"The Inmates are Running the Asylum" is a collection of short, humorous vignettes about a variety of observations regarding parenting, sports, politics, etc. It's a relatively short, funny read with plenty of goofy, scatological humor (and for me personally it was a nice transition to having just finished Eric Metaxas's exhaustive biographical tome on the life of Bonhoeffer). The narrative in Stephen's book is a light, sometimes rambling manner with lots of silliness while making some good and sound points.
The parenting section that opens the book was cute although a little chaotic, with he idea being that despite our failings to be perfect parents ultimately our children will remember if we loved Jesus, and if we labored to teach them about Jesus in the home. One observation is that sometimes an idea is introduced and I would have been curious to hear a little more resolution, such as how Stephen mentions growing up home schooled yet his own kids are apparently in a school, and as a homeschooling father I would have been curious to learn more about why he decided to pursue that direction.
The section on christian music featured interesting bit of nostalgia, particularly about the early days of the compact disk (that I too remember vividly.) I honestly don't know much about Christian rock so the section was informative, and did have me curious to stream some dc Talk. The details of Stephen's own rock ambitions were pretty funny.
The Amish romance section was a riot, and I've shared the same puzzlement of the Christian bookstore being packed with shelves of these titles. I see no reason why his sample wouldn't be a potential best-seller. Only observation about the text. In the faux-book he has the character Samantha make the comment "I think Tobias Stoltzfus is rather plain and boring." Wouldn't plainness be a virtue in the stereotype Amish romance book?
There are some additional good thoughts and observations about the concepts of bucket lists and reality shows addressed in light of the gospel. The sports-themed sections didn't do much for me, as I'm really
not much of a sports fan. I vaguely know who Tim Tebow is, and I know at least about his facial verse thing (and an observation - it's really unnecessary to say about the verses "“3:16” printed on them, a reference to John 3:16." I think most anyone sees “3:16” and they associate it with the Bible) Anyhow, "Why do we Christians get so excited about guys like Tebow and Lin?" Well, I don't, so I just sort of breezed through these sections.
Stephen's ideas about the 'soulmates' concept were good, and how it's ultimately not a biblical concept and that "marriage is a covenant between two, imperfect, very flawed, sinful people." I think he's right on with this, and ultimately there's only one perfect person, Jesus Christ, and our marital compatibility comes through modeling our lives and our marriage after Christ.
There are more interesting observations about other topics such as evangelism, politics and even food additives and diet, and how these are to be seen through a Christian focus. As said initially, this is a pretty quick, light read with plenty of silly laughs along the way but ultimately offering a number of good Christ-oriented observations regarding different aspects of culture.
The cover freaks me out, by the way.
(incidentally, Amazon lists this as 68 pages, but it's actually 86. Still a quick read)