not merely superfluous, but ridiculous
this post was originally published on my Goodreads account.
Clearly written and deeply relevant, this book is an account of how an aspiring stand-up comic and entertainer whose gifts lay in hosting and headlining, “making people focus on the main attraction,” became an ordained pastor, headlining for the biggest act of all. And don’t worry, you won’t find any metaphors in this book that are nearly as tortured as that last sentence. On the contrary, Herships’s style is straightforward and clear while still being engaging and entertaining. The language avoids the empty platitudes that litter much Christian nonfiction, while also steering clear of the overstylization of the New Yorker school: if you’re used to books where every chapter begins with comprehensive description of a nondescript geographic location, you may be pleasantly surprised at the directness of the writing here. The only issues are a few instances of unexplained allusions that may go over the head of a non-churchgoer (make sure you are familiar with the Lesson of the Widow’s Mite before you read this).
Herships’s church, After Hours, meets in bars around Denver every Monday to drink, have fellowship, and make bag lunches for those in need, who receive them in Civic Center Park the next day. Full disclosure: I have attended these meetings in the past and will do so in the future. While I suspect I’m temperamentally much closer to the regular churchgoers that Herships is not too concerned with reaching, the community and sense of purpose After Hours has continues to bring me back, and Herships evokes both of these in the pages of his book. We get the sense of searching for a purpose, and the effort of pursuing that purpose once we have found it. I hope you put down this book with a desire to undertake virtuous and true labor.