O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith

The Random European Q&A

Last week I was asked by a publishing house in Barcelona to do a Q&A for a book about Christ and culture. The book will eventually be published in Spanish, so they’ve given me the freedom to publish my answers to their questions — some of which were really interesting — here on the blog.

I don’t always do everything Spanish publishers tell me to do, of course, but I thought these were fun questions.


What’s the most bizarre or atypical subject you have discussed with a fellow Christian?

Once, on a backpacking trip with friends, we discussed whether or not we would be OK with cannibalism — of each other — if for some reason we were in a desperate situation with no food, and one of us was already dead. (For the record, I announced that my friends were welcome to eat me if they needed my meat for survival, but only if I had died first.) It was a classic around-the-campfire conversation.


If you could put only one pop culture figure into the Bible and make him/her interact in the Gospels, who would you choose? Why?

I would like to see Michael Scott (from the U.S. version of “The Office”) as one of the 12 disciples. If Peter and John had such trouble understanding Jesus, I think Michael Scott would misunderstand him to hilarious effect. Also, how would he relate to Judas?

If you could design the perfect afterlife for Christian souls, how would it be?

It would be a combination of the Christian heaven and the eastern idea of reincarnation — reliving one life after another but with no sorrow, pain, or evil. I like the Judeo-Christian idea of heaven except for the eternal aspect. Doing anything forever and ever, without end, sounds…difficult. But I like living on earth, and life is lived to the full more readily if you know it will eventually end. So I’d want to experience a series of earthly lives, with multiple opportunities to start over, but also with temporal limits. A new place. New experiences. New joys. Only with none of the heartache of human existence. And I’d want my loved ones to reincarnate from life to life with me, of course. So it gets complicated.


If you could give sainthood or a ticket to heaven to a non-Christian person, who would you choose? Why?

Isn’t Gandhi the default answer here? He comes to mind first, but it seems like a cliche. So I would want to confer a heavenly ticket to Christopher Hitchens. Because I like what Hitch says about almost anything, and there would be nothing more fascinating than hearing his take on the afterlife.

St. Hitch: the patron saint of cancer-sufferers, atheists, and withering pundits.


Good job, Barcelona publisher.

Now it’s your turn, thoughtful reader. Pick one of the four questions above and post your answer in the comments.

Comments read comments(8)
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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted November 1, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I agree that eternity sounds boring if its doing the same thing over and over again forever. I think earth is a fantastic location for heaven, and I’d significantly decrease pain and struggle in the world but not take it away, as growth is inspired by struggle.

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posted November 1, 2010 at 3:34 pm

You know, as random as number one may seem, I actually had that thought recently – whethere Cannibalism was okay under the condition of survival. Weird.

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Eric Gainer

posted November 1, 2010 at 11:49 pm

The oddest conversation I had with a fellow Christian was with a long time Presbyterian Minister friend of mine. She had asked me why I seemed to be missing out on major sleep. We talked about my very real, waking conversations with people who had passed on. She talked about her visits to a Medium. Neither of us saw that one coming.

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posted November 2, 2010 at 3:59 am

A non-Christian saint? Well I wouldn’t pick Gandhi. He was certainly a great man but as a great man involved in politics he had to be tough, and he could be nasty to individuals. I think we are a bit blinded by reputation when it comes to Gandhi.
I would go right for the top and pick Buddha, the prince who gave up everything to become a poor teacher, who never wanted to be worshipped but just wanted to help people to deal with pain and become more compassionate.

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posted November 2, 2010 at 4:19 am

Cannibalism is more problematic than it used to be, No, not from a moral POV, but from that of public health.
When I was a kid, we freely spinkled DDT powder around the homestead. Any health inspector would condemn my sorry carcase on the spot.

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posted November 2, 2010 at 4:25 am

I think Hitchen already gave his take on the afterlife, albeit in his previous incarnation as Mark Twain. See URL

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posted November 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Intersting choice of giving a ticket to Heaven to Hitchens… Sorta “see, there really is an afterlife and YOU’RE WRONG” implication there Jason!
However I noticed you didn’t specify which (assuming Christian) version of Heaven he’s being sent to…

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posted November 4, 2010 at 9:04 am

Interesting take on forever is boring. I can’t imagine anything more boring than hanging around the hem of “God’s” robe looking up in adoration eternally, saying Hosanna or something such at random intervals. And over time I suppose I could get used to fire; at least there’d be interesting people to talk to. Though over a few billion years they’d get boring too. This whole living forever thing is way overrated.

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