Posted tagged ‘Humor’

Gospel-Shaped Humor

April 19, 2012

I found the excerpt below from Keller Quotes to be incredibly insightful. Not to be overly generic, but I think our culture has bought into a lot of humor, whether knowingly or unknowingly, that militates against the gospel and elevates self-righteousness, pride, and personal insecurity. Most of the men my age or younger than me (I’m 33) seem to have their personality and interpersonal communication profoundly shaped by sarcasm and insincerity. I know I am vulnerable to the charge of being self-righteous in making that assertion(!), but my overarching concern is the absence of genuine sincerity and need of generosity in affections for one another. We need the gospel to be applied to our humor and sarcasm, and once again, Keller nails it.

Below is the complete except from Keller Quotes. I don’t know what the original source is, but the quote is long enough to understand his point in immediate context. Check it out.

“Your humor has a lot to do with how you regard yourself. Many people use humor to put down others, keep themselves in the driver’s seat in a conversation and setting, and to remind the hearers of their superior vantage point. They use humor not to defuse tension and put people at ease, but to deliberately belittle the opposing view. Rather than showing respect and doing the hard work of true disagreement, they mock others’ points of view and dismiss them without actually engaging the argument.

Ultimately, sarcastic put-down humor is self-righteous, a form of self-justification, and that is what the gospel demolishes. When we grasp that we are unworthy sinners saved by infinitely costly grace it destroys both our self-righteousness and our need to ridicule others. This is also true of self-directed ridicule. There are some people who constantly, bitterly, mock themselves. At first it looks like a form of humility, or realism, but really it is just as self-absorbed as the other version. It is a sign of an inner disease with one’s self, a profound spiritual restlessness.
There is another kind of self-righteousness, however, that produces a person with little or no sense of humor. Moralistic persons often have no sense of irony because they take themselves too seriously, or because they are too self-conscious and self-absorbed in their own struggles to be habitually joyful.

The gospel, however, creates a gentle sense of irony. Our doctrine of sin keeps us from being over-awed by anyone (especially ourselves) or shocked, shocked by any behavior. We find a lot to laugh at, starting with our own weaknesses. They don’t threaten us any more because our ultimate worth is not based on our record or performance. Our doctrine of grace and redemption also keeps us from seeing any situation as hopeless. This groundnote of joy and peace makes humor spontaneous and natural.

In gospel-shaped humor we don’t only poke fun at ourselves, we also can gently poke fun at others, especially our friends. But it is always humor that takes the other seriously and ultimately builds them up as a show of affection. ‘We are not to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.’ (C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”)

Funnies for Friday

December 10, 2010

Here are three videos that I enjoyed watching this week.  The C.J. Mahaney impersonation is amazing. The Calvinist pick-up lines are cheesy yet fun. The Michael Bird interview is a great reminder that scholars can have a great sense of humor (HT Trevin Wax).  Enjoy!

You Might NOT be Gospel-Centered if . . .

August 29, 2009

you are Ignatius and your ministry looks something like this.

My Son’s Newest Smile

July 3, 2008

When you miss one week in the life of your newborn child, you miss a lot. Case in point: my son’s newest smile (showing off his teeth) . . .

Don’t know how this intense smile came about. I first thought it was due to my bad singing, but then again it might be as a result of seeing this.

Press Release: Climate Change Divides Convention, Kills Evangelism

March 12, 2008
[Disclaimer: If you are a Southern Baptist and cannot laugh at yourself, please read NO further. The statements below are a light-hearted attempt to satirize that thing we do as Southern Baptists, you know . . .]

Things have really been “heating up” here in SBC world. For the two of you uninformed on the matter, a significant number of leading Southern Baptists have gathered together to form what they are called “the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative” (SBECI). Inspired by a blogger (gasp) and seminary student (double gasp), Jonathan Merritt, this initiative has sought to raise the bar when it comes to involvement in creation care and stewardship of the environment.

I first caught on to this initiative through reading Nathan Finn’s blog, and within hours, the news was being spread on the Drudge Report, New York Times, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and other major media outlets. The secular interest in this matter is perhaps the greatest regarding Southern Baptists since the days of the Disney boycott. Nevertheless, the official news outlet of denominational executives (X-Comm), Baptist Press, was quick to note that “the seminary student’s climate change project is not SBC’s” (note: the title was changed to leave out “seminary student’s” part in the revised version). At the point, Baptist Press began an all-out media blitz with several articles regarding the climate change initiative, certain that such a matter demanded an authorized (KJV style) version on global warming, as contrasted to that of a “seminary student” and his project. This tit-for-tat battle for who speaks for Southern Baptists raises just another issue on just where and how Southern Baptists define themselves.

So yet again, the SBC is embroiled in another battle, and in the midst of this, we are reminded of one thing that does not change-controversy. In fact, historians have filed this latest issue of climate change as the 2,356 controversy since 1845, surpassed only by the number of resolutions of the SBC.

In an effort to contribute to the media blitz, correspondents from P&P have been asking for statements and responses from leading Southern Baptists regarding this hotly debated issue. Below are the responses we have gathered thus far. As you can clearly see, the issue of climate change has divided the convention and is threatening to kill evangelism-something which neither the other “C’s” (Calvinists and charismatics) have been able to do. That alone says a lot about the power of a changing climate in the SBC atmosphere.

Frank Page: “I think what you see by the events of this week is that we are headed for ‘tumultuous days‘ in the future. In light of this, I look forward to contributing to the conversation with my new book, Trouble with the Thermometer: Taking a Closer Look at Five Tenets of Global Warming (forthcoming by Broadman & Holman).”

Frank Cox: “I have many friends who are concerned about climate change today, and I have no problem discussing these issues. However, what concerns me today is this new strain of aggressive, hyper climate change advocates who are dividing the convention today.”

Richard Land: “This climate change initiative is not the official policy of the Southern Baptist Convention. I am here to tell you that the 2007 Resolution on Global Warming is a sufficient statement for all Southern Baptists, and I am prepared to make a motion in Indianapolis to bring to the convention floor” (that is, the “Land Motion”).


Osteen Endorses the Puritan Reading Challenge

January 17, 2008

Okay.  I couldn’t believe it when my blog was banned by the Pope.  But I think it has been vindicated upon the news that Joel Osteen has endorsed the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge.  Word has it that he is planning a message entitled, “Become a Better Reed.”

SBC Attire for Indy

January 16, 2008

With all the blogging about Sibbes and the PRC, I thought I’d provide a brief interruption with a little SBC humor. Plus, I have to pacify some of my friends (ahem Brad Hughes) who are emailing me with hate mail. 😯

Insiders have informed me that various t-shirts and trinkets will be available at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention at various vending booths. This is extremely important for all you Southern Baptists who want to perpetuate superficiality in Indianapolis.

For the Young, Restless, and Reformed during the Mohler nomination (courtesy of CenturiOn Pawn Shop):

For the non-cessationist IMB candidate, during the Rankin Report (courtesy of Holy Ghost Tees):

For the vote on the next alcohol resolution (courtesy of Cent’s Pawn Shop):

During the first debate:

During the second debate:

Required attire during the voting process (courtesy Cent’s Pawn Shop):

For the Founder’s Breakfast (courtesy of Cent’s Pawn Shop):

P&P Insiderz will keep you updated on all dress code developments in the days to come. 😉

Building Bridges . . . to Mars (Ninth Inning Rally Update)

December 11, 2007

Well, we are currently half way through the Ninth Inning Rally, and things are shaping up great. Many of you have taken the time to vote for my question since Saturday, and I appreciate you putting my question back in the field of play. For your viewing pleasure (or disgust), I thought I’d provide a self-portrait in “rally mode” (check the rally cap baby):

Oh, I should mention this is my new “office” now that I have officially been given the boot by baby Nolan and mom. So, being the baseball statistician that I am, I thought I should provide a play-by-play report of the rally thus far. Here is how it has gone thus far:

Saturday 6:30 a.m. >> Position #10 :: Votes 15,236
Sunday 6:30 a.m. >> Position #7 :: Votes 17,036 (approximately, gain of 1800)
Monday 12:01 a.m. >> Position #4 :: Votes 18,179 (gain of 1143)
Tuesday 6:00 a.m. >> Position #2 :: Votes 19,602 (gain of 1423)
Wednesday 6:00 a.m. >> Position #2 :: Votes 21,281 (gain of 1679)
Thursday 6:00 a.m. >> Position#2 :: Votes 22,532 (gain of 1251)
Five-day rally: From #10 to #2 with a total of 7,296 votes.

Now, we have four days to go. Can we equal or top 4,300 votes in the last half of our “ninth inning rally”? The only way that will happen is if you help get the word out and encourage others to vote. Assuming that the votes are “true,” we are averaging at least 140 people a day voting for the question. 200 people a day for the next four days would bring in 8,000 votes.

I realize that there have been some folks who are really upset and disturbed by the ninth-inning rally. At this point, there have been 268 comments on my question, many of them by folks who think the issue of the regulative principle is ridiculous. Deeply troubled be the heightened rhetoric, I found counsel in my blogging partner, Hershey. When I shared with her the criticisms that were coming as a result of the rally, she seemed quite unimpressed. Here’s her response:

In any case, over the past three days I felt that it was incumbent upon me as the author of the question to visit Mars where I have been informed the source of the criticisms have been coming. It is my hope that the results of my galactic travels will disclose my interest in building bridges, yes even to Mars. I know the gap is wide, but hey, who thought the regulative principle would be back in the game? Call be a believer.

So here’s my postcard from Mars. Enjoy!

To VOTE for my question (ten times a day), CLICK HERE.

Note: If it happens that we somehow catch up with the #1 question and take the top slot, whoever is the person to cast that vote, I will send an autographed copy of this postcard from Mars. 🙂