Humor Us! (Paper)

Preaching and the Power of the Comic Spirit

  • 9780664267018
  • 6 x 9
  • 256
  • 81.25
  • Paper
  • 0664267017
  • 6/5/2023
  • 7-10 days processing
$ 28.00


Homiletics textbooks often discourage the use of humor in preaching, regarding it as trivializing or distracting. The result is that many preachers have failed to understand humor’s positive power, demoting it to the opening joke to get a guaranteed guffaw to warm up the crowd. Humor Us!, the second volume in the “Preaching and… series,” is a collaborative effort by homiletician Alyce M. McKenzie and humor scholar Owen Hanley Lynch that promotes humor, a force capable of great good, to its rightful place in the pulpit. Establishing humor as a divine gift, Humor Us! opens to preachers the world of humor studies with its positive portrayal of humor’s usefulness to speak truth to power, unite people in their common humanity, and strengthen them to cope and survive in tough times.

Humor Us! helps preachers understand how humor works and shows them, in very practical and specific ways, how preachers can put it to work in their sermons. It combines the wealth of knowledge of two highly regarded scholars-practitioners to show how humor can become a potent tool for sharing the good news in sermons. McKenzie and Lynch prove that humor, when applied thoughtfully, can foster compassion and a sense of common humanity, help challenge an unjust status quo, and invite listeners into a shared experience of the presence of God.

To help continue your study of using humor in preaching, the authors have put together an additional list of resources, which you can access here.


Product Excerpts and Related Resources


"To anyone who does even occasional public speaking, it's obvious that humor gets attention, relaxes your audience, creates rapport, and makes your message memorable. But few books on preaching have delved into these and other benefits of humor. McKenzie and Lynch make up for lost time with this tour de force of historical research, funny stories, and advice for preachers. Their tips and questions ‘To Ponder’ alone are worth the price of this book. I was especially taken with their exploration of Christianity as a comic vision of life—as ‘the certainty of the ultimate victory of . . . hope over despair’—with its links between humor and faith, hope, and love." - John Morreall, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, College of William & Mary

"How refreshing and exciting to see a book that directly and principally addresses the Christian religion and humor, indeed even taking a practical stance on how pastors can use humor in their communication. This book, through meticulous and extensive research, forthrightly seeks to bring together expertise in homiletics and communication to explore the topic of humor in preaching. Exploring humor as a gift from God, the authors admirably show from a variety of different approaches why humor is crucial to the human experience and highly desirable and useful for preachers’ communication. In friendly, accessible, and at times funny text, the book explores humor and theology based on the essential humor in divine and human character, humor and homiletics and the work that humor can do in sermons, and humor in preachers’ lives that can be harnessed and used in their work and relationships. Preachers will find this work of great practical value, but anyone interested in the clashes and reinforcements of humor and the Christian religion through the centuries leading up to now will find it a fun and fascinating read. Not only did I learn about humor and its uses in Christian lives and giving sermons, I learned a lot also about preaching from reading

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