The Wondering Years: How Pop Culture Helped Me Answer Life’s Biggest Questions by Knox McCoy- Book Review
Knox McCoy speaks my language. He too writes in fluent movie quotes and 90s pop culture references. What I thought was going to just be a funny book full of pop culture and my favorite way to speak, was actually full of truth and a lot to think about. And we must be close to the same age, because I understood EVERY.Single.Reference he made…
The Wondering Years: How Pop Culture Helped Me Answer Life’s Biggest Questions is a little bit of Knox’s life story, peppered with lots of pop culture references, and sounds a WHOLE lot like the way I was raised. It’s full of the very same ideas about the way I grew up in church and the way I was taught to believe. He’s come to a lot of the same conclusions that it’s taken me my 30 some years to come to- and asks a lot of the same questions that I’ve struggled with.
He tells a story about when he was a teen and it was given him as a mission from a team of adults to ‘save the deacon’s son’s soul’, basically. I too was tasked with that when I was young- and guess what? You can’t save it for them. I remember being on a full on mission to turn someone’s life toward Christ. At an age when I wasn’t even sure about what I was doing, and struggling with my own faith. Did it work? Definitely not!
He also talks about how weird VBS is and this might be the funniest chapter in the book. Because, having gone to VBS every year of my entire childhood- I can wholeheartedly agree. It’s totally weird. But, I also loved it.
It’s not ALL fun and games.
The book gave me a lot to think about and actually made a lot of good points. My favorite one being on how we, as Christians, beat ourselves up for questioning God. That is one that I struggle with A LOT. Knox says,
“He told me that there was room, so much room, for my doubt and my questions. That all of that was okay, because the God that I had miscast into my narrative of a life and the God that I’d misinterpreted and mischaracterized for all these years that was so into condemnation and rules and legality and guilt and shame- the real him was never about that….. More than anything, God spoke to my heart and revealed that he really is fine with questions. Because at the end of the day, he knows that the answers to all the questions I’m wondering about, and have been wondering about for all of these years, they’ve always led back to him. So why wouldn’t they still??
That quote was so freeing to me- that He’s ok with the questions.
This book is great if you are nostalgic for all of the things from your childhood- but maybe have some questions about what it means to be a Christian today…and how we can really help lead others to Christ. Spoiler- alert, it’s not by making it your mission to save their soul. Just like Knox couldn’t save the soul of every dog he’s ever met. Or Katie Holmes. Just read the book to see what I mean!
You’ll laugh out loud at all of the footnotes and movie quotes. Like Knox says, “Friends do let friends still make Zoolander and Dumb and Dumber references, FYI.” And for that we thank you, Mr. McCoy!