“How Much Humor Should Be Used in Preaching?”

When a lady accused Charles Spurgeon of using too much humor in his sermons, he told her: “Well, madam, you may very well be right; but if you knew the number of jokes I do not tell, and the number of things that I refrain from saying you would give me more credit than you are giving me.”

As stated in Preaching and Preachers, the rule Martyn Lloyd-Jones uses for humor in preaching is that it was only allowable if it is natural. The Doctor uses the word “abomination” for the preacher who tries to be funny. Spurgeon was a naturally humorous man. Whitefield was very serious. So the preacher must know himself. Lloyd-Jones:

I would not dare to say there is no place for humor in preaching; but I do suggest that it should not be a very big place because of the nature of the work, and because of the character of the Truth with which we are dealing. The preacher is dealing with and concerned about souls and their destiny. He is standing between God and men and acting as an ambassador for Christ. (241)

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2 thoughts on ““How Much Humor Should Be Used in Preaching?”

  1. Sometimes certain personalities and certain cultures encourage a kind of humor that may look very natural, yet still be wrong. The quote by Lloyd-Jones puts this in proper perspective.

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