Jonathan Acuff

Just in case you, Christian, are in need of the occasional light-hearted look at what Christians — and we mean mostly conservative evangelical Christians — are like, what they quibble about and what they look like to outsiders …

Get a copy of Jonathan Acuff’s hilarious, side-splitting and poke-us-in-the-heart ribs, Stuff Christians Like
 …
Find a place to read it…
Make sure it is away from people who need quiet …
Or get together with a few friends, perhaps even church staff folks, and read entries in a random order.
Some of you no doubt are fans of Acuff’s blog; others have read this book; what are your favorites?
About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • http://scotteriology.wordpress.com/ Scott Bailey

    OR… if you’re quick, and you don’t want to read, but listen
    http://christianaudio.com/product_info.php?products_id=2467
    FWIW: you’re duck and dodge avoidance answers during TWU’s Q & A were unsatisfactory
    SHALOM!

  • http://withthekids.wordpress.com/ AprilK

    I LOVE Stuff Christians Like. I visit the blog every day.
    Laughing like crazy while reading his blog, I realized how hurt I was growing up in “mostly conservative evangelical Christianity.” I wrote a post about it for my blog: http://bit.ly/d5Nw6X
    I downloaded the book (Scott Baily included the link in his comment). But I haven’t listened to it yet. Hope to soon.

  • http://lifeasprayer.wordpress.com Lisa DeLay

    Jon is great fun!
    Of course I like the guest post I did. :D (title: Popcorn Prayer)
    Recent favorite one on Christian bumper stickers was really quite clever!

  • http://lifeasprayer.wordpress.com Lisa DeLay

    Jon is great fun!
    Of course I like the guest post I did. :D (title: Popcorn Prayer)
    Recent favorite one on Christian bumper stickers was really quite clever!

  • Karen

    My friend referred me to the Stuff Christians Like blog because she thought it was funny. I don’t find it funny. It took me a little while to understand that the heart behind the blog wasn’t malicious but wanted good for people. I grew up in a rural Methodist church and only recently realized that I was only on the outskirts of evangelicalism, not really immersed in it.
    One post I read was on the people you meet in a popcorn prayer circle. Since you also wrote a post on popcorn prayer, Lisa, would you be willing to address my questions?
    When I was taught “pray as you feel you led” circles, I truly believed in them. I loved that type of prayer and took it seriously as a way of listening to the Holy Spirit while praying as a group. I had no idea that other people felt the kind of pressure and awkwardness you and Acuff describe. I never intended to do that to anyone. I never knew some were sitting there judging it. http://stuffchristianslike.net/2008/04/159-the-pray-if-you-feel-led-prayer/
    In this and in other things, I was sincerely trying to follow God in community to the best of my ability and for the good of all. After reading bits of the blog, I was horrified to think that in reality I’d caused the opposite to happen.
    Some of us are tender-hearted, earnest believers, who may have made some of the mistakes this blog/book talks about. And while I know God extends grace, sometimes I find it hard to believe that his followers do. Stuff Christians Like makes that last belief harder for me.
    So where’s the balance in this? What am I missing? Can someone explain it better to me? My friend says I don’t get it because I’m not the target audience. I reacted initially to the blog by feeling unjustly mocked and judged until I realized that the author’s intention was for good. Are there others out there who feel that too?
    I feel cautious and troubled about this kind of humor because it can be taken the wrong way, doing damage just like the practices it reveals.

  • http://joshjcollins.wordpress.com Josh C

    I downloaded the free audio book from Christian Audio.com and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the author himself Jonathan Acuff did the reading, which is awesome. He even adds little commentary to some of the stuff he wrote.
    The print version also has some great illustrations in it too!

  • Nora

    I have the book, and I love it, but that was no surprise, because I love the blog as well. Favorites are “Thinking Honeymoon Sex is Better than the Second Coming,” and “Worship Eagles.”
    I don’t find Jon’s humor offensive at all. He encourages us to laugh at ourselves, and often casts himself as the chief example of whatever he is drawing our attention to.

  • http://withthekids.wordpress.com/ AprilK

    Karen – I know Scot has an opinion about satire and when it’s appropriate and when it’s hurtful. At least, I believe I’ve seen him share it here before. I hope he’ll respond to your concern.

  • Karen

    I’m not offended by Acuff’s blog. My initial reaction was a misunderstanding of where he was coming from. Also it’s my personality type to take things at face value. After watching All in the Family during childhood, I was an adult before I realized that Archie Bunker was satirical. Doh!
    I do think it would be helpful to discuss how Acuff’s satire can be mistaken for mocking and judgment and how to prevent people from being hurt by that. How can we extend grace even in the face of admitting where our woundedness came from?
    And I’m still flinching that people may have been reading into my practice of faith all kinds of things I didn’t mean, but that’s a personal problem that I need to leave in God’s hands.
    According to my captcha, that “problem” is “golden.” LOL!

  • http://www.stuffchristianslike.net Jonathan Acuff

    Karen -
    I think you raise some great questions. And as the author of the Stuff Christians Like site I certainly have some thoughts.
    First and foremost, I’d say that on the blog, I’ve definitely made mistakes. In the name of humor or traffic or my own ego, I’ve most certainly made mistakes. So it’s very possible you read a post written by me that could have been better written or kinder.
    On the other hand though, I think that sometimes people unfairly lump Stuff Christians Like in with other blogs that mock God or Christians and that is not something I do. Mockery always has a victim. Mockery’s only aim is to wound. God is clear throughout Proverbs how he feels about mockery. Satire however, is simply humor with a purpose and my purpose is to share the love of Christ. Mockery is a great shortcut to an easy laugh but it removes the ability to speak love later. And the love later matters more to me than the laugh right now.
    What’s interesting is that the post you mentioned, the prayer circle, was very light hearted. I joked about people who start to pray and then stop because they think someone else is about to. I joked about the pressure of being the opener and the closer. Of all the posts on the site, that one certainly didn’t pick on anyone. In fact, the only finger I ever poke is the one at myself.
    I appreciate your well thought out and honest response. My hope is that folks like you will give the site a chance. I can’t tell you the thousands of emails I get from people who are returning to church after being hurt because they’ve been reminded via a silly blog that faith can be fun and funny and above all honest. I am going to write about the ways we fail, I am going to share the scars we sometimes cause but at the end of the day, whether writing the blog or using it as a platform to build 2 kindergartens in Vietnam, I am going to be respectfully sharing the name of Christ.
    Thanks
    Jon

  • Scot McKnight

    AprilK,
    Thanks. Yes, I’m sensitive to satire because it tends to treat humans inhumanely, and prolonged fixation with satire can destroy us. But, I didn’t find that in Acuff’s book and I am sensitive to this stuff.
    I see his book as friendly, fun fire.

  • Karen

    Thanks for answering me. I appreciate your openness and honesty. I appreciate you considering what I had to say.
    I did react to the “pray as you feel led” post with embarrassment and shame. I had no clue other people felt that way about it. I led a few small groups for a while and did not intend the consequences you described. I now feel more self-conscious about praying with other people, but only a little. Maybe it was both good and bad to lose that child-like ignorance.
    AprilK, who is a personal friend of mine, and another friend showed me that there was no malice intended. And I can tell that your heart is for people’s healing. I’m so glad that this is helping people.

  • Ryan R

    My current favorite Christian satire is Xianity on Twitter:
    http://twitter.com/XIANITY

  • Jon Snyder

    If you can’t shell out the money for the book, it’s free on christianaudio.com with the coupon code APR2010

  • http://traceysolomon.wordpress.com tracey solomon

    For me- satire is fine as long as you are included in the humor… John doesn’t divide the kingdom.. he unites it.. WE are hilarious… WE are hypocritical and we DO major in the minors.
    I’ve read some satire that is directed at others.. THEY are judgmental.. THEY are ____ fill in the blank…
    To me- this makes all the difference.
    John manages to use sharp wit and humor while still lumping himself in – it’s US. not them.
    Love that. It’s a gift to be able to laugh at ourselves. curse to have to laugh at others. :)

  • http://traceysolomon.wordpress.com tracey solomon

    For me- satire is fine as long as you are included in the humor… John doesn’t divide the kingdom.. he unites it.. WE are hilarious… WE are hypocritical and we DO major in the minors.
    I’ve read some satire that is directed at others.. THEY are judgmental.. THEY are ____ fill in the blank…
    To me- this makes all the difference.
    John manages to use sharp wit and humor while still lumping himself in – it’s US. not them.
    Love that. It’s a gift to be able to laugh at ourselves. curse to have to laugh at others. :)

  • Karl

    I love the SCL blog – been reading it since its early days. Wow, it would be so hard to pick just a few favorites! I enjoyed the prayer circle post. The post on super happy shiny Christian radio hit a chord – but then so do most of Jon’s posts.
    If you haven’t read his stuff, go to the blog and check out the archives. He’s still putting out good stuff but IMO the first 50 to 100 posts were the best. I haven’t read the book yet but definitely plan to get it.


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