In honor of St. Patrick’s Day…
I will explain Calvin’s view on the Holy Spirit’s sense of humor, but first a few jokes:
Knock Knock. Who’s there? Annie. Annie who? Annie way you can Let me in now? (badum – chhh!)
Puns and wordplay are often key ingredients in some really funny/witty jokes. Without wordplay life would be a lot less funnier. Apparently the John Calvin thinks that the Holy Spirit thinks so too. Check out what Calvin has to say about the Holy Spirit’s sense of humor in this commentary on the book of Philippians (referring to Philippians 3)
In the third term employed, there is an elegant play upon words. They boasted that they were the circumcision: he turns aside this boasting by calling them the concision, inasmuch as they tore asunder the unity of the Church. In this we have an instance tending to shew that the Holy Spirit in his organs has not in every case avoided wit and humor, yet so as at the same time to keep at a distance from such pleasantry as were unworthy of his majesty. There are innumerable examples in the Prophets, and especially in Isaiah, so that there is no profane author that abounds more in agreeable plays upon words, and figurative forms of expression.
So the Holy Spirit does have a sense of humor, and most of his jokes are of the wordplay variety. However, the Spirit always makes sure that there are no profane word plays, only pleasant ones that are worth of his majesty.
Every issue of First Things Magazine includes a section titled “While We’re At It.” In it editor R.R. Reno writes short, witty, and smart comments on current events. The section is filled with commentary that is too short to be an article but a little too long to be tweetable. Today I give you the best of this month’s “While We’re At It.”
Commenting on Andrew WIlson’s “Twenty Five Bloggers in One Sentence”
Wilson has a take on other First Things regulars. Carl Trueman: “No one after tasting Old Calvinism desires new, for he says ‘the Old is better.’” I think that’s best understood as the Scotch whiskey principle of theology. Peter Leithart: “I wouldn’t have a problem with Protestants if they were all like me.” Wait isn’t that the first principle of Protestantism?
Commenting on Union Theological Seminary’s Investment Strategies
Union Theological Seminary here in New York has taken a stand. It’s divesting from fossil fuels. Investment chairman Michael Johnston intones, “Climate change is affecting this globe. It’s killing people, and its going to destroy what the world looks like as we know it. As a seminary we have a moral obligation to no longer profit from the production of fossil fuels.” Presumable that means divesting from companies that are engaged directly in coal, gas, and oil exploration and production, not their use. After all, the latter would entail divesting from the modern economy as a hole since so many companies gain a distinct advantage from using gas powered trucks rather than horse-drawn wagons, thus profiting from the production of fossil fuels.
Conceits about “fossil fuel” divestment aside, what comes through loud and clear is moral self-congratulation. Seminary President Serene Jones: “As a seminary dedicated to social justice, we have a critical call to live out our values in the world. Climate change poses a catastrophic threat, and as stewards of God’s creation we simply must act.” Indeed, and one thinks of the catastrophic threat posed by our all-too-human anger, bitterness, greed, lust, and will to power. But worry not, rumor has it that the trustees of Union Theological Seminary are considering resolution to divest from the human condition. (Note: I case you missed the punch line – they already have with the denial of original sin.)
Regarding F.A. Hayek’s “Anti-Conservatism”
F.A. Hayek observed that conservatism has little of no place – or at least no positive place – for change. “It has for this reason, been the fate of conservatism to be dragged along a path not of its own choosing.” True, but do we ever reliably go down paths of our own choosing? Take life as an example. The path toward death isn’t one I’ve chosen, and dragging my feet to slow my way toward that destination strikes me as exactly the right reaction. When it comes to death, I’m very reactionary.
I haven’t really made it a practice of reading these types of books, much less reviewing them, however my brain has been fried from a lot of intense work these past few months and I really needed a break. I needed to read something that wouldn’t stress me out. So I acquired a copy of Jim Gaffigan’s Dad is Fat. They say laughter is the best medicine, that definitely is not true, laughter won’t cure cancer or a broken leg, or broken ribs (actually laughter is the worst kind of medicine if you have broken ribs), however when it comes to stress laughter works wonders. This book had me laughing out loud the whole time.
Jim Gaffigan, as you probably already know, is the stand up comedian famous for his “hot pocket” routine. Yes the hot pocket bit does show up in the book, but it doesn’t play a major role in the plot line. Actually, there is no plot line in this book, it’s a collection of “essays” (can I even call them essays, essays sounds so formal and academic), about family life. They are mainly humorous observations of what it looks like to be a father of 5 in New York City. He shares with you, the reader the joys and horrors of raising 5 kids, who never want to sleep, in the city that never sleeps.
Among his “essays” one of my favorites was “Oh My God, You’re Pregnant?” in which he points out the absurdity of how people get surprised when they find out a celebrity is pregnant…
As human beings we end up acting like we are the first generation on this planet to deal with pregnancy. We are most shocked when really attractive, successful someone get pregnant. It’s unbelievable. “Did you hear Beyoncé got pregnant? Its almost as if she is a human being!
Another one of my favorites is his essay, “Toddlerhood.” He makes the keen observation that the more he thinks about it, adults are actually a lot like giant toddlers…
I think we are always unconsciously seeking to return to our early childhood. This is why we go to bars…Think of the last two times you had Jell-O. When you were three and when you were in that bar in Florida for spring break. Have you ever turned off lights in a room filled with children? They immediately start screaming and acting insane. Is it merely coincidence that lights are so low in bars? It’s just a license for adults to misbehave.
All in all this book had me laughing the whole time. And I’m pretty sure that if you pick it up you will be laughing as well.
Its made its way all over the internet as the next viral sensation, its been called a “classic” pregnancy announcement, it has been hailed as the epitome of viral marketing, its made its way around the office of our kids ministry department…
Watch as my co-worker and former classmate announce the newest member of their family:
I love valentines day! Not because I love the holiday itself, but because it generated some really good tweets. Two of the best Valentine’s day hashtags were #ActivistPickupLines and #AcademicValetines. Now that V-Day is officailly over here are some of the best tweets from those two hashtags.
Activist Pickup Lines
- I’d invite you over to my place, but I don’t believe in private property. #ActivistPickupLines – @SamWieseyes
- Would you like to redistribute resources by taking me out to dinner? #ActivistPickupLines – @Suey_Park
- If you’re asking for action, my answer is affirmative. #ActivistPickupLines – @ReadJerome
- I don’t mean to drone on and on but you made a strategic strike straight to my heart. #ActivistPickupLines – @drJ512
- Girl—sorry, girl is belittling. Woman—too patriarchal. And sorry I assumed you identify as female. I’ll just go. #ActivistPickupLines – @heretichusband
The Best #ActivistPickupLines is ……
If I said your body was subject to pernicious, patriarchal, media-constructed scrutiny, would you hold it against me?#ActivistPickupLines – @Geecologist
- “I’ve never seen bell curves as wonderful as yours.” #AcademicValentines – @ComDoc_H
- You spin me right round, baby right round Like a centrifuge #AcademicValentines – @SanaBau
- Do you believe in love at first cite? #AcademicValentines – @ExileonWainSt
- My love letter for you was vigorously peer reviewed
#AcademicValentines – @tmsRuge
- Would you like to be my *p<0.05 other?
#Academicvalentines – @babyattachmode
The Best #AcademicValentines is ……
How do I love thee? Let me deconstruct the ways. #AcademicValentines-@tumbulwead
And as a bonus here is a theological Valentine’s Day card… (via