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Now that you’ve watched the clip (and chortled I trust), let me offer this definitional reminder: satire is a form of communication using irony and sarcasm in which folly and vice are exposed and ridiculed.

It’s aim is to make you laugh, then to make you think. It can be done poorly or unwisely, but when done well, it uses wit as a noble weapon. Few Christians have thought carefully about the do’s and dont’s of satire. More should.

This particular scene is, as the kids say, LOL. You don’t have to see it as a blanket statement about the Church of England to see that this is good humor with a point.

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15 thoughts on “Monday Morning Humor”

  1. Doug Hibbard says:

    The whole episode, “The Bishop’s Gambit” is worth the $0.99 it will cost you to buy it on Amazon if you don’t have Amazon Prime for the streaming.

    First watching, it’s quite funny. The second, you start to ask questions not of the CofE, but of yourself and your own denomination.

    Satire makes for a good mirror.

  2. andrew says:

    “The Church is trying to be more relevant.”

    “To God?”

    “No, no. Of course not Prime Minister.”


  3. Tom says:

    As an Englishman I can say: Pretty much spot on :P

    And as a Young person I can say: LOL

  4. C T Hall says:

    Thanks Doug for that tip. I’ll have to watch that episode.

  5. Kyle Carlson says:

    Funny and educational. Bravo, Mr. DeYoung! :-)

  6. Chortle, Chortle
    then weep and shudder – we are not so far behind…

  7. kpolo says:

    I’m reminded of the joke I heard a long time back:

    Newspaper Headline: “God has left the Church of England”

    … the bishop said, “Losing God was a bit of a blow, but we’ll survive.”

  8. Luke Johnson says:

    Yes, (Prime?) Minister for the win! Well played, DeYoung. Well played. Wish more of us ‘Yankees’ were aware of the comic genius that is Yes, Minister.

  9. Kevin,

    Love it. And totally agree: many Christians have not thought about satire – and should. For example, in addition to your thorough review of Bell’s “Love Wins,” can we also respond with satire? Like, ?

  10. As an expat Aussie with a politically conservative pastor for a Dad, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister were practically mandatory viewing in our home. The whole series is British political satire at its finest. Some of the monologue Sir Humphrey gives on governmental inertia are just brilliant, and brilliantly delivered. If you subscribe to Netflix, they have the entire series available for instant download.

    Thanks for the laugh with a side of “ouch”.

  11. Nick Hill says:

    The links are broken now. Do you know what episodes they are from? Thanks!

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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