Doesn’t everyone want the good life these days? Our shopping mall world offers us a never-ending array of pleasures to explore. Consumerism promises us a vision of heaven on earth-a reality that’s hyper-real. We’ve all experienced hyperreality: a candy so ‘grape-ey’ it doesn’t taste like grapes any more; a model’s photo so manipulated that it doesn’t even look like her; a theme park version of life that tells us we can have something better than the real thing. But what if this reality is not all that it’s cracked up to be? Admit it, we’ve been ripped off by our culture and its version of reality that leaves us lonely, bored, and trapped. But what’s the alternative?
In The Trouble With Paris, Mark Sayers shows us how the lifestyles of most young adults (19-35) actually work against a life of meaning and happiness to sabotage their faith. Sayers shows how a fresh understanding of God’s intention for our world is the true path to happiness, fulfillment, and meaning.
“These are great tools for everyone trying to find the Way, the Truth, and the Life in a world of shortcuts, deception, and death. Amid the noise and seductions of our culture, may Mark’s work help us to be both relevant and peculiar to this chaotic world. May we raise up a generation of radical nonconformists with everything that is wrong in the world, a generation that turns the world upside down so that it aligns with the Kingdom of God.”
–Shane Claiborne, Author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
Mark Sayers is something of a spiritual genius who is able to both name and diagnose the angst of an entire generation caught up in the web of consumerism and hyperreality. This book is laced with the kind of wise and prophetic insights that take the reader to the heart of some of the most important issues of our age. Nothing less than a clue to the spiritual healing of a generation lies hidden in the pages of this book.
Alan Hirsch Author of The Forgotten Ways and author (with Michael Frost) of The Shaping of Things To Come. Alan is founding director of Forge Mission Training Network
Mark has something fresh to say about what can kill your soul and who can salvage it.
Pastor and Author
Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
Mark Sayers’ new book The Trouble with Paris is outstanding. Well informed, insightful, articulate, and down to earth are just a few thoughts that come to mind when describing this tour de force. Sayers has a unique ability to put his finger on the pulse of contemporary culture and Christianity, and he proves to be a capable guide through the thickets of that which is counterfeit and fake. Today we’re submersed in the media driven and publicity shaped hollow promises of hyperreality, which are driving us to embrace the unreal and consequently an impoverished spirituality. Reading this powerful book will help us get back to the real and lead us to a rediscovery of our spiritual bearings for the present and the future.
In working with Swiss L’Abri for over twenty years now, my take on this book
is that it’s exactly what we need to get our priorities aligned with living in God’s reality, instead of trying and failing to make it up as we go along. Hyperreality is deceptively addictive, and if we are to touch a generation of people for the sake of Christ, it is books like Sayers’ The Trouble with Paris that will help pave the way. Highly recommended.
–Dr. Gregory J. Laughery, Author of Living Spirituality: Illuminating the Path and teacher with L’Abri Fellowship, Switzerland