Foibles of the Faithful

If it's possible to teach spiritual truths through humor—and maybe even evangelize— author Chris Fabry just may have found the way to do it. Fabry is a Chicago writer and broadcaster. He's just written a book entitled Spiritually Correct Bedtime Stories which spoofs all the latest church trends and squabbles. But there's a deeper message in each story as well—if you can stop chuckling long enough to find it. For example, we have the "Three Holy Goats Gruff," who want to cross the bridge and engage the culture. But the troll who lives beneath the bridge bellows, "We can't have your kind imposing your morality! I'm going to [gobble you up] if you don't scram." But then a lawyer from Concerned Mammals of America shows up. He waves a restraining order at the troll, and the three goats cross the bridge and work to restore virtue to the land. And in the story of "The Three Theological Pigs," the first little piggy is sold a load of "straw theology." His church promises "healing, prosperity, and more pleasing snouts for everyone." The second pig builds his church out of sticks, complete with ice rink, swimming pool, and a 12-step program for "Swines Anonymous." Both these piggies are gobbled up by the big bad wolf. And then, Fabry writes, "Since wolves are not shame-based, he . . . headed over to eat the third pig." But this pig has fasted and prayed instead of building swimming pools. "Because of his discerning spirit," he isn't fooled into letting the wolf in. These stories will amuse anyone who has a sense of humor about the foibles of the faithful. But while Fabry slyly satirizes religious disputes, he also plants the seeds of the gospel in the minds of readers. For example, in "The Emperor's New Bible," a little boy reminds the Emperor that the real Bible teaches that "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." In "King Midas and the Christian Touch," a little girl explains that "the Great King of Glory loves people and wants them to know Him." Chris Fabry reminds us why Jesus Himself often taught in parables. It's because listeners can more easily absorb abstract spiritual truths through stories. That's why ministers illustrate their sermons with anecdotes—often humorous ones. Sometimes we Christians think we have to be deadly serious when we share our faith. But as Fabry's book shows, humor can be an effective tool for evangelism, because humor penetrates the imagination. In an age of instant entertainment—of television and video games—the number of people who can absorb analytical reasoning is shrinking. And that's why books that can both amuse and educate can be so valuable. So go ahead and pick up a copy of Spiritually Correct Bedtime Stories. Or, you can order a volume through BreakPoint. After you've had a good laugh yourself, pass the book on to an unsaved friend. Stories like "The Three Holy Goats Gruff" will help you convey ancient truths to the modern mind—to bring the gospel to people who would sooner risk being gobbled up by a big bad wolf than crack open a Bible.


Chuck Colson


  • Facebook Icon in Gold
  • Twitter Icon in Gold
  • LinkedIn Icon in Gold

Sign up for the Daily Commentary