Christians need 'to tell the truth' - challenge from Adrian Plass's new book
Best-selling author Adrian Plass is challenging the UK church to be more truthful in his new book, Looking good, being bad - the subtle art of churchmanship, published this week by Authentic media. In what Plass describes as 'the neurotically positive world of evangelical Christianity' it is unusual to find a genuine satirist who operates, as it were, from the inside. Adrian Plass describes himself in the following terms: “I am a born again Christian – is there some other sort? – or a bigoted, narrowminded git, depending on your perspective. Looking Good, Being Bad: the Subtle Art of Churchmanship is a spiritual whistle-blowing exercise, designed to allow outsiders to laugh at aspects of the church that really are silly, and to persuade insiders to look more carefully at their own self-deceptive practices. The book purports to be an annual report from something called The College of Churchmanship, written and edited by its president, Professor Peter Caws (C.S. Lewis readers may mind a concealed significance in the name), and is inspired by Stephen Potter’s very funny Lifemanship books, published in the late forties and early fifties.'
Plass covers many areas, including the random and meaningless use of ‘pulpy words’ such as love, faith, grace, and obedience in exhortational addresses. He also parodies the modern obsession with producing versions of the Bible that are “relevant”. Moses’ encounter with God at the burning bush, for instance, is recast in teenage speak, so that God, who becomes ‘G-dog’, utters the immortal line, “Talk to the bush, ‘cos the face ain’t listening…” Wilder flights of imagination have produced the Armpit Angel Voice Sound System and the Automated Arm Raiser, illustrated within the text by Anna Danby.