Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. WaterBrook & Multnomah provided me with a complimentary copy of this book, for which I’ve given an honest review.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
I’d never heard of The Babylon Bee until a little earlier this year, and I had no particular inclination to read How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living. As much as I like to laugh, I’m not one who goes out of my way looking for satire.
But when the publisher unexpectedly sent me a copy, I figured, hey, why not take a look?
And, then, the book got me within the first few pages, letting me know how Christian culture can lead me to be “transformed day by day into the radiant image of the modern American Jesus.”
Hello. Sounds like a goal. Especially if He’s the Son of a Father “who sits on a cloud somewhere…and is suspicious of non-Americans and people with brown skin.”
Now, do I totally agree with the attitude of the Bee at every point in this comprehensive guide? Nah. I think some of the Bee’s blanket jokes might overlook how issues like manipulation and abuse are very real problems in too many churches (what’s making folks feel horrible at church isn’t always holy conviction), and for a lot of people, matters of social justice aren’t merely “politics,” or concepts to debate. They’re real matters of life and death.
Still, I doubt the point of a book like this is to make you agree with all of it. Satire is supposed to make you think. Sometimes humor that’s unafraid to tackle what others are reluctant to speak up about can help you take a serious second look at something in life or society (or Christian culture) that’s backward or off. Not to simply laugh about it, or not to only be offended, but to really stop and think about it.
If you don’t seriously think, you can’t seriously grow.
Make no mistake, though. I did heartily crack up while reading this thing. And the conclusion is, well, beautiful, I must say.