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My first recollection of redemptive satire was a paper called The Wittenburg Door by Mike Yaconelli in the early 80's. It rocked my world. Long ago St. Francis' followers were called "le jongleur de Dieu"—the jugglers of God—because they saw themselves not as theologians or preachers, but as circus men so filled with joy in enacting the Gospel that they were comics. G.K. Chesterton says that the Gospel—the real Gospel—makes you "want to throw your life into the bottomless well of thanks." God is big enough for us to make fun of him but I'm not so sure that is true for the church today.
I wrote my post "Musicals I'd Pay To See" this past Monday in the spirit of redemptive satire. Layers of satire. Did you happen to catch them all?
My friend Ken Davis applies this technique of redemptive satire brilliantly through the art of comedy. And I suppose middle schoolers use it naturally on a daily basis. It is a part of their DNA.
Americans are so politically correct that principles such as debate, satire and lampoonery have become a lost art. And when you apply the adjective redemptive to the mix, the art form becomes almost non-existent.
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