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How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living

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With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith. Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the re With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith. Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your "holiness" as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.


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With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith. Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the re With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The Onion, How to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith. Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your "holiness" as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.

30 review for How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    (3.5) The Babylon Bee is a Christian version of The Onion, so you know what you’re getting here: a very clever, pitch-perfect satire of evangelical Christianity today. If, like me, you grew up in a nondenominational church and bought into the subculture hook, line and sinker (Awana club, youth group, courtship, dc Talk albums, the whole shebang), you will find that so much of this rings true. The book is set up as a course for achieving superficial perfection through absolute “conformity to the (3.5) The Babylon Bee is a Christian version of The Onion, so you know what you’re getting here: a very clever, pitch-perfect satire of evangelical Christianity today. If, like me, you grew up in a nondenominational church and bought into the subculture hook, line and sinker (Awana club, youth group, courtship, dc Talk albums, the whole shebang), you will find that so much of this rings true. The book is set up as a course for achieving superficial perfection through absolute “conformity to the status quo of the modern church.” Sample advice: find an enormous church that meets your needs, has a great coffee bar and puts on a laser-lit worship performance to rival “an amusement park for cats or a Def Leppard concert”; master the language of Christianese (“Keeping it in prayer” pretty much covers your bases); and bring as little as you can to the church potluck (25-pack of napkins) but consume as much as is anatomically possible. So, a lot of fun, just a little overlong because you get the joke early on. Favorite lines: “Mainline denominations can be a nice choice because they won’t really hold you to any theological standards.” “Researchers have discovered that every church bulletin in existence contains no less than three hundred spelling or grammar errors.” “All three guitarists will sound as though they are copying absolutely every riff they play from a U2 song. This is known by clinical psychiatrists as The Edge Syndrome”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter Vik

    In an age where so many are peddling false notions like the grace of God, justification by faith and the notion that perfection is not possible this side of heaven, it was quite refreshing to read this groundbreaking book. Our friends at the Babylon Bee show that Christian perfection is not only possible, it is a realistic goal for anyone to reach, provided they carefully follow the steps provided in this book. No reader can walk away from this book without being presented with a critical choice In an age where so many are peddling false notions like the grace of God, justification by faith and the notion that perfection is not possible this side of heaven, it was quite refreshing to read this groundbreaking book. Our friends at the Babylon Bee show that Christian perfection is not only possible, it is a realistic goal for anyone to reach, provided they carefully follow the steps provided in this book. No reader can walk away from this book without being presented with a critical choice: Choose Christian perfection or choose the devil! So read the book, and, as Master Splinter so eloquently said, “Stray from it reluctantly.” -The Reverend Professor P. J. W. D. W. Vik Ps In case anyone missed it, the above was a gag review in keeping with the spirit of the book. This is a fun book that presses evangelicals to laugh at our own idiosyncrasies while thinking hard about the difference between what we say we believe and what we often act like we believe. I recommend taking it in small bites, one chapter at a time. A person, after all, can only handle so much. So purchase your copy and let the good times roll. -Pete Vik

  3. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

    Life-changing. The Pilgrim's Progress or Mere Christianity of our generation. I never realized how easy it was to be a Christian before reading this book! Highly-recommended to anyone who wants to stand out from the rest of the plebians in their churches and become a truly Special Christian. Life-changing. The Pilgrim's Progress or Mere Christianity of our generation. I never realized how easy it was to be a Christian before reading this book! Highly-recommended to anyone who wants to stand out from the rest of the plebians in their churches and become a truly Special Christian.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    This is a satirical critique of White-American cultural Christianity, but its constant sarcasm is only funny in small doses. It’s about as subtle as a chainsaw, and sometimes borders on snide. I did laugh out loud a number of times, but I have to admit I enjoy the Babylon Bee website more than this book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Callie

    Oh my goodness. This book takes a satirical look at modern Christian culture. It was hilarious, and no Christian sub-culture was safe. I found myself challenged and slightly offended at times, which I think is a sign that this is satire done right. I wouldn’t recommend this book to non-Christians, because unless you are steeped in Christian culture you won’t get most of the jokes, and might leave a little confused. I kept wondering if the book would break satirical character to present the true Oh my goodness. This book takes a satirical look at modern Christian culture. It was hilarious, and no Christian sub-culture was safe. I found myself challenged and slightly offended at times, which I think is a sign that this is satire done right. I wouldn’t recommend this book to non-Christians, because unless you are steeped in Christian culture you won’t get most of the jokes, and might leave a little confused. I kept wondering if the book would break satirical character to present the true gospel (because in case you didn’t know, being a “Perfect Christian” is NOT the gospel and won’t save you). The authors somehow managed to present the gospel - of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, to offer us forgiveness and eternal life through giving us HIS righteousness - without departing from the book’s goofy satire. Well done. I liked it, but if you don’t have the stomach for heavy satire and sarcasm you might skip this one! The publisher sent me this book as a thank you for joining a book launch team. No review was required, but you know me, I review everything!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Megan {A Barefoot Gal}

    Hilarious.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    If you read A Modest Proposal in high school English and came out believing that Jonathan Swift was advocating the eating of babies to alleviate the Irish potato famine, then you probably shouldn't read this book. Because like A Modest Proposal, How to be a Perfect Christian is a very pointed satire, and none of the advice in it should be taken literally. If you are looking for a book that gives practical advice on how to improve your walk with Christ, then this probably isn't the book for you. D If you read A Modest Proposal in high school English and came out believing that Jonathan Swift was advocating the eating of babies to alleviate the Irish potato famine, then you probably shouldn't read this book. Because like A Modest Proposal, How to be a Perfect Christian is a very pointed satire, and none of the advice in it should be taken literally. If you are looking for a book that gives practical advice on how to improve your walk with Christ, then this probably isn't the book for you. Does it include truth? Yes. The gospel? Yes. But this is first and foremost a satire: it's pointing out traps we fall into as we strive to be the perfect Christians, rather than obtaining perfection through the Holy Spirit and Christ. And it's doing it in a way that sounds like it's advocating one thing, but in truth it's advocating something quite different. Conclusion: If you don't get satire, don't read this book. That said, this is an incredibly funny book for Christians who appreciate satire and sarcastic humor (and know when not to take the written word at face value). It makes fun of all the nit-picky little things we do that don't actually have a bearing on our salvation, as well as things that we sometimes elevate to greater importance than, say, the gospel, salvation, and glorifying God. There were a few moments when the satire felt uncomfortably pointed and hit closer to the home than was fun, but that's basically the point of satire: to point out the follies of a system in order to redirect it to what it should be. And this book certainly does that. Thank you, WaterBrook Multnomah, for the complimentary book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    I've been following The Babylon Bee on Facebook for a couple of years and was interested in what their book would be like. They are a group that puts out satirical articles poking fun at cultural Christianity. For "How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living," some authors got together, and now they have a whole book that does basically the same thing in a how-to type format. The whole book is meant to be read as satire. It pokes fun at all of the ways ou I've been following The Babylon Bee on Facebook for a couple of years and was interested in what their book would be like. They are a group that puts out satirical articles poking fun at cultural Christianity. For "How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living," some authors got together, and now they have a whole book that does basically the same thing in a how-to type format. The whole book is meant to be read as satire. It pokes fun at all of the ways our culture has made Christianity into a hip, me-centered universe that does and says all the right things to fit in. Heaven forbid we actually make it all about the Gospel and stop judging someone on what version of the Bible they read. Which, in the end, is their whole point—that no one can be a perfect Christian and that's why we need Christ. This book was at times super relatable, so much so that it was scary. I found myself laughing out loud, nodding my head because something was all too true, and cringing. I think this book is geared towards my generation, as I appreciated the DC Talk, fish bumper sticker references. I also related a lot because I went to a Bible college with a lot of rules. Many of the rules we had to follow were in this book, down to what Bible we had to use. I think those who do not enjoy satire or don't have this kind of sense of humor might get offended. But it is clear that The Babylon Bee does it all in love and I found it to be a quick, fun read! Content: This is a clean read. Rating: I give this book 4 stars Genre: Christian Non-fiction I want to thank WaterBrook and Multnomah Launch Team, Multnomah and The Babylon Bee for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    This book does just what the title says. In ten chapters, it tells you exactly how to live like a perfect Christian. Oh, we aren’t worried about the fruit of the spirit or holiness or anything hard like that. We are talking about finding the perfect church (one that is focused on you), “doing life together,” serving without ever lifting a finger, looking spiritual online (I’m sure they left out reviewing this book in that chapter), and quarantining your home from non-Christian culture. And if you This book does just what the title says. In ten chapters, it tells you exactly how to live like a perfect Christian. Oh, we aren’t worried about the fruit of the spirit or holiness or anything hard like that. We are talking about finding the perfect church (one that is focused on you), “doing life together,” serving without ever lifting a finger, looking spiritual online (I’m sure they left out reviewing this book in that chapter), and quarantining your home from non-Christian culture. And if you aren’t familiar with The Babylon Bee, it is a fantastic satire site that looks at Christian culture and the world from a Christian perspective. I’ve become addicted to their articles, so when I saw this book was coming out, I had to get it. I’m not kidding when I saw there is a laugh on every page as the book mercilessly mocks what many Christians in modern day America focus on. And there were times that the book convicted me since I live a little too much like the person they are mocking. At least some portions of this book have appeared in shorter form on the site, but everything here blends together perfectly for a comprehensive and very funny whole. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Where has this book been all my life? If I could give it a thousand stars, I would. Forget the Bible, forget The Pilgrim's Progress...How To Be A Perfect Christian is THE best book. Ever. The spiritual truths I gained while reading it were unbelievable. It's a revolutionary book that will change souls around the world. I can't count how many times I cried while reading it because I was convicted by what it said about the Christian life and I realized I wasn't living up to my full potential as a c Where has this book been all my life? If I could give it a thousand stars, I would. Forget the Bible, forget The Pilgrim's Progress...How To Be A Perfect Christian is THE best book. Ever. The spiritual truths I gained while reading it were unbelievable. It's a revolutionary book that will change souls around the world. I can't count how many times I cried while reading it because I was convicted by what it said about the Christian life and I realized I wasn't living up to my full potential as a child of God. How could I not see that everything is meant to be about me? This book blew my mind. I can't get over how insightful and amazing it was. Definitely the best book of 2018. Maybe of the whole decade. (The above is satire, just like the book itself. How To Be A Perfect Christian is one of the funniest books I've read and everything you'd expect from the creators of The Babylon Bee. Highly recommended!) I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jacquie Bosma

    I chugged through this short read in only a few hours. I'm more perfect than all of you. Clearly. The Bee always provides amazing satire, and this look at the bloated state of all-American Christianity holds no punches but delivers lots of short chuckles (and maybe a genuine belly laugh at the provided coloring book page). Whether you have completed your Awana book or you've never set foot in a sanctuary, you'll get a kick out of the brutally honest, brutally hilarious commentary. I chugged through this short read in only a few hours. I'm more perfect than all of you. Clearly. The Bee always provides amazing satire, and this look at the bloated state of all-American Christianity holds no punches but delivers lots of short chuckles (and maybe a genuine belly laugh at the provided coloring book page). Whether you have completed your Awana book or you've never set foot in a sanctuary, you'll get a kick out of the brutally honest, brutally hilarious commentary.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    CT review here. WORLD review here. CT review here. WORLD review here.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rod

    Hmmm? I was going to write a review (book) called, "How to be a Perfectly Hellworthy Babylon Bee Satirist". And Mock THEM for their efforts. But i'm feeling too lazy. But you might get the point: Babylon Bee should not be untouchable and devoid of a Slam. God didn't give them the Chosen Gift of Satire and Criticism and place them above All things Earthly. (and possibly the Bible?) Hey, I enjoy their crap entertainment as well as the next Charles Spurgeon Fan. But I don't look to them for serious th Hmmm? I was going to write a review (book) called, "How to be a Perfectly Hellworthy Babylon Bee Satirist". And Mock THEM for their efforts. But i'm feeling too lazy. But you might get the point: Babylon Bee should not be untouchable and devoid of a Slam. God didn't give them the Chosen Gift of Satire and Criticism and place them above All things Earthly. (and possibly the Bible?) Hey, I enjoy their crap entertainment as well as the next Charles Spurgeon Fan. But I don't look to them for serious theology or Truth (I hoped to at one time). Just backslidding entertainment. So why do I dare to doubt their contributions to the Perfect Truth of American Cosmic Divine Enlightenment? Because they mocked John MacArthur's Study Bible and followers? (sure, partly - I didn't bother to buy his study bible though. Even I have my limits of fandom). Because they dared mock the Worship band experience and musicians of the current Church? (Hell yeah! How dare you comment on my guitar FX and Spiritual C.D. collection. It's my job to mock all things U2 related and skinny jeans and tattoos). At the end of the day: I think they may have mocked the very truth of God's Word itself. Not the general lifting up of a Social Savior Hero Jesus - but the Judging, condemning, and brutal King as shown throughout all of scripture "Jesus". yeah, the Calvinist and Young Earther in me began to question if they have any deep theology at all. Sure, sure, we are all guilty of 90% of the attacks in this book. (our traditions and dress codes and food preferences). More to come...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Becky Van Daniker

    The Babylon Bee is a well-known Christian satire news site so going in, I knew that I needed to read “How to be a Perfect Christian.” If you’re like me and have grown up in church practically your whole life and bought into dcTalk, kissing dating goodbye, WWJD bracelets, and everything else, then you’ll love this. The authors’ joke about many things that believers say and do and even how it comes across to other people. I mean, it is a book about being superficially perfect and they show how it’ The Babylon Bee is a well-known Christian satire news site so going in, I knew that I needed to read “How to be a Perfect Christian.” If you’re like me and have grown up in church practically your whole life and bought into dcTalk, kissing dating goodbye, WWJD bracelets, and everything else, then you’ll love this. The authors’ joke about many things that believers say and do and even how it comes across to other people. I mean, it is a book about being superficially perfect and they show how it’s a goal you can achieve. While most of the book is hilarious, many statements they make are completely true and make you stop and think about the motives behind what you say and do. Do I go to church just to go and make an appearance? Do I find myself personally convicted between KJV or an ESV and then attack anyone who doesn’t agree? Do I only have a quiet time with God only to post about it on social media? Is worship only a feeling? Is church supposed to be all about me? Do I expect to serve or be served? Do I expect to grow from the sermon or do I expect some big inspirational to make me feel good instead? This is one of those books that will make you stop and think about your motives as a Christian. It also calls out the modern church on things that need to be called out. When I first started the book, I was only going to start a chapter or two, but then I found myself reading the entire thing in one sitting. So expect a quick, fast-paced read and full-blown laughter that will cause people to stare at you and wonder what’s so funny. For parents, the book is squeaky clean, but the authors’ do use the words “heck” and “damn” quite a bit. This is mostly sarcastic, but they do share the Gospel in a casual way and refer to God as “our homeboy” so be discerning as you read. Highly recommended for those are believers high school aged and up and know how to discern joke from the truth. This is also meant for people who can take a joke and even laugh at themselves. I wouldn’t recommend this for a new believer or a non-Christian because this might be confusing. This would also make a great gift for your loved ones. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.oming soon.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle Bradbury

    “Take a bit of wisdom from Proverbs and fake it ‘till you make it.” I’ve read Christian humor before, but this is the one. It’s full of great advice, too! Now I know never to consider a new church unless they have a t-shirt cannon, and to always roll around on the floor during worship service so other people can see how taken by the Holy Spirit I am.

  16. 4 out of 5

    George P.

    Rarely a week goes by that I don’t share a Babylon Bee story on Facebook. The Bee bills itself as “Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.” Given how often unaware readers mistake its stories for real news, I’m not sure trusted is the right word. But satire? Absolutely! Here are some samples. From pop culture: “Reeling From Yet Another Unnecessary Film, Fans Call For Common-Sense Star Wars Control.” From church life: “Church Ushers Rough Up First-Time Visitor Trying To Escape Without Filli Rarely a week goes by that I don’t share a Babylon Bee story on Facebook. The Bee bills itself as “Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.” Given how often unaware readers mistake its stories for real news, I’m not sure trusted is the right word. But satire? Absolutely! Here are some samples. From pop culture: “Reeling From Yet Another Unnecessary Film, Fans Call For Common-Sense Star Wars Control.” From church life: “Church Ushers Rough Up First-Time Visitor Trying To Escape Without Filling Out Connection Card.” From politics: “Fox News Slams Jesus For Never Once Standing During National Anthem.” The Bee skewers everything, earning a hearty #Heh in all my Facebook posts. My #Heh is slightly less hearty for The Babylon Bee’s new book, How to Be a Perfect Christian. Don’t get me wrong, hilarious sendups of American evangelical culture occur throughout the book. One example of such is the C.H.A.F.F. acronym for “high-quality spiritual pictures of your open Bible”: * C = Coffee: “True Christians study the Word of God with a mug of artisan, fair-trade, non-GMO, gluten-free, cage-free, nonalcoholic coffee.” * H = Hashtags: “We recommend hashtags like #blessed, #amen, #holy, #iambetterthanyou, and #lookeveryoneimreadingmyBible to ensure your personal time of communion with God through His Word goes viral.” * A = Audience: “Don’t forget that you’re doing this for an audience of one million.” * F = Filter: “A plain-Jane picture of an open Bible never got anyone on the express lane to heaven … . Apply an authentic vintage look, and you can be sure you’ll get a like from Jesus Himself.” * F = Fact: “As in the size of your Bible … . Weather your Bible before the shot, too, to give it a worn, distressed look.” After reading C.H.A.F.F., I’ll never look at my friends’ Instagram devotional pics the same way. (And perhaps, just perhaps, my friends will stop posting those pics in the first place.) Like all good satire, there is a serious purpose behind the skewering. How to Be mock-seriously defines a “perfect Christian” as “one who conforms to the man-made standards of the Christian faith in any given age.” Chapters then go on to spell out those standards in detail. The satire works largely works because it addresses real hypocrisies and flaws in American evangelicalism. By humorously skewering fake Christianity, real Christianity stands out sharper by contrast. So, why my less than hearty #Heh? Two reasons: First, satire is easier to write and read in short spurts. The Babylon Bee’s online articles hit the mark harder, in my opinion, precisely because you can read them quickly and walk away. It’s harder to attain a satirical tone over the course of an entire book, even a short book. Normally, I read books in two or three extended sessions. With How to Be a Perfect Christian, however, I found myself picking up and putting down the book after short spells. The soul can only take satire for so long. Second, American evangelicalism presents too many targets. Some evangelical churches are light on doctrine but heavy on “cool.” Others are heavy on doctrine but light on contemporary relevance. (These are only two extremes among a multitude of options.) The problem is that you can’t satirize the one the same way you satirize the other. At times, however, it seemed to me that The Bee was trying to have it both ways. Consequently, four stars instead of five for this reviewer. The book is a good #Heh, even if not a hearty one. Book Reviewed The Babylon Bee, How to Be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah, 2018). P.S. If you found my review helpful, please vote "Yes" on my Amazon.com review page. P.P.S. This review is cross-posted with permission from InfluenceMagazine.com.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    How to be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living is a satirical book about how to attain complete sanctification this side of eternity. By the folks at the Babylon Bee (a satirical Christian news site), this book lives up to their usual method of using humor to make a point, only this time, instead of a small news snippet, you get a whole book full of pointed humor. Having enjoyed much of their writing already I thought that it would be interesting to see how How to be a Perfect Christian: Your Comprehensive Guide to Flawless Spiritual Living is a satirical book about how to attain complete sanctification this side of eternity. By the folks at the Babylon Bee (a satirical Christian news site), this book lives up to their usual method of using humor to make a point, only this time, instead of a small news snippet, you get a whole book full of pointed humor. Having enjoyed much of their writing already I thought that it would be interesting to see how it would work in a book. And it works quite well. The book gives you a step by step process of becoming completely perfect. Guiding you in the process of choosing the right church, explaining how you can 'worship like a pro', what type of standards you should have, and how you ought to make sure that you are always confirming to the most current mainstream Christian beliefs. At the end of most of the chapters is a 'Holiness Tracker 5000" chart, showing your progress in the scale of Christian 'growth'. As you read the book you will find your progress in holiness rising fast, starting from the lower levels of Satan, Rob Bell and Benny Hinn, you'll rise through the ranks of Luther, Apostle Paul, Tim Tebow…etc. There are also some charts and a few pictures scattered through the book. I thought that their sample Gospel 'tract' was sadly hilarious. The book is filled with section after section giving you spiritual 'growth' pointers, they'll explain many ways that you can become holier than other people (sounding serious, but of course, they're actually mocking that mindset). For instance, did you know that your devotional times don't count with God unless you post announcements that you are having them on social media sites, along with pictures of your Bible, a devotional book and, of course, a cup of coffee? Or here's another one, did you know that the absolute best way to work for God (in His Kingdom on earth, the U.S.A.)is to elect Christian candidates to public office, as we know that we are supposed to establish God's Kingdom through the republican party. God gave us the Gospel "so that we could affect Social Change and win the Culture war". At times they get a little too flippant in their satire, speaking your "breathing down Jesus' neck" in your holiness progress, we get to "hangout with our homeboy Jesus". Considering that Jesus is God in the flesh, those types of flippant references to Him seems too close to taking His name in vain. Another thing that I felt uncomfortable about is that they also use derivatives exclamations like "heck" and "darn" which are simply other words for Hell and damn*. Yes, I know that these things are done for satirical purposes and I might be acting too picky, it's just that some things I'm not sure that we should do even to make a point. Having said that, I'll sum up my overall opinion of the book: I liked it pretty well overall. It is amusing and sobering at the same time. Many of the statements are so true in the book that they are hard to find actually funny as they step on everyone's toes, including mine at times. They don't always imply that you should change your methodology as much as prompt you to examine your attitude and reasoning behind that methodology. It makes you examine the motive behind why you do what you do, is it just because it makes me FEEL holy? Is my practice actually biblically derived? Or is it a personal conviction, such as whether I should use the KJV Bible or the NIV? Is worship just a feeling? Is the goal of a church to make people happy and comfortable with themselves? Do I go to church to serve or to be served? All in all, It really makes you think about why we do what we do as Christians. Many thanks to the folks at Blogging for Books for sending me an Advanced Copy of the book to review (some things about the book may be changed when it is actually published, so my quotations may not match up all of the way.). My review did not have to be favorable. *I don't think that these are bad words in and of themselves, but we Christians ought not to use the word 'Hell' flippantly because we want people to take it seriously and we want them to know that we do to. "damn it' or 'damn' shouldn’t be used because we do not have the power, or the right to condemn anyone or anything to Hell.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    Normally, when I can get a book for significantly less via the all-wonderful Kindle, I do. However, before I even got my grubby little fingers on this thing, I knew that I would have to suck it up and buy an actual copy. You know, like an old person. Why? Because I knew I would want to force it on as many of my church buddies as possible. This book is for all of those who grew up in the typical American church. You know who you are. All you who worked for that Timothy award, all you who watched Normally, when I can get a book for significantly less via the all-wonderful Kindle, I do. However, before I even got my grubby little fingers on this thing, I knew that I would have to suck it up and buy an actual copy. You know, like an old person. Why? Because I knew I would want to force it on as many of my church buddies as possible. This book is for all of those who grew up in the typical American church. You know who you are. All you who worked for that Timothy award, all you who watched 123 penguins when the VeggieTales tape finally gave its last gasp, all you who were forbidden from even touching Harry Potter in the stores, lest its evil be transferred to you. This book makes fun of the culture that has grown up around the American church, yet also points out some serious moral shortcomings that are becoming more and more prevalent. Could it stand to be a little more specific? Sure. I feel a whole chapter could be written regarding my feelings about Good Good Father or Amish romances. Yet, when the worst thing you have to say about a book is that you wanted more, it has a good thing going. It stuck to its theme revolving around the problem of appearance-driven Christians, and did so with enough specific references and examples that I can see some funnyman in our church trying to start up a study about daily living based off this book, which would complete the circle. This book, as it instructs us to say when questioned, is fine.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Porter Sprigg

    I love the Babylon Bee and I love satire. But I think both are better expressed in short form. It’s hard to read an entire book dripping of insincerity and mockery, even if it’s accurately pointing out pitfalls of cultural Christianity. This book gets three stars because it is really funny at points but it felt like the same jokes were being made over and over again, leading me to become less and less engaged as I neared the end of the book. Edit: I no longer love the Babylon Bee. Sadly, I think I love the Babylon Bee and I love satire. But I think both are better expressed in short form. It’s hard to read an entire book dripping of insincerity and mockery, even if it’s accurately pointing out pitfalls of cultural Christianity. This book gets three stars because it is really funny at points but it felt like the same jokes were being made over and over again, leading me to become less and less engaged as I neared the end of the book. Edit: I no longer love the Babylon Bee. Sadly, I think they are now contributing to some of the failings of Christianity that they were mocking in this book. The site went from being “a Christian version of the Onion” to a “politically conservative version of the Onion” and their satire went from critiquing from within the church to throwing punches outside the church. I’m all for laughing at ourselves but it got pretty tiring and problematic when it switched to laughing at “the libs” all the time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah K

    4.5 stars. As usual, my five point review: Alright, let's make sure we have this straight: THIS BOOK IS SATIRE. So, don't get all cray cray on me thinking we can really be "perfect Christians." You and I know that isn't exactly true (or possible). But now that we're clear... this book is hilarious--it is a must read if you enjoy The Babylon Bee. I have to admit I picked up this book for my husband. He LOVES The Babylon Bee, and I love watching him chuckle while reading their amusing articles. Ben 4.5 stars. As usual, my five point review: Alright, let's make sure we have this straight: THIS BOOK IS SATIRE. So, don't get all cray cray on me thinking we can really be "perfect Christians." You and I know that isn't exactly true (or possible). But now that we're clear... this book is hilarious--it is a must read if you enjoy The Babylon Bee. I have to admit I picked up this book for my husband. He LOVES The Babylon Bee, and I love watching him chuckle while reading their amusing articles. Ben and I don't exactly have the same sense of humor, but I can appreciate some good sarcasm and satire every now and again, so I like some of The Babylon Bee's stuff too. How to Be a Perfect Christian is such a clever book but you have to read with a critical thinking mindset... and also realize that they are trying to make a subtle point about our faith practices through humor and satire. Each chapter analyzes a different aspect of American Christianity and pokes fun at everything in the modern church, from how Christians do devotions (i.e. social media images of your Bible and coffee) to worship (choosing the holiest place to sit) to spiritual growth practices (of all types). Prepare to be slightly offended, and maybe a little convicted too. On the vein of being "slightly offended," there's lots in this book that could offend. So just be aware of that. I highly doubt that they're intentionally trying to offend (or maybe that's the point? I don't know!). I think most of that is harmless, but depending on your views about language there could be some offending points. Also (and this is just a note), they are sort of casual when talking about Jesus, calling him "our homeboy" and mentioning things about "breathing down Jesus' neck" in relation to holiness. I would have to reread and consider this more, but considering who we believe Jesus is (God), this is potentially a little too much. Yes, it's satire, but it may go too far at times. Maybe that's just me though. I've seen similar things on their site in the past. The last chapter shares the gospel much in the same way... so again, your appreciation of this book may vary based on your ability to separate satire and truth. One great thing about this book is its ability to make you question your motives as you practice faith. Are you doing something because it's Biblical or because it "feels" holy? This book, though funny, has the potential to be so much more... to challenge Christians to consider why they believe or do things, and not just do whatever the modern church tells them to. Overall, I recommend this book. You'll laugh and cringe, and hopefully come away with a better understanding of you as a Christian as well as how the world perceives you. Maybe you'll also make changes in your life as a result, or at least examine your motives. As for audience, it would be enjoyed by high school-aged students on up. It could be a great gift to a college grad as they embark into the "real world" and learn how to be a Christian outside of a protective bubble of childhood and the college campus. If you regularly read The Babylon Bee, you may recognize some content or themes, but there is a lot of new material too. Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Blogging for Books for the chance to read this great book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This is a work of satire. That's important for you to understand right off the bat. As a work of satire, it's brilliant and ingenious. It shows the foibles of American cultural Christianity in a way that will make you laugh out loud on one page and feel punched in the gut on the next when you realize that you may be guilty of some of this wayward thinking. The first part of the book is dedicated to helping the reader find the perfect you-centered church. There are helpful tips like making sure th This is a work of satire. That's important for you to understand right off the bat. As a work of satire, it's brilliant and ingenious. It shows the foibles of American cultural Christianity in a way that will make you laugh out loud on one page and feel punched in the gut on the next when you realize that you may be guilty of some of this wayward thinking. The first part of the book is dedicated to helping the reader find the perfect you-centered church. There are helpful tips like making sure the church's name "sounds like either a retirement community or a natural disaster," a check list for what to look for in a worship leader, plus a quick breakdown of every denomination and what is acceptable to find in a statement of faith. I loved the section on how to avoid getting involved in ministry, or if you do give in to peer pressure and find yourself serving somewhere, listing out the highlights and low points of various ministries within the church. There's a whole section about how to convey your holiness and spirituality online. You're given tips for all the right hashtags to use and how to choose a profile picture that best portrays your Christian maturity. Don't forget to engage with everyone who disagrees with you so you can show your superior knowledge on all matters - "It's well known that the majority of converts to Christianity came to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior after a Christian friend just went nuclear on them online." (Chapter 5) The last part of the book details becoming the perfect Christian in your home and social sphere, and I didn't enjoy this as much because unfortunately it hit a little too close to home. For example, I didn't laugh when I read in Chapter 10 that Jesus's true intention in coming to earth was "to establish His kingdom through a political party, namely, the Republicans." I happen to know people who really and truly believe things like that, and I was actually raised in a home that comes close to matching the suggestions laid out in Chapter 8. It's different if you've lived it and have had to navigate those waters. My favorite part of the book were the fake quotes from famous Christians through the ages, as well as the variety of charts and graphs creatively sprinkled in. Overall I'd recommend this title to everyone with a sense of humor, especially if you've been in the trenches of church ministry. This book will be making the rounds among our church staff! I received my copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. This review originated at http://reviewsbyerin.dreamwidth.org

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

    According to Google, the definition of satire is "the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices." And that pretty much sums up How to Be a Perfect Christian. The Babylon Bee ruthlessly lampoons American Christian culture. From acceptable Bible translations, to how to speak Christianese, no hallmark of Christianity is ignored. The reader will simultaneously laugh out loud and question the motives behind long-held 'convictions'. Be warned: it According to Google, the definition of satire is "the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices." And that pretty much sums up How to Be a Perfect Christian. The Babylon Bee ruthlessly lampoons American Christian culture. From acceptable Bible translations, to how to speak Christianese, no hallmark of Christianity is ignored. The reader will simultaneously laugh out loud and question the motives behind long-held 'convictions'. Be warned: it will forevermore be impossible to attend church without counting how many times someone utters "Father God" or "Just" during prayer. Or think of Martin Luther whenever someone mentions small group. Or see the nursery as anything but a "dungeon of tears and poop." While 21st century Christianity bears most of this attack, cultural references reach back to my youth with nods to Steven Curtis Chapman as "a great theologian" and not-so-subtle pepperings of DC Talk lyrics. "You will certainly stumble. You will certainly fall. You'll certainly lose your step and make fools of us all. But even through your imperfections, we'll be here to pick you up and speak words of affirmation into your life throughout your walk with the Lord." (p. 7). The Babylon Bee holds no punches. But true to the satirical format, each spoof contains a healthy portion of stinging veracity. I doubt any Christian reader could consume this book without choking on their own thoughts or words. And in that way, How to Be a Perfect Christian transforms satire into a weird and unexpected vehicle for God's truth and grace. "Many Christians just trudge through life without ever attaining to the higher levels of Christian faith. The root of your problem is that you're not trying hard enough to become perfect by your own efforts. You're trying to do the Christian life by the grace of God, allowing Him to gradually change you by the power of His Word. This works for some people, but it's not befitting a true believer. No, the true believer desires one thing above all else: conformity to the status quo of the modern church" (p. 6) The one fear when implementing satire is someone mistaking it for truth. Although it never breaks format, not even while expertly and powerfully explaining the Gospel, How to Be a Perfect Christian clearly identifies itself as satire, starting with an actual warning on the back cover. Still, there are some portions that won't sit well with the reader. Scripture is purposefully misinterpreted, role-defining norms are challenged, and controversial topics are made into jokes. As such, this book is not for someone who can't take a joke. And it is certainly not for someone who can't laugh at themselves. But more importantly, if the thought of Christian satire leaves you unsettled, don't even bother. There is a fine line between mocking God's people and mocking God. I feel How to Be a Perfect Christian falls well on the safe side of this line, but it is subjective. But for those who can separate Christians from Christ and recognize the humor in our faulty attempts to bear His remarkable image, this book is a comedic diamond set in grace and truth. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wray

    As the old hymn goes, "Your hope is built on nothing less than your own amazing superawesome righteousness." If you're a regular reader of the Babylon Bee then you should know what to expect from this – biting satire at the expense of contemporary Western church culture. Even though this has a distinctly American flavour, much of what they poke fun at was recognisable to me in my experience of British and Irish evangelical culture. And, like all good satire, this has a serious point to make: Does As the old hymn goes, "Your hope is built on nothing less than your own amazing superawesome righteousness." If you're a regular reader of the Babylon Bee then you should know what to expect from this – biting satire at the expense of contemporary Western church culture. Even though this has a distinctly American flavour, much of what they poke fun at was recognisable to me in my experience of British and Irish evangelical culture. And, like all good satire, this has a serious point to make: Does what we say we believe line up with how we act? Below are some favourite quotes that had me laughing out loud, and which give you a good idea of what to expect: How to interact with people at your new church: "When they ask how you are doing, always say "fine." Did your dog die? The answer is "fine." Are you having doubts about your faith? "Fine." Are you terminally ill? "Fine!" Never, ever let on that anything is wrong or you might have to start connecting with people on an authentic level. This would be a disaster." Spotting a good sermon: "Usually, pastors kick things off with a few jokes or some witty anecdotes to break the ice. Sometimes, if you're really lucky, the pastor will perform a major stunt, like shooting himself out of a cannon, riding in on a motorcycle, or parachuting onto the stage through a retractable roof. Pastors since the time of Christ have been trained to really start working the crowd in order to hold everyone's attention for the next fifteen or twenty minutes. In fact, modern Bible scholars believe the apostle Peter's sermon on the Day of Pentecost kicked off with the man himself launching over the crowd on a dirt bike." The importance of an effective online presence: "It's well known that the majority of converts to Christianity came to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior after a Christian friend just went nuclear on them online. Psychology experts believe that the more you use derogatory terms to refer to other religions and nonbelievers, the more attractive your belief system appears. It may not make sense when you first think about it, but trust us, it's science." Stay attuned to the wider culture: "If our culture decides your beliefs are offensive and archaic tomorrow, immediately drop them and declare that anyone who still holds to the belief system you held to just twenty-four hours ago is an intolerant bigot. Holding to sound doctrine is closely related to being ready to abandon your sincerely held faith the second you sense the tides of culture begin to shift against it. This is the very backbone of the Christian faith." Interacting with those of other faiths: "we recommend learning to harbor a healthy disdain for everyone who isn't a Christian. When you start seeing other people as less than human, it's much easier to scream vulgarities at them to the glory of God. You earned your salvation fair and square while they choose to wallow in their ignorance and not pull themselves up by their spiritual bootstraps. So it's time to begin thinking of unbelievers not as fellow image bearers desperately in need of God's grace but as vermin who threaten the very existence of your comfortable Christian subculture." And who could forget the seven essential truths of the Gospel: - You are amazing. - God really needs you on His team. - God is love and has absolutely no other distinguishing attributes. - Jesus died for your temporary comfort and security. - Did we mention you're amazing? - The God of the Bible would never do anything you would personally disagree with. - Those who conform to cultural Christianity will be justified. The end goal of all this is to follow "the proper progression of true religion. First, you work on appearing outwardly holy with the help of your exciting, event-fueled church and your impeccable online profile. Then, you become actually holy in your personal life by following a nearly infinite list of man-made dos and don'ts dictated by culture, far above and beyond what the Scriptures teach, as you grasp toward Christian perfection." Ouch!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    Satire is great, and the Bible uses tons of it. But the Bible also delineates how satire should be employed. Most, if not all, of the time, biblical writers employ satire as a rhetorical device to drive home a point, to get people to change. In the Bible, although there is a lot of satire, there is not a lot of satire that we directly laugh at. Instead, we're called to repent and rethink. I don't think many are going to be rethinking their lives after reading the Babylon Bee's How to be a Perfec Satire is great, and the Bible uses tons of it. But the Bible also delineates how satire should be employed. Most, if not all, of the time, biblical writers employ satire as a rhetorical device to drive home a point, to get people to change. In the Bible, although there is a lot of satire, there is not a lot of satire that we directly laugh at. Instead, we're called to repent and rethink. I don't think many are going to be rethinking their lives after reading the Babylon Bee's How to be a Perfect Christian. This being said, I started out with a neutral impression, but then begin to view the book pretty negatively. As I was reading it, I found that the book pulled some good punches. I laughed out loud at many parts. In fact, I found myself enjoying the read, and I would probably recommend this book to others, even if I wouldn't read it again myself. But there are definitely cringe sections, and some topics are needlessly long when they would've had a letter comedic effect being short. The reason why no one is going to change from reading this book is that every single "argument" (joke-argument) that the book makes is essentially a straw man. I know that much of satire is this way, but no straw man will actually make a person rethink their lives. I have entertained the idea of writing a satire on many different times and on many different occasions to make a point, but usually, I talked myself out of it, because no one will actually take it to heart. In addition, I've found that satire hides behind a "veil of comedy" where you're not allowed to seriously criticize because it's "just a joke". Some are probably wondering why I'm doing a takedown on satire on one book review. These are just the thoughts that this book has brought into my mind, and I think it will benefit all of us who read this book to also think more carefully about using our words carefully for edification. Overall this book was decent, funny, but frustrating because I saw all the punches they were throwing but they all missed.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Being of Dutch descent, I grew up in the Reformed faith. (If you read this book, you'll know what THAT means.) One of my mother's favorite Dutch words was “sputten.” It was tossed my way when ever I was irreverent or flippant about spiritual things. “Quit your sputten,” she'd say. We took our faith seriously. Even though my mother has long been in heaven, it was with some trepidation that I agreed to review this book. Satire is an acquired taste, I think. Christian satire may be even harder to ap Being of Dutch descent, I grew up in the Reformed faith. (If you read this book, you'll know what THAT means.) One of my mother's favorite Dutch words was “sputten.” It was tossed my way when ever I was irreverent or flippant about spiritual things. “Quit your sputten,” she'd say. We took our faith seriously. Even though my mother has long been in heaven, it was with some trepidation that I agreed to review this book. Satire is an acquired taste, I think. Christian satire may be even harder to appreciate. And that is what this book is full of. It is all tongue in cheek. It makes fun of the odd and man made ways some Christians think about Christianity and living the Christian life. It pokes at cultural Christianity. It jabs at flashy TV preachers. It points to us all. So what would be the benefit of reading this book? If you practice a sort of reverse thinking, there is much one can learn from it. For example, “Never let the Scriptures challenge your way of thinking,” hopefully challenges us to, in fact, let the Scripture challenge our thinking. ( 125) The description of God: “He votes Republican, loves football, and is suspicious of non-Americans and people with brown skin,” I hope challenges us to seriously think about our own concept of God. (128) Can anything good come out of The Babylonian Bee? (In the style of Nathanial in John 1:46.) If you love the kind of humor that makes fun of the crazy aspects of Christianity, you'll love this book. If you are a fan of Christian satire, you'll love this book. If, like me, you were taught to not make light of our precious faith, you can still benefit from reading this book. It just may make you hurt or weep more than it makes you laugh. That The Babylonian Bee has so much material with which to work is itself a commentary on the condition of Western Christianity. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Written by my teenage son: This book is an ingenious collection of satirical quips and sarcastic remarks that both vastly amuse the reader and shine a humorous light on the Christian culture’s au fait trends. It doesn’t hesitate to poke fun at denominational traditions nor the ‘public’ life that revolves around social media. In an entirely fun and comedic way, How to Be a Perfect Christian displays (not in a shy or reserved way) the quirky and somewhat odd activities and beliefs of mainstream Chr Written by my teenage son: This book is an ingenious collection of satirical quips and sarcastic remarks that both vastly amuse the reader and shine a humorous light on the Christian culture’s au fait trends. It doesn’t hesitate to poke fun at denominational traditions nor the ‘public’ life that revolves around social media. In an entirely fun and comedic way, How to Be a Perfect Christian displays (not in a shy or reserved way) the quirky and somewhat odd activities and beliefs of mainstream Christians. Its ultimate underlying message, although funny in its pursuit is to point out, is that the journey to becoming ‘the perfect Christian!’ isn’t about what you look like, what church you go to, or even what you post on your Facebook and Twitter accounts that matters. But for who you decide to live your life for: your own righteous self and to the glorious end of making other people wish they were as holy and flawless as you or that Jesus fellow you follow. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own. https://pausefortales.blogspot.com/20...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zak Schmoll

    I can't believe I had been doing it wrong for so many years! Why continue down the narrow path when perfection is so much easier to attain thanks to this book by The Babylon Bee? When The Babylon Bee was younger (and before it was sold), they used to provide some stellar critiques of Christian culture. The website itself has gone in a much more political direction lately (which is still hilarious), but this brought me back to some of the stuff that made me fall in love with this website in the fi I can't believe I had been doing it wrong for so many years! Why continue down the narrow path when perfection is so much easier to attain thanks to this book by The Babylon Bee? When The Babylon Bee was younger (and before it was sold), they used to provide some stellar critiques of Christian culture. The website itself has gone in a much more political direction lately (which is still hilarious), but this brought me back to some of the stuff that made me fall in love with this website in the first place. Obviously this book is satire. However, the key to good satire is that it is built on a kernel of truth. We do have hypocrisy problems in Christian culture. We do have a tendency to want a church that is all about us. We do worry a lot about the external trappings of our church rather than its spiritual health. This book is hilarious and a lot of fun although, given our current climate, someone will be offended by it. However, loosen up a little bit, like in the mirror, laughter little bit, and then maybe make some changes when the satire hits a little bit close to home.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    What's the key to being a perfect Christian? You need to remember that it's all about you. In this guide, you'll get tips on finding a church that caters to your beliefs and spiritual needs. You'll learn how to keep your fellowship at the surface level so that no one learns enough about you to see what a mess your life really is. Best of all, you'll learn how to use your Christianity as a tool to call out non-believers, vilify people who vote differently than you do, and protect your family from What's the key to being a perfect Christian? You need to remember that it's all about you. In this guide, you'll get tips on finding a church that caters to your beliefs and spiritual needs. You'll learn how to keep your fellowship at the surface level so that no one learns enough about you to see what a mess your life really is. Best of all, you'll learn how to use your Christianity as a tool to call out non-believers, vilify people who vote differently than you do, and protect your family from imperfect Christians and heathens. In the satirical tradition of their popular website, The Babylon Bee has created something hysterical in its ridiculousness. This book pokes fun at the odd (and sometimes un-Christian) behavior and thinking of modern Christian culture. The authors make sure to lace the mocking with traces of Biblical truth, which beautifully contrasts the objects of their humor. They even manage to proclaim the true gospel in the final chapter, though still in the form of satire. Overall, this book is brilliant, and calls out the modern church on things that need to be called out. I received an advanced copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    I purchased this book because I wanted some helpful sarcasm to cause me to see any foolishness that might be in my own Christian life. I got what I wished for! I’m personally very thankful for the final six chapters. (Personally, I thought the first four were weaker and more pointed outside of evangelicalism). But that’s just my estimation. The final chapters stung in a good way at points. And, I loved the last chapters way of moving to the gospel. I recommend the book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    "How to Be a Perfect Christian" is a book of satire. Total satire. Some points I found humorous -- * references to "doing life together" (a current phrase I hear a lot that I find grating) * "An advanced form of doing life together is to get the church to sponsor a hobby by labeling it as a ministry" -- ha -- our family has discussed this very issue and have seen it play out. * riff on Awana, with the Sparks badges and "revered Timothy award" were funny, since I've had three kids go through the pro "How to Be a Perfect Christian" is a book of satire. Total satire. Some points I found humorous -- * references to "doing life together" (a current phrase I hear a lot that I find grating) * "An advanced form of doing life together is to get the church to sponsor a hobby by labeling it as a ministry" -- ha -- our family has discussed this very issue and have seen it play out. * riff on Awana, with the Sparks badges and "revered Timothy award" were funny, since I've had three kids go through the program. Overall though, what I discovered in this book is that satire goes down better in small doses. An entire book of all satire becomes tiresome and not funny -- to me, at least.

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