Book Review: I Became a Christian and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt

30 06 2008

Most Christian books I’ve read on spiritual growth are either filled with trite Christianese touchy feel good stuff or heady intellectual approaches that leaves me rereading pages. This is neither….it’s a book even a guy will read. Vince Antonucci’s conversational and humorous approach to the adventure of following Christ will have you laughing one moment and challenged the next. Numerous times, I literally laughed out loud in public. People, it’s THATS funny! I couldn’t put this book down (which is not normal for me).

Raised by a Jewish mother and a professional gambler father, Vince didn’t hear about Jesus until college. Through his numerous vulnerable and transparent personal stories, he exposes some of the commons pitfalls and misconceptions of Christianity and returns us to a life of honestly following Christ that is intimate, authentic and life changing.

“Little Emily looks cute in her souvenir shirt that proclaims, “My parents went to Florida and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.” But there’s something sad about it too. She missed the journey. She didn’t get to take part in the adventure. While others broke out of their dull routine, Emily missed the excitement of doing something different. She didn’t get to play in the waves or hug Mickey. She didn’t get to experience the joy. Even the horrifying incident when the tire blew out and Stan, the self-proclaimed “Good Samaritan Redneck,” rescued the family in his Sanford and Son pickup truck has quickly become a fond memory for everybody. Everyone except Emily. She missed the journey.

As I’ve gone to church and met Christians and lived as one myself, I’ve realized something. We are Emily.

When I read about the lives of the first Christians in the pages of the New Testament I see people who actually went “on vacation to Florida,” who truly experienced the ups and downs of the trip. But when I look around at Christians today, I see people who just wear a T-shirt for an adventure they’ve missed out on. We’re missing the journey. We’re stuck in the same dull routine. We’re missing out on the joy and fear and laughter and doubt and mystery and confusion of following Jesus, of taking great risks for God, of praying dangerous prayers, even of being spiritually attacked…

So why are so many Christians disappointed? Is it possible that we, like Emily, are missing out on the journey? Is Jesus calling us to live life with authentic spiritual passion, but we’re just wearing the T-shirt, practicing a souvenir religion?

If your content with a plastic, bored and unengaged approach to Christ, DON’T READ THE BOOK. But if you want to lose the T-Shirt and discover the adventure of a life with Jesus, pick it up. It’s a great summer read to ignite your walk with Christ.




One response

30 06 2008

hey – this is vince (the author of that book). thanks so much for your kind words! don’t know if y ou know, but there are all kinds of (free!) resources for churches (or small groups, or youth groups) that want to do a series on the book, available at

thanks again and glad you enjoyed it! – vince

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