Don't you feel like, at the end of that rant, there should be somebody there going, 'Job, you got TOLD.'
I've done that exact same thing in sermons" 'Ohhhh, he didn't just do that!' It's like the last scene in 8Mile. One of the things we talk about in our church often is, it's what you believe and then there is how you hold what you believe, which is equally important. You can believe very beautiful things and believe them in a very not-beautiful way. (laughs) So there's a sort of a white-knuckled, street-fighting mentality about beliefs, abstract theological prepositions, that isn't very compelling. I don't see it that way. I'm contributing to a discussion. If it helps you, great, if it inspires you or releases you, provokes you, challenges you, great. If it doesn't -- Well, I'm not that upset about the new Danger Mouse album. I either love it or I don't. If I don't like it, it's not for me. You didn't like it? Ok.
I've been thinking about the Rapture, it's like the ultimate in-club, right? Why is that so important to people? It's like the idea, 'We get into heaven and you don't,' this is just that idea with a deadline.
Which makes that impulse into a summer blockbuster. First, I would say that an example would be, this Sunday in church in the second row will be two women who were raped. That's actually how they became friends -- the one came to our church and had this thing in her past that she'd never really worked through and the other one said, 'I've been down this road, let me walk with you.' So our experience of the world can be deeply dark and traumatic and abusive. So the idea that there might be some relief from that -- that's a very compelling idea, the idea that we could be rescued from the traumas and hurts and genocides and disasters. That human impulse, I get that. I get that. But when it becomes, 'the couple of us who are leaving' - my fundamental problem with it is, my understanding of the Biblical narrative is that it's about the goodness of this world, and about the divine reclaiming and restoring of this world. So the trajectory is about, 'This place is good. Wine is good. Having a long meal with your friends is good. Proper cultivation and creativity and song, are good.' And while there's a corrupted, warped sense that we are living in a place that's good but has gone severely out of whack, the story is about it being rescued, redeemed, restored, renewed, reconciled. So, any narrative that's basically like, 'Hey, we're out of here,' isn't a very compelling story.
But it is! People love that. And people who are most upset with the idea of your book are the people who are into that.
It presents itself as very difficult: 'This is the only way, the cross is heavy, you gotta take a stand for something or fall' -- it presents itself as difficult but actually it's quite easy: 'Believe and you're all set.' As opposed to a grace and a gift, and 'my yoke is easy,' a Jesus who says 'Bring me all your burdens,' which appears quite easy and light and 'Oh my goodness, I can get some breathing room here,' and yet actually takes tremendous fortitude and strength to actually engage in this world with a sense of hope - REAL hope, in the midst of the kinds of things that surround us that tell us 'This is all pointless.'