Essay / Misc.

You Can't Spell

At a party recently, all the kids discovered a tetherball post in the host’s backyard. Waiting for the inevitable minor head injury that was sure to follow, I was musing pessimistically, “you can’t spell tetherball without the letters H, E, R, T.” Even worse, I thought, you can rearrange the letters in tetherball to spell “All be hert.” But there’s a T left over, and of course you have to mis-spell the word “hurt” to make it work at all.

But it got me thinking: What other secret meanings are anagramistically concealed in the letters of the words we use in theological discussions? Here are a few that I came up with:

You can’t spell “calvinistic” without “civil antics.”

You can’t spell “five point calvinist” without “I flip covenant visit.”

You can’t spell “wesleyan perfectionism” without “foresee wimps anciently.”

You can’t spell “baptismal regeneration” without “pert maintainable ogres.”

You can’t spell “anglican communion” without “moaning councilman.”

You can’t spell “southern baptist” without “nuttiest barhops.”

You can’t spell “roman catholic” without “Colic marathon” or “comical anthro.”

You can’t spell “trinitarianism” without “ain’t I smart” (but you have the letters inri left over).

You can’t spell “emergent movement” without “revenge moment met.”

You can’t spell “pentecostalism” without “opalescent mist.”

You can’t spell “council of nicaea” without “if ennui, coca cola” or “canonical foci” (but you have the letters ue left over)

You can’t spell “chalcedonian definition” without “indefinite canonical doh” or “infinite enchilada condo.”

You can’t spell “protestant reformation” without “minor aftertaste pronto.”

You can’t spell “ecumenical movement” without “mum cavemen election” or “even climate commune.”

You can’t spell “evangelicalism” without “anemic villages.”

You can’t spell “christianity today” without “that noisy acridity” or “titanic day history.”

You can’t spell “scriptorium daily” without “sporadic ilium try” or “idiotic slurp army.”

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