I am so darned happy. People these days are writing about my favorite subjects in smart, quirky ways. I remember a year or more ago when Nadia Bolz-Weber announced on her blog that she'd gotten a book deal to watch and write about 24 straight hours of Christian television. I have to admit it was a project I wish I'd dreamed up just because it seems like so much fun.* Anyway, Bolz-Weber does a fabulous job of it. She even mentions the advertisements for the Holy Family Faberge-Style Egg!
Bolz-Weber is a self proclaimed "heavily tattooed Christian progressive from a liturgical denomination" (she's Lutheran--a "mission developer" at her church). So she proves to be a fascinating lens through which to view 24 straight hours of evangelical TV. To spice up the experiment she invites friends and strangers of all faiths, professions, and persuasions to join her. Bolz-Weber is not purely interested in TBN bashing; her TV hours do cause her occasion to turn the lens on her own tradition's weak spots. Yet, she does take a powerful anthopological approach to each show by giving us the "Round Up" at the end of the hour. In the round up, she lists # of OT passages cited; # of NT passages cited; Costs of products offered; Running total of products offered since she began her experiment (after 4 hours: $943.94); impression of God given during the show ("Sets up lots of tests and trials for you so that you can see who he is and earn a spiritual promotion"); and impressions of Jesus ("No mention (except in the ad to get people to sow a $70 seed)").
My husband and I have valued reading books aloud to one another since we got married 11 years go. This is the first book in YEARS that both of us wanted to read more than a few chapters in one sitting. We made it from Paula White Today (5:30 a.m.) all the way to Best of Praise the Lord (9:30 a.m.) in three hours of our date-night evening. It was hard to stop.
One other mention: This book is plugged by the author of another of my recent favorites: On the cover, AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically, writes, "Turn off your TV and read this book. It's enlightening and entertaining and it doesn't emit any radiation whatsoever."
*in a gleefully ironic sort of way