The best part of the Avengers movie for me was the infighting among the super heroes, and how the conflict disappeared once they had a common enemy. Each hero was unique, with his or her special skills. As in any relationship, marriage, community or committee, the differences are misinterpreted as sources of conflict and competition instead of complementary strengths. Once the heroes were out on the ground, the comical infighting (and misuse of gifts) ceased, and they started operating like the well-tuned orchestra they were designed to be.
Atheists love to embarrass Christians with a snide reference to the story of Elisha setting two bears upon some helpless children. What nobody, even Christians, seem to get is the “Covenant significance” of all the players in the story, harking back to Moses. The prophets were, after all, God’s “repo men.” 
The intro to the Reading the Bible in 3D seminar mentions the “jokes” in the Bible. In his book Deep Exegesis, Peter Leithart gives us a rundown on what a joke is to justify using the word to describe some of the allusions in Scripture. One of the reasons jokes are funny is their reliance on inside information.
Here’s my all-time favourite joke in the Bible.
Joe Rigney has a great piece on the Trinity House website. With apologies to Joe, I’ll give it to you in a nutshell, then make some brief observations. But make sure you read the entire article.
or A Ripsnorter Ritual
Ritual is powerful stuff. Much of modern evangelicalism prides itself in rejecting liturgy and being “open to the Spirit,” and then turns this “openness” into an uninspired (and very uninspiring) human formula, in place of the inspired Divine one. Instead of following a pattern found in every part of the Bible (worship is literary architecture), we are stuck with either erroneous traditions or off-the-cuff rambles which, although “open to inspiration,” somehow sound exactly the same each week. Human beings love repetition in every area of life, and ritual is a prime method of teaching truth and holiness.
One of the reasons why moderns (including Christians) don’t really know what to do with the Mosaic Law is the failure to understand biblical history as a process of maturation. The prohibition of the second (kingly) tree in the Garden corresponds to the Food Laws, for instance. Like Israel’s temporary abstinence from meat (kingly food) in the wilderness, these laws were all for the purpose of humbling, for preparing servants to rule as God’s representatives. Once mature, they would be invited to eat with God as friends, rather than merely attending as servants.
In his book, Deep Exegesis, Peter Leithart speaks of the biblical text as many things, but none is more confronting than his viewing the text as a “joke.” His explanation, however, makes perfect sense. What makes a joke funny? It is either prior knowledge to which not everyone is privy, or a confounding of expectations (which are also based on prior knowledge to some degree). The Bible is full of such jokes, and realizing one is in on the joke is immensely satisfying.
In Born of the Spirit, Peter J. Leithart writes:
Alan Kerr (The Temple of Jesus’ Body: The Temple Theme in the Gospel of John (Library of New Testament Studies), 71) offers this comment on Jesus’ statement that Nicodemus had to be born of the Spirit before entering the kingdom: “It is almost universally accepted that Spirit here refers to the Spirit of God. But at this stage in the Gospel there was no Spirit (7:39), because Jesus was not yet glorified. It is not until Jesus is risen and appears to the disciples and breathes on them and says, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ that the Spirit is given (20:22). So from the point of view of Johannine timing what Jesus says to Nicodemus should only be realized in a post-resurrection setting. Properly speaking he can only be reborn from above when Jesus is glorified.”
This obviously affects the use of John 3:5 as a proof text for the doctrine of regeneration.
Is this support for the ‘giving of the Spirit’ in paedobaptism?
or The Fiction of Prelapsarian Babies
“A paedobaptistic sociology is a misrepresentation of the Gospel. It conflates the cutting of Adam with the crushing of the serpent.”
The most biblical, thoughtful and consistent paedobaptists (the Federal Vision), believe that the failure of America’s baptistic culture can be remedied through a biblical application of paedobaptism. The answer to modern individualism is a coherent Christian sociology. I agree with that. What I disagree with is their insistence on a Covenant sociology that was made redundant at Pentecost.