Archive for the ‘Gospel Implications’ category

Gospel-Shaped Humor

April 19, 2012

I found the excerpt below from Keller Quotes to be incredibly insightful. Not to be overly generic, but I think our culture has bought into a lot of humor, whether knowingly or unknowingly, that militates against the gospel and elevates self-righteousness, pride, and personal insecurity. Most of the men my age or younger than me (I’m 33) seem to have their personality and interpersonal communication profoundly shaped by sarcasm and insincerity. I know I am vulnerable to the charge of being self-righteous in making that assertion(!), but my overarching concern is the absence of genuine sincerity and need of generosity in affections for one another. We need the gospel to be applied to our humor and sarcasm, and once again, Keller nails it.

Below is the complete except from Keller Quotes. I don’t know what the original source is, but the quote is long enough to understand his point in immediate context. Check it out.

“Your humor has a lot to do with how you regard yourself. Many people use humor to put down others, keep themselves in the driver’s seat in a conversation and setting, and to remind the hearers of their superior vantage point. They use humor not to defuse tension and put people at ease, but to deliberately belittle the opposing view. Rather than showing respect and doing the hard work of true disagreement, they mock others’ points of view and dismiss them without actually engaging the argument.

Ultimately, sarcastic put-down humor is self-righteous, a form of self-justification, and that is what the gospel demolishes. When we grasp that we are unworthy sinners saved by infinitely costly grace it destroys both our self-righteousness and our need to ridicule others. This is also true of self-directed ridicule. There are some people who constantly, bitterly, mock themselves. At first it looks like a form of humility, or realism, but really it is just as self-absorbed as the other version. It is a sign of an inner disease with one’s self, a profound spiritual restlessness.
There is another kind of self-righteousness, however, that produces a person with little or no sense of humor. Moralistic persons often have no sense of irony because they take themselves too seriously, or because they are too self-conscious and self-absorbed in their own struggles to be habitually joyful.

The gospel, however, creates a gentle sense of irony. Our doctrine of sin keeps us from being over-awed by anyone (especially ourselves) or shocked, shocked by any behavior. We find a lot to laugh at, starting with our own weaknesses. They don’t threaten us any more because our ultimate worth is not based on our record or performance. Our doctrine of grace and redemption also keeps us from seeing any situation as hopeless. This groundnote of joy and peace makes humor spontaneous and natural.

In gospel-shaped humor we don’t only poke fun at ourselves, we also can gently poke fun at others, especially our friends. But it is always humor that takes the other seriously and ultimately builds them up as a show of affection. ‘We are not to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.’ (C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”)

The Gospel Alphabet: N is for Narrative

December 25, 2011

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M 

In his book, Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way, J.I. Packer has a chapter entitled “The Gospel as of First Importance.”  In that chapter, Packer discusses the pastoral and formational applications of the Gospel.  Many are familiar with the quote from Tim Keller that “the Gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life; it is the A through Z of the Christian life.”  Packer writes,

“In that spirit we offer the following ‘Gospel Alphabet’–twenty-six pastoral and formative reasons why the Gospel must retain primacy as the content of Christian education” (108).

This week, we come to the letter “N”.

N is for Narrative

We must ever study the Gospel because it is the apex and summary of the great narrative of God’s redemptive activity in the world.  It is into this Story that we have been called.  In an age when many deny the existence of a single metanarrative that applies to all persons it is more crucial than ever that we know the biblical narrative and tell it faithfully to others, asking God to convince hearers as we do so that this is their Story as well.

Gospel Implications, Part 3

May 26, 2011

Part 1 || Part 2

Continuing this great series by Scotty Smith, here is your third installment of 20 tweets on gospel implications for your gospel intake:

Gospel Implications: The Lamb HAS triumphed, the Lamb WILL triumph. Say goodbye to hopeless, fearful, selfish living.

Gospel Implications: We are “recovering legalists and Pharisees” to the extent we are actually becoming like Jesus.

Gospel Implications: There’s nothing very amazing about a grace which only makes us glad we’re not a “Fundie” anymore.

The gospel, and the gospel alone, is the power of God for the salvation of non-believers and believers alike. Open the cage!


Gospel Implications, Part 2

May 19, 2011

Part 1 ||

Continuing this great series by Scotty Smith, here is your second installment of 20 tweets on gospel implications for our nourishment:

Gospel Implications: Since the Father has lavished his love upon us in Jesus, let’s not hoard it. Love boldly today.

Gospel Implications: Since Jesus has worked for us, we must rest in him. A most freeing imperative, indeed.

Gospel Implications: Jesus was the 2nd Adam who succeeded brilliantly as our substitute. Quit trying to be a 3rd Adam.

Gospel Implications: Since Jesus made and will glorify our bodies one Day, we must neither despise, abuse or worship them.

Jesus has the only set of shoulders broad enough to carry the burden of your sin, brokenness, shame and despair. Offload.


Gospel Implications, Part 1

May 11, 2011

Scotty Smith has started a new series of tweets focusing on gospel implications.  I’m pumped, and yes, I will be compiling them just like his other series on signs you are growing in grace.  Here is your first installment of 20 tweets from Scotty on gospel implications:

Gospel Implications: Jesus’ imputed righteousness demolishes our hope of meriting God’s favor and fear of losing it.

Gospel Implications: Because Jesus is currently making all his enemies his footstool, our right to anxiety & fear is gone.

Gospel Implications: Since Jesus took our guilt & shame on the cross, we can’t use those dark tools in our relationships.

Gospel Implications: Since Jesus in making all things new, we can’t disengage from the culture & abuse the environment.