By Adam McLane Travel. Pilgrimage. Personal anecdotes. Dialog about Christian music. Emerging church commentary. Soteriology. And just about everything except a story about the family kitchen sink. In Christian George’s book, Sex, Sushi, and Salvation we get a personal look into a sojourner's life. Thanks to a title that includes three topics that evoke so much emotion the reader is left with a certain enthusiasm for how the author will string those things together.
This enthusiasm and emotional expectation is not rewarded. What Sex, Sushi, and Salvation misses is a main idea. Instead the work is a spider web of unrelated personal stories and sound bytes with no overriding point. His theme seems to be that one can find God in anything from enjoying sushi to urinating to being ill. He shares stories from mission trips and family vacations yet there is no metanarrative to tie any of it together.
As I worked through this book I had a hard time categorizing to whom, exactly, George was writing. If the book is written to his generation of emerging leaders, he presents an old world response to his contemporaries. The abrasive style leaves one shaking his head. In the book he riles against modern worship music, the Emergent movement, and modern church movements in general; instead he favors what he grew up with. Over and over I kept looking at the jacket cover, reading the author's bio, and trying to determine exactly what the point of this book is. About two-thirds of the way through I came to the realization that the point was that there is no point. I think that the author makes a false assumption that in order to be fresh and relevant to post-moderns that you have to be random and unrelated.
In fairness, there are moments of hope in the book – some paragraphs are gripping and worth contemplating. I’m looking forward to George’s future, less blog-worthy, writing. George is a powerful writer who needs to extinguish his ADD style for something more connected and to a point. In the end I found Sex, Sushi, and Salvation to be a better concept than in reality.