From My Heart, Out Of My Mind

Snarky Theology

Posted by Don Bryant on December 3, 2012

Tom Ashbrook aired a show worth listening to, “The Case Against Irony.”

Ashbrook interviews Christy Wampole , who wrote an essay positing that we live in the age of deep irony, and it’s cutting us off from life.  Everything’s an ironic pose, she said.  In our humor, our fashion, our politics, our advertising, our hipsters.  Direct candor has become unbearable. Rampant sarcasm, she charged, rules the day.  And it’s killing us.

Sounds like the trend is evident in evangelicalism, too. Certainly Rachel Evan’s book fits the genre.
A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master”. Kathie Keller called Evans out for snark, not handling the Word of God in a holy manner but using it for purposes that had nothing to do with its life giving nature but using it for purposes of snipe.

Recently I listened to an interview with Preston Sprinkle who coauthored with Francis Chan the book, “Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up.”  A most serious book, wouldn’t you think. I was appalled at the giggling, laughing, punning, sophomoric vocabulary, and, well, snark. Of all subjects, this one deserved a more sober tone. Wouldn’t you think? Keep the laughter down when the subject is hell.

I wonder if hipster snark is the new conversational tone of those reared in Evangelicalism but who are no longer able to carry its water. It is unbecoming the subject matter.

There is no answer to snark except to turn away from it. It is not a serious engagement with the Bible or theology. I was surprised by the ease with which Ben Witherington and Peter Enns accepted Evans’ tone and hipster indifference to holy things.

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