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From The New Yorker

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From the Onion: God Announces Plans To Shift Majority Of Resources Tied Up In Humanity Project To Birds, Rocks

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THE HEAVENS—Telling reporters it would be a more worthwhile enterprise in the long run, God, Our Lord And Heavenly Father, announced plans Monday to shift the majority of the resources tied up in His humanity project to birds and rocks. “I feel like I’ve kind of hit a wall with humanity and this is probably as far as it can go, but I have some exciting new ideas for rocks and birds that I’m really looking forward to exploring,” said The Creator of All Things, adding that He felt human beings had “pretty much run their course” at this point before explaining His intention to give promising rocks such as sandstone and gneiss the consideration they deserve and finally furnish birds with the longer beaks He previously did not have the opportunity to bring into being. “At this point, it makes more sense to devote my time and energy to developing a fourth classification of rock beyond igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary, or maybe a bird with big tentacles, because humanity really isn’t worth any further investment. It would simply be wasteful to dedicate additional effort to humans when rocks and birds have so much more promise.” God went on to say that His job was already immensely more satisfying now that He was working on what He was actually passionate about.

Calling a Thing What It Is: Ruminations with Lemony Snicket, Pt 3

Oh no. Another Snicket quote. This, from The Slippery Slope:

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Deciding on the right thing to do in a situation is a bit like deciding on the right thing to wear to a party. It is easy to decide on what is wrong to wear to a party, such as deep-sea diving equipment or a pair of large pillows, but deciding what is right is much trickier. It might seem right to wear a navy blue suit, for instance, but when you arrive there could be several other people wearing the same thing, and you could end up being hand-cuffed due to a case of mistaken identity. It might seem right to wear your favorite pair of shoes, but there could be a sudden flood at the party, and your shoes would be ruined. And it might seem right to wear a suit of armor to the party, but there could be several other people wearing the same thing, and you could end up being caught in a flood due to a case of mistaken identity, and find yourself drifting out to sea wishing that you were wearing deep-sea diving equipment after all. The truth is that you can never be sure if you have decided on the right thing until the party is over, and by then it is too late to go back and change your mind, which is why the world is filled with people doing terrible things and wearing ugly clothing, and so few volunteers who are able to stop them.

Tim Tebow’s Big God

Tim Tebow’s Big God

I’d be thrilled to have Tim Tebow as a son-in-law if my daughters weren’t spoken for. Look at him, he’s pretty perfect. Listen to him, he’s pretty easy to like. At ESPN HQ in Bristol, Connecticut, word is that everyone who works there with him loves him. He’s a super nice, cute, likable dude. I’m a Harry Connick Jr. fan too–best American Idol judge of all-time, and I watched all the seasons. So, this little exchange should be “can’t miss,” correct? Actually, that would depend on your definition of “Big God.” Take a listen:

Did you catch all that? Tim Tebow…

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On Being Outsiders…and Not Quite Bulletproof

On Being Outsiders…and Not Quite Bulletproof

Just wanted to let you know you can all calm down: I figured out the Election of 2016.

Okay, maybe I didn’t “figure it out” so much as “choose the theory I find least disquieting among all the ones being thrown around right now.” The narrative of this election, after all, is being told and retold all over social and traditional media. There seems to be no escaping the countless voices clamoring to be heard, the opinions on why the winner won and the loser lost. One of the refrains that caught my eye early, though, and still sticks, is that so many…

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A Little Post-Thanksgiving Humor

Courtesy of Thanksgiving Day episode of The Mockingcast:

A Quick Calvin and Hobbes

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A Gracious Misdirection: Humor as a Fruit of the Gospel

The following is excerpted from the “Fruits of the Gospel” chapter in Mockingbird’s Law & Gospel: A Theology for Sinners and Saints, available on Amazon or through our own store, here

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If the Gospel is ever experienced for the ridiculous good news that it is, then laughter is soon to follow it. And this is mostly because humor is, in part, an expression of relief. Steve Brown describes it perfectly in his story about a woman who, after years of hiding a moment of infidelity from her husband, suddenly feels the (spontaneous!) need to admit it to him. Though nervous, she decides to do it.

“I saw her the next day, and she looked fifteen years younger. ‘What happened?’ I asked. ‘When I told him,’ she exclaimed, ‘he replied that he had known about the incident for twenty years and was just waiting for me to tell him so he could tell me how much he loved me!’ And then she started to laugh. ‘He forgave me twenty years ago, and I’ve been needlessly carrying all this guilt for all these years!’ Perhaps you are like this woman who had been forgiven and didn’t know it.”[1]

Her laughter is the laughter of the forgiven. It stems from a simultaneous flood of relief (“He forgave me twenty years ago!”) and a corresponding lack of self-seriousness (“How ridiculous that I carried this around for so long?”). A sense of humor comes from the ridiculousness of your happy outcome, and the fact that it had nothing to do with you.

Humor and hyperbole are, then, delicate ministers of God’s good relief. In various ways, either through satire or self-deprecation, humor is a way of uncoupling the truth from its sting. It is a way of including oneself on the wrong side of the righteousness equation. It is a delightful willingness to be wrong, because you can afford to be. It also allows us the privilege of disarming the stings against us, to find humor in things around us that might have offended or wounded us before.

Humor can also be used as a form of gracious misdirection. It is a chance for the forgiven to put on a clown suit in love, for the sake of deflecting another’s judgment. This is precisely what Christ does for the woman caught in adultery, lining out a distracting drawing in the sand for her team of accusers (Jn 8:6). If we are so lucky, we experience the same willingness to play the fool, to feel the great pricelessness of God’s wonderful gift, and thus to ham it up at no cost to anyone.

In the realm of the Law, we must keep face. In the realm of the Gospel, we can laugh at our own faces in the mirror. In the realm of the Law, we must tediously craft emails with the right balance of seriousness and brevity. In the realm of the Gospel, we’re free to say precisely the ridiculous thing that comes to mind, without fear of what brand of trouble our words may bring. While the Law incites us to point our fingers at others in blame, the Gospel provokes us to return the pointing finger back to our chest, and shrug our shoulders, and laugh at the absurdity.[2]

[1] “The Laughter of God,” When Being Good Isn’t Good Enough (Keylife, 2014).

[2] Surely humor is part of what is meant by the meaning of pure love “casting out fear” (1 Jn 4:18). When we are out of the realm of fear, we are into the realm where self-ridicule is easy.

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Insane Clowns Ain’t Got Nothing On an Insane Mother

Insane Clowns Ain’t Got Nothing On an Insane Mother

If you were a child in the 1980s, then you probably heard terrifying rumors about devil worshipers in the woods. Remember? They sacrificed your pets and danced around fires? Remember how no one ever actually saw this happening but we were all terrified?

Well, consider this post a warning to all those fools running around in scary clown costumes. Y’all better not be real. Because if I get word that you are anywhere in the vicinity of my children, I will hunt you down and kill you. Best to consider this piece of writing exhibit A in my trial for your murder.

I…

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The Onion Reports: 50% Of Heaven’s Population Just Assholes Who Begged For Forgiveness At Last Second

Just when I thought they had run out of gas… Click here to read the whole thing:

landscape-1463345474-screen-shot-2016-05-15-at-214845WASHINGTON—According to an alarming new report published Monday, roughly half the population of Heaven is composed of total assholes who begged for God’s forgiveness at the last moment before dying. “Our data show that 50 percent of the inhabitants of the Heavenly Kingdom were total… sleazebags on Earth who waited until their very final breath to plead with God for mercy,” said report co-author Janet Ryder, adding that a survey of celestial records confirmed that one of every two residents of the eternal paradise willfully lived sinful existences and shamelessly committed immoral acts before seeking clemency in the closing seconds of their lives. “What we found particularly interesting is that those who truly committed themselves to God by leading lives of virtue and doing good works are actually outnumbered by hate-filled scoundrels, petty criminals, and murderers who humbled themselves before the Lord and turned from their wicked ways at the last possible moment to con their way into Heaven.”

From The New Yorker

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Life Is Too Politicized When Seth Meyers Stops Being Funny

Life Is Too Politicized When Seth Meyers Stops Being Funny

Abraham Kuyper once said that there’s not a microbe in the universe that Christ doesn’t look at and declare “mine”. It feels like American political combative discourse makes the same claim today. Whether it’s chicken sandwiches or late night television, everything is turning shades of red and blue, which will likely lead to us all becoming increasingly black and blue.

I’m a political person. I’ve donated money to a presidential candidate this year. I watch lots of cable news, I sometimes take perverse delight in the combative rhetoric. I’d like to say political infotainment is a guilty pleasure, but I feel…

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