Spinoza Jones, my erstwhile beatnik friend, now a tumultuous believer, charged into my office like a water buffalo after a white hunter.
“Dr. Bulltillich!” cried Spin. “Yesterday I heard him preach!”
“So?” I replied. “And haven’t many heard the learned doctor preach?”
“Indubitably. But I also heard him address a gathering of clergymen only last week—when a pastor sneaked me into the assemblage. And what did this reverend doctor do but arise and announce that he was of the considered opinion that preachers should drop from their pulpit vocabulary all such words as ‘incarnation,’ ‘atonement,’ ‘regeneration,’ ‘redemption,’ and a host of others. And why should this be done? ‘Because,’ says the doctor, ‘people don’t know what they mean—and the preacher probably doesn’t know, either!’ So—scrap ‘em!”
“That,” I said, “sounds a little …”
“Ha!” shouted Spinoza. “Why not just drop the word ‘God’? Who knows what that means, either!”
“Well,” I said, “that’s something to consider.”
Spin snorted. “Attend me further, chum. Only yesterday I attended his church. He has a nice church, with a big congregation. He has a good delivery. In fact, he’s eloquent, in a passionless sort of way. But what did he say to the people?”
“He must have said something,” I suggested.
“But what? Man, despite the fact that I have sat at the feet of the masters of the academies, I’m not quite certain what he said! And I’m positive that I observed a few other ...1
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