Monday, July 22, 2013
Book Review: Geekpriest
About a month ago an advance copy of Geekpriest Confessions of a New Media Pioneer by Fr. Roderick Vonhogen showed up in my mail box. I don't know about you, but when I see a book with a picture of a priest holding his lightsaber on the cover (Yes, I said lightsbaer) I can't help but think it's a book that I have to read. So never mind the fact that this book won't be released until September, I had to read it right away.
I was fairly certain when I picked up this book that it would be an entertaining read. Perfect for summer, but again, it's not coming out until September. So I guess really it's perfect for some nice fall reading. The book certainly did not disappoint. In fact, I pretty much devoured the book over the course of a few afternoons.
Geekpriest is filled with lots of anecdotal stories from Fr. Roderick's life. But this isn't just a book of his amusing memoirs, no it's got a great underlying message of how to utilize new media to evangelize. Fr. Roderick pretty much lays out how he started using pop culture rallying points like Star Wars, Harry Potter and video games to evangelize. He illustrates how finding a common ground with people who shared a particular interest, such as Star Wars, gave him an opportunity to share his faith with them.
I found so much of what Fr. Roderick had to say in this book to be incredibly helpful with regards to using new media for the purpose of new evangelization. So as a Catholic blogger, I felt this book had plenty of great takeaway points that I could use to improve the way I blog with regards to sharing my faith. But this book isn't just for someone like me out in the blogosphere. It's really for anyone who is utilizing new media or is interesting in doing so as a way to share their faith and evangelize. Fr. Roderick discusses some of the difficulties you might encounter as you foray into new media and gives great advice on navigating through those circumstances.
I also think this book has the potential to be of use to clergy. Not just for the great information on reaching people using new media, but also on thinking outside the box when it comes to the ways in which you try to reach them. It's the idea meeting people where they are and evangelizing from there. So if drawing parallels between the plot of say the Harry Potter books and the Gospels enables you to connect with your intended audience so that they're able to connect the dots and grasp what you're trying to convey, then why not? So more or less, Fr. Roderick lays out ways in which you can think outside the box to evangelize.
Overall, I found Geekpriest to be both informative and entertaining. It's an engaging book that is packed with lots of helpful advice on navigating new media as part of new evangelization. It's certainly worth reading.
I was provided with a review copy of Geekpriest by the publisher, Servant Books, in exchange for my honest review. You can pre-order a copy of this book at Amazon.com.