James's Reviews > Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life

Between Heaven and Mirth by James     Martin
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's review
Jul 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction

While not sharing anything particularly new, this book examines the concept of joy in the spiritual realm. James Martin has written an easily readible book and still manages to remind us that Christianity is not meant to be a joyless religion but a joyful friendship with our God. Making a strong case for the necessity of humor in the spiritual life, Martin weaves stories and jokes from his own experiences and others with biblical and historical research and interviews with scholars to make his points. His telling of church history is filled with levity, if you only know where to look, and shows religious icons, both past and present, as having a sense of humor. He protrays Jesus himself as a humorous personage, although much of His humor is lost today due to our unfamiliarity with the culture of the time and our over-familiarity with the stories. Martin sees humor as a faithful response to God, a default stance that invites other people into God's family. A really enjoyable read.
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