06/07/2013

Seriously Funny 2 (by Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas)

I thoroughly enjoyed the book ‘Seriously Funny’, by humorous writers Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas, so when I spotted that they had, at last, written a sequel, it was the work of a moment to put it on my wishlist. I received it for my birthday earlier in the year, and have just finished reading it.

While ‘Seriously Funny 2’ is hardly the most original title; the subtitle explains it a bit better: ‘More musings between two good friends on life, love and God’. That’s exactly what it is. Published as a series of letters between the two men - Plass in the UK, Lucas in the US - this book explores some of their thoughts on topics as diverse as depression, divine healings (or not), pretending to be holier than one really is, and working with unusual people. And a whole lot more.

There are regular forays into the Bible, with light and often humorous interpretations or explanations about things that are not always easy to understand. There are countless anecdotes from both Plass and Lucas; I assume they are at least based on truth, even though I’m pretty sure that this book is not in fact an exact replica of a series of correspondence, unless they wrote the letters with the express purpose of publishing them. Even then, I would imagine there’s some editing that took place.

Both these writers have a way of tackling a subject with self-deprecating stories, a tinge of ironic humour, and then - pow! - they get right to the core, expressing something in a new way, or perhaps, if not new, then a way that I needed to hear. Some of the letters were just mildly amusing, others thought-provoking, and some just made me heave a huge sigh of relief that I’m really quite normal. Or, at least, I’m in good company. Normality is vastly over-rated.

This is really written for Christians; but not so much for those who are quite certain where they stand, thank-you-very-much, or for those who know without a shadow of doubt what the Bible means, and how God heals (or indeed that he stopped healing a couple of thousand years ago). Or maybe it is written for them; perhaps it would be good for fundamentalists and cessationists and Calvinists and all those who are 100% committed to a particular part of Christianity to take a wider look at the reality of God’s love for mankind. And, in particular, for Adrian Plass and Jeff Lucas.

But for the ordinary, run-of-the-mill follower of Jesus, who often gets things wrong, and isn’t entirely sure what life is about, and regularly fails God, and finds church services mostly rather dull... this book is, to coin an over-used cliché a breath of fresh air. Or, at any rate, of slightly salty air that blows in from the sea and clears the brain.

Definitely recommended.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 6th July 2013

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