Jim’s #6: Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff

I like to laugh.  Whether it’s at myself or at the expense of someone else it doesn’t matter.  I just like to laugh.  This book allowed me to do both of those.  Thanks to Mark for reviewing it last year.  That’s what got me to buy it.  I grew up in a traditional evangelical home, church, youth group, etc. so I knew first hand about every one of his annecdotes… and laughed accordingly, sometimes only at the sight of the essay title.  Here are some examples:

Being Slightly Less Nice Than Mormons

Saying “I’ll Pray For You”… And Then Not

Using “Let Me Pray About It” as a Euphemism for NO

The Metrosexual Worship Leader

Losing the Will to Clap During Songs

Name Dropping God to get out of a Speeding Ticket (been there, done that)

Temporarily Suspending Our Faith when We Get Behind the Wheel

And here’s one of his better short essays:

Telling Testimonies that are Exciting Right Up Until the Moment You Became a Christian

“You should have seen me before I became a Chrisian.  I was wild.  I had this really hot girlfriend who was named after a city, and we were living in this cool loft downtown and every night, not just on the weekends, every night, we were going out.  Her uncle owned a bunch of nightclubs and a fleet of yachts, so we would just party and then get on one of the yachts and have craziest time and catch fresh crabs in the Florida Keys and then watche the sun pierce the morning sky with streaks of red and orange and yellow.

“And then I became a Christian.  The end.”

No one ever says “the end” when they tell a reverse testimony, one of those rare gems that buckets all the exciting parts of a life story before the moment of salvation, but they should.  Because that’s what they’re doing.  They’re essentially saying, “I used to have a really fun life and then I became a Chrisitan.  The end.”

We associate all the fun and excitement and neon coolness of life with the world and leave God all the boring, discipline-flavored moments.  He’s like eating broccoli.  We know it’s good for us, but it’s still broccoli.  But that can’t be right.  God is wild.  He’s constantly saying, “Let’s go find cliffs to jump off of,” and, “I know exactly what you need, because, guess what, I put that need there.”  He created my heart and the deepest desires I have, and there’s no yacht or nightclub on the planet that can access those spots of me like God can.

And besides, he invented sex.  And not just “let’s make a baby” sex–he invented “whoa, the world just tilted on its axis; I can’t believe we get to do that and go to heaven too” sex.  Sometimes we act like we were the ones that discovered it was fun, like maybe God was in heaven and was surprised to see how enjoyable we were able to make it.  “Whoa, I created that for procreation purposes; I had no idea it would be so awesome.”  And so we give the world credit for sex and think that God is only down with the functional version, but the fun version, the wild version, that’s probably something Marvin Gaye came up with.

Now since this is one example of hundreds, chances are this is one of the funniest ones in my opinion.  So if this doesn’t make you RFLOL, LOL, or at least COL (chuckle out loud), you probably won’t like this book.  He does, however, hit on some issues that should be addressed and made me reflect a bit as well on some of my own Christiany tendencies.  All in all, it was a pretty fun book to read and he’s definitely a talented author.

I only wish he would have finished up his essays by bringing it full circle with one titled, “Making Fun of Christiany Christians”.

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