Dropped at 4:01 pm on Tuesday, April 30, 2013
I think I do this a bit, and I'm starting to think it's dumb. What do you think?
While illustrations and jokes are really helpful in all sorts of ways, I've noticed that sometimes I'll make a joke that makes light of a possible and amusing, but wrong, way of reading a text. The flow ends up being something like this:
Describe next bit of passage (Ie, "God brings the animals before Adam to see whether they might be a suitable helper for him")
Entertain wrong understanding of passage (Ie, "Does this mean that God really thought an animal could be a suitable helper for Adam?")
Make 'amusing' comment by extending possibility to the ridiculous (Ie, "You know, Adam, bulls are pretty handy. They can pull a plow. So they don't look so good in a mini-skirt. So what?")
Plausible denial (Ie, "Of course God didn't think that, what he's really doing is...")Ok, so this is a particularly dud example of it. I couldn't come up with something better on the spot, sorry.
But I think what I end up doing by using this kind of construction is drawing attention away from the text. Instead, if I use positive illustrations and jokes that utilise the surprising elements of what IS there in the text, then I'm drawing attention to how interesting and surprising God's word is.
The alternative is, I think, a bit bland. But not only bland, I think by laughing at the ridiculous possibilities of getting the text wrong, it can create a bit of an 'insider' atmosphere of "of course we don't think that!" where we laugh at wrong understandings, rather than thinking them through.
This is all a bit unpolished thought, so I'd love to get some wisdom from all you peeps out there. Any thoughts on this or related preaching bits and bobs?