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What’s So Funny About God?: A Theological Look at Humor

Author(s): Steve Wilkens
Publisher: IVP Academic
Price: $2.99       (June 29-30)
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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.

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