Saturday, January 9, 2010


Yesterday I was excited to see that my copy of Megabelt had arrived. I had been looking forward to reading this book for some time.

The reason for my excitement was simple: I live in the middle of the bible belt culture, and this book focuses on that very topic. Megabelt is a fictional account of what it is like to grow up in the bible belt/church culture of the South in the USA.

The book is short (about 100 pages) and an easy read. I do not read quickly but still managed to read it all yesterday.

Megabelt has several positive aspects. The author, Nick May, writes about a topic that needs to be discussed: the effect of the cultural South upon the life of the church. He tells various stories of church practices that exist but really do nothing to promote true Christian living. He forces those of us who live in the South to look at our church practices to see if they have any biblical basis. Additionally, because the book is written in story format, it is easy to read.

Now for the negatives about Megabelt: the author is extremely critical of church life in the South. In fact, he shows little grace whatsoever. After reading his book, someone unfamiliar with church life in the South would think that nothing of substance ever happens in the church. The author's view seems very one-sided. He understandably uses sarcasm, but he employs this literary device far too much. After reading the first few chapters, I became tired of the constant biting comments. Finally, on several occasions the author uses crude/crass language. There was no reason for this.

To summarize, I was really looking forward to this book. Megabelt looks at a topic that needs to be addressed: the impact of the cultural bible belt South on the church. I hope more people write about this issue. The problem with Megabelt is that the author takes an overly critical tone in writing. The amount of sarcasm is over-the-top. The crass nature of the language is unhelpful and unnecessary.

Overall, Megabelt has some good qualities. However, it is my opinion that the author missed his chance at writing a book that would have great impact on the church. I wish this book could be re-written with more grace, less sarcasm, and no crudity. If a revision was done well, then I think churched people of the South might be willing to read it and think about the important issues it raises.


Henry Neufeld said...

Thanks for your review! Yes, as a publisher I honestly appreciate criticism, especially when combined with a clear indication that one has given due attention the the book under review. (For full disclosure, I'm owner/editor of Energion Publications, publisher of Megabelt.)

Eric said...


Thanks for your comment. You're welcome for the review. As for Megabelt, I really do think the author had some good things to say. I'm glad I read the book. I hope my input came across in a constructive manner.

God bless your ministry!