It is sometimes lamented that evangelicals take themselves too seriously and don’t have a sense of humor. If that’s true in general, then authors Ted Kluck and Zach Bartels are striking exceptions to that rule. In his many books, Kluck has established himself as one of the wittiest evangelical writers today, even when writing on serious subjects, such as the emergent church movement (Why We’re Not Emergent) and adoption (Hello, I Love You). Kluck recently teamed up with Bartels for some rollicking satire in Kinda Christianity, which parodies emergent types and their theo-cultural kin. Now Kluck and Bartels have returned to parody their own theological community with Younger, Restlesser, Reformeder. As Reformed guys themselves, Kluck and Bartels know their subject well, and they’re not afraid to parley every foible of the new-Calvinist movement into a gut-busting gibe.
Like any good lampoon, RRR is not just funny but insightful. The authors are remarkably observant and, with the help of Bartels’ hilarious cartoon illustrations, give us a thorough review of the contemporary Reformed subculture in all its often ridiculous splendor—including fashion tendencies, political convictions, on-line behavior, courtship, and attitudes toward media and entertainment. They even provide a detailed formula for computing one’s RQ (Reformed Quotient). While, like the rest of the book, this is totally tongue-in-cheek, I was struck by how accurate it actually was. (I am Reformed myself and have run in Reformed circles for more than three decades.)
If you’re Reformed, this book needs to be on your shelf, probably somewhere between Calvin’s Institutes and your John Piper collection. I guarantee you’ll laugh yourself silly. That is, unless you take yourself too seriously and don’t have a sense of humor.