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I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt: Replacing Souvenir Religion with Authentic Spiritual Passion Paperback – February 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801068185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801068188
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #402,831 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this ultimately disappointing book, Antonucci, a Virginia-based pastor, criticizes the superficial subculture of American Christianity. Antonucci's working assumption is that many Christians are actually disenchanted by their spiritual lives and wonder why they don't have the abundant life Jesus promised. The solution to this deadening state of affairs? Christians need to shake loose the trite trappings of Christian-speak and get back to the adventure of faith. Antonucci takes aim at some of the beloved shibboleths of evangelicalism, suggesting, for example, that instead of talking about having a relationship with Jesus, Christians should worry about whether (as per John 15) they abide in Jesus. Some of his turns of phrase are thought provoking, as when he urges readers to be the good news before they worry about sharing it. But his autobiographical vignettes go on too long, and his message—that the Bible asks us not to behave well or even to believe in Jesus, but to follow him—is not greatly different from many Christian-living books. Too often, Antonucci replaces the clichés he disdains with more platitudes. On prayer: spending large quantities of quality time with God—face-to-face will make believers glow. In short, this book promises more than it delivers. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Inside Flap

EXCERPT FROM CATALOG
I don't think people who lived in the Bible times had it easy, but at least when Jesus said, "Follow me" they could see the guy. You knew whether you were following him or not because ... "Whoa, there goes Jesus!" He'd be off somewhere and you'd still be eating your cheese fries (because chili cheese fries hadn't been invented yet--man, they had it rough) and you'd realize, "Whoops, I guess I didn't follow." I think in many ways those of us who live today have it easier, but following an invisible guy can be tricky. . . . . I decided to look at the original followers of Jesus in the Bible. I was still a little annoyed with them, because they had the advantage of getting the non-invisible Jesus, but I hoped maybe I could learn something. What did it look like for them to follow Jesus? Did following Jesus lead them to obedience and morality? Yes. But was it more than that? Way more. It's wacky. People follow Jesus into a storm your momma would have made you come in from. People give up everything and leave their jobs to follow Jesus. . . . Jesus says that to follow is to serve. . . . People stop following Jesus in droves because it's too weird, or too scary. . . . Everywhere I looked, it seemed like following Jesus led people to be astonished and afraid. . . . Jesus was constantly on the move. He had an agenda. And following him meant you would be going where he was going and doing what he was doing. Following Jesus is a long obedience in all different directions.

More About the Author

Vince Antonucci started and pastors Verve, an innovative church in the heart of Sin City, for the people who work on and live around the Las Vegas Strip. He's passionate about introducing people who are far from God to Jesus, and inspiring them to live an authentic and adventurous life of radically following Him. Vince's first three books, (I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt, 2008, Guerrilla Lovers, 2010, and Renegade, 2013) were published by Baker Books. Vince leads mission trips around the world, speaks all over the country, does stand-up comedy in Las Vegas, but mostly loves spending time with his wife, Jennifer, and their two kids.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Vince gets what its like to want more.
CWhitmire
I found myself laughing out loud and softly crying as I read this book.
Gregory E. Nettle
Vince has a very easy writing style; very conversational.
Travis Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Cooperider on February 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
I think that this is Vince's first book, and after reading "I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" I hope that it is not his last. I was challenged over and over to rethink some of the assumptions that the church has made about itself over the years.

I know that there are a lot of people that have either grown up in church or become a Christian only to find that the experience was less than fulfilling. Vince uses a lot of funny stories to remind us that God cares about people, and that following Jesus will lead us to an adventure.

If you are ready for the life Jesus really promised, not the one on the sidelines watching others live, (or want to know what that life is really like) then this book will be a joy. As a minister I appreciated Vince's honesty more then anything, this is not another "Hey look at me" book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Roberts, Jr. on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Vince hits a home run in his first book! I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to know how faith in Jesus can be so impactful. I've traveled the globe with Vince - he's real deal and what he writes is straight from the heart and relevant to all of us especially the church today. Keep livin' it Vince and writin' about it - bobby g - author Transformation, Glocalization, & The Multiplying Church.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gregory E. Nettle on February 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Last night I finished reading Vince Antonucci's book, I Became A Christian And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt. When I turned the last page I was genuinely sorry that T-Shirt was coming to an end.

Vince, in a very candid and authentic manner, discusses what it means to be a follower of Jesus. He exposes many of the misconceptions and misrepresentations that are tragically corrupting the current state of Christianity.

I found myself laughing out loud and softly crying as I read this book. God has gifted Vince with a marvelous sense of humor and is using his writing to ask all of us some very probing questions.

Pick this one up!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Saufley on February 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
Out of all the books I've read on finding spiritual passion, Vince's book ranks at the top. From the first page, it's engaging, funny, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, brutally transparent and honest. It takes guts to be so upfront about personal struggles with spiritual passion while, at the same time, leading such a relevant church. I don't know of too many books which will have you laughing out loud one second and seriously examining your journey with Jesus the next.

Hats off to Vince for being so honest, so real, and so willing to help others take a long look at their own spiritual passion. If you're bored with your faith, don't pass go and don't collect $200. Read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CWhitmire on February 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I wanted to read Vince Antonucci's book, I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy T-shirt, because I like Vince. I don't really know him, mind you, but I like him. I like his courage. I like his humor. I like his messages. I like his church... I have been a fan of his from afar for a while now. He's a brother from another mother. I like him.

But even though I liked him, I never expected his book to be any good. I figured I would read it because the idea alone was a good idea... The image makes sense and so I signed up to take my church through his series because it sounded cool. We bought a bunch of the books, and I obligated myself to reading one too.

Honestly, I really didn't know what to expect.

Funny thing is, the book is really, really good. Not good in a "Christian book" kind of way; good in a Blue Like Jazz kind of way. I remember reading Miller's book and going - "Wow, this guy gets it." Vince gets it too - but he also gets something else: He gets me.

Vince gets what its like to want more. He gets the frustration. He gets the American way of making disciples - which sucks and basically says, "Come to church and you'll figure it all out, oh, and tithe too." Vince gets that there are huge problems with the church that we all love and lead. Vince is transparent and funny, but Vince is dead on. Vince understands and voices things that most of us religious leaders are afraid to say. He gets it.

And thankfully, he points the way to something much better. He reminds us that this life with Jesus is all about Jesus. It's all about following him. It's all about being in his presence and then following where he takes us. And when all of that is done right (by the way, Vince, I totally get the soccer illustration!!
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Sievert on February 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Vince's hilariously surprising, off-the-hook, writing style is not what you'd expect from a Christian book. It's far more exciting. Which is sort of the point of the book. For many people, Christianity becomes a set of boring, mundane rules. Vince, though, breaks the rules of Christian writing to show us that the Christian life should be so much more than that. It should be an adventure. We should have some fun along the way.

Vince packs truth into a fun-filled adventure through the book, and in doing so, sheds a light on the adventure that the Christian life should be.

Stop wearing the T-Shirt, and get this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Wade on March 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you are satisfied with your life, as an ordinary Christian, please put this book back down! But if you are looking for a book that will help transform your thought processes and get you on the right track, this is the book for you.

I found myself in several chapters, literally unable to put it down. As a result of this book, I truly believe, my Christian life is much the better.
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