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Comedy and Preaching [Paperback]

By Joseph M. Webb (Author)
Our Price $ 19.54  
Retail Value $ 22.99  
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Item Number 136324  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   191
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 6.03" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 1999
Publisher   Chalice Press
ISBN  0827204752  
EAN  9780827204751  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
The title may suggest light fare, but Joseph Webb's Comedy and Preaching is a serious treatment of many preaching concerns both theological and practical...The preacher will not have to agree with everything in Comedy and Preaching to benefit from its fresh and creative reflections presented in a crisp and engaging style." "At last! A book on preaching that takes comedy seriously! This isn't about dressing up tired sermons with clever jokes and anecdotes. Rather, it teaches us to preach with humor and with hope under the smiling gaze of God."

Buy Comedy and Preaching by Joseph M. Webb from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780827204751 & 0827204752

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More About Joseph M. Webb

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert Kysar is a retired professor of Preaching and New Testament from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Robert has published several books including Greek for Preachers and Stumbling in the Light: New Testament Images for a Changing Church from Chalice Press. Joseph M. Webb is author of Preaching and the Challenge of Pluralism and Comedy and Preaching from Chalice Press.

Joseph M. Webb was born in 1942.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching   [1493  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Sermons   [1585  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
How to be funny--Great mechanics, weak theology  Oct 1, 2003
The purpose of Comedy and Preaching is to teach preachers the principles they can learn from professional comedians. Rather than simply telling a few jokes to keep people entertained, Webb shows how laughter is an important way to share God's grace. Comedy is not merely a few jokes, but rather the combination of an event or story, plus irony and metaphor told through the preacher's imagination and his personality.

Webb is honest in saying that there are times when comedy is appropriate and times when it is not. Some topics are serious and should not be taken lightly. Laughter is okay only when it appreciates and takes the subject seriously. Laughter is not appropriate when it is at another person's expense, and sarcasm is not appropriate because it is hostile and based on hatred. Nevertheless, laughter is a way to transcend the limits of human weakness. Laughter is a reflection of celebration and hope. Webb believes that not all laughter is good, and not all laughter should be condoned. But when people understand that, then they can find appropriate kinds of humor to use.

I didn't really agree with a lot of Webb's theological justification. It sounded a lot like salvation by works (either community or individually) and like it promoted a "social gospel" instead of personal life-changing.

Also, he has a Post-Modern view of the sermon, where the authority is not based in scripture, but rather the preacher and the event. I believe that a true Christian preacher should always be expounding on scripture, or we loose our Biblical authority (sola scriptura). We should try to make the Bible relevant to today by using various techniques, and not substituting the Bible with non-inspired sources. However, I don't think you have to agree with his theology to get the important mechanics from this book.

According to Webb, there are five dimensions of comedy: immanence, doubting, incongruity, ambiguity, and solidarity.

Some qualities of a "comic" sermon are:
1) It has purpose
2) It involves a range of emtions
3) It helps us deal with the world we live in
4) It is Biblical
5) It offers unfailing hope
6) It is playful
7) It is original and spoken through preacher's own experience.
The comic sermon is honest and frank, and yet it is probing and sometimes nosy. It helps us to realize our dependency on God and provides promises as hope.

The comic sermon has more impact if the humor is part of a narrative story. Within the framework of a story, incongruencies or "ironies" are used to make people think and face the inconsistencies of reality.

Five forms of incongruencies or "ironies":
1) The Anticipated and the Unanticipated
2) Ambition vs. Achievement
3) The Ideal and Actual
4) Individual vs. Institution
5) The Normal and the Abnormal

Webb also talks about hyperboles, metaphors, parables, and developing a comic persona. Webb says that we are the funniest when we act like ourselves and loosen up. He also stresses the importance of speaking extemporaneously and sounding spontaneous.

Though I didn't agree with a lot of his theology, this book is a great resource that I will be drawing from a lot in the future.


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