Yesterday, I was in a studio doing an interview with a South African radio station broadcasting from Pretoria. The focus of the conversation was around EVE, the novel, and the concepts and ideas that challenge assumptions we make about our origins, especially as they have been interpreted for us regarding the Genesis narrative.
The young man doing the interview was fully engaged. His questions were both perceptive and indicated that he had given deep thought to his participation in the dialogue. I couldn’t get a “read” from him. Was he positive? Curious? Did he think my responses were good, or dangerous, or even heretical?
He concluded with a question about my current projects—especially one called Words you will Never Hear God Say.
“Give me an example,” he said.
I gave him a couple and then added, “Here is one that immediately set off a string of questions in people’s minds, and challenges an arena of assumptions rarely considered. I don’t believe that you will ever hear God say, ‘I’m sorry you died. There is nothing I can do for you now. Death wins.'”
He looked a little stunned, and then asked me to explain, which I did.
Finally, he told his engineer to stop the recording. Sitting back in his chair, he turned back to me.
“I have been sitting here finding myself agreeing with everything you are saying and it has my head spinning. Who is talking about this stuff? I don’t know anyone that I can ask my questions. Even my religious leaders see me and walk the other way because they know I have questions.”
This is an earnest young man who represents a generation determined to find some answer to the questions of the heart and mind that impacts the “way” we live our lives.
We want an answer that reflects the truth that we often cannot put into words but emerges in our longings, our yearnings and our tears.
And this is why we hold Open Table Conferences, to create safe space inside a community of question askers who are all stumbling toward the Truth.
The invitation is to come and bring your questions and together we will share ways that we are working toward something that is coherent and effects our lives in ways that bring new measures of wholeness to our lives and communities.
This is not a place for soap boxes, agendas or building a movement or ministry. It is a time to be together and see if we can’t find helpful perspectives.
Each Open Table has been unique because it is the folks who come that change the trajectory of the outcomes. Your presence matters to the conversation and we too are thrilled to participate.
This April, I will be participating in The Open Table Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
I’m excited to be part of something that intentionally encourages courageous, authentic conversations about who God is and how we are as human beings. Below, you can watch a video in which my friend John MacMurray and I attempt to explain a little more about what this conference is.
If you’re interested in registering or learning more, all the information you need is at http://opentableconference.com/.