What's So Funny About God?: A Theological Look At Humor
:If you don't believe God has a sense of humor, just look in the mirror. Humor is a truly human phenomenon-crossing history, culture, and every stage of life. Jokes often touch on the biggest topics of our existence. And...
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:If you don't believe God has a sense of humor, just look in the mirror. Humor is a truly human phenomenon-crossing history, culture, and every stage of life. Jokes often touch on the biggest topics of our existence. And although it may seem simple on the surface, humor depends on the use of our highest faculties: language, intelligence, sympathy, sociability. To the philosopher Steve Wilkens, these facts about humor are evidence that God just has to be in there somewhere. Yet many Christians, scholars and laypeople alike, haven't taken humor seriously. In What's So Funny About God? Wilkens launches an exploration of the connections between humor and many of the central topics of Christian theology. He argues that viewing Scripture and theology through the lens of humor brings fresh insight to our understanding of the gospel, helps us avoid the pitfalls of both naturalism and gnosticism, and facilitates a humble, honest, and appealing approach to faith. Wilkens turns this lens on the paradoxes of human nature, the Christian calendar, church life, and new readings of well-known biblical texts, including the book of Esther, the nativity narratives, and Jesus' own teachings. Taking into account the problems of suffering and the need for timely lament, he portrays the Christian story as one that ultimately ends in cosmic comedy. Full of wit and thoughtful jokes throughout, it's enough fun that you may not realize you're reading theology.
Steve Wilkens (Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary) is professor of theology and ethics at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. He has also taught as an adjunct faculty member at Mount San Antonio College, Glendale Community College, Fuller Theological Seminary and Azusa Pacific University's C. P. Haggard Graduate School of Theology.
His books include Good Ideas from Questionable Christians and Outright Pagans (2004), Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 2: Faith and Reason in the Nineteenth Century (co-authored with Alan Padgett, 2000); Beyond Bumper Sticker Ethics (1995) and Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 3: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century. He is also coeditor with Paul Shrier and Ralph P. Martin of Christian Calling, Christian College: Higher Education in the Service of the Church (2005).
- Introduction: Professional Courtesy
- 1. God Has To Be In There Somewhere
- 2. You May Not Have A Sense Of Humor, But You Are Funny
- 3. High Holy Days, Part One: Christmas
- 4. High Holy Days, Part Two: Easter
- Interlude One: Sarah Laughed Twice
- 5. Seeing God On Tuesday, Or Any Other Day That Ends In “y”: Extraordinary Ordinary Time
- 6. Going To Church With Bacon-eaters, Dead People, And Superheroes
- Interlude Two: Esther As Comedy
- 7. Does This Eschatology Make My End Look Big?
- Epilogue: Laughing With God During Earthquakes
- Scripture Index