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The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty [Paperback]

By Albert Y. Hsu (Author)
Our Price $ 16.15  
Retail Value $ 19.00  
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Item Number 48234  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   220
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.12" Width: 6.66" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.63 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2012
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  083083334X  
EAN  9780830833344  


Availability  116 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 24, 2017 04:33.
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Item Description...
Overview
IVP Print On Demand Title Suburbia: Paradise or Wasteland? Suburbia is a place of spiritual yearnings. People come to suburbia looking for a fresh start, the second chance, a new life. It embodies the hopes and longings of its residents, dreams for the future, safety and security for their children, and the search for meaningful community and relationships. Yet much in our suburban world militates against such aspirations, and people find themselves isolated and alienated, trapped by consumerism and materialism. Is there hope for a Christian vision for the suburbs? Al Hsu unpacks the spiritual significance of suburbia and explores how suburban culture shapes how we live and practice our faith. With broad historical background and sociological analysis, Hsu offers practical insights for living Christianly in a suburban context. Probing such dynamics as commuting and consuming, he offers Christian alternatives for authentic spirituality, genuine community and relevant ministry. And he challenges suburban Christians to look beyond suburbia and marshal their resources toward urban and global justice. Suburbia may be one of the most significant mission fields of the twenty-first century. Here is guidance and hope for all who would seek the welfare of the suburbs.

Publishers Description
Suburbia: Paradise or Wasteland? Suburbia is a place of spiritual yearnings. People come to suburbia looking for a fresh start, the second chance, a new life. It embodies the hopes and longings of its residents, dreams for the future, safety and security for their children, and the search for meaningful community and relationships. Yet much in our suburban world militates against such aspirations, and people find themselves isolated and alienated, trapped by consumerism and materialism. Is there hope for a Christian vision for the suburbs? Al Hsu unpacks the spiritual significance of suburbia and explores how suburban culture shapes how we live and practice our faith. With broad historical background and sociological analysis, Hsu offers practical insights for living Christianly in a suburban context. Probing such dynamics as commuting and consuming, he offers Christian alternatives for authentic spirituality, genuine community and relevant ministry. And he challenges suburban Christians to look beyond suburbia and marshal their resources toward urban and global justice. Suburbia may be one of the most significant mission fields of the twenty-first century. Here is guidance and hope for all who would seek the welfare of the suburbs.

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More About Albert Y. Hsu

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Albert Y. Hsu (pronounced "shee") is senior editor for IVP Books at InterVarsity Press, where he acquires and develops books in such areas as culture, discipleship, church, ministry and mission. He is also a PhD student in educational studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Al is the author ofSingles at the Crossroads, Grieving a Suicide and The Suburban Christian. He has been a writer and columnist for Christianity Today and served as senior warden on the vestry of Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois. He and his wife, Ellen, have two sons and live in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Albert y. Hsu currently resides in Wheaton, in the state of Illinois. Albert y. Hsu was born in 1972.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Thought-provoking, interesting, and a little convicting  Mar 17, 2007
I have met the author (last name is pronounced 'shee') and heard him speak a few times. His writing style reflects his speaking style: easy to follow, casual voice, yet punctuated with substance and information. While not preachy, Hsu encourages us that Christians are called to be Christians everywhere - including the 'burbs, but he challenges us to think about what that might look like and whether we can consider what God is calling us to do in our neighborhoods and churches. Extensive endnotes can lead to further reading on the subject.
 
Great  Dec 20, 2006
It is very nicely written, in a straightforward way and without judgements etc. on living in suburbs, as most of us do. What I found very good was his summary of how suburbs gotto where they are, what they mean, and what the difficulties are of living in them.
 
Lacking Passion  Dec 5, 2006
The topic of suburban Christianity is one that deserves attention and thought. And I do agree with the premise of the book--that Christians must not give up on the suburbs. But although this book was well researched, it lacked a fundamental passion to really inspire and encourage the love of God in suburbia. Perhaps that was not the intent, but that is the book we really need to find!

What you are left with is some dry sociological information, mild commentary and a few tentative suggestions like "walk more" or "practice hospitality" or "simplify your life" or "remember how the other half lives" that any non-Christian book about the topic might suggest. I can and do get that type of social commentary from David Brooks. And generally he is more humorous about it too.

God can radically change suburbia through each of us. If we don't believe this, what are we discussing anyway? I believe what is going to get suburban Christians to make eye contact with people and invest in them is a love of God and God's love for people. If we don't care about our neighborhood barista then all the short-term weekend trips to urban missions are more about us than about the people we are suppose to be helping. If we are simplifying our lives to consume less (and save money) but not giving over and above our tithe to charity--again the benefit goes all to us. Ditto for our taking more walks if we don't end up actually talking to anyone new while walking! It's not all about you (or me) the suburban Christian.

To be fair I would probably be less critical of this book if the blurb from whoever Lauren Winner is didn't claim it would be "Provocative...even prophetic." That is what it is precisely NOT. Not provocative enough and not prophetic enough. Bill Hybels' new book "A Walk Across the Room," which talks about making personal connections, is a better guide book for bringing Jesus into your suburb. And as for passion, you can't beat Brennan Manning's "Ruthless Trust" or almost any other book he has written. If you care about this topic, suggest you read Manning to get the passion, pray hard, then do what Hybels says.
 
Honest assessment of hurdles to profound spirituality  Nov 29, 2006
I thought this might be an easy read; boy, was I mistaken! Actually this book is full of social commentary that is rather interesting - not interesting enough to last 200 pages, but the author does make some really excellent points along the way. As a product of suburbia, Hsu examines how this new culture has arisen to dominate our landscape today and asks some pretty poignant questions about the "progress" of our society towards the individualism and isolationism of suburbia. He addresses the issue that I see as being a fundamental hurdle to a profound and vibrant spiritual journey - an "absence of scarcity" that has resulted in our entitlement culture devoid of appreciation and always demanding more...faster...easier! Hsu makes the connection between our physical environment and our resulting spiritual lives - and the conclusions he reaches aren't necessarily positive.

Hsu also takes to task the church in the suburbs and examines how many are more like shopping malls bending to the consumer culture than bodies of Christ transforming the culture around them. He also examines how we've lost a sense of connectedness - from the days of yesteryear when families gathered on the front porch to sit and chat with neighbors to the isolated homes of today with high fences, air conditioning and televisions as the centralized all-encompassing focus of "family time."

While Hsu doesn't back down from his concerns, he doesn't paint a bleak picture for the future - there are things that we, as suburban Christians, can and should do to counter our culture; but we must first see that our commercialized, consumer-driven, convenience-at-all-costs society does have some flaws! For Hsu, the answer is that bigger isn't always better, that easier isn't always worth it, and that as a follower of Christ, living counter-culture means more than opposing abortion or not smoking. It means that we must add value to our culture beginning with those closest to us - our neighbors. It means learning to make sacrifices and living within our means so that we can be used by God to assist others in need. And it means understanding that everyone longs for a place they can call home - a place of rest and peace - and while many believe that to be a physical refuge, as Christians we know that our soul will only find rest in Christ and we can share that rest with others who are longing for it.
 
A Good Start for Worldview Discussions in the Suburbs  Jul 10, 2006
The suburbs and suburban Christianity have been the subject of a great deal of often justified criticism, so Hsu, a suburbanite all his life, undertook the task of looking at how Christians really can live out their faith even in this too materialistic society. His approach is good, his scholarship is well-balanced, and he has some useful suggestions on how better to address the culture rather than just be carried along on its tide. I think he may be a little too gentle on how Christians need to change their lives in response to the challenge Christ laid out for us, but the book is still an excellent way to begin asking the right questions.
 

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