Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Evangelical Collapse Update

Christine Wicker, a longtime religion journalist and (apparently) former Baptist, has written a book called The Fall of the Evangelical Nation that's about how things are much worse for evangelicals in America than they think. This would seem to fall in line with what David Kinnaman discovered, and which I blogged about last year: That basically, because more and more people in this country believe homosexuality is a normal variation on human behavior, and because more and more people believe there are many ways to God, the evangelical faith is becoming astonishingly unpopular with people 29 and under (actually, I guess they'd be 30 now). As Kinnaman reported, evangelicals are consistently perceived as "homophobic," "judgmental," "narrow-minded," "too political," and "out of touch."

As I noted in that post, Kinnaman got the diagnosis right but the cure wrong. (Instead of fixing evangelicalism, Kinnaman presumed that evangelicalism was fine, and that individual evangelicals just needed to be better Christians when selling it--or at least nicer when talking about the ugly parts like Hindus going to hell.) It looks like Wicker's book might be the more global view of the fallout Kinnaman detected. Apparently, Wicker was writing a book about evangelical domination of the culture and then found, in survey after survey and statistic after statistic, that it wasn't actually true. Hence the alternate book.

I'm mentioning this now because Christianity Today just wrote a dismissive review, and Wicker has responded on her blog. I'm not 100% crazy about her response--she seems a bit hyperbolic, at least in her open letter--but the details she mentions look interesting, and since the thread is open for comments, I'm really curious to see where this conversation is headed. And I think I'm going to be helpless to resist buying the book.


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