December 26, 2012
In Good Humor
I heard a surprising comment about this blog the other day from one reader whom I know particularly well: my mom. (Hi, Mom!) She said, "One thing I can tell from reading your blog is that you're having fun at your job." Yes! It's true. I'm thankful for the opportunity to experience joy in my work, and that reminds me of a string of quotations I've seen lately in IVP books for serious professionals.
The central link in this chain is from Mark Strong, a man who's written a book on a very heavy topic: fatherlessness. But fortunately that doesn't mean he doesn't know about joy:
Just a few days earlier, I had run across this quotation from that giant, Karl Barth, quoted by Kelly Kapic in his new book, A Little Book for Young Theologians:
It might be tempting to cut short that quotation without the last sentence — but it's such an important reminder that the joy Barth is talking about is as much a gift given as a condition to be cultivated.
Finally, just in case we were wondering whether this "fun at work" stuff is just a contemporary phenomenon, an outgrowth of postmodern hedonism, there's this from G. R. Evans's "Roots of the Reformation":
I'm not sure I'll start mixing in bawdy jokes during staff meetings here at the Press, but it's good to know we're in good company in our good humor.
Here's hoping you find joy in your work!
1 Mark E. Strong, Church for the Fatherless: A Ministry Model for Society's Most Pressing Problem (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, IVP Praxis, 2012), 166.
2 Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics 2:1, trans. G. W. Bromiley (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1957-1969), 656, quoted in Kelly Kapic, A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, IVP Academic, 2012), 120-21.
3 G. R. Evans, The Roots of the Reformation: Tradition, Emergence and Rupture (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, IVP Academic, 2012), 425-26.