~BOOK ☧ God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America ⚖ PDF or E-pub free

~BOOK ☮ God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America ☨ In the wake of theelection, Lyz Lenz watched as her country and her marriage were torn apart by the competing forces of faith and politics A mother of two, a Christian, and a lifelong resident of middle America, Lenz was bewildered by the pain and loss around her the empty churches and the broken hearts What was happening to faith in the heartland From drugstores in Sydney, Iowa, to skeet shooting in rural Illinois, to the mega churches of Minneapolis, Lenz set out to discover the changing forces of faith and tradition in God s country Part journalism, part memoir, God Land is a journey into the heart of a deeply divided America Lenz visits places of worship across the heartland and speaks to the everyday people who often struggle to keep their churches afloat and to cope in a land of instability Through a thoughtful interrogation of the effects of faith and religion on our lives, our relationships, and our country, God Land investigates whether our divides can ever be bridged and if America can ever come together I received an advanced reading copy, opinions are my own.I can identify with this author s journey through faith as I began a similar journey 20 years ago The outcome for me wasn t the same but the outsiderness and the loss of relationships were a very real issue for me as well I am interested in understanding why people want to stay with a faith that doesn t really want them and they don t really believe in I guess it s hard to give up the history of faith and family in the way that you were I received an advanced reading copy, opinions are my own.I can identify with this author s journey through faith as I began a similar journey 20 years ago The outcome for me wasn t the same but the outsiderness and the loss of relationships were a very real issue for me as well I am interested in understanding why people want to stay with a faith that doesn t really want them and they don t really believe in I guess it s hard to give up the history of faith and family in the way that you were raised For me I just remember the day when I finally had to choose and I while I grieved the cost of my choice, I have never regretted it This book is probably going to cause a commotion and I am looking forward to reading other people s opinions and discussions This is an honest, unflinching look at faith in middle America and the author s struggle to reconcile it with her own beliefs Lenz grew up in an Evangelical household and married a conservative Christian Gradually, she became conflicted about the Evangelical church s restrictions and exclusionary rules This book is about her search to find her own place, while also taking a hard look at the current cultural divide and the church s role in it. A white Christian pastor, ignoring the violence against Muslims while perpetuating a victim narrative for Tim Tebow, is part of the story of faith, most notably the stories we fail to tell And these silences are inextricably linked to race, power, and class And if we want to know what is happening with faith in America, we have to look at the effects of faith, even the violent ones Even if we believe we are not that kind of Christian, not that kind of white person, not that kind of man, not A white Christian pastor, ignoring the violence against Muslims while perpetuating a victim narrative for Tim Tebow, is part of the story of faith, most notably the stories we fail to tell And these silences are inextricably linked to race, power, and class And if we want to know what is happening with faith in America, we have to look at the effects of faith, even the violent ones Even if we believe we are not that kind of Christian, not that kind of white person, not that kind of man, not that kind of woman Even if we don t believe we are racist and we say we love our fellow man, if we have sat in a church that was silent to suffering, we are complicit If we have turned the other way when children were being tear gassed, that violence is now our religion And we have to grapple with that, we have to hold it in our hands, so we never forget One thing I have struggled with in recent years is that I grew up in the rural south, in a trailer in fact, and yet the narrative is that people like me don t understand the white working class Now, I have certainly encountered people who didn t know that some people still get their water from wells and who were surprised that I didn t have cable until college just a big old antenna click click click but many people in cities do understand the rural part of our country Many of us are from those places and know that culture It is also true that many of the rural parts of our country operate, as Lenz describes, like a clenched fist Many of those places are suspicious of people who are different or who seem like outsiders It would be nice if our understanding was expected to go both ways I think Lyz Lenz does a great job pushing for that understanding when it comes to faith and community and culture in this book Recommended I m really enjoying the story of this writer journalist s path through and away from the Evangelical church, and how it coincides with the rise of Trumpian conservatism But I find myself distracted and frustrated by the many grammar and punctuation errors Please, Indiana University Press, it s worth the money to pay for copyediting P.S See my LinkedIn page if you re looking for a good freelancer to help out with this I spent the better part of my day today reading this book It was earth shattering for me I dug out my sticky page markers so I could remember all the beautiful, brilliant, true passages This country is falling apart let s stop pretending otherwise , and Christianity white, evangelical, conservative Christianity, to be precise has had a hell of a lot to do with that Lenz is a Christian saying she s been deeply, deeply on the inside and, yeah, it s really bad, but she wants to keep fighting I spent the better part of my day today reading this book It was earth shattering for me I dug out my sticky page markers so I could remember all the beautiful, brilliant, true passages This country is falling apart let s stop pretending otherwise , and Christianity white, evangelical, conservative Christianity, to be precise has had a hell of a lot to do with that Lenz is a Christian saying she s been deeply, deeply on the inside and, yeah, it s really bad, but she wants to keep fighting This is a feminist book I think it took a ton of guts to write This one hit really close to home Lenz combines reporting from churches throughout the Midwest with deeply personal stories about her faith, the evolution of her politics, dissolution of her marriage, and a failed church plant Her stories show the good community potlucks lovely traditions mutual care in rural areas , but don t shy away from the messy It s a deep, nuanced, complicated even diverse look at the Midwest She lives in Iowa and spends time getting to know communities and con This one hit really close to home Lenz combines reporting from churches throughout the Midwest with deeply personal stories about her faith, the evolution of her politics, dissolution of her marriage, and a failed church plant Her stories show the good community potlucks lovely traditions mutual care in rural areas , but don t shy away from the messy It s a deep, nuanced, complicated even diverse look at the Midwest She lives in Iowa and spends time getting to know communities and congregations this isn t an NYTimes reporter dropping in to photograph some chipping paint on a barn and chat up a guy in a MAGA hat at a diner Lenz captured a feeling that I ve had a hard time putting my finger on from my time as a woman who spent a lot of time in white evangelical spaces that feeling of needing to make yourself smaller to fit in, of being blamed for being the one to make things uncomfortable, the weight of those countless tiny decisions of when to speak up or not After years of struggling with patriarchal views in churches and other faith based organizations, she also doesn t absolve herself from being slow to see the white supremacy in these spaces The truth islikely that we live in a place that does both A place where we dine at the houses of our neighbors, but post cruelties about them on Facebook Where we will give the shirt off our back for someone in need, but vote against them at the ballot box the dissonance is as deep and real and painful as any part of American history And it s tempting to look away from it to instead focus on the positive Look at all the good that is done But the violence is still part of the story of faith and religion When I started following Lyz Lenz on Twitter, I thought she was a stand up comedian It turns out she is a journalist and memoirist who has created a searing and thoughtful but also funny and compelling book about what it means to be an evangelical Christian right now in the midwestern United States I enjoyed the book tremendously and have recommended it to friends So often Christian women are pressured to tamp down their exuberance, leadership ability, anger, and disappointment, and this bo When I started following Lyz Lenz on Twitter, I thought she was a stand up comedian It turns out she is a journalist and memoirist who has created a searing and thoughtful but also funny and compelling book about what it means to be an evangelical Christian right now in the midwestern United States I enjoyed the book tremendously and have recommended it to friends So often Christian women are pressured to tamp down their exuberance, leadership ability, anger, and disappointment, and this book helps to upend that problem A moving story of an authentic quest for faith Many who have found their faith at a breaking point due to the effects of Trumpian Evangelical Christianity will find a welcome companion on their journey in these pages.The author on her journalistic and faith journey, rightly calls out many hypocrisies in white evangelical Maga Christianity while at the same time lifting up the sincerity and loving hearts of many within it She is truthful about her thoughts and makes several brave confessions of A moving story of an authentic quest for faith Many who have found their faith at a breaking point due to the effects of Trumpian Evangelical Christianity will find a welcome companion on their journey in these pages.The author on her journalistic and faith journey, rightly calls out many hypocrisies in white evangelical Maga Christianity while at the same time lifting up the sincerity and loving hearts of many within it She is truthful about her thoughts and makes several brave confessions of not only her believes but her own shortcomings as well She is humble, critical, angry, forgiving, spiritually homeless but longing for home She s the kind of person that you can really appreciate as one who refuses to walk an inauthentic Faith This is to be applauded, even if you find that her conclusions come out differently from your own After all, unity is not uniformity.I always want to be slow to criticize a person s journey because every journey is sacred If I had one helpful critique to offer however, as a fellow believer, I think it would be to seek to allow your CHRISTIAN faith to guide your liberalism rather than letting your liberalism guide your Christian faith In my experience, Christians are always going to beliberal on some issues than conservatives andconservative in some issues than liberals The Kingdom of God doesn t fit well into either category and in fact calls all our allegiances to submission She makes some good points in this memoir, but leaves a great number of loose ends It s really primarily her story, and her journey, though she does a good job of briefly illuminating the world of a very specific population Midwestern Evangelicals It s by no means a comprehensive study leaving me to wonder what exactly she was doing during those 2 years of interviews and travel and is so narrowly focused I wonder what outcome she hopes for other than this rather brutal conclusion given by h She makes some good points in this memoir, but leaves a great number of loose ends It s really primarily her story, and her journey, though she does a good job of briefly illuminating the world of a very specific population Midwestern Evangelicals It s by no means a comprehensive study leaving me to wonder what exactly she was doing during those 2 years of interviews and travel and is so narrowly focused I wonder what outcome she hopes for other than this rather brutal conclusion given by her new non evangelical pastor Let them die Speaking of Midwestern evangelical churches, both large and small If you read it as a memoir, it s a spare but interesting story of her faith journey If you read it as a study of Midwestern Evangelicalism, you ll be disappointed There s just not much here The Feels are the most successful component, since there s virtually no data and limited anecdotal exploration of her topics