parousia of the absurd
I'm back. Hope all is well, sorry for my blog-ligence. I've been a bit out of breath lately; weddings, meetings, new jobs, schools and root canals. I have not had much time for reflection or reading, leading me to a deep suspicion about the blogs I enjoy...must be desk jobs....Been talking to a lot of "hard" atheists though. I wonder sometimes about how to give a good answer without appealing to the standard rationalist arguments. How can anything be proved to people who believe in a system that will not allow for the matter in question? One wonders what kind of conversation Josh McDowell and Thomas would have. Or at least I do. But right before I start railing against the evils of modernity and its proponents, it strikes me that the rain falls on the good and the bad, and the following scene springs to mind. It's not as good as this guy's (a plug for my favorite dramatist), but it was an important exercise to expand my theological imagination.
Scene 2: Man wakes up in a garden, amongst the hedges, with no name tag. He notices someone standing, watching him.
"Well hello there."
"Thomas? Doubting Thomas?"
"Yes, seems that's all anyone remembers, but no worry. Who might you be?"
"No you're not!"
"Wha..uuh. Yes I am, I.."
(laughing) "Just kidding... I see it on your name tag."
"Oh, I get it. Funny. Is everyone like that here?"
"No, some are American."
"Don't worry, you've got plenty of time to catch on."
"This place is amazing. I can't believe I was right."
"So you weren't sure?"
"Well, I mean, it seemed reasonable, but who could have.. just look at this!"
"What do we do now?"
"All kinds of things."
"Well, we are in front of the greatest library imaginable. Just remodeled: they 'fiche'd Barth and deleted the blog records. Top stuff. Happens every morning."
"There's a library here!?"
"Oh, it's the best. Pub in the middle. Finest IPA this side of, well anywhere. And the cakes in the urinals - pure delight. -Taste like figs."
(dawning smile, looks at the library) "Wow. I wrote a book once."
"Oh I know. A couple of them."
"You read them?!"
"Great stuff. We laughed all night."
"Well I had hoped it would be convincing; help people get here, y'know?"
"Of course, of course. And I know He loves the effort. Top stuff, really."
"That bad, huh?"
"Don't let it trouble you - you'll get nothing but kind words and appreciation up here."
"Well they must look a little thin now. I suppose I better start over. How do I get a card? Do I need a card?"
(waves hand)"Nonsense. There's time enough later. We've got tonight's banquet to get to! Everyone will be there."
"But I'd really like to know the Truth, find the ultimate proof once and for all. See all the things I missed?"
"Dear boy, what kind of library do you think it is?"
"The Library of Ultimate Truth?"
"Ultimate truth? Good God! (Cheers erupt from the hedges) This is a library of humor, my friend"
"..It's all delightfully funny up here. If you want the Truth, hurry and wash up. He'll be there tonight."
"Well, it certainly isn't what I thought it would be."
"Never is. Trust me. I wrote a book about it."
"All those tightly constrained arguments I labored over. A little loose now, I guess?"
"That's the Spirit!"
"I spent an awful lot of time on all that writing..."
"..To great effect! There are some people waiting to thank you, too. Should we be off now?
"But it was wrong."
"Yes, yes. -Isn't it always? But it's close enough when you're as creative as He is. Wrong doesn't mean much on this side of right. Cephas, that blowhard, bawked and clucked like an angry hen to convince me "He is risen." When that didn't work, he reasoned and cajoled for all he was worth."
"But you didn't believe him?"
"Nope - all Greek to me. Do you know he tried to prove his sanity by jumping up and down shouting, "as sure as the ground beneath our feet!" Funny then; funny now! I should have just listened to the ladies all along. Remember that."
"And then you touched Him."
"No, no. (smiles) I'm afraid that's a bit of a misunderstanding, too. He touched me. That's how it has always worked. He touched me. And now here we are up here together, you and I, both a little touched..."