Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dialogue With a Sign-Holding Evangelist on a College Campus

The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In.

Sign-Holding Evangelist: What do you think happens when you die?

Me: I have no idea. No one does.

Sign-Holding Evangelist: How do you know that no one knows?

Me: I guess it just seems pretty unlikely. I've never spoken with a dead person before. Do you know what happens?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: Yes I do.

Me: How do you know?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: The Word of God tells us.

Me: You mean the Bible?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: Yes.

Me: How do you know the Bible is the Word of God?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: (Quotes Bible verse)

Me: So the Bible is the Word of God beause it says it is the Word of God?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: Yes.

Me: But that's circular reasoning. By that logic, I could be the president just because I say I'm the president. How else do you know?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: I compare it to touching a heater. You know a heater is hot by touching it. I know the Bible is the Word of God because I have experienced it in my life.

Me: So, you believe the Bible is the Word of God because of your own subjective experience?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: Yes.

Me: That's fine, but isn't it a big leap to assume that your personal subjective experience applies to everyone, like your sign suggests?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: No.

Me: What do you do for a living? Are you a poor, wandering vagabond, like Jesus?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: I work for the military. I train soldiers.

Me: Do you find any conflict between your job and your Christianity?

Sign-Holding Evangelist: No.

Me: Okay, nice talking to you. I gotta go teach a class now.

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