The shock philosophy of T-Shirts


(Williamsburg, VA)
Dr. Richard Bimler’s new book, “Laughter!,” reflects on the importance of good humor in our spiritual life . Written with his son Robert, the book looks at both spiritual humor as well as the possible hurtful effects of sarcasm masquerading as humor on T-shirts. His chapter on “The Theology of T-.Shirts,” examines how today’s young people often reflect their attitutudes and thoughts in how they express themselves on what they write and wear, and he offers a moral T-shirt message. This book is on sale now at for $13.95.

Dr. Bimler is the former CEO of Wheat Ridge Ministries. This is what he wrote about today’s messages on some T-shirts.

It used to be billboards, then refrigerator magnets. But now to understand the curious philosophies of contemporary life, we need only to read the T-shirts that pass us by in the malls, in schools, and even in our own homes. Let’s look at a few of these walking pieces of current philosophy that have passed my way recently.
• Life isn’t over until the fat man eats your cookies!
• I’m not aging – I’m marinating.
• Baseball is life – the rest is just details.
• Life is hard – then you die.
• Hug a firefighter – feel warm all over.
• Listen, honey, nobody knows how to raise teenagers. You just live through it, and one day they’re people.
• Young at heart – slightly older in other places.
• If you don’t like my attitude, call 1-800-WHO-CARES.
• I may not be rich and famous, but my grandchildren are priceless.
• In the beginning was the word, and the word was chocolate, and it was good (Confections 1.5 ounces, 240 calories).
• I’m busy, you’re boring – have a nice day.
• Make the ball lie in green pastures, not in still waters (Arnie 3, par 72).
• Places to go, people to annoy.
• I’m so impatient I’m looking for a crash course on patience.

What does all this mean? It means that obviously we are living around and in the midst of different philosophies of life. It means that now more than ever we need to intentionally verbalize and demonstrate our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in strong, firm and celebrative ways.

It means that in the midst of pain and frustration, it’s important to lighten up. It means that we need to listen to people and to the messages on their T-shirts. It means that people do not just read our T-shirts, they “read” our lives in terms of how we respond, listen, and react to them and their needs.

How do people read our appearance, our habits, our words? What message are we giving out? Perhaps more than wearing T-shirts that joyfully tell the message of health and hope in the name of the Lord Jesus, we need to wear a shirt that simply says, “Loved by God – and I’m glad!”

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