Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Two myths deconstructed for the price of one, courtesy of Ricky Gervais

The myths:
  1. Atheists are bright
  2. Comedians are insightful sages

24 comments:

Kim said...

The thing with comedians, though, is that everything must be made into a joke, even the seriousness of being an atheist.

Aric said...

His mom only lied to him about one thing. Um, if she's lying, then how would he know! :)

It is sad to see the depths of depravity in action. And yet, I was once a God-hater, too, just not as vocal. May God grant this man repentance.

Citizen Grim said...

He was wounded for our one-liners; He was bruised for our punchlines.

Seth Benge said...

I guess as a father I see this and think of my responsibility of not just saying to my kids "there is a God go to church and learn about him" but being prepared to explain to them why I believe in Christ. If his mom had stepped and defended her faith then the story might be different.
This is assuming the story he is telling is in anyway true.

DJP said...

Yep on every count, Seth.

Citizen Grim said...

Also, Gervais asks, "If there is a God, why did He make me an atheist?"

Someone should point out to him Romans 9:17ff where Paul discusses why God hardened Pharoah's heart.

SandMan said...

Psalm 14:1
The fool says in his heart, there is no God.

Psalm 10:4
In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

And pray for big brother Bob:

Matthew 18:6
but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Paula said...

That the audience would laugh about this discussion (and also Letterman's confession) is a sad commentary about what our society considers entertainment.

Joshua Cookingham said...

Wait a minute....so Ricky decided he was an atheist, then asks why God made him an atheist....


..........

Is this British humor? because my Ignorant, American Bible Thumping self does not get it.....

Kaffinator said...

Two statements stuck out to me.

"You can't believe in something you don't."

I actually thought that statement to be pretty insightful. It recognizes the inescapable, God-hating depravity in which the unregenerate are effectively locked.

"Why did He make me an atheist?"

I can imagine Paul asking a similar question, pre-Damascus-road. It's a question I might have asked before knowing my Savior. And alas, it is a question that only has an answer on the flip-side, with a new heart birthed in you by the Holy Spirit.

Daryl said...

"You can't believe in something you don't"

"Why did he make me an atheist?"


Interesting that even this atheist is a Calvinistic atheist. At least he understands that if he were to believe in God he would have to lay everything in the world at his feet eventually.

He's definitely confused about one thing though, he didn't become an atheist in an hour, he just found a new super-hero. He became the superman that he thought Jesus ought to be.

Jay said...

Interesting that even this atheist is a Calvinistic atheist.

That is quite interesting. But at least we know that when or if God does choose to save him, he'll understand that faith is something that is chosen for us, not something we can choose for ourselves.

GrammaMack said...

I don't know which is sadder, what he said or the audience laughing at it.

Chuck said...

Interestingly enough, this is very straight talk for an atheist. I don't think Gervais is joking nearly as much as the audience seems to assume. He is a strident nonbeliever and was not really cracking wise but pointing out what he actually found to be compelling reasons not to believe. Not that they are all that compelling (or original). If pushed, I bet he's a fan of guys like Dawkins,Hitchens, etc. I sense a compelling anger and disgust toward God and all things Godward just ever-so-slightly below his sarcastic veneer.

It's sad. He is a gifted entertainer: his part as Ben Stiller's boss in Night at the Musuem was great, and I liked parts of Ghost Town. The Office...I couldn't even finish the British version, but I love the American one and he did help create the concept.

Kay said...

I usually enjoy Ricky Gervais. He interviewed the Archbishop of Canterbury some time ago, and it was like jelly splatting against cotton wool - nothing of any substance. Sixth former atheist arguments meeting soft-as-margarine theism.

Rachael Starke said...

He's a Calvinistic athiest with an Arminian-thinking mum - ss if his brother's words have more power than God's to direct his heart...

Very helpful from a parenting perspective.

The Squirrel said...

Theologically speaking, the eyes of those who are perishing are blinded so that they cannot see the truth.

But practically speaking, this shows the importance of not only teaching our kids what the truth is, but also why it is the truth. Because if you don't know why you believe what you believe, then you really don't know what you believe, do you?

~Squirrel

JTW said...

"Interestingly enough, this is very straight talk for an atheist. I don't think Gervais is joking nearly as much as the audience seems to assume."

This is one of his bits, of course he was playing it for laughs. I always find the reaction of the audience the most disturbing aspect of this kind of irreverence. I haven't seen his latest film, but many reviewers said that it was a mean-spirited attack on Christianity.

There's just something about the British accent, makes you sound so smart and well-reasoned. Could you imagine Hitchens or Dawkins in a debate without an accent? So many of their arguments are ridiculous non-sequiturs; but that accent, along with a little wit and a little charm, really helps them sell their nonsense.

Mike said...

He needs to be introduced to CS Lewis' trilemma. Christ can't be just a good bloke!!

As for the UK vs the US versions of the office, the UK version is wayyyyy better.

just saying.

Citizen Grim said...

Mike - that's a tough comparison, b/c you can really only compare the first dozen episodes or so.

Yes, the UK Office was fantastic... for the 12 episodes or so that it ran.

Then the American Office began and essentially mimicked the UK version. (Note, for example, in the first season how Steve Carell slicks his hair back, tries to act like Ricky Gervais, etc. They also duplicated many of the storylines.)

However, when they began going in their own direction, the American version really shone in the 2nd and 3rd seasons, which I think were the best of any of them - US or UK.

JTW said...

Lewis had a great response for people like Gervais:

"There is no need to be worried by facetious people who try to make the Christian hope of “Heaven” ridiculous by saying they do not want “to spend eternity playing harps.” The answer to such people is that if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them…

...Such people put up a version of Christianity suitable for a child of six and make that the object of their attack."

Barbara said...

A couple of comments above noting how sad and sinful we are when the audience laughs at this man's discussion of his atheism and Letterman joking about his adultery - Tony Reinke brought up the same thing recently, a Christian Counseling conference audience laughing at John Piper's discussion of his sinfulness: http://spurgeon.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/laughing-at-sin/

I think it says a lot about our depravity and the insidious influence of the secular on the so-called "Christian" world when the assumption is that of jokes and laughter in the midst of a serious topic. Surely in our flesh there is no good thing.

Justin said...

THe Body Language is interesting -- at 1:44 and 45, he shakes his head, and then crosses his arms. Hmmm.

Cindy said...

I did laugh a little when he said he'd worked it out in an hour. Seems like I'm always coming acroos atheists who say "I figured it out when I was a child." Like that means it's obvious, when it really just means he hasn't progressed in his thinking since he was 8.