Fortune Cookie Theology

Fortune Cookie Theology

Imagine a world in which Fortune Cookies were sold as a main course. You arrive at your favorite buffet, and instead of filling your plate with vegetables and a choice of meat, you grabbed handfuls of fortune cookies with a glass of milk. Making your way back to the table, you began the monotonous task of reading and eating. After 67 lines of inspiration, the last fortune of “opportunity for success is near” feels about as inspiring as a smiley face bumper sticker on the back of a 1990 Pontiac mini van.

While neat little inspirational quotes are occasionally a good treat, they don’t have much substance to keep one nourished. Sure, “Jesus does love you and he does have a plan for your life”, yet reading that fifty times a week from your social media feed leaves one self-consumed and frustrated. And this is my concern, I’m afraid we are developing a society of Christians who have been inspirationally quoted out of inspiration. We scroll past so many “good quotes” of pure milk and rarely even taste the meaningful and lasting meat. There is just something fake about reading “you are a world changer” while sitting on your couch eating cheese puffs and taking selfies.

We don’t need anymore bumper sticker theology covered selfies, we need solid, radical, deep Biblical meat that provokes one to holiness. We must put away wimpy self-help theology and return to a sober godliness that keeps our eyes fixed on eternity.

The reality is, we have a king, who has a covenant. He has purchased souls from every nation for Himself. We were, and they are, sinners under the wrath of Almighty God. And they are not going to be saved by hearing our nice little quotes of how special they are. And we are not going to grow in deep Christ-centered holiness by regurgitating shallow self-centered theology.  The way found in Scripture for sinful humans has always been that of humility, not self-esteem. True fulfillment isn’t by believing one’s self to be great but by throwing one’s self down as nothing before an all deserving God. Let us reclaim our Biblical heritage of tears being the way to joy, and brokenness being the way to delight in God.


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

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