So, Whatâ€™s Your Point? Finding the Plot in a Chart Your Own Adventure Culture
A Denver Journal Review by Denver Seminary Professor Bill Klein
Francis Sciacca. So, What’s Your Point. Finding the Plot in a Chart Your Own Adventure Culture. Birmingham, AL: Hands of Hur. 270 pp. $25.00. ISBN: 9780985967604.
It’s difficult to isolate one genre to describe this important book. It’s a perceptive and incisive social analysis—particularly of American, and more pointedly Evangelical, cultural values. Denver Seminary graduate Fran Sciacca writes out of his considerable research and wide-ranging personal experiences to analyze and critique important developments since the pivotal 1960’s. But more, he shows convincingly the impact of these developments on the church that has sadly come to mirror the culture in a multitude of ways.
The book is also self-help, if there can be a best sense of that genre. That is, Sciacca seeks to help followers of Christ come to embrace and live out their God-designed identity, not based on the values and messages the culture champions and sells so effectively.
Yet the book is also a biblical theology—and Sciacca is careful to tell the full story of the Bible, what some call the “Grand Narrative.” If Christians understand who they are and what God’s redemptive program in the world entails, they will find their own mission and real fulfillment—though probably not the “American Dream”! Prayerfully read, this book will provoke a crisis: do we really want what God wants or do we want what we want? Do we define the goal of life in terms of American values, or God’s call? Sciacca is bold, in the pattern of God’s prophets, telling God’s life-giving message in a day of great crisis. And, to be sure, Sciacca knows the ins and outs of that crisis in the lives of real people after a lifetime of teaching students and speaking widely, not to mention his own life story. Sciacca’s writing is gripping, alive, and engaging; he’s clearly an accomplished communicator.
My fear is that those who most need to read and heed his message won’t bother to read the book, or that we read the book and dismiss its wakeup call. But if we do, we will live much diminished lives. Sciacca gives Christians a prescription and a mandate for lives worth living, ones that truly fulfill the mission of God for this world.
The book will prove very useful for both groups and individuals, providing nearly 100 chapter-by-chapter discussion questions. It is self-published by Hands of Hur, Inc., the ministry that Sciacca leads in Birmingham, AL. The book is available directly from the website www.sowhatsyourpoint.org or via Amazon. Potential readers can also “test-drive” the first 30 pages on the book’s site.
William W. Klein
Professor of New Testament