I was mildly aware of the Stuff Christians Like blog (http://stuffchristianslike.net/), but I never thought it was that funny or interesting. I’ve been around the Christian marketplace for a long, long time, and that self-effacing, semi-sacrilegious writing may seem novel, but it isn’t. I remember The Wittenberg Door magazine (kept behind the circulation counter at Multnomah Bible College’s library), and now hear about Larknews.com, a Christian The Onion-wannabe. While mildly amusing, the satire grows old quickly. In spite of this, I downloaded the audio version of Stuff Christians Like to listen to in the car and walking the dog.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. Acuff’s observations were funny jabs at some of the Christian culture’s silliness or non-sequiturs. As good satire should do, many of his remarks should cause us to examine what we do and why we do it. There were times that I felt he went too far in his criticisms, sounding more like a outside critic than a comic observer. This crossed the line into taking the weighty things of God too lightly.
Other times, his jokes were too labored. Please, no more long lists offering points for metrosexual worship leaders, hip youth pastors, or whatever the other person-du jour is. Perhaps this is a book to read in small doses over a month. Spread out the satire. Otherwise, it is too much too soon.
The one overarching positive note is that Jonathan Acuff is a talented writer. He has a unique style and voice that is evident throughout the book. I’d love to read what he could do with short stories or a novel. I’d certainly read it.