book report: Stuff Christians Like (2010) by Jon Acuff
Between the heavy duty books I read, it's nice to cleanse my brain's palate with something light and salty, like when I went to a team building exercise from work where we tasted wines and ate saltines between each swallow. Stuff Christians Like is that saltine, but shaped like a Jesus fish, and likely to induce a spray of crumbs out of your mouth every few pages.
I started reading Acuff's blog early into it's history, not because I'm some sort of trend spotter, but because a few other blogs recommended him, and he's funny. Where Lark News was the Christian type of The Onion, sarcasm turned to 11 but presented as fact which leads some Christians new to the internet to forward the latest "unbelievable church news," Acuff is like a Christian version of Bill Simmons's at ESPN, when he used to write columns instead of podcasting and writing intermittently. Although not long winded like Simmons, or me in that previous sentence. I only regret Acuff has not written about the church's need to compare everything we produce to something produced outside it. For example, I used to enjoy Christian hair metal bands in the 80's, but needed to reduce them to being no more than cover bands of bigger secular groups bu saying so-and-so are like a Christian version of Iron Maiden. In hindsight, some of those bands were just that, copying the music, but baptizing the lyrics. But I am not saying Acuff is ripping off Simmons. No he gives credit to Christian Lander, who started Stuff White People Like. If the Christian artist is comparing himself to a non-Christian artist, why can't I join the fun?
I loved it... it was much better than Cats! I don't say that because of any hypnotic effect he had on me either [click that link if you weren't watching SNL in the mid-80's and missed the joke.] It's just very good.
I knew about the book for many months before buying it, but I didn't want to spend the money if he was giving me free content every day. But my daughter does not read the blogs like I do, so I bought it on impulse while shopping with her. I want her to enjoy the goofiness of the church. Jon Acuff is very good at pointing out, not that the king has no clothes, but many in his entourage are walking around with toilet paper stuck on our shoes or hanging out of the back of our pants. And he provided much more funny content not found at his blog.
My daughter and I both laughed out loud reading this book. If the two of us, a generation apart can enjoy the book, then I think anyone familiar with conservative church culture in America would enjoy it.