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


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (March 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060836962
  • ASIN: B005M4RITU
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,324,602 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 began his career as a reporter and journalist whose work would eventually be featured in Time magazine, the Washington Post, USA Today, CBS Radio, the Dallas Morning News and dozens of newspapers and magazines.

Early in his career he reported from disaster zones and civil wars in seventeen countries and received the first place prize for freelance reporting from the Evangelical Press Association, later becoming a contest judge. He also authored and ghostwrote more than 40 books for leading CEOs, ministers, athletes and doctors, including Don Colbert's New York Times bestselling Seven Pillars of Health.

But it is humor writing that brought Joel's work to national attention. One radio report described his writing as "pithy Christian satire on par with the irreverence of Saturday Night Live and The Onion." His website, LarkNews.com, earned the Christian industry's top honor, the Grady Nutt Humor Award, during Dove Awards week in Nashville in 2005 and made Joel the subject of profiles in Christianity Today and leading secular magazines.

"I always loved humor, but the popularity of LarkNews surprised me," he says. "I didn't realize how much God and other people like funny stuff. I launched it as a hobby and it promptly consumed my career."

Joel discovered comedy in boyhood, growing up among Jesus freaks at Bethel Church in Redding, California. He traveled often with his father, singer-songwriter Bob Kilpatrick, to countless churches, camps and crusades around the world.

In college, Joel helped launch a satirical insurgent newspaper on campus. "I did it first for the death threats, and then because the lifestyle of alienation from my peers grew on me," he says.

Another co-founder of that newspaper went on to write speeches for the president of the United States. Joel decided to embark on a professional and spiritual journey by starting at square one: small-town newspapers.

After earning two bachelor's degrees summa cum laude at U.C. Davis in 1994, and a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism in 1995 Joel took the editorship of a very small newspaper in northern California and worked as a regional columnist. He then joined the flagship magazine of the Assemblies of God, becoming the youngest member of the editorial staff in its 90-year history, which required this native West-coaster to spend four years in Missouri.

In 2000, Kilpatrick returned to California to be a full-time freelance writer and felt "bothered" by the Holy Spirit to start a satirical website aimed at Christians. After resisting the nudge, he launched LarkNews.com in 2003. It quickly gained a national audience.

Joel began to receive revelation about God's humorous personality and discoverable sense of humor in 2009. That revelation led to the groundbreaking new book, God, That's Funny, which along with LarkNews is the focus of Joel's efforts as a speaker and communicator.

"Getting God's sense of humor revolutionized my life," Joel says. "For some reason, it took a while for me to see that God has a well-defined and understandable sense of mischief, irony and occasional absurdity, and that he wants us to share in his laughter. That has helped me to understand his work throughout the ages and in my life."

Joel 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
If Saturday Night Live was organized by a bunch of Christians, this is what is would be like.
Elizabeth Perez
If you have a good sense of humor this is definitely a book for you.
raven

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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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Murrow on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Funny, funny, funny. Mr. Kilpatrick corrals all the sacred cows of the evangelical church, then lights a barbecue. Very well written, and did I mention that it's funny?
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