The Jesus People movement was a unique combination of the hippie counterculture and evangelical Christianity. It first appeared in the famed "Summer of Love" of 1967, in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, and spread like wildfire in Southern California and beyond, to cities like Seattle, Atlanta, and Milwaukee. In 1971 the growing movement found its way into the national media spotlight and gained momentum, attracting a huge new following among evangelical church youth, who enthusiastically adopted the Jesus People persona as their own. Within a few years, however, the movement disappeared and was largely forgotten by everyone but those who had filled its ranks.
God's Forever Family argues that the Jesus People movement was one of the most important American religious movements of the second half of the 20th-century. Not only do such new and burgeoning evangelical groups as Calvary Chapel and the Vineyard trace back to the Jesus People, but the movement paved the way for the huge Contemporary Christian Music industry and the rise of "Praise Music" in the nation's churches. More significantly, it revolutionized evangelicals' relationship with youth and popular culture. Larry Eskridge makes the case that the Jesus People movement not only helped create a resurgent evangelicalism but must be considered one of the formative powers that shaped American youth in the late 1960s and 1970s.
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The book is great, it helped me understand my parents hippy roots , and how Jesus saved many hippies of there generation, also shows the roots of modern evangelical church movement, although I would credit the original Jesus movement as a real move of the Holy Spirit, saving a load of kids misdirected by drugs etc.....
"Flashback to my earliest days as a believer."
God's Forever Family captures a unique time in American Christianity - the triumphs, the failures, the merits and the flaws. I loved this book, and it honestly made me long for the simple days when it was all about Jesus - no politics, no hype, no performance based expectations. Jesus loves me, God's judgement is coming, Jesus is coming soon! Simple faith for a very difficult time.
Seems like we need a new Jesus movement!
"A Groovy Happening"
If your life was touched by this movement or the music, you'll enjoy the story. It was an easy listen for me. So much so that I didn't mind running a few extra errands.
I was amazed at the depth of research the author provided to give us a detailed backstory of the Jesus Movement. This is not a light-weight, quick read.
If you're from the West Coast, you'll have to forgive the many mispronunciations of places (Marin County, Spokane) as well as Bible words (Agape, Koinonia). It's not a big deal but over the course of a book it was distracting. It actually made me wonder if this was a text to voice production.
Don't do it! It's already been done and the results are always cheesy.
"Very good book, marred by narration "
Well written, manageable history, with deeply incompetent pronunciation. Though clear and well paced, there were so many words mispronounced - from names of towns to common Christian terminology to everyday words - I was glad to be done with it. Fortunately the book held my interest. Don't use the narration as a guide for how to pronounce words.
The text itself is engaging, and the reader had decent rhythm. I felt the ending was a bit but abrupt, and expected more detail on the long term influence and gradual petering out of the movement. Still a worthwhile read, if you can get past the bewildering reading. If this subject is of interest to you, the narration will not stand in the way of your enjoyment. I listened with ease at 1.5 x.
"Solid research. Decent writing. Dismal reading."
Larry Eskridge is an excellent historian. His research was thorough and his presentation engaging. The only problem with this audiobook is the lack of professionalism in the reader. He did not do his homework in learning pronunciations. He obviously is not for familiar with evangelicalism. The most egregious and grating example is his oft repeated mispronunciation of Calvary. Without fail, he pronounces it cavalry. Biblical names and even the names of books of the Bible are often mispronounced.
"Great Book DREADFUL narrater"
The reader made an interesting and exciting book almost impossible to listen to. The reader sounded so cynical which nearly ruined the story. He pronunciation was off so often, esp. names of towns.
Yes, the information of a dynamic turn in church history; it was thorough, maybe a little too detailed but I don't know what he could have cut out.
He sounded flat and cynical and was dreadful at pronounciation. See above.
The reader. No way a performer.
I will be careful about buying books that are produced by an otherwise marvelous company. I've been a member for many years and am almost always completely happy with my purchases.
"Fantastic book; Flawed Narration"
I knew almost nothing about the Jesus People Movement before listening to this book, which I was interested in after seeing it recommended as Christianity Today's Book of the Year a few years back. It was a fascinating history, tracing the origins, evolution, and sustained impact of the Jesus People Movement.
A similar history of American evangelicalism that I found interesting was Molly Worthen's "Apostles of Reason"
While I would recommend the book strongly, I found the narration frustrating, mostly because several words were consistently mis-pronounced. Most notably (because the Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California is one of the key institutions upon which the book focuses), the narrator consistently pronounced "Calvary" (as in, where Jesus Christ was crucified) as "Cavalry" (as in, soldiers on horses).
Other words were mis-pronounced as well that betrayed the reality that the narrator was not familiar with the content of the book.
"Why couldn't they check the pronunciations?"
The book was just as good as I expected. The narration would've been fine, if the narrator hadn't continually mispronounced names of town and cities, as well as numerous words that would be absolutely common in Jesus People culture. (Words like "koinonia," "agape," "Maranatha," "Shekinah," etc.) I wish someone had checked the pronunciations before they released the final recording.
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