God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America

God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle AmericaIn The Wake Of The Election, 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

Lyz Lenz has been published in the New York Times, Buzzfeed, Washington Post, The Guardian, ESPN, Marie Claire, Mashable, Salon, and Her book Belabored Tales of Myth, Medicine, and Motherhood is forthcoming She also has an essay in the anthology Not That Bad Dispatches from Rape Culture edited by Roxane Gay Lenz holds an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University and is a contributin

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  • Hardcover
  • 176 pages
  • God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America
  • Lyz Lenz
  • English
  • 09 June 2018
  • 9780253041531

10 thoughts on “God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America

  1. says:

    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 be liberal on some issues than conservatives and conservative 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.

  2. says:

    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.

  3. says:

    This is fucking fiction because white evangelicals don t feel remorse and are incapable of being introspective Their religion is founded on racism.

  4. says:

    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.

  5. says:

    God Land is an insightful and challenging critique of Christianity in Middle America Lyz Lenz clearly still loves her Midwestern home, but laments that the predominant Christian voices are conflating Republicanism, gun culture, and male only leadership with the message of Jesus.God Land doesn t try to paint an overly cheery we just shouldn t let politics divide us picture Lenz s own story illustrates how divisive these issues can be on a personal level She doesn t pull punches as she recounts the end of her marriage, leaving one church, having a church plant die, and her struggles to find supportive community.God Land s clear affection for Middle America and portraits of small town Americans combined with Lenz beautiful prose and painfully honest diagnosis make it a must read in 2019 America.

  6. says:

    Lyz Lenz is so funny sometimes that you can forget that she has written a hard book As, for instance, when she s surveying the physical layout of cookie cutter megachurches and says that the decor looks like a Hobby Lobby vomited all over the place 115 That s the vibrant Lyz that you want giving you the tour But there s a whole lot going on in God Land A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America and the angry, grieving, defiant Lyz needs to tell the rest of this story You ll want to hear it.Lenz has some East Coast bona fides, having been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Columbia Journalism Review, but her home is in the Midwest In 2016 she was a married, church going, mother of two living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Though she lamented the dearth of Starbucks outlets, pre Trump Lyz might have bought in to the prevailing notion that she lived in a place that embodied the wholesomeness of the American ideal In our resistance to representation we are believed to be so basically normal So overwhelmingly America That s what you are told when you ask a person in Middle America to describe it here once you get past the clich s of good schools and it s a good place to live, Middle America s most notable quality is its presumed normality 3 Then came the election and nothing seemed normal any Lenz looked around at her home with new eyes She felt invisible in her own church Her marriage fell apart God Land What were these things now In some ways, Lenz s book fits into the emerging genre that might be titled Good God, What Happened to Rural America God Land does go after the broad portrait of contemporary rural America, though with a decidedly faith oriented bent Read my full review here Indiana University Press provided me with an advance reading copy of this book.

  7. says:

    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

  8. says:

    Such a good book that I read it with every free reading minute I had I got my copy from the library but also plan to buy a copy to gift.

  9. says:

    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 Evangelical, conservative Christianity, to be precise has had a hell of a lot to do with that Lenz is an Evangelical 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.

  10. says:

    A deeply felt look at who we are versus who we think we are, particularly for those who might feel at odds with public Christianity in America these days after growing up in the rural church The kind of book where you wish you could build a time machine and pass it out to everybody in your high school back in the day who might ve felt inculcated by going to church rather than uplifted.

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