Kansas City, MO—In a hopeful move for the future of quality religious writing, scores of contemporary Christian wordsmiths have rallied behind what promises to be a whole new way in which the kingdom of God can irrupt into this fallen world: satirical blogging.
This week marked the launch of The Leek, a radically iconoclastic Christian website that loftily aspires to lampoon evangelical foibles, hoping to root them out and make way for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in congregations across America. In this bold endeavor, The Leek’s writers and editors have assumed the mantle passed on by church luminaries through the ages. Through incisive pieces that aim to prick the church’s conscience over its potluck obsession and turn our collective hearts to repentance about hokey email sign-offs, these social-media visionaries are natural heirs to the Basils, Augustines, Anselms, and Pascals of past eras.
Finding little audience for and feeling creatively restrained by the strictures of drab discursive analysis or dense literary fiction, these modern-day Christian Juvenals have chosen instead the sarcastic path less traveled.
In an age bereft of entertainment and saturated by abstruse deliberation and punctilious analysis, these courageous countercultural writers embody the Apostle Paul’s charge to resist conformity to this world. They are jumping headlong into the humor void to remind American evangelicals that there are, indeed, a plethora of quirky aspects of our subculture that we must recognize and publicly mock.
Citing the challenges of retaining hope in this fallen world, editor Seth Brown explains that the purpose of The Leek is to seek out elements of the evangelical subculture that are already farcical but that have not yet been roundly ridiculed, bringing eschatological irony to bear on those aspects of our world in most desperate need of it.
Well aware of Christ’s charge in Matthew 28 for his followers to provide hope and light to a dying world, these writers have decided to answer the need subversively—by not addressing it at all. “I know people are spiritually starving to death,” said Jane Lassiter, who recently left her post at Wycliffe Global Alliance to become a modern-day prophetic purveyor of levity. “But I think what they need even more than illuminating truth is a good belly laugh. The peccadillos and idiosyncrasies of the Christian subculture provide a veritable treasure trove of resources to do this impeccably. A merry heart does good like a medicine, after all!”
Thinking along these same lines, other believers have jettisoned their university press contracts for the exciting opportunity to have a by-line at The Leek. “What?” defensively asked John Small whose previous tomes weighed heavily in academic debates against naturalism and scientism. “More people will read my blogs than my books anyway.” Readers of The Leek agree. “The apostle Paul was a good writer; he’d have killed at this kind of thing,” expressed Sam Sawyer who relishes seeing insufferable derogation transmogrified into an art form.
But does the satire do much good, reaching its intended target? “Sure! Good satire is an effective way at providing social commentary,” another enlightened virtual-Jonathan-Swift-wanna-be who’s seen the light added. “For example, the other day my article was like, ‘So what’s up with people always sitting in the same pew in church?’ And a few weeks ago, I offered compelling implicit commentary on how many times worship songs get repeated in services. And recently a friend ripped on Christians who are bad tippers. That’s golden, man! Christians really need to learn to laugh at themselves.”
At press time, Thomas Nelson was increasing its Bible-production-output in preparation for the imminent nation-wide revival The Leek’s launch is bound to spark.