Editor's Note: This review of Keith Miller's Suburban Christianity was featured in the September 2015 issue of CT. The review was based on an advance copy of the book made available to our reviewer by Moody Publishers. After that issue went to press, we learned that Moody had decided to cancel publication of the book, which is no longer available.
I thought any sheepishness I ever felt about living in a leafy suburb a dozen miles west of Chicago had long evaporated. But as I walked through the doors of Vic’s Drum Shop—located lo those dozen-plus miles east of us—I realized my suburban insecurity was, in fact, alive and well.
There’s no way to not feel like a full-fledged dork while walking around an oozing-cool Chicago drum shop with your newly teenage son. And when our drummer salesman asked where we were from, I paused before answering. I longed to mention that I was a writer, an artist—that, yes, I drive a minivan, but I fight authority and hold some troubling opinions on politics and religion.
Instead, my mind ran back to Keith Miller’s Suburban Christianity: God’s Work in Unhip Places (Moody), a suburban-born Columbia Law School graduate’s defense of suburban life against its urban detractors. Though Miller protests too much, I concede his basic point. Suburban living is not cool. Not in drum shops, and increasingly not among church folks.
Miller writes primarily to millennial Christians who struggle with their suburban identity, who bristle when peers (or certain influential pastors) living in urban centers claim that The City is where God’s work is being done and where Christian influence is most needed. Miller raises six critiques—that the ...1
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