Russell Brand Takes First Communion, Quotes Tim Keller during Video Discussing Rationalism

Russell Brand Takes First Communion, Quotes Tim Keller during Video Discussing Rationalism

Author and comedian Russell Brand quoted from the late theologian and pastor Tim Keller last week when he partook in his first communion. According to Church Leaders, Brand, who was baptized in the River Thames in April, posted a video on May 17 where he talked about rituals in a society based on rationalism.

“I took my first holy communion. That means I drank the blood of Christ and ate the body of Christ,” Brand said at the start of his video, which had almost 100,000 views by midday.

In the caption, he wrote, “(Oh yeah that stuff round my gob ain’t Our Lord’s blood. Just protein shake!!!).”

@russellbrand I did my FIRST HOLY COMMUNION AND… (Oh yeah that stuff round my gob ain’t Our Lord’s blood. Just protein shake!!!) #christianity ♬ original sound - Russell Brand

“How do you make sense of participation in a ritual like that, when you are familiar only with rationalism and materialism and logic?” Brand asked viewers. “How do you deal with the intersection of the supernatural and the material and the rational? How do you deal with the idea that there is a spiritual dimension that we can interact with and indeed commune with?”

He also said belief in an “ever-present” Christ nowadays seems “almost ludicrous and ridiculous, particularly when there are countermeasures continually in place to tell you that only the rational and material world makes sense.”

A society bedded on rationalism “precludes a belief in the supernatural and [favors] the political over the religious,” Brand said, noting that we end up excluding “so many things that are actually, I believe, impossible to live without.”

Later in the video, Brand cited a joke made by Keller regarding a drunk man searching for his car keys under a streetlamp. A bystander seeking the man asked, “Is that where you dropped them?” the man answered, “No, I dropped them over there, by them bushes, but the light’s much better here.”

“Timothy Keller points out that using the modes of the sense and the modalities of the sciences, we cannot search that which is ethereal, by its very nature,” the actor explained. “The idea that the material world can answer all of our questions seems increasingly preposterous, just on a practical level as the world falls apart.”

In Brand’s point of view, converting to Christianity is a political act, but it is not about joining a political institution where you leave things the way they are.

“I have become a Christian because I have surrendered to a figure that was a great radical and a great rebel,” he said. “[Who] believed that God’s kingdom would come to earth — that indeed it did come to earth — in his figure.”

Becoming a Christian has provided a “glorious new education,” Brand said at the conclusion of the video. Although he’s enthusiastic about his faith journey, Brand said he is approaching it “with great trepidation and vulnerability because it is very, very new to me. But a new power has come to me. A new glory seems accessible to me.”

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Amy Sussman / Staff

Milton QuintanillaMilton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for CrosswalkHeadlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.