Politics has long been an avenue for satire: the biting critique of observed behavior. Religion has also gone in for a fair turn from satirists (Dante anyone?), but it's interesting to note how religious folks really don't bear well under criticism. For those who proclaim that Christ died one and for all, we sure do take ourselves seriously and that seriousness and good American/Calvinist back-to-the-plough earnestness leaves religious folks open to all kinds of hucksters, shim sham artists, and just plain 'ol wackamoles.
Becky Garrison was a contributor to the now-defunct Wittenburg Door, the last good Christian satire magazine. She, however, trods on and in this book takes us along on a truly once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage, of sorts, between the Holy Land, comic con, a book convention or two, and Joel Osteen's Lakewood empire.
But the real gems in Garrison's book are the folks who are operating "under-the-radar", the "ordinary radicals" as she likes to call them. These are the people who aren't seeking the glitz and glamour of the American relgious scene, these are the folks doing the simple things of God, usually on a shoe-string or worse budget. It is for the discovery of these still, small voices that God calls reporters like Garrison to the field.
Pick up this book to check in on the state of the Church in America and in the world. There are some truly shining examples of Christ at work and Garrison's satire will help you know that you are not alone when shaking your head at something you see on TV or hear on the radio.
One final word on the Prosperity Gospel, it is fitting to note that Garrison piles on to the prosperity preachers with customary vigor but, in light of what is happening in that world at this moment, rather than see it as old news it is good to read these words as prophecies from a wondering sojournor who reminds us to be asking ourselves when writing a sermon, going to church, walking forth into the world, "Did Jesus really have to die for *this*?"