Probably the best way I can give you an idea of what it’s like to read All Things Reconsidered by Knox McCoy is by giving you a quote from the chapter titled “In the Beginning.” McCoy is discussing our need, as a culture, to reconsider things that have been in place for a long time, even though that reconsideration requires a certain amount of action. “In a vacuum, I think we can all agree that these are things we should change,” he argues. And his list goes like this:
scientifically incorrect ideology
the necessity of more Toy Story movies
systemic marginalization of disenfranchised people
Arnie Hammer being a thing. (p164)
This struck me as McCoy’s writing in a nutshell. On the one hand, he is often discussing big topics, events, and ideas, but even when he’s doing that, he is still managing to always infuse a bit of levity and humor into the mix. His range of topics is broad–faith, heaven and hell, parenting, streaking, pronunciation of English words, and more. Each chapter is on a different topic, and each gives us McCoy’s unique take on it. He is both authentic (as is trendy) and vulnerable (which really isn’t).
Nothing is too grand or too mundane to be reconsidered. McCoy’s argument is that by truly looking at what we believe on pretty much any topic, from self esteem (see him preparing for imminent fatherhood by deciding to run a half-marathon and training by running 5 miles) to faith (and how his faith was shaped when he was pantsed in front of cool teenage girls at the age of 11), we can better articulate what we believe and why. And so while we look at sports fandoms and whether or not participation trophies are truly the bane of our era, we are really looking at the building blocks of so many larger things as well.
All Things Reconsidered is a book that will make you think, and make you laugh as well. McCoy isn’t afraid to spend time on the hierarchy of Sesame Street, but he’s also not shy about examining his own beliefs on prayer or institutional inconsistency in the evangelical church. Yet much of the book is really just McCoy’s thoughts on life. An enjoyable book that will stick with you, and might just get you asking questions about your own assumptions.