How does a Christian live a faithful, others-engaged life in suburbia, a culture pervaded by consumerism, status-seeking, long commutes, and a dearth of community? Hsu, who has lived in suburbs nearly all his lifeand likes ithas created a seamless narrative of the socioeconomics, demographics, and spirituality of suburbia. Winsome stories tell of his personal grappling to live counterculturally.
Hsu and his wife, who both work in Christian publishing, live what seems to be a modest lifestyle with their two young sons. Still, as an admitted "book geek," Hsu recounts struggling with whether to buy more bookshelves or just give lots of his growing library away.
The Suburban Christian may invite comparisons with David Goetz's wisecracking, wry, and a bit jaded Death by Suburb. Hsu gives a more comprehensive, almost textbook, analysis, like a mentorunassuming, humble, positive, hopeful.
Not all of Hsu's suggestions will resonate with every reader. "There's no one-size-fits-all" way to live intentionally for Christ, Hsu says.
Perhaps his most significant suggestion for optimum suburban living is simple: Try to live where you work and worship. He says this will help move us from anonymity to communityeven in spiritually challenging suburbia.
Copyright © 2007 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty is available from ChristianBook.com and other retailers.
Christianity Today reviewed Death By Suburb in July 2006.
Other articles on the two books include:
God of the Latté | Faith in the suburbs. (Lauren F. Winner for Books & Culture, May/June 2006)
A Spiritual Health Hazard: White Picket Fences and Two Car Garages | The author of Death by Suburb (July 13, 2006)
The Brutal 'Burbs | How the suburban lifestyle undermines our mission (Leadership, April 17, 2006)
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