By: TwitterButtons.com
By TwitterButtons.com

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Skewer Your Ideas With Humor

Do you ever stumble into nostalgia that forces your face into an unexpected smile?  The other day, I was rummaging through old files and uncovered old seminary publications.  The finding filled me with a chuckle that grew as I scanned each word.

Back in my seminary days, partly out of boredom, and partly our of contentionsness, myself and two other friends (who will remain nameless) created a fake newsletter patterned after the official Seminary publication--the Towers.  We entitled ours the Faulty Towers.

At most we only published 4 issues, and because of cost we didn't even print enough for all the students.  We printed just enough to cause a stir and then effectively distributed them into the right hands to create controversy.  We found a mole working inside the post office who would distribute them into the boxes of random students and select professors.

The seminary had recently escaped a liberal phase via a conservative takeover, and was slowly embracing the theology of John Calvin.

Not enamored with Calvin myself, I joined these two other kindred spirits to poke fun at the Calvin hysteria that 15 years later has become the dominant theological persuasion at the institution.

(For my non-theological readers, Calvinism is an early Protestant reaction to another Protestant theology referred to as Arminianism.  Calvinism essentially emphasizes the Sovereignty of God above all else, squeezing out much real freedom on the part of humanity.)

In a brief window of time, a good bit of dialogue was created and serious discussions ensued, but I am don't think it had any lasting impact.  However, it taught be a couple truths:

1.  It's ok to laugh at yourself and your ideas, if nothing else it keeps you humbles.
2.  Humor has a way of removing emotion from passionate controversies.
3.  Humor can be effective, if ideas not people are the target.

I am sure there are other points that can be gleaned from this story.  Today one of my favorite bloggers, who uses humor that pops the balloon of my pride is Pithless Thoughts.

Oh, and by the way, email me and I would be glad to send you those two long lost issues.

Keep smiling.


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