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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review: Stuff Christians Like - by Jon Acuff

Stuff Christians LikeI discovered author, speaker, blogger Jon Acuff in reverse. I came upon his most recent book Quitter while perusing some of the finance and debt reduction publications by Dave Ramsey, whom Acuff currently works for. Quitter is a semi-professional autobiography that chronicles the author's journey from his day job as an online copywriter to his dream job as a best-selling author and speaker.

When I read it, I thought the book was inspired and would likely strike a nerve that many Americans feel about their general malaise regarding their day jobs. That fact continues to be borne out by the book's strong-sales rank on Amazon and best-selling status on the Wall Street Journal list.

After discovering that book, I started reading his blog at, when wonder-of-wonders I further discovered that this guy is a writing juggernaut who writes for two distinct blogs everyday. The first is Quitter-focused, the second is faith-based with a satirical twist and can be accessed at

Ironically, it's this second site that launched Acuff to publishing success, allowing him to ultimately quit his former day job.

Acuff's first book Stuff Christians Like was titled after his blog and contains dozens of the best posts from that site as well as about 70 new posts specific to the book. While the book is irreverent at times, and always satirical about "unique" practices in American Christian churches (e.g. the use of bald eagles during service, prayer circle etiquette, losing the will to clap during worship...etc.), it is always respectful of the faith.

The greatest strength of this book is that it doesn't treat faith as a sacrosanct, cold-hearted issue of life and death but rather as a rollicking lifelong adventure that pleases God most when we take Him seriously but not  necessarily ourselves.  This is the book I envision that observational comedian Jerry Seinfeld would have written - that is if Seinfeld was not Jewish.

Despite the hilarity and honesty, Stuff Christians Like may be an acquired taste for some. Unfortunately many claimed Christians, will find it easier to chastise Acuff's satire because it's simultaneously self-effacing yet transparent about the selective application of God's word in many Christian hearts and churches.  

Regardless, his writing is crisp, ironic and entertaining. The highest praise I could give this book is that you don't have to be a Christian to like Stuff Christians Like.

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