Friday, June 02, 2006

The Suburban Christian, the book - now in print!

After about two years of research, writing and working through the editorial and publication process, I am pleased to announce that my new book, The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty, is now officially in print! Here's the cover copy:

Suburbia: Paradise or Wasteland?

Suburbia is a place of spiritual yearnings. People come to suburbia looking for a fresh start, the second chance, a new life. It embodies the hopes and longings of its residents, dreams for the future, safety and security for their children, and the search for meaningful community and relationships. Yet much in our suburban world militates against such aspirations, and people find themselves isolated and alienated, trapped by consumerism and materialism. Is there hope for a Christian vision for the suburbs?

Al Hsu unpacks the spiritual significance of suburbia and explores how suburban culture shapes how we live and practice our faith. With broad historical background and sociological analysis, Hsu offers practical insights for living Christianly in a suburban context. Probing such dynamics as commuting and consuming, he offers Christian alternatives for authentic spirituality, genuine community and relevant ministry. And he challenges suburban Christians to look beyond suburbia and marshal their resources toward urban and global justice.

Suburbia may be one of the most significant mission fields of the twenty-first century. Here is guidance and hope for all who would seek the welfare of the suburbs.

"Albert Hsu has written a readable and well-researched treatment of a key issue. I live and work in the exurb, and I am grateful for his wisdom."—John Ortberg, author of If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat

"If, like me, you've ever stared at suburbia and wondered how it got this way, if you've ever wondered if there's any hope for radical discipleship here, then this book is for you."—Don Everts, author of Jesus with Dirty Feet and God in the Flesh

"A very important book for all of those who are seeking to faithfully follow Jesus in the suburbs. A candid grappling with both the challenges and the opportunities of suburban living. A great resource for church study groups."—Tom Sine, author of The Mustard Seed Conspiracy and Living on Purpose

"Urban cynics and suburban hermits rejoice--here is a refreshing invitation to find God at work in the margins, the same God who showed up in the unlikely badlands of Nazareth from which the world said nothing good could come."—Shane Claiborne, author of The Irresistible Revolution

"Provocative, thoughtful, even prophetic, The Suburban Christian is a book the church badly needs."—Lauren F. Winner, author of Girl Meets God and Real Sex

The book is available directly from IVP and can be ordered via IVP's website. Available on the book's webpage are free downloadable PDFs of the introduction and chapter 1. The book can also be ordered via online booksellers like Amazon or And if you want to support your local bricks-and-mortar bookstore, they should be able to order it for you - the ISBN is 0-8308-3334-X. Hope you enjoy it!


Craver Vii said...

May I ask a meaningless and insignifigant question? Which SUV is that on the cover of your book?

I'm enjoying the book so far, and I think I will need a few copies to give away to friends. Especially some who live in Chicago and have difficulty in accepting that it is not necessarily bad for a Christian to move out to the burbs.

Al Hsu said...

Our production department tells me that there was no identification of the make or model of the SUV from the stock photo - if there had been, it probably would have cost more money to use the image. Some eagle-eyed automotive expert somewhere would probably be able to identify it just from the design, but I have no idea!

Jarzembowski said...

I think your book is just fantastic. As a fellow Chicago suburbanite Christian, there are so many points in your book that abosultely hit right on.

I also work at a church in the northwest suburbs and minister to those in their 20s and 30s who live and work in the 'burbs. Would you be available to come out and speak to our ministry sometime? I think so many of the men and women I minister to need to hear your wisdom. If you can, feel free to email me at

Jim said...

I just found your site after ordering your book a week or so ago. We live out in the north 'burbs of Atlanta, and I was recently lamenting the dearth of good books on faith in suburbia. I'm looking forward to digging into your book and reading through the rest of your site!