Carrie's Reviews > Stuff Christians Like

Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff
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's review
Jun 28, 2010

it was amazing
Read from June 17 to 24, 2010

I just finished reading Stuff Christians Like (a.k.a. SCL). It’s along the lines of the blog Stuff White People Like except it’s about, well, stuff Christians like (whether said Christians are white or otherwise is beside the point).

I’ve read some SCL blog posts before and enjoyed the humor, so when Blog Tour Spots announced they were sponsoring a discussion of the book I was IN.

The book is a series of super-short essays calling out some of the funnier (and less-than-Biblical) sides of Christian culture (i.e. Using “Let Me Pray About It” as a Euphemism for “No”, or, Ranking Honeymoon Sex Slightly Higher Than the Second Coming of Christ). Jonathan Acuff writes with a pretty sarcastic bent – and that kind of humor is right up my alley.

It also doesn’t hurt that I grew up in a Southern Baptist church (as I suspect Acuff did) and can readily relate to his “pop-culture” references (my favorite being a lyric from Psalty, a musical I sang in somewhere around 3rd grade. As a total side note, I still think of Psalty's girlfriend every time I eat a strawberry Starburst due to their shape and color being so similar. Can I get an "Amen?"). All of that to say, someone coming from a more traditional church background might not chortle as frequently as I did. A non-church type might not even *like* the book at all (gasp!). But seriously…

Do we, as Christians, take ourselves too seriously? Do we not take God seriously enough? Despite the comical tone of the book, Acuff does a good job of leading the reader to self-reflect. His style is not to pound home The Point, nor does he neatly wrap up every topic with what we should do. Rather, his over-the-top sarcasm reveals just how ridiculous (or insincere) we Christians can sometimes be.

That entire last paragraph could be neatly summed up as: The book was thought-provoking.

I found it particularly thought-provoking in the area of prayer. How many times have I told a friend, “I’ll pray for you” or “I’ll pray for that situation”? I’ve always tried not to speak those words idly and do my best to send an immediate shout-out to God, BUT beyond that moment, I find I rarely engage God in true, thoughtful, intercession. Yes, I said it out loud: MY PRAYER LIFE IS SEVERELY LACKING AND YOU SHOULDN'T DEPEND ON ME TO TAKE YOUR PROBLEMS TO GOD WITH ANY REGULARITY.

But, hey, there are "worse sins" out there, right? If you'd like to be privy to my juicier shortcomings, you'll have to start showing up to my small group. Or, skip that altogether and just read the section on CONFESSING SAFE SINS (page 193).

The bottom line: I laughed out loud a lot (1 star), I found the material personally relevant (2 stars), I was challenged when I didn't expect to be (3 stars), I've already recommended it to friends (4 stars), I found the illustrated version of The Side Hug to be a stroke of artistic brilliance (5 stars).

Check out the SCL blog first. If you like it, buy the book.

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