Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why can't God look like Aretha Franklin?

"I admit that the Bible does not specifically mention Aretha Franklin. But when it comes to thinking about God, most people's minds are full of all those familiar images and they just get stuck. ... So why not Aretha? She's big, she's bold and you're going to have to listen to what she's saying."
- Eric Metaxas, as told to Terry Mattingly, who also writes:
"Metaxas has other skewed takes on big issues. He thinks that using sex for self-gratification makes as much sense as using Rembrandt paintings to line birdcages. He's interested in life's big questions, questions like how the universe _ including all those Chevy Camaros in Queens and Staten Island _ exploded out of something smaller than the period at the end of a sentence. "Is this theology? No, it isn't the way that intellectuals talk in cathedral pulpits and faculty clubs, said Metaxas. But it is the way that ordinary people talk on Friday nights while hanging out with their friends. "'At some point Christians are going to have to use humor and parody because that's the language of the culture,' he said. 'That's what people consider sharp and entertaining and real. ... You can keep serving up tea-and-crumpets moralism and logical arguments and it's not going to matter because people aren't going to listen.'"

I had lunch with Eric last week. He's a brilliantly funny, warmly engaging man, and his Everything You Need to Know about God book's on my must-read list this year. Previously, I only knew him from his Veggie Tales classics: Even Fishslappers Need a Second Chance and God Made You Special (two of Judah's favorites!).


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