Customer Reviews

313
4.6 out of 5 stars
Stuff Christians Like
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$12.05 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

106 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
"If you buy this book, God will make you rich."

And so begins a wild, satirical ride through the world of all things Christian. In "Stuff Christians Like", popular blogger and first-time author Jon Acuff explores the oft-unspoken funny side of faith, navigating the treacherous waters of church life, prayer circle etiquette, and proper side-hug technique (see book cover), among other things. Through a collection of over 100 short essays and a handful of amusing illustrations, Jon pokes fun at many of the odd things that Christians like to think, say, and do.

Like any humorist, Jon will strongly appeal to some people--I find myself in this group--while scandalizing others. Many who grew up saturated with the culture of the American church will find that these words precisely articulate the bizarreness we Christians sometimes share. On the other hand, those who grew up without many of these experiences may see Jon's writings as the epitome of irreverence.

Regardless of which school of thought you find yourself in, it is hard to argue with the premise of "Stuff Christians Like" . In the book, Jon recognizes that among the many labels Christians get branded with today, one of the rarest is "funny", noting that Christians are rarely associated with "an abundance of humor or wit or satire." Psalm 126 reveals that ancient nations recognized the goodness of God through the laughter of His people. Today, however, many non-believers see Christians as sufferers of what Jon calls SCS (Somber Christian Syndrome). SCS sufferers believe that truly being Christian means being serious and reverent all the time, never finding the humor latent within so many of our spiritual situations.

So, Jon wrote this book to be part of the cure.

In the "Stuff Christians Like" book, Jon pokes fun at many things Christians like, including:

* Not Knowing How To Hold Hands - "'Please join hands' are three of the most terrifying words you'll ever hear a minister say. (Second only to, 'We never talk about money at our church, but today...')"

* Thinking You're Supposed To Go Into Full-Time Ministry - "As a Christian, you're obligated to think about going into full-time ministry at least once every three years." and later joking that, "It's a well-known Christian fact that if you surrender your life to God--if you really turn over your hopes and dreams to him and truly give him control of your entire life--the first thing he's going to do is send you to Africa. Immediately."

* Saying "I'll Pray For You"...And Then Not - "Sometimes saying, "I'll pray for you" is just the Christian equivalent of ending a date by saying, "I'll give you a call." It shouldn't be, but it is, and right now I have about a 17 percent success rate when it comes to actually following through on my `I'll pray for you' promises. I know that's horrible, but that reflects a ten-year average that includes 2000-2005, when I was batting about 0.000. I've done better these last five years to pull up my average, but you know what they say about prayer statistics: "It's a marathon, not a sprint".

Continuing in the tradition of his blog, Jon pokes fun at himself more than anyone else by finding humor in his own prideful tendencies. He jokes about his desire for literary success by offering alternate subtitles for the book ("Stuff Christians Like: 100% Funnier Than 'The Shack'") or by comparing himself to famous Christian authors ("Stuff Christians Like: The Book C.S. Lewis Would Have Written If He Had Been 40% More Sarcastic or 100% Less Dead").

Through his keen gift of observation, Jon gives an in-depth breakdown of the seven people you meet in a prayer circle--The Opener, The Almost-er, The Rambler, The Cave-In, The Gunslinger, The Shot Blocker, and The Closer. He also describes the five different hand-raising styles noticed most often in worship--The Ninja, The Half & Half, The Pound Cake, The Double High Five, and The YMCA. The depth of each description makes it clear that Jon has studied the Christian species quite intently.

As a long-time reader of Jon's blog, one thing I missed from the book was Jon's more serious tone. On the "Stuff Christians Like" blog, Jon uses every Wednesday to write seriously about a particular issue of faith, most of the time dwelling on the reality of God's unbelievable love. The last chapter of the book is titled "Saturday Night Cryfest", which alludes to the mountain-top, emotional peak of typical Christian weekend retreats. This chapter does lean towards the serious side, but its small tastes of seriousness seem like an afterthought to the silliness of the rest of the book.

Jon is one of the funniest writers I know, but he is also one of the best communicators of God's love. So, while it is difficult to balance snarky, sarcastic humor with serious, honest writing, I would have loved more of Jon's serious side sprinkled amidst the fun (but hopefully that means a second book!).

Like the "Stuff Christians Like" blog, the book's satirical look at Christian culture clears away the silly clutter of faith, revealing a wondrously loving God underneath it all. If you find Jon's humorous blog postings to be too irreverent, you'll probably find the book to be the same. But if Jon's talent to "see things as they really are" helps you move beyond the awkwardness of being Christian and closer to the uncluttered heart of God, then check out the "Stuff Christians Like" book.

At the very least, buying a copy may make you rich.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
If you read Jon Acuff's blog (I do) and have nosed around it (I did) you will find this statement on the "About" page:

"Does the stuff we like, ever get in the way of the God we love?
That's the question Stuff Christians Like is all about."

Jon has leveraged his humor to be used to impact and challenge others for the glory of God. If you read the article he wrote last year on Catalyst's Catablog...you could "hear" his heart. Jon writes as a recovering-preacher's-kid who has come full-circle to call himself and everyone one of us to the flying-carpet about the traditions, legalism, and other nonsense that we add to our faith.

"Stuff Christians Like" succeeds where the blog leaves off. It is a compressed view of what he writes everyday at 4:30 a.m. after his morning devotional and before he leaves for his I.T. job in the cubicle-farm.

I had to pause after reading some of the chapters, because I was still laughing and then at the same time I had to go back and re-read it and found that I was laughing and learning. That's what strikes me about this author-blogger-father-husband is that while he is sarcastic, he is also painfully transparent with us about what some of the struggles look like. Take for instance,

"My friend had broken some sort of church employee, 'Never see the movie Desperado starring Latin sensation Antonio Banderaas covenant' so I immediately threw him under the bus and said, "It's embarrassing, really, seeing pastors behave like this."

This book reminds to stop taking ourselves so seriously, let go of the stuff that we tack-on the our faith, and be real with the God who saves us.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Stuff Christians Like succeeds at being relevant, challenging, and most of all hilarious. I grew up and currently work in the church and I can honestly say that the topics discussed in this book are true depictions of the culture that is prevalent in Christianity today.

As I read through this book, not only can I relate to what he writes and find it absolutely hilarious, but it serves to challenge my preconceived notions about church, prayer, God, and community. Although sometimes poking fun, I believe that Acuff ultimately seeks to bring about change in the individual reading, through humor.

As a youth minister, I especially enjoy the topics of mission trip romances and having a cool youth group room.

Acuff has a unique style of writing that draws the reader in, entertains them, and invites them to think deeper beyond the humor. This will be a book that I will be reading over and over again and always laughing with.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was mildly aware of the Stuff Christians Like blog [...], 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 [...], 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.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Jon,

You just made my day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I sit here reading SCL and listening to itunes i had a botty-God-booty moment. I got Weird Al's Polka with "Lollipop," followed by Lincoln Brewster's version of "Here I am to Worship" followed "Tube Snake Boogie" from ZZ Top.

I thought of you. Actually, I thought of your book and amazing blog!

Now, to the rest of the world reading this review wondering if you should either invest about $12 of your hard-earned cash into this life-changing book or some thing by Joel Osteen,

If you have any contact whatsoever with a Christian, you need to buy this book. You will laugh, guaranteed, even if it is a courteous laugh so as to not make you fellow brethren (or sistern) feel uncomfortable.

On a serious note, I love how the Serious Wednesday posts are mixed in. That really makes for a sobering moment.

I actually stayed up until 1:00 AM the night I got SCL (last night) reading it because I couldn't put it down.

This book is so much more than a bathroom reader. It will probably make for a few openers or illustrations in my Sunday School class! Look out Highview Singles!

Jon,

Thanks for letting us into your head.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
If you don't laugh at awkward Christian side hugs or t-shirts with popular brands reworked as witnessing tools, perhaps you shouldn't buy Stuff Christians Like. But as a pastor's kid who now works in ministry, I've come to learn that if we can't laugh at ourselves, we're taking ourselves too seriously.

Jon Acuff is a satiric hero who crafts epic story-telling, powerful life lessons, and hilarious Christian blunders in a language which is real and raw, yet comically palatable. How someone can be ridiculously hilarious and yet an authentic believer in Jesus Christ, makes me jealous. In fact, I am jealous. If I didn't like him so much, I'd rip off his material.

If you don't want another Christian dating book or devotional on joy-filled living, get this book and laugh about mission-trip romances, virgins and unicorns, and why Mormons are slightly nicer than Christians. The way I see it, the early Church had symbols of their fraternity by drawing the Christendom fish in the sand. I propose we drop phrases like Booty-God-Booty or buttons proclaiming we [heart] side hugs.

Why? Because if we can't laugh at ourselves, we are taking ourselves too seriously
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have been reading Jon Acuff since before he started Stuff Christians Like blog. That is both good and bad. It is good because it means that I am a fan. I pre-ordered the book. I knew the type of humor I was going to get. Early in the book Jon says that there is a bias against humor among Christians. He is right. There are not that many Christians that are really good at humor. Sure there are some that are good at the cute story that they can turn into the sermon illistration. But not many are really funny.

I am not a laugh out loud guy. I actually had a friend that wanted to try to make me spontaneously laugh out loud and get mad (not at the same time). She has not been able to do either. So I am not trying to be too critical when I say I didn't laugh out loud. (This is the only book that has the tag "humor" on the blog.) But I did spontaneously smile several times. I like his writing style. If you have grown up in the Evangelical church you will like this. This has lots of mild sarcasm, but none of the biting, bitter humor that some will not like.

I honestly stayed home from a prayer meeting that I had been invited to (and probably should have gone to) because I wanted to finish the book.

The negative side of following Jon Acuff is that the book uses some of the web content. So if you read the blog regularly or even fairly occasionally, you will recognize some of the book. That is inevitable with blog to book writers.

Stuff Christians Like is worth buying.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Stuff Christians Like satirizes some of the beliefs and behaviors of American evangelicals. Jonathan Acuff admits the title pays homage to Christian Lander's Stuff White People Like. Like Lander's book, Acuff's book is smartly written, on-target with its sarcasm, and laugh-out-loud funny.

The book originated with blog posts on [...]. My favorite posts are "Using `Faith Like a Child' As an Escape Pod from Difficult Theological Discussions" (13-15), "Secret Christian Bands" (40-41), "The Seven People You Meet in a Prayer Circle" (53-56), "The Metrosexual Worship Leader" (80-84), "Telling Testimonies that Are Exciting Right Up Until the Moment You Became a Christian" (125-126), "Being Voluntold" (180-181), "Thinking You're Naked" (190-192), and "Trying Harder" (200-203).

Acuff doesn't moralize in this book. He impressively maintains a snarky tone throughout. And yet, a serious point lies under the satire, namely, that some evangelical beliefs and behaviors--the "folk religion" side, so to speak--get in the way of experiencing God's grace and loving others as a result.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Jon Acuff, Christian comedian extraordinaire, has created a brilliant funny book with Stuff Christians Like. The material will be familiar to readers of his blog, but the inclusion of illustrations and expanded material make this book worth the purchase.

Notes on Kindle edition: formatting is clean and I haven't seen anything wonky or off. I'm not a fan of the organization of the book per se (the randomized list is a better approach, IMHO), but the links work fine on the Kindle edition.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is addicting. I picked it up intending to quickly thumb through and couldn't stop laughing. [Embarrassed to say how long it took for me to put it back down again]

Jon's casual tone and creative writing style makes it easy to laugh at ourselves with some of the crazy things people do in church. If you grew up in church, have ever checked out a church or even just know people who go to church, it's hard not to see the humor in "Stuff Christians Like."
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck
Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck by Jonathan Acuff (Hardcover - April 7, 2015)
$16.17

Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job
Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job by Jonathan Acuff (Hardcover - March 3, 2015)
$12.86

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.