Alexander Campbell sat in the local Starbucks sipping a steaming cup of black coffee reading a copy of the U.S. constitution when Brain McLaren, caffe mocha in one hand and a copy of Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? in the other, asked if he could have seat at the table. The following is their conversation.
AC: Yes, please, have a seat. There is lots of room at the table.
BM: Don’t mind if I do. He pulls up a chair to the table. Alex, how can you drink that stuff?
BM: Your coffee has no flavor.
AC: Your coffee has no coffee.
AC: Brian, I’m concerned about the church.
BM: You too?
AC: Yes. It’s so fractured and splintered. Do you think this is what Jesus meant for it to become when he began the church?
BM: Alex, we might be of the same heart. I look around and it hurts to see the fighting, the in-grouping and out-grouping, the vying for position – it’s depressing.
AC: I’m not depressed.
BM: Well, you’re a better man than I am.
AC: You may be right, but let’s not talk about that. What I want to know is how to solve this problem.
BM: I’ve been thinking about that, too. Do you think it’s possible?
AC: Of course it is.
BM: You seem so certain.
AC: Brian, do you see this? Holds up constitution. This is like our Bible. It is a governing document that, if followed, assures us of rights, freedom, and liberty. The Bible does essentially the same thing. All we need to do is be honest and look at it. An honest look at the Bible will render the same results from everyone, I am certain.
BM: Curious. Unity through uniformity.
AC: People are rational and a rational reading of the text will reveal an agreeable truth. Brian, we will be one as Christ so desired. The church can be restored!
BM: Interesting. As I pondered Christian unity, I remembered a poem I wrote when I was in high school. It was about my friend, my imaginary friend. I wrote about her…
AC: Wait a minute, your imaginary friend was a girl?
BM: Yes, is that strange?
AC: I’ve just never heard of such a thing.
BM: I’m sorry, but what I was saying was…
AC: Seriously, a girl?
BM: I liked girls, OK, I still do, for the record.
AC: It’s just highly unusual…
BM: Noted, can we move on? Campbell nods. This poem is called Harbinger of the Dawn.
AC: Why did you still have an imaginary friend in high school?
BM: Just let it lie, would you? He clears his throat. Harbinbger of the Dawn
AC: Harbinger, I like that.
Just as Brian was about to recite the poem, they were both shaken by a loud noise pumping out of an oversized, 80’s style boom box covered in worn stickers of Pope Leo.
“We’re no gonna take it,
No, we ain’t gonna take it,
We’re not gonna take it, anymore…”
They both looked and saw a man spinning on his head. He than flipped up to his feet and began break dancing.
AC: Ah, my good friend Martin Luther. Martin how are you good man?
ML: I can’t stop dancing.
BM: Martin, I’ve been meaning to ask you, what do you think of Lutherans?
ML: I want to open up a super-sized can of Whoopass on them all.
AC: Martin, you really need to reign in your tongue. No one is going to take you seriously with such a foul mouth.
ML: That’s the problem. People have taken me too seriously. Now I’m out here dancing to reform the reformation. Sorry guys, gotta go, and I’m taking my music with me.
BM: I got to hand it to the guy, he puts it all on the line. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, my poem.
Harbinger of the Dawn
A song in the darkness, Like
a prayer thrown into the night,
Yearning for the light, longing
for the sun. She sings of beauty
she cannot see, of hope she
does not know…
Just then a man ran through the Starbucks with his hair on fire, punching himself in the face, screaming at the top of his lungs, “The flames are coming! The flames are coming!”
AC: Who is that?
BM: I can’t tell with the burning hair and facial bruises, but it almost looks like Jerry Jenkins.
AC: Hmmm. That’s quite a stunt. So, you were reciting.
BM: Yes, let’s see
…of hope she
does not know. Then, from the far-
thest horizon, something sang
back. It sang in blue and orange,
pink and purple, and blood red.
Their music harmonized, like
Lovers, as a crescendo
of light filled the earth, and…and…
AC: Brian, what’s wrong? Is that it?
BM: That green man in the robes, the one hovering by the coffee bar, is that Yoda?
AC: No way, Yoda is short. That guy is tall. It looks like, well, it looks like a Tall Skinny Kiwi.
BM: It’s Andrew Jones. Andrew, come on over and have a seat.
AJ: About the church concern you have. He sips his coffee without touching the cup.
AC: Yes, we seek unity. We are both sick and tired of the fractured and dismembered body of Christ.
BM: What do you think is the solution, Andrew?
AJ: Clouded your thoughts are. His eyes narrowed and then he said, one solution there is not, The Rhizome Cowboy, ride he must.
BM & AC: Huh?
AJ: Thinking I must do. A blog I must post. At that Andrew floated away.
AC: I just don’t understand those Jedi’s. Brian, I need to go in a minute, so would you please finish your poem and then make your point.
BM: Oh, I am finished.
AC: What? It’s ends with, “…and…and” – Seriously, that’s how it ends?
BM: Alex, how does the Kingdom of God end?
The question made him choke on his plain black coffee and spill it all over the floor.
BM: Oh I’m sorry. Would you like to finish off my coffee?
AC: I don’t know; there is so much in it.
BM: That’s what makes it so good.