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Stuff Christians Like Paperback – March 23, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 338 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After creating his answer to the blog "Stuff White People Like," Christian blogger Acuff saw his satirical Web site become a popular Internet destination. His best essays, accompanied by childlike illustrations, comprise this book, which maintains the structure of his short posts. From sexual purity to crock pots to clapping during worship, Acuff uses a standup comedy style to laugh with Christians at their private conventions. Readers will learn the unspoken rules of Christian living, including the (in)appropriate use of God's name to avoid a speeding ticket and obligations to "think about going into full-time ministry at least once every three years." Entries such as the diagram of a metrosexual worship leader mimic the truth-telling wit of the Web site ChurchMarketingSucks.com and will appeal most to young Christian hipsters. Sarcasm masks a deeper layer of commentary that exposes hypocrisies and faith flaws, and readers may want to amend these behaviors to avoid becoming the subject of Acuff's newest jokes on his blog. Acuff's ability to point out unbecoming idiosyncrasies while inducing a knee slap is stuff readers will like.
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Review

After creating his answer to the blog 'Stuff White People Like,' Christian blogger Acuff saw his satirical Web site become a popular Internet destination. His best essays, accompanied by childlike illustrations, comprise this book, which maintains the structure of his short posts. From sexual purity to crock pots to clapping during worship, Acuff uses a standup comedy style to laugh with Christians at their private conventions. Readers will learn the unspoken rules of Christian living, including the (in)appropriate use of God's name to avoid a speeding ticket and obligations to 'think about going into full-time ministry at least once every three years.' Entries such as the diagram of a metrosexual worship leader mimic the truth-telling wit of the Web site ChurchMarketingSucks.com and will appeal most to young Christian hipsters. Sarcasm masks a deeper layer of commentary that exposes hypocrisies and faith flaws, and readers may want to amend these behaviors to avoid becoming the subject of Acuff's newest jokes on his blog. Acuff's ability to point out unbecoming idiosyncrasies while inducing a knee slap is stuff readers will like. (Apr.) (Publishers Weekly)

Yes, the popular blog-turned-paperback Stuff Christians Like is a direct rip-off of the even more popular blog-turned-paperback Stuff White People Like. And yes, one of the things Christians like is making their own versions of “secular” intellectual property. Acuff’s is not the first book of insider evangelical observational humor (see Patricia Klein, Joel Kilpatrick, Matthew Paul Turner), but his background as a trend hunter at an advertising company makes it sharper than most. It’s also far more accurate sociology than all the sour-faced “explaining evangelicalism” books that came out after Bush’s reelection. (Christianity Today)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 2/21/10 edition (March 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310319943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310319948
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (338 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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