Jesus Creed

In the form of Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. Tuesday afternoon, fast at work grading student papers and journals, I got a phone call from Garry Poole. Garry is a friend, a former student of mine at TEDS and now a pastor at Willow Creek. He asked me if I’d be willing to participate in the weekend services at Willow Creek.
Kris and I were scheduled to spend a four-day weekend on Cape Cod — just four days of relaxation and getting to know the good folks at Paraclete. So, I called Kris, called the publisher, and we all thought we ought to go ahead with the interview. So, this weekend I was interviewed by teaching pastor Mike Breaux about DVC (DaVinci Code). We will, however, get to Cape Cod soon.
Having sat in the big auditorium for years, I wondered what it would be like to be down on that huge stage, and I found out — not at all like teaching and preaching anywere I’ve been. The lights are bright; it is hard to make eye contact; and it is very big. Very big.
Breaux asked me five questions: Why does everyone seem so inclined to listen and believe this story? Was there a conspiracy? Are the Gospels reliable? What about all these other gospels (Thomas, Judas, etc)? Why do you believe in the Gospels?
Then we had a big Q&A in the “DaVinci Room” with a free-for-all for questions for about 30 minutes after each of the three sessions (Saturday night, two Sunday morning) and when I get home Sunday at 2pm, I felt I had been through a complete work-out.
Saturday night’s service went fine; but even so Sunday morning we tuned it up some and adjusted a few things and the two services Sunday went even better.
I have deep respect for the character and ministries of Gene Appel, Mike Breaux, and Garry Poole, so it was an honor to be with them this weekend. Saturday night Kris and I had a chatty dinner with my newest colleague at North Park and his wife — Joel and Carla Willitts.
By the way, an opening song was a rendition of Sting’s “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” — uncanny how those words were so appropriate to how I see Dan Brown’s book challenging the Church. And the opening score by the orchestra from the new DVD by Lee Strobel and Garry Poole was splendid.
Thanks Willow for having me.

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