Jim Denison on What Christians Can Learn From ‘Game of Thrones’

Game of Thrones ended Sunday night after eight seasons. It was broadcast in 207 countries and territories and was one of the most popular series on television.

Because of its pornographic sexual content and extreme violence, I did not watch the show. But I believe culture-changing Christians can learn something important from it.


Game of Thrones filmed in ten countries. The series used 12,986 extras and two thousand crew members in Northern Ireland alone. It included three thousand pyrotechnic effects, fifty miles of fabric for costumes, and more than twenty-four thousand pounds of silicone for prosthetics. Wigs for one of the lead characters required two months of testing and seven prototypes.

Over its first seven seasons, the series received 174 award nominations and won sixty-three times.

The series is just one example of the fact that our culture’s moral compass is broken. A generation ago, a movie as violent and pornographic as Game of Thrones would have been X-rated.

But while Christians should reject the show’s immoral worldview, we should ask ourselves: If such a television series can be produced with professional excellence, how much more does our Father deserve excellence from us?


Yesterday, we focused on the urgency of reliance on God. Jesus taught us that if we would be truly blessed and used by our Lord, we must be “poor in spirit,” utterly dependent on our Father (Matthew 5:3). The Lord of the universe can do so much more with us than we can do for him.

Today, let’s consider the other side of the equation.

No one in Christian history was more Spirit-led and Spirit-dependent than the Apostle Paul. He said of himself, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). He followed God’s leading into regions he did not intend to visit (cf. Acts 16:6–10). He testified, “I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8).

At the same time, no one in Christian history was more passionately committed to personal excellence than the Apostle Paul.


He encouraged excellence in our thoughts: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

He encouraged excellence in our words: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

He encouraged excellence in our actions: “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works” (Titus 2:7); “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11).

He set the example in personal sacrifice (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23–27) and his commitment to scholarship: “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13).

In short, Paul was completely dependent on God and yet completely committed to personal excellence. How does this balance work?

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Source: Christian Headlines