24 Comments

  1. Our son is a minister and his sermons do occasionally reference Star Trek, Star Wars, and other elements of nerd culture.

    He’s leading a Unitarian Universalist congregation, so this doesn’t seem out of place.

  2. Kilby’s right if he’s going by airing order. Production order, it would be “Is There in Truth No Beauty?” Also potential sermon fodder.

  3. This is supposed to sound like:

    “I loved your sermon. Especially the passages from the first book of Thessalonians, chapter thee, verse seven.”

    (Doesn’t the name “Thessalonians” sound like the name “Tholians” from Star Trek? No? Well, it does a little to me.)

    Both the Bible and Star Trek (and Star Wars) have this idea of “canon,” where certain episodes/passages/chapters are debated whether or not they are true and valid. I won’t get into it here, but if you want to read more about it, you can look it up in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canon_(basic_principle)

  4. @ George – I don’t think I should take credit for another nerd’s work. All I did was look up the table in Wikipedia (see the link above). I have no idea who (nor how they) compiled all that data, but it seems to represent more binge-viewing than I would be comfortable with. (The names are available in the credits, and the stardates are announced in Kirk’s narration, but the production numbers must have come from some other reference.)

  5. I had to zoom in and out before I figured out that Carl Fink must be referring to the potted plant flanked by a pair of chalices on the altar, the latter look a little like Mr. Potatohead’s white gloves (it helps if you squint a little).

  6. Short priest gave a supposedly profound sermon; tall priest recognized it as plagiarized from Star Trek. I don’t think there’s much more here.

  7. This is actually one of my peeves: A lot of sermons do begin with references to movies and TV shows. I’ve wondered if they actually teach it as a technique in seminary.

  8. Somewhere on the Internet, there’s a sermon based on the lyrics to “Ripple” by The Grateful Dead. The author, to no surprise at all, is a Unitarian minister.

  9. There’s actually a kind of ongoing challenge among several of the rabbis in the general Boston progressive Judaism community to see who can put the most nerd references into their sermons and d’vrei torah. Some try to do it subtly, as a sort of Easter Egg thing, some just lean into it. Like, someone’s central lesson a major sermon was on the yetzer-ha-ra vs yetzer-ha-tov dual nature of humanity, and how our job as humans is to temper and harness our base natures to higher purposes, but that the existence of that base nature is a vital part of our existence and role as humans, and they included “good Kirk’s” vacillation and weakness in Season 1, Episode 5 of STAR TREK as an illustrative example of what the Talmud was discussing.

    A large proportion of the recent few years of Hebrew College rabbinic graduates are geeks. Something about their specific community, instructional style, and outlook is deeply geek-friendly.
    https://hebrewcollege.edu/graduate-leadership-programs/become-a-rabbi/

  10. Ignatz an Ianosmond bring up a good point. The sermon may have referred explicitly to Star Trek, but then the joke would just be an even weaker “sermons refer to pop culture, ha ha?”

  11. While he doesn’t generally base entire sermons around them, my Southern Baptist minister is a frequent user of pop culture references in his sermons. Usually movies and popular books rather than television shows, but not exclusively.

  12. A reference to Balaam’s ass or Elisha’s bears might not be particularly relatable today. Schoolchildren no longer learn Bible stories the way they used to.

    Besides, what Bible story doesn’t have a pop-culture version? Consider the Beast 666. Everyone who wished to do business had to have the Beast’s number on them. That’s the Borg: “You will be assimilated.”

  13. As MiB noted, nobody reads the Bible anymore. It’s pandering to try to keep the collection plate full.

    I’m not sure if it is supposed to be a compliment on making it relevant to the modern world or a shot at his plagarism.

  14. There’s also 740, which is The Number of the Beast before the Beast’s Agent takes out his ten per cent commission.

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