The Happy Rant: Wandering To and Fro Through Some Things That Don’t Matter All That Much (and a Few That Really Do)

Ted Kluck, Ronnie Martin, and Barnabas Piper. Harvest House, $18.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-7369-8532-1

The Happy Rant podcasters Kluck (The Extraordinary Life of a Mediocre Jock), Martin (The Bride[Zilla] of Christ), and Piper (Help My Unbelief) hold court in these underwhelming dialogues on issues facing modern Christians. Presented as transcripts, the conversations cover such topics as evangelical celebrity, Christian fiction, and toxic masculinity while following the mantra “Take Jesus seriously, take our faith seriously, laugh at ourselves, and laugh at the absurdity in so much of Christian (and broader) culture.” The authors decry pastors who strive to seem hip, positing that truly “cool” people focus on humility and devotion to the Bible and the church. They also take on politics, lambasting the state of discourse: “Politics, in its current mutant form, has as much to do with issues of justice as Popeyes does with answering the question, Why did the chicken cross the road?” The humor, largely relegated to asides and footnotes, is more amusing than laugh-out-loud funny, and the authors’ aggrieved attitude comes across as bitter (“You’re white and north of 40, which means the only two ways to really be ‘okay’ culturally are to be either gay or British”). Aside from a few chuckles, this doesn’t deliver much. (Aug.)
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