IVP - Strangely Dim - Don’t Knock-Knock the Catechism

November 7, 2003

Don’t Knock-Knock the Catechism

by David A. Zimmerman
Why is everyone so afraid of theology? Maybe one reason is that it's so darn wordy. For example, the Roman Catholic catechism runs 756 pages (plus an index) in a 1994 mass market edition. (Get it? “Mass market!” Ha!) Protestants don’t get it any easier—their systematic theologies run several volumes at a pop, and the really good ones are in German.

But is there really any reason to let theology get so complicated? I’ve written my own systematic theology, in fact, as a series of knock-knock jokes. They’re not only formative—they’re hilarious!

The Doctrine of Creation
Knock-knock.
Who’s there?
Nothing and Nobody.
Nothing and Nobody who?
Nothing and Nobody till I say so.
Who said that?

The Doctrine of God
Behold, I stand at the door and knock-knock.
Who’s there?
I AM WHO I AM.
What? Who?
I WILL BE WHO I WILL BE.
Come again?
OK, OK, Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

The Doctrine of Humanity
Knock-knock.
Who’s there?
Made.
"Maid"? As in “Let’s hire a maid to clean up this mess"?
No, “Made,” as in “Made in the image of God.”
Oh, right, gotcha.

The Doctrine of Sin
Knock-knock.
Who’s there?
ssssssssssssss . . .
Who’s there?
sssssssssssss . . .
Really, who’s there?
Ssssssin is crouching at your door.
Ssssssin is crouching at your door who?
Oh, for the love of God . . .

The Doctrine of Salvation
Knock-knock.
Who’s there?
The Light of the World.
The Light of the World who? I don’t understand.
Right, like I didn’t see that coming.

The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Knock-knock.
Who’s there?
Wooooooosh!
Wooooooosh who?
This is the way; walk in it.
What?

The Doctrine of the Church
Knock-knock.
Who’s there?
We are.
We are who?
We are the body of Christ.
What? Who are the body of Christ?
The now and not yet.
All right, I'll bite: The now and not yet who?
The now and not yet kingdom of God.

The Doctrine of Last Things
Knock-knock.
Who’s there?
Jesus.
Finally! Come in!

OK, so it’s not as straightforward as I might have hoped. And perhaps “hilarious” was a little strong. But maybe it’s worth a few laughs. And at least it’s got a good punch line.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at November 7, 2003 9:19 AM Bookmark and Share

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Behind the Strangeness

Lisa Rieck is a reader and writer who likes to discuss good ideas over hot drinks and gets inspired by the sky. She takes in all kinds of good ideas as a proofreader for InterVarsity Press.

Rebecca Larson is a writer/designer/creative type who has infiltrated IVP's web department, where she writes and edits online content. She enjoys a good pun and loves the smell of freshly printed books.

David A. Zimmerman is an editor for Likewise Books and a columnist for Burnside Writers Collective. He's written three books, most recently The Parable of the Unexpected Guest. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/unexpguest. Find his personal blog at loud-time.com.

Suanne Camfield is a publicist for InterVarsity Press and a freelance writer. She floats ungracefully between work, parenting and writing, and (much to her dismay) finds it impossible to read on a treadmill. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and blogs at The Rough Cut.

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