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The Strengths and Seductions of Humor (Part 1)

For humor to have value in a sermon, it must serve the truth.

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PreachingToday.com: What is the practical theology behind using humor in preaching?

Haddon Robinson: Humor is part of life. You pity people who don't have a sense of humor, who take all of life too seriously. Preaching deals with life; therefore it has to have some element of humor. Humor has a place in preaching because it touches the human experience.

We also use it because people love it. Folks love to laugh, and they respond to it with great delight. In fact, therein lies its strength, and therein lies its danger. It's easy to use humor for itself. You tell a joke or make some humorous remark, not because it really serves the truth you're preaching, but simply because you know people love it.

Another danger is, if you use humor with great effect, after people are through laughing and you go back to trying to be serious, they'd rather laugh some more. You say, "Now let's turn to the Book of Hebrews," and they're thinking, I'd rather hear a joke. So it can hurt the mood.

The cardinal rule ...

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