glorious mistakes

Many blogs are running end of the year reviews, so it seems appropriate to publish the top thirty errors my students have ever made. I love my students, and they’re quite smart, but they write the dumbest things. When their mistakes make me laugh, I save and savor them. I have seventy-five so far. Here are the best (followed by my commentary).

“Before the tree, Adam enjoyed sex without knowing that Eve was naked.”

Adam was one dumb guy.

“Even though having sex with someone other than your spouse is adulatory…”

He meant to say adultery, but instead wrote “something worthy of high praise.”

Barth didn’t believe “in original sin, which was transmitted by Adam and Eve to their posterior.”

The student meant “posterity,” but this does explain why Adam and Eve so desperately tried to cover their butts.

“Bernard has placed ‘handles’ on love so that people can have an idea of where they are on God’s scale of holiness.

If you’ve got love handles, there is no better place to be than on God’s scales.

“Mary was conceived through the Holy Spirit, which caused her to be pregnant with Jesus.”

Even Roman Catholics don’t believe that Mary was pregnant before she was born.

“God allows evil to exist although He can easily defeat goodness.”

Sure, but why would he want to?

“I believe God reviles Himself in three ways.”

“You stink!” “You’re short!” “No one likes you!”

“By the time he got to the hospital and raced up to see her, she was already in a comma.

This is a terrible place to be, period.

“I believe hat eschatology matters….”

This student either left out the “t” in “that,” or he is referring to the infamous sombrero rapture, which as you might guess, is explained in the Mayan calendar.

“I believe that Christ’s second coming is unknown to all except the Father.”

Then how did you find out?

“Women are too qualified to hold church leadership positions.”

Okay then. Reverse psychology much?

“Bernard was a prolific writer, forging many books including 450 epistles dealing with contemporary events.”

Plagiarism is the easiest way to be prolific.

“He wrote for a wider audience than Anselm—who wrote only for rational people.

Who did he write for, morons?

“The decorative cause of evil is not a creation of YHWH, but us.”

So the cause of evil is…Martha Stewart?

“Martian Luther is the theologian of justification.”

He is out of this world.

“God has no begging and no end.”

At least the Calvinist version. The Arminian God has been known to beg a little.

“God’s existence is independent from himself.”

Which would make him dependent. Some praise is so strong it’s weak.

“With the scientific rollercoaster humanity was about to take a seat on, the twentieth century ended up burying religion as a relic dinosaur.”

One metaphor per sentence, please!

“Jesus will return in the clouds to remove the church from the earth.”

This makes sense. A secret rapture would require Jesus to hide in the clouds. “Hey, isn’t that cloud drifting a little too close? It might be Jesus, sneaking up on us!”

“Kuyper believed, proclaimed, and delivered the message that science is not a demon. His justification of science came wrapped in the shroud of Calvinism.”

If science is not a demon, then what is it doing with a shroud?

“Calvin gives more attention to the Spirit than the Father does.”

So it is possible to praise Calvin too much.

“Progress was replaced with repetition. It could be said that the most famed scholars perpetually graduated from the School of Redundancy School.”

This one speaks for itself.

The Son is the Creator, El Salvador, restaurateur, the redeemer.”

Nothing wrong with opening a restaurant, but I’m not sure it belongs in the same list with Creator and Redeemer.

“Urbanization and telecommunication have effectively brought the world to our living room and even our front door.”

If it’s already in your living room, the front door is a moot issue.

“Rogers has stumbled upon, what I believe to be, the side effects of the church’s attempt to beat believers into submission.”

Isn’t the point behind a beating the beating itself? Does one really care about the side effects? I’ve never heard anyone say, “Too bad about those side effects, otherwise I would have really enjoyed that beating.”

In 1059 Anselm made his way to the Benedictine abbey of Bec in Normandy. The following year Anselm entered the abbey.

He shouldn’t have waited so long to knock.

“Erasmus and Luther exchanged monograms concerning the ability of man’s will.”

The student meant to say monographs, but instead had Erasmus and Luther swapping initials. “I don’t want to distract from our very important dialogue, but I would like to trade you my Gothic ‘L’ for your Helvetica ‘E.’”

“The power of Christ could not be overcome by Satin’s power of death.”

That 800 thread count is a killer.

“Notice the tow ‘ifs.’”

If you want someone to notice a specific word, don’t misspell the word right before it. Because that’s all they’ll see.

“Many ill-informed churches have swallowed a popularized notion that John Calvin was a harsh man who taught that much like a rosy-cheeked Santa, with a wink and a nod, God damned crates of humans to hell.

Someone is harboring some bad Christmas memories. Can you imagine this student as a little boy, walking with his parents through the mall? “Hey, Look. It’s Santa!” “No, not Santa! Aieeeaahhhh!”

2 Comments

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  1. THIS blog reminds me of how much I miss the FAR SIDE. All it lacked was talking cows. I think.

  2. Dr. Wittmer,
    You have written several books, so I’m curious. What are some of the most amusing errors that the editing process has caught you committing.

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