***Before you refuse to ever read my blog again, let me state this clearly: "How To Be A Perfect Christian" by the Babylon Bee is complete satire! And it is hilarious!
Perfect Christians Read Perfect Books, Right?
In a not-so-subtle way, Babylon Bee works to undercut foolish notions of cultural Christianity by exposing them as they are. Rather than just stating the facts and discussing how the notions are wrong, they write a guide that is meant to seem serious. In many ways, this book is an excellent dose of winsome satire. At other times this book seems to be an outright assault on certain groups of Christians who probably think they are perfect and have it all together. From the negative reviews on Amazon, you can see that some people were offended by this in-your-face style of writing.
Balance Is Key
One of my favorite aspects about this book is that it is very balanced in it's critiques of modern cultural Christianity. It doesn't just make fun of overzealous Arminians, it also takes jabs at cage-stage Calvinists. Not only does it poke fun at fundamentalist, suit-wearing KJV-onlyists, it also points at the bearded, cigar-smoking ESV-only crowd as well. Seriously, there is not a Christian stereotype or caricature that is not represented here. And while it is meant to be fun and playful, it also does a good job of pointing to the folly of cultural Christian norms.
A Good Book For Mature Saints
This book is certainly not for the immature Christian for a number of reasons:
1. There is no explicit mention that this book is satire. I can't recall seeing anywhere in the introduction or conclusion that this book is satirical. Thus, putting this book in the hands of a new believer could be taken wrongly.
2. The subtle jabs could be hurtful to some folks who don't understand the nature of a work like this. For example, the section about bible translations could leave a person confused on why the NIV carries the connotation of being wishy-washy or why those who know the Greek text are mocked. Again, this is satire, but some believers may not be mature enough to understand this.
3. The distortions of the gospel in this book are not intentionally corrected, so a reader could walk away seeing the distortion while not being able to correct it. Jesus came as a man, died on the cross, rose from the dead, and called all people everywhere to repent and believe in Him. The gospel distortions seen in this book lose sight of this reality in some way or another.
Good, Clean Comedy
As a person with a dry sense of humor, I LOVE books like this. Babylon Bee is a good way to get a daily laugh from the headlines. Flipping to any page in "How To Be A Perfect Christian" is sure to draw a laugh. Just make sure you're able to laugh at yourself or you might end up angry by the time you finish reading this book.
Rating: 4/5. I would give it a 5 if it had a disclaimer about satire and a section that explicitly presented the gospel.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to review this book.
Chrys Jones is a Christian, husband, father of three, pastor, and teacher. He is also a recording artist and producer for Christcentric Records and a book briefer for Accelerate Books. In his free time, Chrys loves to spend time with his family, roast coffee, read good books, and listen to beat tapes and jazz.