Bible Evangelism Music

Wish You Were Here, David Walliams and the ‘Unhappy” Ending of the Bible

David Walliams, children’s author, tv personality and BGT judge, was interviewed in The Guardian this weekend.  Amongst other things he made this comment

The book I couldn’t finish
The Bible. I bought one with the intention of finally reading it cover to cover. While I was reading Genesis I found myself flicking all the way to Revelation to see if there was a happy ending. Sadly there isn’t.

Apart from his superficial ‘flicking though’, his analysis of the end is bizarre and woefully wrong.  The ending of the Bible is the happiest of all endings.   By the time we get to Revelation 21 and 22 – death and evil are defeated, and the new heavens and new earth – where there is no more sin, death, disease, sorrow and separation – have begun.   I suspect Walliams did not read what he is talking about – and he certainly doesn’t understand it.   I wonder if he would be willing to let someone explain it to him?!  (If anyone knows him feel free to put me in touch!)

One of the great promises at the end of the Bible is that there will be no more sea.  A poignant promise that the second greatest separation of all,   death will no longer apply.  I was thinking of that when listening to one of the all time great songs – Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.  I confess my eyes filled with tears!

 

I have this theory that you could tell the whole Gospel using only Pink Floyd songs!  Wish You Were Here is not just a longing for a separated one to be with us, but also a plea for understanding and a longing for reality.   All of that comes to us in Christ.

But in one sense Walliams is right.  The victory of good means the defeat of evil.  The overcoming of separation of human beings from God and one another, is overcome – but there are those who will go to the greatest separation of all – the blackness and darkness of Hell.  Revelation ends with a great invitation to the greatest feast of all.  If you, Walliams and others want to know the happiest ending of all – then you need to read the invite and accept it – not just dismiss it so contemptuously.

As it says at the end of the Bible – Wish you were here!

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. 

Quantum 153 – News from Africa, Barmy Bishops and Mumford’s Sorrow

 

 

 

6 comments

  1. As to David Walliams, perhaps he needs a Philip. (And incidentally, there’s a lesson here for all of us about reading the Bible. We need a guide. A reliable guide. But how do we know when we have found a reliable guide?)
    Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28 and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” 30 So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:

    “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
    and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he opens not his mouth.
    33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.
    Who can describe his generation?
    For his life is taken away from the earth.”

    34 And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 36 And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”[b] 38 And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. 39 And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

  2. I would love to see the Gospel told using just Pink Floyd songs. I think I need to listen to Pink Floyd a little more carefully than in the past. Wish You Were Here is one of my favourites but I have so many favourite Pink Floyd songs that it is hard to know where to begin.

    I really appreciate your blog David – it is one that I always read and often share with others. Thank you.

  3. Hi David I love the sound of telling the Gospel message using Pink Floyd songs.. Is that a project you may do sometime?
    Thank you you for all your output btw!

  4. Wish You Were Here, surely not. I listened to Shine On You Crazy Diamond Partl, flicked to PartIX and decided the end was no better than the beginning. Now Meddle is another matter all together.
    Perhaps Mr Walliams looked at Revelation and decided that, as things stand, there is no happy ending for him. Is this not true for all of us who do not heed the warnings?

  5. Hmm interesting that Walliams perceived it as not ending well. I suspect myths surrounding “judgement day” and the idea of apocalyptic holocaust might have influenced that rather than an appreciation that the book of Revelations would be an encouragement to a persecuted church about justice being forthcoming.

    As for the lyrics of a song – I would go with Black Sabbaths heaven and hell in regards to the imagery in Revelations. And for hope I would focus on:

    “The lover of life’s not a sinner
    The ending is just a beginner…
    For every moment of truth, there’s confusion in life
    Love can be seen as the answer…
    Look for the answer”.

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