Journalist's memoir about Black Pentecostal Christians exposes sins in the church
Jul 17, 2009
Holy Roller by Julie Lyons is an intriguing look at Black Pentecostal Christians by a woman who calls herself one in everything except one small factor: she's white. Lyons was working as reporter for a newspaper in Dallas when she promised her editors a story about churches in the ghetto who were claiming to heal crack users of their addiction. The story led her onto a personal journey of faith and recovery from her own sin, including that of same-sex attraction. The book tracks her membership at a small church in South Dallas through its battles with the city council, countering demons in Botswana, and seeing their community changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Lyons' story suffers from a lack of continuity, the story didn't seem to flow smoothly, jumping from subject from chapter to chapter, and readers looking for the miracles promised on the dust jacket will be a bit disappointed because the focus is more on Lyons and her church than those who were changed by it. It's still a compelling story about how God can use the least of those to change the world. The transformation of Lyons is incredible, and her stories of demon oppression will unsettle those Christians who deny the forces of evil at work in the world. It's definitely a great read that will make readers think hard about their own faith and church.
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