…And no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers. No matter how assured
we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful
inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions. This is true in religion as
it is in politics, and is self-evident to all except fanatics and the naive.
As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we might be
advised to leave them to heaven. They will not, unfortunately, do us the
same courtesy. They attack us and each other, and whatever their
protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody record of history makes clear
that they are easily disposed to restore to the sword. My own belief in
God, then, is just that — a matter of belief, not knowledge. My respect
for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the
most virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth. But even well-educated Christians
are frustated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure
of Jesus because of the undeniable ambiguity of the scriptural record.
Such ambiguity is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every
recognized Bible scholar is perfectly aware of it. Some Christians, alas,
resort to formal lying to obscure such reality.
– Steve Allen, comedian, from an essay in the book “The Courage of
Conviction”, edited by Philip Berman
We got such a great response from the last informal chat with Jesus, we decided to follow it up with a second more formal part – well formal in that there will be questions, and we hope answers. Jesus was very forthcoming last time, so we’re hoping to get a window in on ultimate Truth today. Keep your fingers crossed folks.
I: Jesus, it’s nice to see you today, err I mean, ‘Jesus, the Savior, it’s nice to see you today.’
J: “Haha, that’s a good one. (Jesus wipes a tear from his eye.) Whoo, *chuckle*.
I: So, Mr. Christ.
J: Call me Friend.
I: So, Friend, we on this planet have some burning questions for you.
I: We’re hoping you can clear up some things for us. Maybe give us an update on your last best seller, “The Good News.” I know you’re working on a sequel, but we’re hoping maybe you can give us a peak.
J: Be glad too. In fact, it’s not so much a sequel as a 2nd edition. It’s different of course, but all the basic information is there. It’s just that it’s been nearly two thousand years, and a lot’s changed since then. I thought an update was in order. To some of your readers it will all seem new. I’m trying to really get the message across to this modern age of good people who are looking for a purpose. It might be considered a self help book, but I think if you look closely, it’s really an “other-help” book.
I: That’s interesting, care to give us an example.
J: Sure, yeah it’s super interesting and once you get it, very enlightening. The other day, one of my children was walking into a gasoline station. As he stepped toward the entrance, he realized he’d not looked at the pump number… you know, so he could have the cashier activate it once he stepped inside. He strained his neck trying to figure out what pump it was, but couldn’t quite see it. Suddenly, another of my beautiful children, a homeless man, offered that it was pump number two. The homeless man was looking for a few cents of course, and I noted that the first man didn’t have any cash on him… which was okay. So the first man offered him a thanks, paid for his gas, and left thinking of the homeless fellow who’d watched him intently and offered up the very thing he needed when he most needed it. The gasoline buyer took with himself a beautiful lesson about what it means to be human, for what we are predestined, and why we exist.
I: for each other?
J: Yup, you got it. That’s it. Nothing more complicated or simple than that. Find a way to help. Promote. Don’t demote.
I: That’s a nice story. So that’s a glimpse of what we’re going to see in the 2nd edition?
J: I think so. I have to get with my editor. I’m either too wordy or not wordy enough. I never know the right balance. I love you all, but sometimes you’re a confusing audience, and I love that by the way. Many pore over every word looking for meaning, losing the forest for the trees. Others just skim over parts that they think aren’t important. As a result, I’m going to go with an old standby – the parable – it worked two thousand years ago, I think it will be successful in this age. People seem to respond to stories very well. I guess I just need to update them to make them more relevant. Not a lot of people are farmers and fishers today, so that’s one area we have to update. It is coming along nicely, though. I think people will really enjoy it. And for God’s sake (*chuckle*), don’t fight over it.
I: Thanks for talking with us today. Stay tuned to this channel for more of our chat with our Friend, Jesus that cat from Nazareth.
J: Thanks, appreciate the opportunity. Peace out.