Book Plunge: Theologygrams

What do I think of Rich Wyld’s book published by IVP? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you’ve ever seen something from graphjam, you know how much fun pie charts and graphs can be. You go through and you look for that last piece of the chart that makes up the whole and it’s something humorous. Rich Wyld has done that kind of thing with theology. Not all of the images are pie charts, but many are graphs of some kind.

The book is a quick look at various topics. You can read it in less than an hour, but that’s because so much of it is illustrated. Many of them can be quite humorous and as I went through, I would pause from time to time and show my wife one of the charts that I would come across.

I honestly wish there had been more. As it stands, I think this is a great idea for people to use. Humor is often seen as something that we need not mix with the sacred, but if anything, we need more humor. If you want to know if God has a sense of humor, look in the mirror. You could also look at a duck-billed platypus, but many of us don’t have access to those.

This is one of the reasons I enjoy reading Michael Bird’s books so much. If I’m reading your average theology or apologetics book, it can often be dry. I enjoy the learning, but it would be good to have some spice in there. When I read Bird, I will normally come across something that will make the point in such a powerful way with Australian humor that I just can’t help but laugh at it.

Many of us know also that this helps us be more at ease with the topic and clear any tension that is in the room. It’s also good for those of us in the Christian community to be creative. Too many times when we do something, we’re really just copying what everyone else is doing in the sense of taking a slogan and Christianizing it. This has been called before the production of “Jesus Junk.” (No. Giving someone a Testamint does not count as evangelism.)

For this, Wyld has done us a favor. I really hope that more will do this kind of thing. We need Christian media that is both entertaining, informative, and not preachy. Too many of us have seen the Christian movies that think that they have to explicitly spell out the Gospel because, well, the audience is just too dense to know what it is and they have to hear it or else the point will be lost. Strange that Tolkien and Lewis never needed to do that.

If you want a quick little laugh or illustrations you can use for a talk you are giving, this can be a good one. There are many topics that are discussed here and the humor can be quite good. I do want to see more of this kind of work coming out as we Christians need to show that we like to enjoy ourselves too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters