By The Babylon Bee (Multnomah)
Jonathan Swift once said, “Satire is a sort of glass wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own.” If Swift is to be believed, evangelical readers will find much to laugh about in How to Be a Perfect Christian—but some may fail to realize the joke is on them.
Writers at the Babylon Bee website have filled Facebook feeds with The Onion-style satirical articles two years now, but this marks their first entry into the printed word. Tongue firmly planted in cheek, they seek to explain all the steps necessary to achieve spiritual perfection—or at least the appearance of it. By choosing a church that meets all your personal needs, showing off biblical knowledge to a small group, and keeping up spiritual appearances online, the authors assure you that in no time, you’ll be as spiritually pure as Jesus himself.
Faithful readers of the site instantly will recognize the trademark humor that pokes fun at everything from the innocent cultural quirks of evangelicalism to the hypocrisies that legitimately mar the faith. Whether the satire convicts as well as it entertains, as Swift indicates, is up to the reader.
Daniel Camp, pastor
Shiloh Baptist Church
By Rick Warren (Zonderkidz)
In God’s Big Plans for Me, Rick Warren pens an engaging Bible storybook based on his New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. Jody Langley’s artful designs draw readers of all ages into the pages, visually complementing and completing the stories.
The volume begins with Ephesians 1:11 and the Warren’s answer to the question, “What on earth am I here for?” He then relates 40 stories that move in Bible book order. Included are parables like the lost son as well as Psalms and John’s vision of heaven in Revelation. Each story opens with a foundational principle and closes with take-aways “something to think about, something to remember and a question to answer.”
Younger children, particularly preschoolers, are captivated by the detailed illustrations that show everything from bears and butterflies to Zacchaeus swinging sandal-shod feet from a tree. Early elementary schoolers find the stories easy to read aloud, except for names like Nebuchadnezzar.
Although created for children ages 4-8, Warren never writes down, and this book is appropriate for those who are new to church or learning English as a Second Language. In short, the Hillman clan gives the book a five-star rating and a big thumbs-up.
Sawyer, Tucker and Chandler Hillman, ages 9, 7 and 4, with their grandmother
Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president
Baptist General Convention of Texas