Theology TV Videos

How Good is the Good Place?

This is our latest video from the Third Space website…How Good is the Good Place?

 

Third Space – A Christian Website for Non-Christians…Welcome Home!

The West Wing – The Good Book?

5 comments

  1. David, your facial hair is meagre in comparison- call yourself a guru? Authority and expertise is vested in the beard, especially the greybeard, don’t you know? Not created in the image of Calvin, or even John Knox, I’m afraid – more like Luther. You really need to research theology of the beard, and head hair in older geezers. How about Elisha and his mockers for starters?
    Caveat: Apologies in advance. No offence meant and hate is far from my thoughts, to you both.
    Seriously, fellas, what about senior church officers in UK on another blog espousing universal salvation and heaven, (based on undefined grace, with no distinction between common and saving grace being made) wrath, judgement being expunged and where hell is even countenanced it is annihilation rather than eternal torment. If hell is serious, salvation only of God in Christ, in the trinity and heaven is seriously Good News. In the words of John Piper “God saves us from God” – I’d add and “for God”.
    It seems to me that the skitting sketches stems from muddle in the church higher echelons, that by “osmosis” seeps into culture. Maybe we need to skit cultural beliefs- did not Jesus do that?
    A number of years ago a much older, church going friend, who knew some John1:1&2 off by heart was imminently dying with and when I asked her about belief in heaven. Yes, she go there any see her friends and family (but not her divorced husband) but when I asked if she’d see anyone else, she hadn’t a clue who I meant and was astonished to learn it would be God. After some gentle leading with Gideon’s she accepted Jesus as Lord and saviour, and without medically induced chemicals, died in peace.
    Reminds me of a Woody Allen (I think) retort when asked what he’d say to God when they met: “I’d ask for a second opinion.”
    Hands up, I’ve not seen West Wing, Breaking Bad nor this one which I’ll give a miss thank you.. I’ll stick with Freeview (England) thanks, and then with discretion. I wish to seek to guard my eyes and ears as much as I can as I’ve been there, done that, got the tee shirt, old and faded as it is now.
    Maybe, I’m too old and retired, and no longer culturally inured as I was 47 years an unbeliever. If I were still in employment I could see colleagues watching these progs and discussing them as they did 24 which they were addicted to.
    BTW David, how about Leonard Cohen’s new release of previously unreleased material?

  2. From the clip shown my immediate reaction is , “Utter , utter garbage.” Even though Third Space exists to aim to inform the non Christian . Please Gentlemen don’t take this as a slight and I know that you dear folks offer wonderful insights into scripture and have greater to give , but please don’t waste oxygen on this trash, making comment on what passes for entertainment .
    Yes , I have, been guilty of watching tv that offers the pits in entertainment , but I find no justification for my reason for viewing afterwards . I just find that this is another new low ! No wonder the humanist and secularist s don’t have far to go for ammunition for their mockery !

    1. I’m afraid that we don’t, can’t and won’t restrict ourselves to that which we agree with and like. I also think that its not usually a good idea to comment without first seeing it. Personally I don’t like the show but as I said this is not about my personal likes etc…

  3. David,
    I’d suggest that this is more than about persona,l subjective taste -how about extrapolating that across all religions, with a pick and mix here and there- but is about objective content and the theological (whole systematic themes, God and human nature, if you will) and messages, which can often be identified in advance.
    In fact words used and heard, language and images burned indelibly into the mind, which sometimes seem to spring from nowhere and wish I’d not seen or heard are, to me, to be guarded against to not place ourselves in areas of temptation.
    A guide would be, in exercising choice, Phillipians 4:8,9.
    I recall hearing Tim Keller say, when asked by a Christian actor which parts he should and shouldn’t take, that he didn’t really have an answer, whereas he say to a pilot on how to be a Christian in the work place, “Just land the plane.”
    When playing soccer, when at work, you’d hear much that is not edifying. The choice would be not to take part in it, perhaps counter it, or if at a works “do”, walk away, circulate, speak to some else. If you are known as a Christian you’ll be watched like a hawk, as everyone knows, don’t they, how Christians should be?
    For leisure time spent, my preference, my choice is, to avoid this stuff.
    At work in a professional environment there was some talk about films, some but very little about TV: overall not much and what was said, if you were part of the conversation, had sufficient traction for an opening to offer the astonishing Christian insights we are all famous for and have at our finger tips, always analysing it spiritually.
    I’ve also for a short period of time worked as a very early morning office cleaner in a TV studio, where colleagues conversations at tea breaks were mostly about people (gossip), family, nights out, shopping and what to buy next and sometimes TV soaps (again not much).
    The point here is that what may be viewed as entertainment is dependent, frequently on cultural demographics: Guardian or Sun as a polar template. Today it is likely to be social media, led or influenced.
    What would people in the housing Schemes in Scotland watch for entertainment?
    As for home-all-day oldies, what do they watch?
    There used to be an expression in NHS and Local Government circles: “hard to reach people”. In reality it was more about “hard to engage” as we can live where “they” live,(but generally don’t -and David you’ve written much about this ) socialise where they, do, work in jobs they work, engage in “social marketing” (look it up, please, it is fascinating, and may be more productive time spent in “broadcasting”and generating gospel message ideas) but still not engage with people.
    Anyway, enough of that, I’m sure you’ll agree, I’ve wandered off point.
    As for the Good Place , I’d suggest the church needs to counter universal salvation. The name of prog itself is an opening the bring in the Good News, without a need to view it all as rare would be the need to discuss intricacies with avid fans. and use as sermon illustrations may only need a broad brush thematic mention to speak about universalism, heaven, hell.
    I’ve heard a minister say a funeral for his lovely Christian mother. There are two types of funeral service, one giving false hope, one giving no hope.
    A great challenge would be to give a sermon, teaching on heaven
    At the risk of patronising experts here is a marvellous one to better spend your time with:
    https://www.christian.org.uk/resource/recovering-heaven-the-awesome-significance-of-seeing-the-new-creation-clearly/
    “Recovering ‘Heaven’: the awesome significance of seeing the new creation clearly,
    Revd Rupert Bentley-Taylor”
    It is rare, I venture and highly pertinent to the Topic of “The Good Place”
    Sorry fellas.

  4. I’m coming late to this conversation but I think ‘The Good Place’ offers a secular version of CS Lewis’s ‘The Great Divorce’. Like Lewis’s masterpiece (which it doesn’t even come close to), ‘The Good Place’ is not mere speculation about what heaven or hell are like – it’s a literary vehicle to explore the moral choices of human beings. I won’t give any plot spoilers but let’s just say that the ‘heaven’ portrayed in ‘The Good Place’ is not all that it seems.

    But thanks for the discussion to get us thinking. That’s what we need to help us engage the gospel with the world secular people live in. We should be like the apostle Paul in Athens and find the point of connection to the contemporary world. If we write contemporary culture off as ‘nonsense’, people will press mute on us before we even get a chance to share the gospel.

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