Chapter 55

The Playful Preacher

Using humor and irony

Most listeners today are skeptical of power and control. With our culture's commitment to relativism, we have been taught to fear patriarchy and colonialism, not to mention preachers and politicians. To protect ourselves from manipulation, the current generation often use irony. The shrug and the wink deconstruct power better than argument or confrontation. If we don't take the government, Church, university, or media seriously, they can't hurt us, says the postmodernist. Besides, who's to say whose version of "truth" is true, anyway?

While preachers who see themselves as heralds of God's Word must be skeptical of such skepticism, I believe we can plunder the Egyptians by using humor and irony in our preaching. More playfulness can help us communicate more seriously. But that's not easy for me, one whose spiritual ancestors are John Calvin and John Knox.

As I've tried to lighten up, here's what I've discovered.

Coloring inside the lines

Playfulness ...

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