Book Review: James Martin’s Between Heaven and Mirth

Samaritan's Song

Often known as “the Colbert priest” – he’s appeared multiple times on the now-ended Comedy Central show The Colbert Report – James Martin is a Jesuit priest who often attempts to bridge the gap between the church and popular culture.  Between Heaven and Mirth, his 2011 book on humor, God, and Christianity, rests well in that space: it’s an extended meditation on the place and purpose of humor in Christianity written in such a way that it’s accessible to both believers and non-believers.

The great strength of this book comes, for me, in that it provides the two things I was hoping it would: a) an exploration of Jesus, the Bible, and humor, and b) an exploration of what “Christian” humor looks like, what its purpose is, and how it differs from the world’s.

As a Christian I am convinced that Jesus has a wonderful sense of humor and…

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