I laughed. I cried. I did all the things, then I came back for more.
Knox McCoy’s “The Wondering Years” is a candid look at his life and faith, told by way of a series of entertaining anecdotes and cultural references galore. It is -a rare thing- a book that will make you think about your own relationship with God while not boring you at all. A book that sounds and feels personal, like a friend talking to you in a coffee shop...talking to you, not at you. Big difference.
Every kid who grew up in church faced a moment when they had to decide if they wanted a faith of their own, separate from the one presented to them by their parents. I distinctly remember this phase of my life. I also know that, for many second or third-generation Christians, the struggle to reconcile the image of God we were taught, with the world we live in can be difficult. Knox addresses these struggles and more, wondering what faith should feel and look like as well as asking who God is at our darkest moments. Disguised in this easy-to-read book are deep thoughts and challenging statements. And I didn’t hate that at all.
On the lighter side, you are going to be hard pressed to find a book that has a stronger 90’s pop culture game than “The Wondering Years”. Knox hits all the high points AND all the Christian pop culture hits too (yes, that is a thing!). If you can work a reference to Nicolae Carpathia into your book, you’re winning in mine.
If the honest look at faith is the heart of this book, the pop culture is the heartBEAT. It keeps you moving right through the pages until you’re done and you don’t want to be.
Perhaps what I loved most about “The Wondering Years” was Knox’s willingness to leave his faith journey unfinished. He bypassed the pitfall of so many spiritual books, the painful pull to tie his story up in a neat bow. You don’t finish this book feeling like Knox has it all figured it out. You might not even agree with some of the things he says. That’s okay. He is just one of us, processing and reprocessing as he moves along life’s journey, and his willingness to admit that makes this book even more worthy of your time.
*Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. "The Wondering Years: How Pop Culture Helped Me Answer Life's Biggest Questions" will be on sale November of 2018.*