Prologue: Throat Clearing—The Who and the What and the Why.
1. Conversion, As Best As I Remember It.
2. God’s Music.
3. The Spiritual Exercises.
4. Megachurch, Megafaith.
5. Go Ye Therefore.
6. The Categorical Imperative(s).
7. The God Who Is Where?
9. The Fall(out) of the Holy Spirit.
10. Arrested Development.
Epilogue: The Never-Ending Story.
Too much pot. Too many beers. Tired of lying to his parents, Patton, 18, is ready to come clean. He goes looking for God at a charismatic megachurch where people are "unabashedly excited about Jesus," and his life turns around. He speaks in tongues, dances spontaneously during worship services, enrolls at Oral Roberts University. And he prays incessantly: "My prayers cover the nation, the world. They pour out of my mouth and gush through the air, rumbling up the foothills of Pikes Peak and leaping into the sky, splashing down into the plains and rushing across into the towns and boroughs and metropolises, seeping under people’s windowsills and covering their entire homes like a film that won’t come off." Now a grad student and contributing editor to the webzine killingthebuddha.com, Dodd engagingly recreates two years of passionate faith and excruciating doubt, weaving historical notes and sociological observations into his personal narrative. Though his experience as a fanatically "evangelical, Bible-believing, chest-pounding Christian" was short-lived, Dodd’s tone is sympathetic as well as wryly humorous, and his analysis is usually kind: "ORU is not a place of insincere devotion; it is a place of extreme devotion sincerely and frequently expressed." This lively coming-of-age story succeeds both as literary memoir and as an intimate look at a popular variety of American religious experience. (Nov.) (Publishers Weekly, October 11, 2004)