Did Jesus laugh? Was he funny?

For some time, I have been intrigued by the question of whether Jesus was funny. In his teaching, did he tell what we might call jokes, and did his listeners find themselves laughing when they listened to him? There are many prima facie reasons why we might suppose Jesus was funny. If Jesus was fully human—indeed, … Continue Reading

What can the material world teach us about God?

Andrew Wilson is Teaching Pastor at King’s Church, London, based in Catford and part of the NewFrontiers network of churches. His doctoral research was on the paradox of affirmation and rebuke in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, which I reviewed here. He has just published a fascinating book of reflections on the material world, God … Continue Reading

Can we read of the Unjust Steward in Luke 16 with irony?

Andrew Talbert writes: Perhaps the oddest of parables of Jesus (at least in its interpretation), is that of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1–13). Commentators and pastors alike squirm through this parable with virtually the same conclusion: Jesus teaches that there are select occasions in which one can be dishonest with money. Not only does this … Continue Reading

Is the gospel funny?

James Cary writes: Previously on this blog, the question has been posed: “Was Jesus funny?” In the last couple of years, as I’ve been writing my new book, The Sacred Art of Joking, I’ve concluded that yes, he was funny. I’ll tell you how and why in a moment. First, we have to briefly address … Continue Reading

Was Jesus funny?

For some time, I have been intrigued by the question of whether Jesus was funny. In his teaching, did he tell what we might call jokes, and did his listeners find themselves laughing when they listened to him? There are many prima facie reasons why we might suppose Jesus was funny. If Jesus was fully human—indeed, … Continue Reading

What did humour in sermons ever do for us?

As part of its publicity, the Christian Resources Exhibition is running a ‘Sermon of the Year’ award. (The reporter, Ruth Gledhill, must be pleased, since 20 years ago she ran The Times Sermon of the Year competition, which featured yours truly!). To promote this it commissioned research on what people look for in sermons, and … Continue Reading

Tradition and the contemporary at Christmas

Perhaps the greatest challenge at Christmas is how to combine the traditional with the contemporary. On the one hand, how do we honour people’s expectations of traditional forms whilst ‘proclaiming afresh in this generation’ the truths of Christmas? On the other hand, how do we make an ancient story connect with the concerns and questions … Continue Reading