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Johan Maurer

Feb 17, 2013, 9:13:57 AM2/17/13
October 12 2005 at 12:04 AM O.Birky  (no login)
Since when did Mennonites gain a sense of humor? Just kidding, I am a Mennonite. I was looking for Anabaptist sites on the web and discovered I have never here 'mennolicious' used to describe being a Mennonite. Clearly they're more on the progressive end...or maybe I've just been stuck under a rock? Any ideas?

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Women are from Venus, Menno from Mars October 12 2005, 6:38 AM 

I'm not sure what to think of this posting about Mennolicious. It's not related to this Web forum, so it seems the poster is speaking Spammish, but it is interestingly targeted. Third Way Cafe is linked to my own Web site as well!

Maybe I can stretch this thread into being about humor and evangelism, although my intuition is that Friends humor mostly consists of inside jokes.

Bill Samuel
(Login BillSamuel)
Evangelicals shouldn't be inside oriented October 13 2005, 4:30 AM 

If we have an evangelical (I might prefer to say missional, as that has less extra baggage) outlook, perhaps that should be reflected in humor that is more open to the world we are trying to reach for Christ, rather than inside jokes? 

Bill Samuel, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

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Re: Evangelicals shouldn't be inside oriented October 13 2005, 4:42 PM 

Hi, Bill! I agree that humor is not really compatible with an invitational attitude if it is based on inside jokes. Those inside jokes have other functions—tension relief, building the community, nurturing a creative environment, as well as some less positive aspects...but those things, as valuable as they are, don't necessarily open the door wider.

Relying as it does on unexpected associations or twists on familiar themes, probably humor is more often inside-oriented than we realize. Much of it depends on shared references. (In fact, some humor uses those references to say things that it wouldn't be safe to say directly. For example, the old "Radio Yerevan" joke from the early 1960's: Someone calls into the Radio Yerevan advice program asking how to get rid of baldness. The answer: "We don't deal with political issues." You need to know, at least, that "Radio Yerevan" was a joke formula in the Soviet Union, not a real station, and that Khrushchev was bald.

Similarly, the Christian satire magazine, Wittenburg Door, is probably 50% incomprehensible to the average non-believer. However, the other 50% may provide important evidence that at least some Christians are not the narrowminded terminal killjoys that are overrepresented among Christian celebrities.
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