A Serrated Edge: A Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking

(7 reviews)

Douglas Wilson


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Book details

Douglas Wilson has been pastor of Christ Church, Moscow, ID for forty years and is the author of more than fifty books including Empires of Dirt, Rules for Reformers, and Flags Out Front. He blogs regularly at www.dougwils.com and can be heard weekly on The Plodcast. Doug and Nancy have three children and lots of grandchildren.

Look Inside the Book

AUTHOR: Douglas Wilson

PAGE COUNT: 128 pages

SIZE: 5.50x8.50"

ISBN 10: 1591280109

ISBN-13: 9781591280101

PUB. DATE: June 3, 2003

Media: Paperback

Christians think that making fun of people is never okay. If so, then why did Jesus and the prophets do so much of it?

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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 "insensitive" and "unloving" behavior. But is the Golden Rule really "be nice"? Actually, 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 the fact of people having taken offense. In this book, veteran satirist Douglas Wilson explains his rationale for why so much of what he says gets people upset and yet he continues to speak as he does, and why you should (sometimes) too for the sake of the Gospel.

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What People Are Saying:

"Douglas Wilson's playful, yet serious-minded book ... makes a persuasive argument that Christ himself was no verbal pacifist, and that indeed He used satire and irony to devastating effect." -Daniel Horace Fernald, in Atheism Answered

"As always, the author Doug Wilson delivers with wit, wisdom and humor along the way.... Overall a good book I recommend, and it should make Christians aware of not assuming Victorian prudish expectations to be the same thing as Christian ethics. I’ve highlighted and written all over my copy of this book as I was reading it–especially the principles given and the witty remarks and illustration. They get my mind fired up to adapt, discover and invent more witty sayings and illustration to make the point more forcibly for use in the pulpit and during evangelism and apologetics." -The Domain of Truth

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
Edward F.
Worthwhile read

Learned much, and have applied it to my teaching. Have given away several.

Jen M.
Always Something New from Ol' DW

I used to read Credenda/Agenda back when it was a thing. I have continued to follow Douglas Wilson's content over the years. Hence, this defense of the satirical approach in Credenda, which was written some years ago, turns out mostly to contain material I've already read - if not the exact words, then the concepts. However, this is Douglas Wilson, so even when reading something that he has been saying for years, there are always bonus things - concepts that I haven't heard him explore before, or simply a well-turned phrase to describe a phenomenon that we are all familiar with. In this case, my favorite was, "I always think I am right, but that does not mean that I think I am always right."

Brian B.
Good Read

Typical Doug Wilson Biblically based insight and humor.


Great defense and explanation of biblical satire and "answering the fool according to his folly".

Quinlan E.

A Serrated Edge: A Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking

Ryan H.

A Serrated Edge: A Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking

Kevin M.
A serrated edge

Good book that brings the point home of the use of satire in scripture. I believe it needs more work to explain more deeply the snark of scripture is useful to Express the kindness of God that leads to repentance. Jesus obviously felt this way regarding the pharisees. And it worked, acts 6. But why does snark work for some and parables for other? I think this volume sets out the example of scripture primarily, but we need a second volume to help us see the logic and underlying reasons to it. Os Guiness did more if the latter in his book "Fools Talk." Good start Doug, but give us more. Our "nice brains" need more shaking and forming to deeply embrace the kind snark of God.

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