When musician Dua Lipa turned the tables in her late-night interview with comedian and late-night host, Stephen Colbert, the question and answer was one of epic and eternal significance. Lipa asked one of the most profound and important questions of Colbert during her interview.
Colbert responded with how he integrates his faith with his comedy and his response isn’t going unnoticed.
Lipa asked a thought-provoking question after making comments about how honest and authentic he has been with the role faith plays in his life. Does your faith and comedy ever overlap and does one ever win out?
Colbert, a self-described Christian and Catholic, related the importance of his faith and the values of love and sacrifice for others that his faith taught him. Though Colbert is criticized for his liberal political views, he holds on to the importance of faith in his life.
Lipa, brought up in a Muslim family was perhaps seeking to know and understand the motivation of Colbert’s life and bringing an important dialogue to mainstream culture with the question.
Colbert responded, “I think ultimately all of us being mortal, the faith will win out in the end. I do hope when I get to heaven, Jesus will have a sense of humor.”
Colbert went on to discuss love and sacrifice and the fact that death is not the end and it’s not defeat implying how death and resurrection are intertwined and death in this life is passing into the light of eternity.
Then in a profound monologue, he went on to discuss the connection between sadness and loss with faith through the film Belfast which he said resonated with him because he’s Irish-American.
“Belfast is funny and it’s sad, and it’s funny about being sad, in the same way that sadness is like a little bit of an emotional death, but not a defeat if you can find a way to laugh about it,” Colbert continued. “Because that laughter keeps you from having fear of it, and fear is the thing that keeps you from turning to evil devices to save you from the sadness.”
Colbert went on to quote poet Robert Hayden who said we must not be frightened or controlled into accepting evil as our deliverance from evil. We must keep struggling to maintain our humanity though monsters of abstraction threaten to police us.”
Clearly a well thought out response, Colbert then wrapped up his thoughts with connecting faith and comedy and seeing that in his work they are connected and form a bridge between people and a way to connect and laugh with each other through the tough times and through the dark times, laughter connects in light of eternity.
“So, if there’s some relationship between my faith and my comedy, it’s that no matter what happens, you are never defeated. You must understand and see this in the light of eternity and find some way to love and laugh with each other.”
Author and theologian Tim Keller praised the answer as contextualizing the gospel for outsiders to understand.
This is a brilliant example of how to be a Christian in the public square. Notice the witness, but in a form the culture can handle. We should desire to have more Christians in these spaces and give them grace as they operate. https://t.co/0QaXuwzYSa
— Timothy Keller (@timkellernyc) February 4, 2022
Keller then received backlash for posting this because of Colbert’s traditionally liberal perspective politically and otherwise.
“The recent post I made about Stephen Colbert’s partial answer about his faith and the ensuing comments has shown me American Christians still have a long way to go on understanding Col4:5-6, how to be “wise in the ways you act towards outsiders?” This is called contextualization.”
Keller defended his comments and said in another post:
Note: when you quote a person as an example in a particular moment, it doesn’t mean you have to answer for that entire person’s life for that quote to be valid. It’s almost like those who do so don’t want to deal with the material at hand. https://t.co/VtEewvzqZ1
— Timothy Keller (@timkellernyc) February 7, 2022
What are your thoughts? Do you have to agree with everything someone has ever said to appreciate a thought-provoking and inspiring response in the moment? With the increase of knowledge and information hurting or helping the way we interact and appreciate people? Does everyone fall short of the glory of God and in need of his mercy and grace?