THINKing and LOLing image

THINKing and LOLing

I’m typically wary of Christian conferences, since they tend to attract many of the things I dislike most in this world: flag wavers, ridiculous jargon, checked shirts, lanyards, side hugs, motivational speeches and open-toed sandals. Like moths to flames. Flies to turds.

But I must say, I was pleasantly surprised by the THINK Conference. And in a room packed with 200 men, 12 women and 1 otter, it was nice to finally see Galatians 3:28 being taken seriously and applied to the use of toilets.

My previous fears were allayed, since it was Tom Wright that turned up, rather than Nick. (Though regrettably, he appears to have adopted his brother’s position on 2 Corinthians 5:21, proving that blood is thicker than good exegesis.) And whilst his teaching clearly went above the heads of most people in the room, despite my diminutive stature, it was pitched roughly at my chin-level (metaphorically speaking).

But what struck me most about the day was the humour. Admittedly, I didn’t get all of it. In the first session Tom remarked, “I don’t want to be operated on by either a premodern or postmodern dentist! I’ll take high modernity!” Since I am scheduled for root canal on Tuesday, I phoned up my surgery during one of the breaks to enquire as to the worldview of my dentist. The receptionist told me they didn’t give out personal information about their staff, but they would happily double my dosage of laughing gas, which would make all of them seem pretty postmodern.

Upon reflection, I realised the good ex-Bishop’s comments were probably meant in jest. I rarely understand subtle, dry, or satirical humour, so I didn’t really chuckle for the first half of the day. But that all changed dramatically when we got to the Q&A…

Suddenly, out of nowhere, the humour started flowing. And it was the best kind of humour: Greek Jokes. I’m not talking about the kind of one-liners you get from the likes of J. John and Mike Pilavachi – I mean proper, good old Koine Komedy.

I use terms like LOL sparingly, but I have to say, I genuinely did LOL when a chap raised his hand and asked the Bishop “How does hamartia work?” Of course he meant to ask how the word works in the context of 2 Corinthians 5:21, but it sounded awfully like he was asking the Professor for a step by step explanation of how to sin! I was disappointed that fewer people didn’t get the joke. Andrew giggled, Liam guffawed, Jennie tittered and even Matt cracked a smile, but beyond that only a handful of others did anything even remotely approaching a LOL – and I’m pretty certain some of them just did it to appear more intelligent than they really were.

But this set the tone for the rest of the day, and I tell you, when Andrew prefaced his detailed instructions on when we should return from lunch with “I don’t want to be a paidagogos, but…” I literally ROFLed.

All of this makes me wonder if there isn’t a market for stand-up comedy for Greek Geeks? So following the rip-roaring success of THINK, I propose a gig this autumn hosted by yours truly. I suggest we call it ἀναγελῶ φωνῇ μεγάλῃ (or ΑΦΜ for short), which Professor Daniel R. Streett argues is the Koine equivalent of LOL. Now we just need some jokes and some comics, then we can sit back and watch the bookings roll in!

Any contributions gratefully received. I’ll kick-start it with a pun of my own creation:

What did Jesus say to his disciples before the ascension?

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