Pastor-Turned-Chaplain Advocates Looking on the Light Side

Enumclaw, WA – Where others see only rules to obey in the teachings and parables of Jesus, one pastor says the “subtle humor in the parables is prescribed medicine.” The Rev. Dr. Marshall L. Hoffman is an advocate of not taking ourselves, and life, too seriously. In Turning Our Frowns into Smiles: Discovering Christ’s Delightful Sense of Humor in the Parables of Jesus (Redemption Press 2016), he takes a new look at the parables and banishes the traditional stereotype of a gloomy Jesus.

Hoffman, retired pastor, and former military chaplain with active combat service in Vietnam, gives us a fresh look at Jesus. Three times he told his followers to “Be of good cheer.” He also poked fun at hypocrisies with hyperbole, and used stories full of charming human-interest appeal, using everyday objects and interests. Hoffman says Jesus, as a master teacher, captured and held the attention of his audience, and shocked his listeners into smiles by saying something surprising.

“Holy hilarity, a sanctified sense of humor, has the power to dispel the frowns of pessimism and allow more room for the smiles of optimism to take hold and lift our spirits.” Hoffman, who has a bachelor of arts, a master of divinity, and a doctor of ministry degree, is the author of five other books. A cheerful attitude has kept a passion for ministry alive in his own heart. He says, “Who has more cause for laughter than a child of God who has been called from death unto life?”

Along with this unique look at the parables of Jesus, Dr. Hoffman intersperses his own delight-tickling stories. Summing up his philosophy, he says, “Less trying and more trusting may be an authentic word that can inspire us to lighten up, lessen the drudgery, and restore the fun.”

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