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A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking [Paperback]

By Douglas Wilson (Author)
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Item description for A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking by Douglas Wilson...

Overview
Satire is a kind of preaching. Satire pervades Scripture. Satire treats the foibles of sinners with a less than perfect tenderness. But, if a Christian employs satire today, he is almost immediately called to account for his "unbiblical" behavior. Yet Scripture shows that the central point of some religious controversies is to give offense. When Christ was confronted with ecclesiastical obstinacy and other forms of arrogance, he showed us a godly pattern for giving offense. In every controversy, godliness and wisdom (or the lack of them) are to be determined by careful appeal to the Scriptures and not to the fact of someone having taken offense. Perhaps they ought to have taken offense, and perhaps someone ought to have endeavored to give it.

Publishers Description
Satire is a kind of preaching. Satire pervades Scripture. Satire treats the foibles of sinners with a less than perfect tenderness.But, if a Christian employs satire today, he is almost immediately called to account for his "unbiblical" behavior. Yet Scripture shows that the central point of some religious controversies is to give offense. When Christ was confronted with ecclesiastical obstinacy and other forms of arrogance, he showed us a godly pattern for giving offense.In every controversy, godliness and wisdom (or the lack of them) are to be determined by careful appeal to the Scriptures and not to the fact of someone having taken offense. Perhaps they ought to have taken offense, and perhaps someone ought to have endeavored to give it.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Canon Press
Pages   121
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.74" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.32"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2003
Publisher   Canon Press
ISBN  1591280109  
ISBN13  9781591280101  


Availability  92 units.
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More About Douglas Wilson


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Douglas Wilson (MA, University of Idaho) is a pastor, a popular speaker, and the author of numerous books. He helped to found Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, and is currently a senior fellow of theology at New St. Andrews College. He blogs regularly at DougWils.com.



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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Humor > Satire, Classic
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Humor > Satire, General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General


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Reviews - What do customers think about A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking?

Excellent Work on Satire  Sep 23, 2004
Doug Wilson is an exceptional writer, and this book shows why. This book was written as a polemic for the use of satire in relation to others. Wilson is very humorous in this book. He is always humorous to read, but this book was exceptionally so.

Because many Evangelicals (including in the Reformed community) find it very offensive when someone uses satire to make a point, Wilson does an excellent job to show how that there actually is satire in scripture and that they did poke fun at people to proove a point. This can be a very valuable and effective tool when used in the biblical sense (as Wilson cogently shows).

For those who worry that this book advocates just ripping people to shreds and not carring about them, then that is mistaken. He even states this later on in the book that this is not the biblical attitude which we are to have. Overall, Wilson sets out to have a biblical and not an overly emotional and sensationalistic attitude as much of Evangelicalism suffers. This was a fun and easy book to read (I read it in one day).
 
Designed to shake things up  Dec 16, 2003
First, to the previous reviews...
'A reader from Canada' appears to be making an ad hominem attack against Wilson, commenting on a book he hasn't read: 'If the quotes from the reviewer below are accurate'.
It's not surprising that 'A reader from Kirkland' would hate this book, because one of Wilson's goals appears to be to force us to look beyond our pietistic memory of what the Bible says, and actually _read_ what it says.

As for Phil 3:8, the Greek word is 'skubalon', and Wilson's rendering appears quite reasonable (the KJV rendered it 'dung'). Instead of insisting that an apostle would never write such a thing, Wilson calls us to see the strength of the contrast Paul makes between the worth of knowing Jesus and all that he used to think important.

Wilson builds a solid case that satire and strong words are biblical, quoting from Jesus, Proverbs, the OT prophets, and Paul. The title indicates that he is well aware that satire is a weapon, and he is diligent in pointing out where it is and is not appropriate.

This book is, at times, laugh-out-loud funny. Even if you wouldn't use satire yourself, it's valuable to see just how much is in the Bible, and how well it is used. As for being nice, Jesus was not 'nice' to the Pharisees. Wilson suggests there might be a lesson for us all.

 
Well... Like it or not  Dec 3, 2003
Another highly entertaining and informative book by the Credenda Agenda gang. Thought provoking to say the least, but those with thin skin better look elsewhere.
 
Be imitators of Christ  Nov 11, 2003
As the subtitle suggests, this book is a Biblical defense of the use of satire. The author regularly uses this device to poke fun at various groups in his publication Credenda/Agenda (he's the editor and one of the main writers). My wife and I recently discovered this publication and disagreed over the use of often biting satire in it. We purchased this book to see his defense of its use.

This is not a straightforward, well structured, dry proof. Instead, the book is a pleasure to read and makes its case even though it meanders a bit. There is a clear discussion defining satire, chapters on the use of satire by Jesus, Paul, and others in the Bible, answers to common objections to the use of satire, instruction on the proper, biblical use of satire, and even a special section devoted to the satiric treatment of modern evangelicals (not necessarily in that order).

We found this work very helpful and are convinced by the argument in favor of the use of satire. Two concerns we had about satire were answered: 1) that satire is not loving, but gives offense and 2) Jesus did use satire but that doesn't mean we should. The answer to the first is that satire can be loving in giving Biblical offense. The answer to the second is to ask the basis on which we pick and choose how to imitate Jesus and whether that standard is Biblical.

I only give four stars (and would prefer to give 4.5) because there are several sentences in the book that we had to read several times before we understood what they meant. I think this was partly due to somewhat odd construction and partly due to our not understanding a metaphor, reference, or the use of satire right away. (Since we both hold graduate degrees I would like to think we're fairly literate, but some of the fault in understanding may certainly be our own.) This was a stumbling block to understanding the argument presented.

Some may object to certain words used in this book. I beg them to consider whether the author's exegesis is correct, not whether the book fails an extra-Biblical "dirty word count."

The book is a very quick read, even with the difficult sentences. My wife and I read it out loud in about 10 hours (not all together) which included our discussions of the book. I highly recommend this book for my fellow Christians for their personal study into the use of satire in the Bible and in our everyday lives.

 
Blasphemy  Nov 2, 2003
This book firmly establishes Douglas Wilson's utter contempt for all that is holy-especially the Lord Jesus Christ. Two quotes should suffice to prove the point.

Paraphrasing the Lord's answer to the woman of Canaan in Matthew 15, Wilson writes, "Jesus was not above using ethnic humor to make His point either. . . . Put in terms that we might be more familiar with, Jesus was white, and the disciples were white, and this black woman comes up seeking healing, for her daughter. . . She comes up and beseeches Christ for healing. `It's not right,' He says, `to give perfectly good white folk food to "ni##ers."' . . If this understanding is right, then Jesus was using a racial insult to make a point. If it is not correct, then He was simply using a racial insult." (pp. 43, 44)

Well, it is not correct, and your mother should have washed your mouth out with soap.

Then commenting on Philippians 3:8, Wilson writes, "We simply cannot imagine the lofty sentiment of this wonderful passage (e.g., the `excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord') functioning in the same sentence with dog sh*t." (p. 62)

Well, we couldn't imagine it until you suggested it.

Naturally, Wilson's contempt for God shows itself, by extension, in his disdain for God's people. In fact "A Serrated Edge" is Wilson's justification for the mean-spirited way that he treats others. Here is the sum total of his argument: "God has divided the world between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, and since that time ridicule has been inescapable." And from this absurd declaration, Wilson argues that Scripture invites him to mock and ridicule believers and non-believers alike. He even calls it a "gift" and a "movement of the Spirit."

Wilson shows his instinctive menace as well. Consider the number of times he used the following words or variations of them: "attack," 35 times; "offend," 20 times; "ridicule," 17 times; "insult," 14 times; and of course the singular gratuitous uses of "dog sh*t," "cr@p," "a%%," and "ni##er."

But for all his potty mouth, Wilson never mentions the "Golden Rule," and he fails to ask the one important question: What would the Church look like if believers treated one another the way Wilson does?

Wilson "comes out" in this book. He would not have anyone confuse him for a wolf in sheep's clothing. He is wolf to the bone, and these pages reveal his fangs for all to behold. "Proud and haughty, scorner is his name." (Prov. 21:24.)

If you buy this book, hide it from your children. Hide it, that is, until the day when God visits Wilson with calamity. And then teach them something that Wilson never learned: God is not mocked.

 

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