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A Field Guide to Evangelicals and Their Habitat Paperback – March 14, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (March 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060836962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060836962
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,612,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kilpatrick, founder of the religion satire site Larknews.com, has written a mildly entertaining, if also slightly snarky, introduction to American evangelicalism. First, he claims evangelicals think most people—the New York Times staff, divorce lawyers and all Muslims and Buddhists—will go to hell. Evangelicals themselves, of course, will go to heaven, "the ultimate gated community." It can be hard to spot evangelicals out and about, though they are likely to patronize businesses with biblical names, like Last Days Auto Repair, and they often carry cell phones that ring hymn tunes. Evangelicals also favor certain décor: Thomas Kinkade paintings, Precious Moments figurines and art with biblical quotations. If you wish to actually visit an evangelical church, look for an organization that sounds more like a rehab center than a house of worship: if the building down the block is called Grace Community or Hope Fellowship, odds are it's an evangelical church. There are, to be sure, some chuckles to be had here. "The Legend of the Sand Dollar," a takeoff on cheesy evangelical poems, is very clever, and the chapter on evangelical education offers an amusing look at both home-schooling and Christian colleges. But on the whole, the jokes are a tad too predictable. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Kilpatrick is probably the funniest voice in the evangelical world today.” (Dean Batali, executive producer, That '70s Show and writer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

“Entertaining reading for those not afraid to laugh about religion or themselves.” (Grand Rapids Press)

“Joel Kilpatrick has been making Christians laugh and cry for years. His latest book will continue to do just that.” (Relevant Magazine)

More About the Author

Joel Kilpatrick is an award-winning journalist and author whose work has been featured in Time magazine, the Washington Post, USA Today, CBS Radio, the Dallas Morning News and dozens of newspapers and magazines. He has authored and ghostwritten more than 40 books, including a New York Times bestseller. He has reported from disaster zones and civil wars in seventeen countries, and received numerous prizes for writing and reporting.

Kilpatrick has worked with many leading ministries including Rick Warren, Michael Hyatt, TBN, Joni & Friends, Nancy Alcorn, Convoy of Hope, the Dream Center and the pastors of many large churches. He ghostwrote Don Colbert's The 7 Pillars of Health which has sold half a million copies. Kilpatrick's most recent books are The Last Rescue, (Thomas Nelson, 2014), the follow-up to Howard Wasdin's best-selling Seal Team Six memoir, Redemption (Thomas Nelson, 2012) The Art of Being You (Zondervan, 2010) and Gray Matter (Tyndale House, 2011) all co-authored. Kilpatrick has written and edited three humor books with HarperCollins.

Humor writing brought Kilpatrick's work to national attention. He founded LarkNews.com, the world's leading religion satire website which won the Dove award for humor (officially called the Grady Nutt Humor Award) from the Gospel Music Association in Nashville in 2005. One radio report described his writing as "pithy Christian satire on par with the irreverence of Saturday Night Live and The Onion." Kilpatrick won the top humor prize given by the Evangelical Press Association in 2013, one of a number of EPA awards he has won. He was profiled in Time magazine, in Christianity Today and on NPR, and has been featured twice in USA Today. LarkNews enjoys a million visitors annually, an audience which includes opinion leaders in many industries.

Kilpatrick earned an MS degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York in 1995. He lives in southern California with his wife and five children, most of whom he loves.

Customer Reviews

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This is very funny.
B. Miller
This is a must-read if you are an evangelical with a sense of humor.
Jessica Fletcher-Fierro
I highly recommend this book, as it is challenging and funny.
T-Bone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By raven on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Larknews is the best thing to come from Christianity since ...well, salvation. This book sprinkles some of the best news articles from Larknews in with a wonderfully hilarious introduction to Evangelical Christianity for those hell-bound sinners that dont have giant Thomas Kincaid paintings adorning walls in every room of their house.

I may not be an evangelical myself any longer [having moved on to one of those liturgical 'religious' churches] but I spent enough sundays sitting in the padded pews of a smiley happy mega church to know that this book is spot on. If you have a good sense of humor this is definitely a book for you.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Perez on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
If Saturday Night Live was organized by a bunch of Christians, this is what is would be like. Kilpatrick brings raw satire to a Christian format that makes for some great laughs and insights into Evangelical behaivor. If you're a Christian with a good sense of humer, this book is for you.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Ken L. on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Kilpatrick has an amazing wit. "Jesus is coming back - probably tomorrow." The Rapture as ultimate "I Told You So." The author both celebrates and pokes fun at pop culture. From Sponge-Bob-Square-Pants to Marilyn Manson (who even the devil himself seems to fear), Kilpatrick presents life in all its beautiful, unseemly, squirmy glory, through the super-sizing lens of Evangelicalism. In "Field Guide," Evangelicalism appears less a religious stance and rather more a collection of forgivable, if pesky, cultural-biases. If Evangelical speculations that Pat and Debbie Boon will be playing in heaven, AC/DC in hell, leave you entertaining sympathy for the devil, you're perhaps getting the author's key message: An overemphasis on worldly "trappings" (Christian-paraphernalia, right-wing political-party affiliation) that attend a supposed commitment to following Jesus, misses the point. The religious life is far simpler, yet endlessly more challenging: treat the guy standing next to you in line at the supermarket the way you'd like to be treated.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Fletcher-Fierro on March 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having grown up in the church and attended a Christian college, it's scary how right on Kilpatrick is in his field guide. I laughed out loud several times in recognition, and shook my head in embarassment as I noted truths about myself and friends of mine. This is a must-read if you are an evangelical with a sense of humor.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T-Bone on March 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you look at life differently than most people and see humor where others see sacred cows you'll dig this book. If you're an evangelical, reading this book is like seeing yourself on video for the first time -- you'll realize you're not as attractive as you thought. Even so, you'll find yourself laughing way too much and you might even shed a tear and determine to change the way you go about living out your faith. I highly recommend this book, as it is challenging and funny.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Riggs on March 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
Joel Klpatrick's book, "A Field Guide to Evangelicals and Their Habitat" sounded funny, but upon reading it I realized I was wrong, it was hilarious. I tried to read a segment to my husband, but I was laughing so hard he couldn't understand what I was saying! I just loved the bluntness and the God's honest truth about us evangelicals. Hopefully we'll live this one down. If you want a truly funny and different angle, you'll love this book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Riley on June 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on the recommendation of a few who are malcontent with the evangelical life. I thought it was definitely a good laugh, but if you are evangelical, be prepared to laugh at yourself and not get offended! Though mostly accurate, there were some definite dated things...such as I doubt many evangelical teen girls have Michael W. Smith posters on their walls anymore...a whole new slew of Christian music talent has overthrown the exclusivity of one act. Otherwise, it's a quick easy read.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Israel on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was funny in many places and accurate for the most part (at least according to my evangelical experience). Sometimes, though, it seemed to fall off the edge from comedic caricature to cynical critique. A number of years back there was a book called "Growing Up Born Again (GUBA)" that did a similar thing, but that book was more effective in pointing out the foibles of the evangelical movement without losing its affection for the topic.

Of course, an anthropological field guide would attempt to remain neutral in its description, so one wouldn't expect Kilpatrick's work to reflect any commitment one way or the other as GUBA did. However, in places the Field Guide lost its sense of genre parody and slipped into a tone that struck me as mockery. That is OK if that is what Kilpatrick wants to do, but it doesn't live up to the really brilliant idea of using an anthropological field guide as a means of parodying the Evangelical subculture of Christianity. The fine line of parody vs. outright mockery is crossed at times and that left me feeling that the fiction of the field guide was not as consistently sustained as it should have been to make the impact of the book more effective.
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