Daydream Believer by Mike Burke.
At last, some good new UK Christian fiction!
This is a thoughtful novel with some wonderful characters. We feel huge sympathy with the main character, Kevin, a burnt-out vicar, as he struggles with church, parishioners, evangelism, and then breaks free to go on a music tour as a support act for a U2 tribute band.
Along the way, Kevin and his friends explore ‘emergent church’ issues in a new and innovative way.
Anyone born in the 1950s or 1960s will appreciate the musical and cultural references. And anyone involved with the Church of England will appreciate passages like the description of a church meeting in the first chapter.
Great lines include the spiritual director who tells Kevin he needs to “get drunk, get angry and get laid!”; the almost Goth actress who shocks many with her creative monologues during Holy Week: “blood and abusive language should never be allowed to spoil a good crucifixion.” Mike has some penetrating and unforgettable insights into the vagaries of the Church of England. It’s a good story too, with a neat twist at the end.
I’d recommend this. A very easy read, but one that will make you think too.
This book discusses the ‘emergent church’ in a very positive way. It reminds me of “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey” by Wayne Jacobsen, Dave Coleman, Jake Colsen but is British rather than American, and to my mind, much more balanced and readable. I’d recommend following it up with the other point of view, though – try “Why We Love the Church: In Praise of Institutions and Organized Religion” by Ted A. Kluck.