I was actually surfing the Web looking for information for this blog when I first stumbled across a blog called Stuff Christians Like almost two years ago. The post I found was Jonathan Acuff’s #356 entry, “The 7 Types of Christian Camp Counselors.”
I thought it was hilarious and really wanted to post something on the blog about it then but I hesitated because I wasn’t exactly sure where this Mr. Acuff was coming from. Was he an opportunist trying to cash in by Christian-copying the wildly popular mainstream Web site and book Stuff White People Like, a former evangelical with an axe to grind? Or both?
I wasn’t sure then, but in the time since I read that post I’ve learned a lot more about the man Collide Magazine recently called one of the funniest Christians alive. He’s not exactly an opportunist or a former evangelical. He’s actually a seriously funny, gifted and driven blogger who by all accounts has his heart in the right place.
This is ever so apparent in his book Stuff Christians Like, which officially released on April Fool’s Day. If the cover, which shows an illustration of a side hug that also happens to be a great T-shirt, doesn’t grab you right away then the insights ranging from the humorous and random to the did-he-really-just-say-that and preach-it-brother-Jon should.
Blending material from the blog and new material, Acuff offers both long-time followers and novices a space in his wild dead tree world of sarcasm for Jesus. By that I mean, he’s not averse to planting his tongue firmly in cheek but does so in a way that actually encourages believers in their walk with Christ instead of tearing them down. He walks that fine line of sarcasm and humor like a skilled tight-rope walker without being mean-spirited or cheesy.
The greatest example of this is probably in the post that inspired a sermon our good friend Steve LaMotte (one of our deans this summer) preached at his church in Delaware last year. The post is titled “Booty God Booty” and talks about a radio station in Atlanta that plays “inspirational vitamins” in between rap and hip-hop songs with, shall we say, a contrasting message to the Bible verses and words of inspiration from local preachers. The author who goes by @prodigaljohn on Twitter goes on to talk about how often he and all of us “booty God booty” things in our own lives – wedge God in between behaviors and activities that do anything but honor the God we are supposedly BFFs with on the weekend.
Other posts make light fun of our evangelical culture and the situations we as Christians find ourselves in like when we break up with our small group or we tell someone we are going to pray for them but never actually do. At 200 pages, it’s a quick read if you read straight through but a book you might want to keep hanging around the coffee table for visitors to your home. You might be surprised the kind of conversations Mr. Acuff’s unique take on Christianity and following Christ just might start.