Cover Image: Being a Christian Without Being an Idiot!

Being a Christian Without Being an Idiot!

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

There are ideas in Christianity that have become “canon,” but are not really true. Some are from people being overzealous, others came from honest mistakes. Brad Stine address several of these in Being a Christian Without Being an Idiot!

I’ve been a fan of Brad Stine’s comedy for a long time, so I was eager to listen to this book. He is funny without being vulgar, but does not hold back against things that are wrong. This book tackles subjects that are causing harm within the church and hurting its ability to witness to people.

The energy that goes into his routines is present throughout the book. It is funny while still driving home a point. Though I laughed while listening, it made me think and look at my Christian life.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
It was ok. I liked how he added personal stories to his book. Just was not right for me but may be right for someone else.
Was this review helpful?
Brad Stine marches to his own beat!  Having watched him perform his stand up comedy act at a couple of Promise Keepers events almost twenty years ago I was interested in his deeper theological musings by listening to the audio version of his book "Being a Christian Without Being an Idiot.". Stine is able to keep his comedic voice while taking some surprisingly deep dives into his evangelical Christian faith.  I was surprised, enlightened, and find myself still thinking about many of his opinions (grounded soundly in the Word of God.)
I thank Mr. Stine for writing such a great book and for Net Galley for the opportunity to listen to the audio version...narrated by the distinctive voice of the author himself.
Was this review helpful?
First off, I hadn’t heard any of the Stine’s stand-up comedy, nor have I known of any Christian comics. I love stand-up, I love a good sense of humour and I’m a Christian, so this audiobook had me at the title! I’m happy the author narrated this himself, as I think the material would’ve suffered from your standard run of the mill audiobook narrator. That being said, Brad was hilarious. He makes you laugh AND think! I think some people out there may get offended here and there, but I personally took no offence. His wit and has intellect are equally sharp and it came through in his words and his delivery of them. Honestly, I think most Christians would benefit from hearing it. Even though I was given this by the publisher through NetGalley, I would gladly buy my own copy and recommend this to Christian friends. I’m hoping he’ll write and narrate more of these gems.
Was this review helpful?
One of my school teachers had said, "The world is like a fruit cake; it is incomplete without a few nuts in it." I believe this statement with all my heart and extend it to every religion too. Every single religion has at least a few believers who are nuts, no exceptions. So when a book openly declares then to be idiots, I was intrigued. I thus picked this book up out of sheer curiosity. The title made sense, so I wanted to see if the book made sense too. 

Brad Stine is not a pastor or biblical scholar. He is a stand-up comedian! He does not even use profanity or sexual humour in his stand-up routines because of his conservative Christian faith. He declares right at the start of the book that he won't use any biblical verses to substantiate his points (though he does resort to quoting verses a couple of times.) This makes him quite a unique author for the Christian faith genre.

The author focuses on need for being united Christians rather than fighting against each other within the faith. I loved many examples that he used to make his point such as the point about bullets and not guns being the true weapon (i.e. focus on intent and not object), understanding the difference between content and context,... Even the way he stated his opinion on homosexuality was impressive. I didn't agree with his opinion entirely but I loved how he put his point across without being insulting to homosexuals, something that many conservative Christians tend to do. When he said "Why have we chosen to demonize only this group for breaking up society when we continue to encourage live-in relationships, premarital sex, and divorces?", I felt like applauding. His overall approach to the topic seemed very practical rather than traditional. 

In fact, surprisingly to me, I found many wonderful quotes in this book, some of which really struck a chord:
- "We are living a life where our first response is anger instead of compassion, hate instead of love, and arrogance instead of humility."
- "God is under no obligation to do anything for us to prove himself to us."
- "A religious mind always finds others' sins more heinous than his own."
When you see me noting down quotes from an audiobook, you can understand that the book made quite an impact. I'm the kind who doesn't note down quotes even from physical books. 

There are plenty of hilarious moments in the book, as can be expected. Stine's humour is quite tongue-in-cheek and sarcastic without being offensive in most of the chapters. The audiobook was narrated by the author himself, and as such, he added a great deal of personal pizzazz to the experience. 

Of course, there were some opinions that I couldn't connect to. And not just because the book is directed mainly to Americans (though the rest of us will find many points of resonance.) Stine is a conservative evangelist while I'm a liberal Catholic. (Probably a bit too liberal for the author's liking.) But as Stine himself said in the last chapter - "You don't need to agree with everything I said" - I feel comfortable in making this declaration here: I would agree with about 70% of his thoughts wholeheartedly while the rest were too conservative for me to gel with. 

What I appreciated the most was the intent of the author: he isn't promoting a particular branch of Christianity, he isn't pushing down any other religion to tom-tom the Christian faith (Big points for this!), he isn't insisting that his knowledge is complete and accurate, he isn't proclaiming "Become a Christian to save yourself,... All he's doing is wishing for unity within Christians and living as per good biblical values. And that is an intent I really admire. To sign off, I'll use one line from the book that is directed at the "idiots" within the faith: "Stop embarrassing the rest of us by your idiotic actions." You know who you are!

Thank you, NetGalley and RB Media, for the Advanced Audio Review Copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?