Religion Saves: Humor

I had a great time hearing all your thoughts on the birth control discussion last week!

Now it’s time to move on to chapter 2 of Religion Saves – And Nine Other Misconceptions.

In this chapter, pastor Mark Driscoll tackles the 8th most popular question:

Why do you make jokes about Mormon missionaries, homosexuals, trench coat wearers, single men, vegans, and emo kids, and then expect these groups of people to come to know God through those sermons?

Just like last time, I’ll write up a bit on the chapter, but before I do, I want to ask you:

When you think of the Bible, do you think of humor? Why or why not?

What is your favorite example of humor in the Bible?

Ready? Go…


  1. This isn’t really an answer to your question; it’s more of a comment. When I read Mark Driscoll’s quote on making jokes in sermons, it reminded me of sometimes in church I feel like I’m listening to someone who is part preacher, part stand up comedian. It can be kind of weird, but I do like to laugh, and I have laughed a lot in church. But when the speaker isn’t really good being a stand up comedian, but tries anyway, it can be really distracting and it takes away from the message.

  2. I think humor can be ok as long as it is clear when he is joking and when he is not.

    Also, I think that you have to be very careful when joking about other religions e.g. the pope, mormon underwear etc.. it could be a stumbling block when people who come from one of those religions listen to him. In some ways I also think that it can be disrespectful to make jokes about someones beliefs.

    So I guess I summary I think that comedy and joking can be ok but joking about other religions in your sermon can be offensive.

    Hope that makes sense 🙂

  3. To answer your first question directly, no, humor is hardly the first thing I think of when I think of the Bible. I do realize there are instances of it, but it seems to me most examples are rather subtle.
    So it took me a little while to think of one. It is my favorite, though, and “subtle” would definitely not be a word I would use to describe it: The story of Balaam and his donkey in Numbers 22. I love the picture of a grown man having a argument with his donkey as if it’s the most natural thing in the world for the poor creature to answer him. LOL

  4. Thanks for the comments!

    @Lauren – yep… My pastor through high school gave sermons that were more of standup routines than anything… often, he would get so caught up in telling a joke that he would totally forget to make the point he was trying to illustrate…. definitely fell your pain there!

    @Jennifer – looks like you already listened to the sermon and you’re mostly responding to that… I’m getting there! And I have to admit, the Mormon underwear thing was pretty funny…

    @Brooke – yep, I love the story of Balaam. That’s one of the instances he sites in the chapter!

  5. I really like when God tells the Israelites that they’ll have so much quail that it’ll come out of their nose.. also when Elijah (Or Elishah?) is ‘competing’ a sacrifice with Baal priests, and he mocks their gods, suggesting they’re on vacation or on the toilet (inasmuch words).

  6. No, I really do not think we should be making jokes about anyone… instead we need to love people into the Kingdom of God.
    But I have enjoyed some of what seems to be God’s sense of Humor… like giving the ostrich wings that don’t work just because He wanted to.
    13 “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
    But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s?
    Or when Jesus says to the Pharisees that they swallow a camel, but strain gnat… (kinda graphic actually!).

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