Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stuff Christians Like

I'm not always hip to the latest trends, but I guess I should try to be if I want to be missionally relevant to a PoMo-Starbucks-drinking-wear-my-faith-on-my-wicked-American-Apparel-original-silk-screen-T-shirt kind of generation. Or maybe not? Questions, questions...

Disclaimer: One of my biggest pet peeves is the way Christians often absorb culture, chew on it a bit, and then spit it out as a lamer, more embarrassing, way that ruins both. Two examples: (a) Those red T-shirts that say Counter-Culture on them in the Coca-Cola font style; (b) the majority of Contemporary Christian Music, which is neither contemporary nor original. If anything, both of these say that Christians are only capable of being boring, unoriginal, participants in our culture. But I digress...

Regardless, I'm not hip to the hipness of the Stuff Christians Like (SCL) website, but I did come across a book of the same title while checking out the Regent College Bookstore. Here's where the disclaimer comes in. For a moment, I got caught in the broad generalization mentioned above, and lumped the SCL website in as a lamer version of Stuff White People Like (SWPL), the latter being a brilliantly witty take on whiteness, and on more than one occasion, dead on in its depiction of white, North American, culture. This alone could have kept me from purchasing the book inspired by the website, but I am glad that in this case, it did not. The SCL website makes it pretty clear that it is inspired by SWPL, and gives credit where credit is due. Great, my conscience is clear.

Alright, so this book is probably the funniest thing that I have ever read out of the Christian world. Seriously, so hilarious that I was literally crying while reading it to some friends, and had my voice break several times while trying to read through some of the chapter headings. A small smattering of such headings look like this:

"Complaining about not being 'fed' at church."
"Watching R-rated movies... but only if they're violent."
"Using "I'll pray about it" as a euphemism for no."
"Falling in love on a mission trip."
"Ranking honeymoon sex slightly higher than the second coming of Christ."

So yes, I broke my fast from purchasing new books, and I bought this book. It was/is worth it. There is a treasure trove of teachable anecdotes here that I will no doubt use when I return home. Also, I doesn't hurt to laugh (a lot) at yourself. I think that if I was to contribute a chapter heading, mine might be,

"Letting people know that you're wrestling out your salvation by blogging about it."


Andrew said...

sounds pretty awesome, i read something similar to it about 5 years ago called "The Christian Culture Survival Guide" - written by one the then ex-sr editors of CCM magazine - it was pretty hilarious - ill keep an eye out for this one though

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