Archive for the ‘book/audiobook review’ Category

so i just finished reading/listening to the first works of jonathan acuff, advertising copywriter turned blogger and now regular writer of books. (or just book at the moment, i’m sure more will follow) and i think before i jump into what i thought about the book/audiobook i want to preface  with a little about me, because why not really?

when it comes to reading i have much more in common with doug, the lovable talking k9 from the animated jewel ‘up’ and less in common with, someone who can pay attention to what they are reading. (i couldn’t think of a good example so sue me) [please don’t sue me] i’ve got no problem reading the books               (hom skooln reely werkt fer mi) it’s just when i’m done reading a page i tend to have no idea what it said.

so my silver bullet to help me concentrate on what i’m reading is i’ve discovered the audiobook. ok ok i know this isn’t ground breaking technology we’re talking about here. (for groundbreaking technology i hear there’s a new iphone coming or some nonsense like that) sure it costs extra to buy basically two versions of the book (that’s 1 for the paper version and 1 for the audio version if you’re counting along at home) but it’s usually only around $5 to $10 for the audiobook and if i’m already spending upwards of $20 for the book wouldn’t you pay the extra 5 bucks to understand/remember what you’ve read? see i’m smart.

with that in mind this is a review of both the book and the audiobook, at the same time… so really you’re getting two reviews for the price of one… what a deal!!!

so ‘stuff christians like’ by jonathan acuff, published by zondervan (yeah i know, they publish the Bible and stuff) and read by mr. acuff himself, (on the audiobook, he doesn’t actually come to your house to read you his book, but i bet if you asked nice enough he might) can accurately be described by the title that was pitched and then rejected ‘stuff christians like: what c.s. lewis would have wrote if he were 40% more sarcastic and 100% less dead.’ except i think i would have changed it around to maybe 90% more sarcastic.

this book (which it really isn’t a book as much as a bunch of short essays taken from his blog, which is a ‘rip off for Jesus’ of the semi-famous, semi-best seller book and blog stuff white people like) was written with jon’s (i’ve been listening to him read me the book for the last couple hours, i feel like we should be on a first name basis) tongue so far in his cheek that i’m a little worried that it’s going to burst out of his face. i am in no way shape or form. in fact i loved it. from his satirical observations on everything from mega churches, the metro-sexuality of our worship leaders, thinking about the lost finale more than the second coming of Christ,  to holding your church’s tech team to a slightly higher standard than steve jobs and apple. nobody’s safe from the satirical eye of jon acuff.

i really believe that a book such as this needs to have a warning label on it bigger than the book itself. there’s already a cult like following starting up due to this book. (examples here with someone requiring readers to understand the historical context the book was written in, or here the book is turned into a new prosperity gospel, here the book is used as someone who is running for president on a platform that does not bear repeating, and here the chapter on missionary dating is used to found a missionary dating sight that claim if you fill out a quick form you’ll be unequally yoked in no time.) [just so you know each of those pages are fake and was just some viral advertising used by jon’s blog]

but what i am talking about is that if the casual christian reader were to glance over any one of the more than 207 pages of the book, (there are 208 pages) they would easily be offended. starting from the very first line.

if you buy this book, God will make you rich.

the book is broken up into essays on prayer, the Bible, church, God, whitnessing, as well as 5 other categories and if you grew up around the american church i assume that you will can relate to the psalty references, small prayer group etiquette, and proper technique for lifting ones hands during worship, you’ll probably get a good chuckle of really how weird we christians can tend to be. if you grew-up without such an upbringing you’ll probably find jon as the heart and face of irreverence. although jon usually ends up poking more fun at himself then he does christians as a whole if one doesn’t understand that this is satire than i’m sure offence would be taken and pitchforks & torches would be gathered.

one of the benefits of having the audiobook as well (besides the wicked sweet auto-tuned version of his deep v-neck essay) was that jon went a little off script and explained some things he wrote about in his book. it was cool to get a little more insight of the aftermath of booty-God-booty as well as the fact that the “friend” he refers to through most of the book is actually his dad who is a pastor.

having read jon’s blog for some time, one thing that i really felt was missing from this  book was more from jon’s wednesday segment ‘serious wednesdays.’ this is the part of the show where ‘most’ of the sarcasim gets set aside for something that jon and God are dealing with. the last segment of the book entitled ‘saturday night cryfest.’ (refering to the mountain top experience of the last night of a church retreat or summer camp) but it seems more tacked on and is nothing compared to how jon can describe God’s love.

jon does what any good humorist does, use satire and humor to bring someone somewhere else, like the over $60,000 the community centered around his blog raised to build two schools in vietnam. he has this way of removing all of the ‘stuff’ that seems to cloud our view of faith and really draws attention to the unbelievable love of God and how he would like to have a ‘stuff’ free relationship with us.

so if jon’s website has you up in arms the book will probably do more of the same but you could always just pick up a copy to become rich.

you can pick up stuff christians like here in paperback and here in audiobook form for $9.35 and $13.99 respectively.

currently listening to:

travie maccoy – lazarus