This eye-opening book invites readers of all political and denominational stripes into a more meaningful conversation and community with soldiers and veterans.
If Jesus is God, then God is a grunt—the humble, hardy folk placed at the bottom of the social hierarchy who are relied on to accomplish the dirtiest, most difficult (and most thankless) work. This is good news for millions of Christian soldiers and veterans in the U.S. because they have had to make an impossible choice, with no perceivable middle ground, between patriot and pacifist.
In his new book, God Is a Grunt, Logan Isaac offers an opportunity for GIs, veterans, and those close to them to read Christian traditions as a soldier would—by and through the lived experiences of military service. This well-researched, meditative guide for Christians who have served their country delves deep into the Bible, while Isaac shares his own beliefs and thoughts on the life-altering experiences of battle. He attempts to fill the void most Christians in the military feel by providing theological resources to discern a better way of discipleship for GIs, affirming the nuance and complexity of armed service and the gifts GIs extend to Christians around the world.
About the Author
Logan M. Isaac spent over six years in the United States Army as an artilleryman, including a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. He was discharged as a Noncommissioned Officer in 2006 and went on to earn a BA from Hawaii Pacific University and a Master of Theological Studies from Duke University. Logan spent a year teaching at Methodist University in North Carolina before leaving to study at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, from which he received a Master of Letters in Systematic and Historical Theology in 2015. After returning to a teaching position at Duke University, he went on to earn a Certificate in Business Administration from Georgetown University and start Pew Pew HQ, a social enterprise based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Logan is the sole author, as Logan Mehl-Laituri, of Reborn on the Fourth of July (InterVarsity, 2012) and For God and Country: In That Order (Herald, 2013). His first book received a Publishers Weekly Starred Review and he has served as a consultant or contributing author of nearly twenty additional publications, including books such as The Gospel of Rutba (Orbis, 2012), and Jesus, Bombs, & Ice Cream (Zondervan, 2012). He has been featured on the cover of Christianity Today Magazine and was awarded an Evangelical Press Association award for Best Article Series for "Ponder Christian Soldiers" in 2016. He lives in Maryland.
“In his new book, Logan Isaac invites us to share in the story of Christian soldiers with grit and grace, encouraging the church into more thoughtful conversations about, and meaningful community with, military families. This book could transform and even save lives.” —James Martin, SJ, author of Learning to Pray
“When one soldier and seventeen veterans take their lives every day in so-called ‘God-blessed America,’ it’s time to have a serious conversation about the Christian faith and military service. God Is a Grunt forces readers to wrestle with brave moral questions about war-waging and peacemaking, mental health and neighbor-love. With a mix of righteous anger and theological imagination, Logan M. Isaac challenges popular misconceptions that will disturb the easy confidence of partisan readers on both sides of the aisle. This book isn’t safe, but it is good.”—Jonathan Merritt, contributing writer for The Atlantic and author of Learning to Speak God from Scratch
"God is a Grunt is part humorous history lesson, part expose of bad theology in which Br. Logan elbows through the mud of Christian expectations and misunderstandings about those in uniform. A brilliant theological examination of soldiers." —Rev. Jaye White, Air Force daughter and Army spouse
"God is a Grunt is full of purpose. Logan Isaac’s no-holds-barred approach successfully challenges modern preconceptions about the compatibility of faith, military service, and society. He broaches many uncomfortable but eminently important topics, from anxiety and depression to suicide that must be part of any serious conversation on how to treat military families and Veterans before, during, and after their service. In that sense, his book is also a very much needed reminder that throughout history soldiers and society were not separate entities but always interconnected in a myriad of ways." —Christian Barthel, PhD, lecturer in ancient history at the University of Potsdam, Germany
"God is a Grunt is a deep, rich, and honest reflection on the spiritual and ethical stakes that attend military service and how Christian service members can navigate them. There’s no better guide to these issues in our spiritually and politically precarious times than Logan Isaac. His writings should be mandatory issue at basic training for all Christian service members—as well as their families, churches, and communities." —Andrew Bell, PhD, Air Force veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan
"An invaluable read for the soldier, or community surrounding the soldier, that seeks to know, love, and serve God in the midst of our war-torn world." —Scott Erickson, artist, performance speaker, and author of Say Yes: A Liturgy of Not Giving Up on Yourself
"One of the biggest health issues facing our military and veterans community today is mental health and suicide. This crisis has claimed the lives of thousands of service members who lost the war to the demons they battle and the numbers are only getting worse. Logan's new book God is a Grunt takes us away from the stereotypical one size fits all approach and addresses this crisis through the eyes of the Christian soldier. As a Christian myself, I believe faith has more to offer military families which Logan depicts masterfully in his book, and will leave the reader challenging mental health misconceptions and beliefs. This book will challenge the reader in a positive way and in the right hands, God is a Grunt will save lives. God bless America." —Ryan Henrickson, Special Forces Engineer and author of Tip of the Spear
"This is no Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul, but an unflinching look at Christian theology and history from a veteran’s perspective. Logan M. Isaac shows how soldiers’ and veterans’ experiences can help us better understand Christian faith, and vice versa." —Russell Johnson, PhD, Assistant Director of the Religious Studies Program, University of Chicago
"The ability for Logan Isaac to identify the military with Scripture is unique. His experience transformed his life, and in his third book, nails how we can serve others through thoughtful examples. He does not stray from any topics: history, politics, religion, gender issues, authority; this book has it all. The ability to tie it all together and make something useful and easy to read is just what this generation of post 9/11 veterans all need to hear. This is a book about hope, and about the God who came to serve. A must-read for not only the military communities but those wondering how it all makes sense." —Brian Meagher, USAF veteran and founder of BKM and Co. LLC
"Logan Isaac's deeply personal prose humanizes issues that are too often relegated to politicized antagonisms or dismissed without thoughtful consideration. This book is an invitation to reflect on the messy moral dimensions of war-making and its aftermath, and face into the demands and sustenance of our faith." —Rev. Zachary Moon Ph.D., Associate Professor of Theology and Psychology at the Chicago Theological Seminary
"This book is rare, in that it takes a controversial topic and turns it into a person, the Grunt. For those of us who have served in the military it will be familiar and eye-opening at once. For those with different experiences, this book will take you into a world you have likely never been before. Subversive and encouraging, this book will make you think, ponder, and know God in a new way." —Rev. David W. Peters, Founder of the Hospitallers of St Martin and author of Post-Traumatic God
"Cheeky and irreverent, serious and scholarly, Logan Isaac skillfully leads his readers on a fact-finding mission through Biblical texts, religious history, and his own story of identity and belonging. Active military, veterans, and civilians alike will discover fresh and sometimes startling insights about God revealed in Logan’s study of Scripture and in his telling of the stories of Christian believers. I will never think about God in the same way after reading God Is a Grunt." —Rev. Molly Shivers, Director of Conflict Transformation Ministries, NCCUMC