Need a Good Laugh?, Troubling Tweets

Twitter Add-a-Word-Ruin-a-Christian-Book Bandwagon and Christian Unity

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Ok,  a really cool Twitter hashtag was the top Twitter trend over the last couple of days and Tweeters were keeping it going strong:   #AddaWordRuinaChristianBook

As of this writing, people are still at it.

Just like the hashtag says – to participate, just add a word to Christian book titles to entirely change the meaning.   Here are some funny ones I found:

Ed Stetzer decided to get more creative and added the titles to book covers:

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Screen shot 2013-10-08 at 5.35.09 PM

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This trend has been picked up by the media:

The best tweets from #AddaWordRuinaChristianBook trend, Religion News Service, by Sarah Pulliam Bailey

My Favorite #AddaWordRuinaChristianBook Tweets, Christianity Today, by Ed Stetzer

Why We Love ‘Add a Word, Ruin a Christian Book,’Christianity Today, Her.meneutics, by Kate Shellnut

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Kate Shellnut of Her.meneutics  observed some obvious tensions I observed:

Seriously, though, the great theorists of humor have often agreed that we laugh hardest and most about the things that make us uncomfortable, or that are otherwise taboo. We laugh about poop and we make jokes about death, and these things are right on the border of what we loathe, fear, or simply feel embarrassed by. Laughing lets a little bit of that tension go. And, of course, a lot of folks feel conflicted about God and about religion, and I think mocking Christian books is a little bit of a release valve for that tension. So for Reformed folks, Acne Break Out and I Declare Bankruptcy by Joel Osteen are guilty pleasures; for progressive evangelicals, Recovering FROM Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem releases another kind of tension. And books like He Touched Me Inappropriately by Benny Hinn release some of the ambiguity and frustration we feel about his deceitful antics in the name of God.

Another potentially awkward point in this venture was authors who also happen to be Twitter users saw their own book titles being transformed.  Josh Harris was one such author.  He was a great sport and even tweeted a few skewed titles from his own books:

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Screen shot 2013-10-08 at 5.08.27 PM

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I literally laughed out loud at scores of the tweets.  But what struck me today was seeing all of the diverse people tweeting from various denominations, from normal church attenders to church leaders and pastors in a united effort.  If so many people can get on board with the #AddaWordRuinaChristian Twitter trend causing it to be the #1 Twitter trend in the US, why can’t we get the same amount of enthusiasm and vigor with these folks when it comes to speaking out about abuse in church?

That said, we have some amazingly talented readers here.  As I was reading through the tweets, I was wondering what titles you would come up with.  Do you have any?

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48 thoughts on “Twitter Add-a-Word-Ruin-a-Christian-Book Bandwagon and Christian Unity”

  1. Those are funny! OK, how about…

    The Love Shack
    What’s So Amazing About Grace Kelly?
    The Fabric Remnant
    Courtney Love Wins


  2. Thank you! Got some more…

    The Hole In Our Gospel Tract
    90 Minutes In Doggie Heaven
    Blue Doesn’t Like Jazz
    Your Best Life Insurance Now
    The Cross and the Rubber Switchblade
    Why Nobody Wants To Go To Church Suppers Anymore


  3. Julie Anne,

    Just in case you aren’t dry-humoring me, its two books, Rob Bell’s “Sex God” as well as Piper’s “Desiring God.”


  4. More from John Piper:

    1. Does God Desire All Calvinists to be Saved?
    2. Does God Desire All “Pastors” to be Saved?
    3. Don’t Waste your Love Life
    4. Risk is Right: Better to Lose Your Love Life Than to Waste It
    5. This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Illusory Permanence
    6. When I Don’t Desire Piper’s God: How to Fight For Joy
    7. Future Grace: The Purifying Power of the Arbitrary Promises of God
    8. Future Grace: The Purifying-Fire Power of the Promises of God
    (Commentary: “Purify” is cognate with the Greek word πῦρ, pur or pyr, meaning fire)
    9. Think “Pre-Programmed”: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
    10. When the Darkness Will Not Lift: Doing What We Can (despairing) while We Wait for God—and Joy

    And on and on. . .


  5. O.K., one more by Piper:

    The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Narcissistic Delight in Being God


  6. Welcome, Christine! I saw that one and thought it was great! Traction or no traction, some of these are so funny. My readers are very witty, so I really wanted to see what they’d come up with.


  7. JA,



    Then, again, even if not intended, 3 titles derived from 2 isn’t bad. Glad you noticed.


  8. This is a variant of an old SF litfan game called “The Pizza Game”, where you substitute “Pizza” for keywords in a book/story/song title.

    Example: Harlan Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” becomes “I Have No Pizza and I Must Eat.”


  9. I am wondering if Setzer did all that on his 6 figure salary time at Lifeway using Lifeway resources?. He also pastors another new church plant where he has made it clear he does not do hospital visits or funerals. (those guys all double dip)


  10. Wow, I love this. SO funny. Tickles my English Lit major funnybone. PLUS, I think it’s a really good sign when we can laugh at ourselves…as a whole! Life can be just too serious sometimes!


  11. Lydia: Did you recently have any public dealings with Peter Lumpkins or J.D. Hall? JD Hall mentioned “Lydia” on a tweet and I was wondering if he was referring to you.


  12. Haiku? I dunno. Is that Japanese for sneeze?

    Desiring Calvin? I think in Piper’s case it’s probably more like Desiring Edwards, as in Jonathan. I remember Piper having made a point of pointing out that Edwards didn’t call himself (i.e. own up to being) a Calvinist. Seems Edwards claimed to have discovered what is essentially TULIP all by himself, with no help from Geneva.


  13. These are hilarious, Julie Anne! I love ’em. My fave is Dare to Discipline Congress.
    Here are some more…

    The Magic Kingdom of the Cults
    The Hiding Place for Children
    The Screwtape Letters of Resignation
    The Purpose Driven Life of Brian
    Evangelism Explosion Hiroshima Edition
    Left Behind the Barn
    Living on the Edge Cliff Notes
    Unwrapping This Present Darkness
    A Wrinkle in Time Bandits
    Basis Synchronistic Presbyterian Byzantine Orthodox Christianity
    What to Feed The Living Bible
    The Welterweight of Glory

    So much fun!!


  14. By CJ Mahaney:

    False Humility: True Romance Greatness
    Living the Cross Centered Life Insurance
    Don’t Waste Your Sports Bra
    Unnatural Sex, Romance Novels and the Glory Hole of God
    (Ok, I have to go repent of that last one now … JA, feel free to delete)


  15. HUG wrote:
    The Case of Beer for Faith

    Sounds Lutheran to me…

    Well, it could be Lutheran, but in my case, it’s probably just a reaction to years of Harold Camping. 😉


  16. CJ really grossed me out the way he broadcast his sex life so publicly – especially the bit about Carolyn “serving” him when she was dreadfully sick with morning sickness. Blech.


  17. from Piper:
    Elect Don’t Waste Your Life
    Finally Gender Roles Arrive
    Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die For A Few
    Rehabbing Biblical Cribs in the Hood

    from Joel Beeke:
    Living for God’s Glory: An Intro to Calvinism “Yeah Baby!”
    A Puritan Theology: A Doctrine “Which Pierces Tongues”
    Reformed Confessions Harmonized: “God Made Me Do It”
    Meet the “Persecuting” Puritans

    from Mark:
    “Driscoll” Doctrine: What “Visions” Christians Should Believe

    from James:
    Vertical Church “Pay Raises”
    Lord, Change My Attitude: Before It’s Too Late (made zero changes)
    When Life is Hard becomes When “365” Life Is Hard “for $500K”
    Authentic “Deep Pockets” (jives with book cover)
    Lord Change Me becomes Lord “Cha-Ching” Me

    from Dever:
    Nine Marks of a Stealthy Church


  18. I have many of those actual Piper books in my bookcase. 🙂

    Were James’ titles too harsh? 😉

    Reformed Confessions Harmonized: really should be:
    Reformed Confessions Harmonized: “God Made Me Do It in Stereo” lol


  19. Someone needs to come up with a few more using Mark Driscoll book titles.
    The only one I can come up with is (which isn’t too funny),

    Real Bad Marriage

    If anyone wants to play with Driscoll book titles, here they are (these are his actual book titles, not ones I’ve added words to):

    A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?

    Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ


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