Cannarf Reviews: Stuff Christians Like by Jon Acuff

Author: Jon Acuff

Book Name: Stuff Christians Like

I’m Glad it Wasn’t Called: I am the George Washington of Christian Satire and this book is the literary equivalent of the Battle of Valley Forge.*

*Jon has never claimed to be the George Washington of Christian Satire, but I’m about to make a joke about George Washington and it will be marginally funnier if it’s a callback.

Book Synopsis in Twitteresque 140 characters or less: Jon uses intelligent satire to poke fun at a group he is a part of, clearing away the clutter of Christianity to see the beauty of Christ.

Where I Bought It:, a small online retailer you’ve probably never heard of.

Paid for With: A credit card that has since expired. Now there’s something George Washington never had to deal with 250 years ago…expiring credit cards. Of course, I’d rather deal with that then having multiple bouts of dysentery and doctors who thought “bleeding” people was a medically sound treatment option.

How Long it Took Me to Read: 20.5 days, give or take a month.

Who I WOULD NOT recommend this book to: people who have no idea what a “Christian” is. Without some type of context for Christianity, I don’t think the book will make any sense. Lucky for Jon, that only eliminates about 75 of the 300 million people in the U.S.

Who I WOULD recommend this book to: definitely any Christian. If you can’t read this book and laugh at yourself, then I don’t know why you’re reading my website right now. At the same time, I think non-Christians will get a kick out of the book too. (Kinda like the Romans used to enjoy watching us getting eaten by lions, but without the barbaric vitriol and horrific sound of teeth on cartilage.)

What I used for a bookmark: nothing. For some reason I thought I could remember what page I was on in this book because every time I put it down (usually at the end of a cable-laying session) I was at a page number I thought I could remember. “Ooh, I’m on page 100, that will be easy to remember”…”Okay, I’ll read to page 144, which is 12 squared, that will be easy to remember”. Needless to say, I spent the first ten minutes of every dump trying to figure out where I left off.

What were some interesting true stories from the book: Not a lot of stories in the book, just a lot of things that make you laugh. I’d recall some of my favorites, but I gave the book away already. (Ooh, but I have to mention this. In the book Jon suggests that Christians asking God for “a hedge of protection” might not be scary enough to ward off evil. I laugh every time I hear that now because I picture one of Jon’s replacement ideas: lions on trampolines.)

What were some interesting true stories NOT from the book: Jon and I hung out for 2 days at Catalyst in October last year and it was good fun. Jon even took me out to dinner with his publisher, which I wrote about last year. Why none of this stuff was in the book is a mystery to me. (And no Jon, the shout out in the acknowledgments section doesn’t make it all better, but nice try.)

Expectations Going In: Confession: I think Jon is very funny, but sometimes I don’t read his longer blog posts. I kinda thought the book would be the same way. I’d read some pages and skim others. I expected a funny book, but not an amazing book.

Cannarf Rating: Jon took my expectations, built an altar around them, soaked them with clown tears, and called down comedic fire to consume them. Stuff Christians Like blew me away with consistent creativity and unpredictable humor. I laughed at the new material, I laughed at the old material, and I laughed at material that was having a mid-life crisis and was driving around in a tricked out Nissan Cube . Can’t recommend this book enough.  The Rating: +3 cannarfs. (what’s a cannarf?)

Have any of you read Stuff Christians Like? What did you think?