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Jesus Died for This?: A Satirist's Search for the Risen Christ Paperback – August 14, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310292891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310292890
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,765,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A common stereotype of a religious person is someone with a dour face, hands clasped in prayer while sternly warning others about the dangers of the flesh. Author Garrison (Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church), contributing editor for Sojourners, blows that image away and helps all Christians laugh at themselves and the crazy ways they misunderstand Jesus. The author's irreverent style is charming, but she does not use humor as a crutch; she clearly comprehends the Christian tradition and calls both progressive and conservative believers to task for misrepresenting the faith. The gospel, she contends, should not be twisted to fit personal agendas. Garrison reports on her travels to the Holy Land and across the U.S., all the while astutely observing and commenting on a variety of religious lifestyles and traditions. Never missing an opportunity to get a laugh, the author's stories are peppered with jokes and tongue-in-cheek commentary about how Christians have "lost" Jesus. As with any comic, some of the humor misses the mark, but the gist is clear: Christians must examine the core of their faith, understand that religion is not "all about me," and, most important, share a good laugh.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

A common stereotype of a religious person is someone with a dour face, hands clasped in prayer while sternly warning others about the dangers of the flesh. Author Garrison (Red and Blue God, Black and Blue Church), contributing editor for Sojourners, blows that image away and helps all Christians laugh at themselves and the crazy ways they misunderstand Jesus. The author’s irreverent style is charming, but she does not use humor as a crutch; she clearly comprehends the Christian tradition and calls both progressive and conservative believers to task for misrepresenting the faith. The gospel, she contends, should not be twisted to fit personal agendas. Garrison reports on her travels to the Holy Land and across the U.S., all the while astutely observing and commenting on a variety of religious lifestyles and traditions. Never missing an opportunity to get a laugh, the author’s stories are peppered with jokes and tongue-in-cheek commentary about how Christians have “lost” Jesus. As with any comic, some of the humor misses the mark, but the gist is clear: Christians must examine the core of their faith, understand that religion is not “all about me,” and, most important, share a good laugh. (July) (Publishers Weekly)

More About the Author

On the same day that Princess Di was brought into this world tiara in hand, this Yankee gal with an accent befitting a Southern debutante was born breech first. Ever since my upside down birth, I have always viewed life from a unique perspective. "Becky, only you see it that way" is a frequent comment made by friends and relatives alike. I began writing for The Wittenburg Door in 1994 and contribute to a range of outlets including Washington Post's On Faith column, The Guardian's Belief section, Killing the Buddha, Geez, The Revealer, American Atheist magazine, Believe Out Loud, and The Religious Left.

The first video highlighted on my Amazon author site came from the documentary The Ordinary Radicals (wwww.theordinaryradicals.com); the second and third videos are from http://www.altervideomagazine.com (props to Travis Reed); and the fourth is from the documentary Nailin' it to the Church (http://www.nailinittothechurch.com)

Customer Reviews

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The book is an enjoyable read, flows well and is written with a witty and charming style.
Jessica Mokrzycki
It's a frank look up at the marketing of the movers and shakers of our time, and a pause to ask if these are really the ringleaders we want to trudge behind.
Amazon Customer
I would recommend a read if you have any interest in how a satirist works with the current state of Christianity.
Nicholas Fiedler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David Kenney on September 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Becky Garrison's latest book Jesus Died for This? Is a Satirist's look at that part of the world that claims to be Christ's followers. Chapter by chapter, Garrison takes her readers through several places in the world and some key events of her life, all the while narrating her journey through her witty and sometimes dark lens. Even though Garrison says she is the offspring of Karl and Nancy Garrison (a story Garrison tells you in chapter nine) her author's dialogue sounds more like what I would expect the daughter of Dennis Miller and Kathleen Madigan to sound like.

And in case you don't know what a satirist is, Garrison will tell you on page 101, "We're the mavericks, the visionaries who buck hierarchy and prefer to work solo...we're also the ones who say what has to be said without giving a rip who we offend. Hence we often find ourselves standing alone in a field because no one wants to be near us for fear we might shoot their sacred cow."

That said, this isn't reading for the average pew filler, or mascara wearing, bible belt, TBN supporter. Garrison is quick to fire her wit (and charm) at everything from the Holy Land to Christian conferences, to her own family, to comic con to Joel Olsteen and back again. My only criticism (and who am I to judge a published and respected writer, stop reading my review and buy her book) is that sometimes the chapters felt connected, as if she were taking me on a Bruce Feiler-esque journey and other times it felt as though I was reading entries out of her personal diary (and maybe those two are actually the same thing, I don't know).

But each chapter entry does seem to ask that same question... Jesus died for this? He died for consumerism? For the emergent church? For the crystal cathedral's Christmas program?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RFDIII on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
Becky Garrison has picked up the mantle of the late, lamented "Wittenburg Door" (she was a frequent contributor). This is a thoughtful, funny, sometimes a little bit angry book. It is also packed with intriguing insights and genuine expressions of faith. "The Door" once had a motto -- "To believe greatly, it is necessary to have doubted greatly." "Jesus Died for This?" is a worthy addition to the very small canon of high quality books written by believers that non-believers can read and benefit from (and even enjoy) -- and not be suffocated by the religious jargon. I highly recommend it.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. Walker on October 5, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
JESUS DIED FOR THIS?
- Becky Garrison

There are few voices in the Christian literary world as distinct as Becky Garrison's. That's probably because the sub-genre of Christian-satire is decidedly small (too few of us have a very good sense of humor about ourselves) and because few Christian writers speak with Garrison's clear honesty.

But there's more to Garrison's writing than biting satire and quick wit. What makes her so unique is her ability to remain somehow respectful, even pious, in the midst of sharp criticism and genuine cynicism.

Jesus Died For This? begins with Garrison's visit to the Holy Land: an adventure rife with both the ridiculous and the sacred. "No trip to Christ's crib would be complete without a visit to Nazareth Village, a community theatre-styled production depicting life as it 'might have been' when Jesus walked on this earth... I refrained from any Lamb of God lampoons, camel cracks, or sheep 'n' goat gaffes at the risk of offending our hosts, but this was getting way too Disneyfied for my tastes." (18) Nearing her journey's end, she reflects on a direct and intimate allusion to the Gospels: "During my last day in Israel, while the sun rose over Jerusalem, a rooster crowed in the background. At that moment, I had a flashback to Peter's rooster revelation (Luke 22:34). The presence of God's saving grace throughout history hit me in a visceral way, as though some theological two-by-four had whopped me upside the head.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Fiedler on July 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I saw the title to Becky Garrison's new book all I could think about was The Simpson's. You may be familiar with the scene where there is a church program that asked the same question, with a picture of Homer asleep in a pew and drooling.

This is what Becky does. She paints pictures and tells stories. This book is about an accidental pilgrimage with a great dose of critique for the church and it's followers. She doesn't leave her bad of religious satire at home when she travels about.

I would recommend a read if you have any interest in how a satirist works with the current state of Christianity.

I wrote about some similar material and came to some similar thoughts as I kicked about. My stories are recorded in The Hopeful Skeptic: Revisiting Christianity from the Outside
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ed Cyzewski on May 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you took a travel narrative, spiritual memoir, critique of consumer Christianity, and a report on hopeful movements in the church today and blended them together with a heavy dose of sarcasm, you'd have Garrison's new book, which was provided to me as a free review copy.

The book offers a series of snapshots at the spiritually surreal landscape of Christianity--places where skeptics and critics may find Christianity lacking. However, she sheds light on communities and individual Christians who offer a hopeful take on Christianity. Garrison's faith-based critique also offers positive examples and is a welcome relief from the "we suck" narrative that dominates some Christian circles.

The book has a series of cartoons by artist David Hayward that help drive home Garrison's words in unexpectedly powerful ways.

Garrison is a writer who pulls no punches, calling it like she sees it with a journalist's skill and the creds of an MDiv from Yale Divinity school. She refuses to fawn over trends, and poses hard questions when they need to be asked. In fact, personally speaking, if I'm worried about a trend in Christian publishing or Christianity in general, she's one of the first people I look to for a perspective.

It's rare to find someone with Garrison's commitment to relationships, while remaining committed to asking the questions no one seems to be asking--at least out loud. She seeks out fresh expressions of God in our world and learns what she can, while still committing to speak her mind.

This speaking her mind has gotten her into trouble, but then again, it's why I trust Garrison so much.
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