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The Devil Wears Nada: Satan Exposed Paperback – August 4, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Tripp York goes searching for Satan in the classrooms and crossroads of America, but what he finds is quite surprising. As he piles up example after hilarious example of people searching for the wrong thing, he almost persuades me that Hell really is other people. In The Devil Wears Nada, York discovers that, in America, Christianity has become more the devil's prisoner than it realizes."
-Jeffrey C. Pugh, author of Devil's Ink: Blog from the Basement Office

"I loved this rollicking journey to hell and back. Tripp York thinks that we ought to take Satan seriously, as long as we mock, deride, and laugh at him the whole time. Sex, money, power, religion--Satan is mixed up with all of it, and in the funniest ways. This book is hysterically funny, absolutely serious, and deeply Christian. If you have never thought of Mennonites as funny (and who has?), then you need to read Tripp York on Satan!"
-Will Willimon, author of Why Jesus?

"I didn't want to read this book. I didn't have time. So I just took a quick glance before moving on to other things. But in that quick glance, temptation came over me and I just kept turning pages. I couldn't put it down. It made me laugh. It made me think. You'd better be careful or the same thing could happen to you."
-Brian McLaren, author of A Generous Orthodoxy

"York . . . attempts to examine the existence of God through a back door, that is, by searching for Satan. The effort offers a lively ride. York captivates the reader with snappy prose and a disarming, at times self-effacing, line of argumentation . . . ."
-Publisher's Weekly --Wipf and Stock Publishers

About the Author

Tripp York teaches in the Philosophy and Religion Department at Western Kentucky University. His previous books include, Living on Hope While Living in Babylon (Wipf & Stock, 2009), The Purple Crown (Herald, 2007), and Donkeys and Kings (Resource Publications, 2010).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (August 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608995607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608995608
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nathan P. Gilmour on September 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've said and written this before, and I still believe it's true: if you want to find out what's really important to your neighbor, ask that neighbor about Hell. I suppose the corollary of that truth is thus: a book about the devil will reveal more of the author than might a book about God. Going with that major premise, and using Tripp York's <em>The Devil Wears Nada</em> as the minor, I'd say that Tripp York is a person who loves his footnotes and worries that his reactions to one folly will land him in a second, more foolish folly. That said, whereas some books leave me wondering whether I live on the same planet as the author, York's is the sort that makes me think that a different choice here, a switch of opportunities there, and I could easily imagine his life and mine switched. That makes for difficult book-reviewing, but it's also the kind of reading that teaches me some things about myself. Yes, O Reader, this book review will be more autobiographical than most of mine, but it's because this book (not unlike Coffeehouse Theology) holds up a mirror to my mind as much as it gives me a funny book to read.

As the title of my review indicates, York seems to take the structure of his book from Morgan Spurlock's documentaries: after a brief narrative setting up the quest to find the real Satan, York travels to churches of all stripes, interviewing evangelicals and unitarians, Pentecostals and liberals, all to find the real Satan. Why find Satan? Because, as the book's setup narrative relates, York has become bored with the classical proofs of God and the safe, mostly sterile discussions that philosophical theology inevitably drift towards.
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I have to confess: I was not as excited to read "The Devil Wears Nada: Satan Exposed" as I was to read York's previous book, "Third Way Allegiance: Christian Witness in the Shadow of Religious Empire." After all, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will live in this world as someone who wants to follow Christ's teachings, and not as much time thinking about Satan. As a matter of fact, I happen to think Satan is given way too much credit, particularly among the believers with whom I tend to associate.

I should have known better, though. I loved both books, but I laughed a lot more at "The Devil Wears Nada."

I was immediately gratified to see the title of the first chapter, "The Protestant Deification of the Devil," as it seemed to confirm my own previously-espoused belief. But there is much more to love here:

- York's conversations with people who, on the surface, would appear to come from all manner of belief systems, but who we learn actually have a lot in common.

- York's analysis of Biblical accounts, particularly the story of Job and Satan's temptation of Jesus. He often raises more questions than he answers, but that's probably why I enjoy it so much.

- York's skewering of people who need it, e.g. Cindy Jacobs and Pat Robertson, among others. (And he often includes himself.)

- The recounting of conversations in York's classes at Western Kentucky University (an institution somewhat dear to my own heart). These made me wish I could go back to my hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky and take some of York's classes.

- And there is much more, but you'll have to read the book to discover it.
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Format: Paperback
I was able to snag a review copy of this book, and the only thing better than a free book is a free book that is, hands down, the funniest thing I've read in years. This is, of course, not what makes it such a great book--though that certainly helps. Rather, it's the author's ability to be so provocative while also being both self-assuming and self-deprecating.

Based on a wager made in one of his religion classes, York decides to search for Satan as a means of finding God. His hunt includes countless interviews with exorcists, Pentecostals, Unitarians, Satanists, Wiccans, Baptists, pagans, shamans, spiritual warriors, Nazarenes, and everything in between, while also engaging in some things that he hopes his mother never discovers (too late, I'm guessing). In case he does find Satan, he is prepared to try and make a pact with him in order to pay off the student loans he obtained while earning a PhD in theology. That, if nothing else, is the kind of irony that makes this book worth reading.

At times, it's hard to know when he is serious, when he is just messing around or how hell-bent he really is on finding the devil (though he certainly goes to great lengths), but that's what makes this book so interesting. He is providing a different sort of lens on how, in particular, religious people in the United States construe the world in terms of good and evil. And, yes, he makes fun of everyone along the way--while, also, poking fun at himself. And it's on this latter part that some may be turned off by his tone, but once you realize that he turns it on his own self you see that the tone is merely part of the search and is what makes the book such a compelling read. The humor does not distract from its serious nature; I think it actually forces the reader to really come to grips with what that person either does or does not believe.

All in all, this is an incredibly accessible and witty book. I definitely recommend it.
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