spirituality. We’re convinced that there is a deeper plot to this thing called life, yet watered-down, therapeutic forms of religion are all we choose to swallow, and our personal story trumps any larger narrative.This is the non-committal culture of the road. Though driving on freely, we have forgotten where we’re headed.Jesus said His road is narrow. He wasn’t some aimless nomad. He had more than just a half tank of gas—He had passion, objectives, and a destination.Do you?...

Title : The Road Trip that Changed the World: The Unlikely Theory that will Change How You View Culture, the Church,and, Most Importantly, Yourself
Author :
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ISBN : 9780802409317
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Road Trip that Changed the World: The Unlikely Theory that will Change How You View Culture, the Church,and, Most Importantly, Yourself Reviews

  • Chris
    2019-05-21 01:46

    Karl Barth used to teach his young students to read the Bible and the newspaper at the same time, so that they could interpret culture through the grand story of Scripture.Mark Sayers is a champion at this.The Road Trip That Changed The World is a diagnostic narrative on the lightweight spirituality we inherited from Jack Kerouac, who, in his novel, On The Road, reacted against the conformity of the 1940’s by abandoning home, family, and place in search of the unfettered freedom of the road. But even if you haven't read Kerouac's definitive work on the Beatnik generation, you are certainly affected by it along with the rest of our culture. Ever wonder why American Christianity seems so lackluster and flimsy? Well, this is a book you should read. Sayers gives extensive treatment of Kerouac's worldview--known hereby as "The Road"--that wound up affecting the spiritual climate of Western culture with consumerism, individualism, and a thirst for change. Charting this affect as it ripples through decades of both secular and Christian culture, a reoccurring theme in The Road Trip is that people today want a spiritual experience without being shackled down to the spiritual requirements. This "on-a-journey-with-no-destination" mentality paved the way for the Sixties, and post-Christian America, creeping all the way to the coast, with California symbolizing a dead-end to a spiritually frustrating road trip. In what Sayers describes as our endless search for the next "woosh" moment, life became a series of cheap thrills with no backstory.The book begins with an illustration of a fork in the road which helps bring together two major sections.The first section is the diagnosis. He presents the road of unrestricted hedonism that our culture is following. Chapters 5 through 15 work out some of the less desirable implications that go with the journey on "The Road." Sayers is a masterful story-teller, so you never feel like you're sitting through a history lecture. It feels more like theatre. In Seinfeld-ian style, the reader is drawn through vignettes of American culture, before piecing them together into an image revealing how deeply this generation is hurting. One of my favorites was his portrayal of Sayyid Qutb, whose religious devotion provided a contrast to Kerouac's shallow excesses. These vignettes all serve as indictments against the thin spirituality so common in our culture.The second section is the prescription. Sayers directs the Christian on a different road with the cross in view. He calls for consumeristic Christians to come back to the gospel, and the rich practices of historic Christianity. Sayers pleas for a church with "believers who are deep"(267), in an attempt to peel back the lid that has stifled the Christian imagination. He often explains the worldview of "The Road" alongside destructive facets of contemporary culture that came as a direct result. While his conclusions are more broad and immeasurable than I was hoping for, it was still a much-needed call for returning to the self-denial that used to identify a disciple of Jesus. And throughout these 271 pages, the visible backdrop of the gospel looms, with a hope that transcends cultural and social norms by evoking our hearts with a greater story.

  • Steve
    2019-05-11 23:44

    A potent, cogent critique of contemporary Christianity using two "road trips" as the framework. Jack Kerouac's book "On the Road", which the author argues had a profound impact on culture including religious culture. In contrast, the author considers the Old Testament story of Abraham to be paradigmatic for articulating what the Christian journey should be. Essentially, Sayers believes that modern Christianity is superficial, directionless, and powerless. He calls modern Christians back to an Abrahamic road trip of total commitment.This book is an excellent read and Sayers uses language poetically and powerfully. I couldn't help thinking, though, that Sayer's view is perhaps a romantic yearning for a world and a Christianity that may not be possible in the 21st century. It's definitely a provocative perspective and worthy of every thinking Christian's time to read it.

  • Chris Hubbs
    2019-05-21 21:52

    Australian pastor and author Mark Sayers put out a request for reviews of his new book, The Road Trip that Changed the World a few weeks ago, and I’m happy today to take him up on it. I had previously read his book Vertical Self and enjoyed it quite a bit, so I was looking forward to his newest offering.The Road Trip that Changed the World draws its title and chief topic from the classic American novel On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Sayers examines how Kerouac’s novel incited a generation to leave the ideals of home, family, and place and instead to chase the dream of the road, the hope of whatever lays just beyond the horizon.He spends a good chapter discussing our search for the transcendent, and notes how when we fail to notice and embrace the transcendence in the material here and now, we end up constantly looking for the next “woosh” – a fleeting moment of awe that makes us feel alive but quickly leaves us searching for the next hit.The first two-thirds of the book is devoted to this examination of the shift in American culture brought on by Kerouac; the last third brings things around to the gospel. Sayers discusses Abraham as “the first counter-cultural rebel”, and traces a path through the Old and New Testaments, ultimately concluding that we need to reject the endless search for the “woosh” over the horizon, instead finding joy and meaning and transcendence in the here and now, as we experience true community and relationship with God.I’ll say this – Sayers has the spirit of the times nailed. If anything, I didn’t respond to it more because it already seemed so familiar. His diagnosis of cynicism, distance, and the search for transcendence in “woosh” moments is right on. His prescription of embracing community and finding transcendence in experiencing God is a call appropriate for the time. If my cynical generation is willing to hear it, The Road Trip that Changed the World is a great call back to what really matters.Note: I was provided a free copy of the book in return for reading and posting a fair review.

  • Kw
    2019-04-21 20:50

    Interesting contrast - Jack Kerouac's road vs. the Christian journey. I really believe the first part of this book is over my head, to be honest, but I could relate to the last half. ;-) I wonder if "On the Road" was really all that important and defining. Perhaps. Our lives have definitely changed in hundreds of ways since Kerouac's pleasure-seeking days, but unfortunately, we still live in a hedonistic world; we often prioritize impulsively, and we need an Anchor to give us objectives, passion and a purpose.

  • Geoffrey
    2019-05-03 21:54

    I read Kerouac's book first & found this reflection on it very helpful - for a perspective on Kerouac & the themes of contemporary culture that influence my life & ministry. I expected Sayers to be a bit more unconventionally radical but I found him radical in the sense of calling us back to the life found in Jesus - engaging in covenant relationships & accepting a role as God's ambassadors to a sick world. Very insightful & pulls no punches.

  • Cameron Roxburgh
    2019-05-03 00:41

    It has been a good summer for reading. And this was either top of or near the top of the list.Charles Taylor wrote a book far too thick for me called A Secular Age. James Smith wrote a brief and more accessible version of it Called "How Not to be Secular." This book by Mark - a Forge Guy - is yet another and perhaps even prior book in the direction of Taylor. And it is superb, accessible and timely.I was thrilled with the way he wrote. Easy to get into. I was challenged with his prophetic call to the church to re-enter into covenant, and to pay attention to what we have done to our faith. I was encouraged with his vision of life with Christ, that compels us as followers of Christ to never settle for less than life with him.A Wonderful read... worth reading in a group and wrestling with the implications. But just don't read it... put it into practice.

  • Michael Smith
    2019-05-18 01:38

    Whom do you live for?Excellent. This short book makes you analyze your motives for living as you do. I also had to dedicate my life to God's call for me, rather than my call for me.

  • Max Fray
    2019-05-18 02:51

    The payoff of the book takes some time as Sayers takes you through the story of Jack Kerouac in the first 3/4 of the book, but once he gets to the point in the final chapters it all comes together excellently. Really good examination of how we got to where we are culturally.

  • Steven
    2019-04-23 22:42

    Original insight into today's culture and what makes us "tick." Fascinating exploration of the role Kerouac and his book may have played in convincing so many that life is about "finding yourself" and taking some kind of journey. Because I live in this post-Kerouac world, Sayers' description of prior worldviews was particularly helpful, the long-forgotten sense of home and family and blooming where you are planted. I wish he had more fully developed the contrast between the two.Kerouac's own journey becomes a metaphor for our times: in the end, he finds little on the road worth keeping and returns to his mother's house, scarred and ill from hard, prodigal living. Kerouac even returned to the Catholicism of his childhood, finding in faith the peace he could not discover on the road.This is one of those rare books worthy of a second or third reading. --I also enjoyed hearing from the Australian pastor/author's perspective, particularly his description of his nation's aboriginal "songlines."

  • Paul Seville
    2019-04-26 20:53

    Read this book. I don't know how to convince you, but this book is very important. Sayer lays out, plain to see, the very cultural air that we breathe, using the cult classic On The Road by Jack Kerouac as the blueprint. The second half of the book is God's response to the life on the road. Written in bite-size sections, drawing together a myriad of sources and perspectives, the argument is presented crystal clear. There are elements of a biblical theology and a creative engagement with the biblical narrative which could be more developed, but it does not detract from the method or outcome. The journey is full of gut wrenching and insightful moments. I could not put it down. I could not stop thinking about it. I want to read this once a year so that I will not forget what I have read.Perfect for those ministering to young adults, this is also a critical text for those in children's, youth, and adult ministry.

  • Laura
    2019-05-15 19:37

    This is definitely 3.5 stars. Once again Sayers impressed me with his amazing read on young adult culture. The book was quite an interesting structure, it's based almost entirely around Jack Kerouc (author of On The Road) and his search for 'meaning', Sayers continues to bring it back to our culture today, and the way this searching continues to affect the church. He has some amazing insights and challenges, particularly when it comes to our church culture today, and the fact that we need to stop 'being cool' and instead focus on spreading the truth of Christ.

  • Grant
    2019-05-20 19:47

    Having grown up in a church though the late 20th /early 21st Century, reading Mark's book felt like an icy winters breeze on a wet face. I believe his insights are profoundly accurate, and as someone involved in church leadership of our GenY / millenialls I have found it very helpful in shaping the way that I minister to people. In particular, the book helped me think about the pop culture mantras of 'YOLO' and 'carpe diem' in a new light. I wrote some reflections on those -

  • Michael Wardrop
    2019-05-07 23:35

    While I would still choose Vertical Self over this, Sayers offers here an intelligent, nuanced, biblical examination of 21st century culture's obsession with The Road. Using the lens of Jack Kerouac's famous novel, Sayers shows how Kerouac and his friends helped transform how we look at our lives, particularly in terms of transcendence.People reading a Sayers book normally know what they're going to get, but this is especially useful for those engaged in young adult ministry.

  • Michael
    2019-04-22 00:04

    This was a great book that challenged modern day's idea of people seeking the freedom of not being tied down and being able to do what feels best to them. It is not an easy read but the points made concerning how we have gotten here and what real christianity is all about are very sound and thought provoking.

  • Linda Joy
    2019-05-09 19:37

    Honestly, it's probably one of the best books I've ever read. If I could, I would make EVERY millennial in the Western world read this book. It's that unreal. SO SO SO well done. I could go on forever.

  • Tim Cooper
    2019-04-27 21:52

    One of the better books Ive ever read. I think Sayers has a unique and helpful look at our Western culture and how we need to live out our faith if we desire to make in impact in a world that is forgetting that Christianity has something to say to the here and now.

  • Shelley
    2019-05-16 22:44

    that last chapter was somewhat good, everything else reflected a viewpoint that all things presented after the garden of eden, are useless and bad. Edit: now having read on the road, I now know why this book wasn't that good either.

  • Nathan
    2019-05-15 20:56

    Not a bad book. Quite enjoyed the take that Mark has on culture and the reason for the way it is. Found the end solution a little hard grasp and figure out what he was saying. On the whole though an insightful read.

  • Betsy Wolf
    2019-04-24 00:02

    What a fascinating look at our culture and what has brought it to this point. It's a critique on the modern church & how it's ended up going along with the culture. Many historical points he makes are slightly earth shattering to me!

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-09 02:49

    First of all, this book would have been a bit easier if I had read 'On the Road' first. However, not having read that I still was able to gather what it had been about and get lots out of this book. Good insight into our current culture. The last 60 pages were the best.

  • Trinity
    2019-04-27 21:55

    I feel like he's been reading my journals over the last 10 years. I have been realizing things about culture that were horribly wrong and misleading and couldn't really figure out what the big picture was. This book is an absolute must-read for Millennial's! I wish I had read it sooner....

  • Anessa
    2019-05-14 01:38

    A very different book. Takes some authors that you probably have not read, and takes their views on Christianity while then pointing out struggles and changes that need to be made in the way we practice our faith.

  • Kate
    2019-05-06 02:41

    I loved this book! It was very thought provoking. Provided a good lens for thinking about how myself, peers, my seniors, and my younger friends envision the journey of their lives.

  • Justin Farley
    2019-04-28 01:36

  • Mike Portland
    2019-05-17 00:05

    Best thing Ive read so far this year, so insightful!