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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

Au Lait and Old Testament

Friday, December 15, 2006

While doing sermon prep work this morning at our favorite local coffeeshop, NPH was politely interrupted by a gentleman at the next table who had been eyeing the loveable blogger's Bible and Minor Prophets commentary for some time. "Excuse me," he said, "I don't mean to be rude, but can I ask you something?"

We braced ourself and said a smiley, "Sure."

"Do you think that the world, in the 21st century, would be better off without the Old Testament?"

Thinking ourselves to be faced with the ghost of Marcion, we covered our discomfort with a chuckle before answering, "No." He stared blankly back for a moment, and then, thinking the conversation over, made to get up and leave. So we added, "I think the Old Testament read rightly has some remarkable things to say about God's purposes for the world, purposes for healing and salvation and peace."

That seemed to be the ticket. He took up our response into a larger reflection on the many ways in which people mis-read the Old Testament. We carried on for a minute or two more before he promptly said "Thank you" and left.

He's somebody that NPH has seen at this coffeeshop multiple times over a span of several years, but has never, before today, spoken to. What were we waiting for? He seems a delightful guy.

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 12:34 PM

2 Comments:

NPH: Coffeeshop evangelist.

Seriously, good on ya. I'm surprised a bit how much religion talk I see in my area coffee-shops, and have even had it happen to me before. There's something cooking about some churches seeing the coffee-shop as an important locale for ministry...
commented by Anonymous kairos, 12:59 PM  
I have noticed this coffee-shop theology, as well, but the level of theological reflection is generally fairly lacking and, not surprisingly, fundamentalist. This Unnamed-as-yet Future Blogger, in fact, was at his favorite coffeeshop (www.starbucks.com) just this morning, where he is known to be a pastor, and was asked to arbitrate a debate on the age of the earth. As UFB does not think this to be the most pressing or difficult issue facing Christians today, he might have been a tad dismissive. But since he had officiated one of the participant's weddings a year ago with no more relationship than having seen him repeatedly at the coffeeshop, UFB believes he can proudly wear the "coffeeshop evangelist" title, as well.

Note to self: Enough with the weird third-person writing on blogs.
commented by Anonymous Unnamed-as-yet Future Blogger, 4:15 PM  

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