Going for walks at night

I love walking, and for many years I’ve had the unusual custom of going walking at night. There’s nothing creepy or vampiric in this habit; I just love the solutide and the absense of traffic noise. Nothing but me and my MP3 player. Usually I’ll head outdoors for an hour around 10.00 p.m., but occasionally as late as 11.00. Of course, night-time being what night-time is, you occasionally have an encounter that you wouldn’t normally experience in the daylight hours … like last night.

I was walking down Killicomaine Road. Bins had been placed outside most houses, ready to be emptied by the bin-men the following day – except the bin right in front of me had already been partially emptied … on the street. About forty metres further, I saw a gang of boys in their mid-to-late teens hanging around, making noise. And on the way up to them, every bin had been knocked over. (Thankfully, none but the first had spilled its contents.)

I proceeded to lift the first bin up onto its base. As I reached the second bin, I bent down and lifted it, too. Likewise with the third. Why? Because I care about the neighbourhood and because I don’t want to be spineless (which is what modern society teaches you to be).

By this stage, one of the guys saw what I was doing and started getting sarcastic: “Those wee rascals! The youth of today – what’s the world coming to?” That kind of stuff.

The boys were on the opposite side of the street. I didn’t once look over or even make eye-contact. But as soon as I raised the final bin, suddenly one of them (too drunk to notice what I had been up to until that moment) shouted angrily, “WHAT THE F*CK!”

Guys like that amaze me. They are on self-destruct without even knowing it. There I was, six-foot-three and built like a tank, with a intimidating goatee board, and this guy had no hesitation in speaking his mind. For all he knew, I could have been a knife-carrying psychopath on the prowl, rather than a gentle giant. The trouble with guys like him is that, sooner or later, they pick the wrong fight. About ten years ago, I was attacked by a similarly tempered teenage punk. Years later, he ended up getting murdered. (The answer to the question that’s in your mind is “no,” incidentally.)

Anyway, back to last night. I kept walking, and the only thing that pursued me was a string of verbal abuse. Mind you, the guy didn’t have much imagination; the best name he could come up with was “Speccy.”

I have a rule when someone tries to pick a fight with me (which doesn’t happen very often): I don’t engage and I don’t run. The reason I don’t engage is because I’ve never been a fighter (i.e. I have no practice and might end up hurt, or worse, humiliated). And the reason I don’t run is because I won’t be seen as a coward. However, I’ve made one exception to that rule. Once, I was out jogging (at night, of course), when some teenage guy I recognised came staggering along the street, singing his heart out. I remembered him as one of the kids I had gotten to know slightly a few years earlier, when I used to bring the Gospel to the neighbourhood (that’s another story!). He had always been a brat, poking fun at me as a Bible-carrying weirdo. But on that night, when he spotted me, he spoke to me with the kind of honesty that only drink can bring out in a person: “F*cking Christians! I’ll kill you! I’ll slit your throat!” (The Gospel was always like water off a duck’s back to this guy, but you’ve got to wonder what kind of an effect the Word of God is really having on a person, when they come out with words like these.) Anyway, when I encountered this guy, I was already running. So, heck, it didn’t seem like cowardice to keep on running.

But the worst thing about experiences like these is not the encounter itself, but the way your mind keeps wanting to replay what happened and to fantasise about differing outcomes. With the gang on Killicomaine Road, I just couldn’t keep myself from imagining something like this: I stop and turn to face the guy who had called me names. I remove my glasses. “There,” I say. “Not so speccy now. But you’re still a moron.” His face fills with rage and he strides across the road towards me. Unexpectedly, I deliver a swift kick between his legs. He doubles over and falls to his knees. I look angrily at his mates and shout, “Get this c*ck on a leash!”

I hate being like that. You have to really try hard to pull your mind away. I suppose it’s pride. Nobody likes to be seen to be a coward, even by a bunch of worthless teenage parasites. So, walking away rather than running is my compromise. But what if the guy had advanced on me without provocation. Would I stand or run? I think pride might force me to stand (or at least walk away without it turning into a power-walk), but maybe I should aspire to the standard that the Shaolin Master once set when speaking to Caine (David Carradine) in Kung Fu:

“As we prize peace and quiet above victory, there is a simple and preferred method [for dealing with force]… Run away.”

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31 thoughts on “Going for walks at night

  1. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Forgive my ignorance, but what’s a “goatee board?” Is that another European term?

    I understand where you’re coming from in the violence department. I’m not built like a tank (more like a plush teddy), but I’ve only gotten into one fight in my life. Not surprisingly, I was drunk. My faith in Christ took away the latter desire, but I admit to getting so worked up (usually over someone bashing my faith) that I’d just love to turn violent. But I’m no fighter, either.

    When I write, I tend to portray Christians in a different way than most people. Jamie Raleigh, the main character in my stories, would prefer to “turn the other cheek,” as he *is* a Christian. But, if the need arises, he can defend himself.

    My wife and I have been debating over letting my daughter-when she is older-take jujiden lessons. A man teaches them at our church on Saturday mornings. My daughter, while liking some of the same things as other girls, has also gained an avid interest in the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and some Disney cartoon about a cheerleader who saves the world. I guess the first cartoon is more a byproduct of her being my daughter. :0)

  2. A.P. Fuchs says:

    Glad you got away okay, Darryl.

    Be seeing you soon.

  3. Darryl Sloan says:

    Jeff,

    A goatee beard is basically a beard that only exists on the chin (moustache optional, but it would look weird without it). Jayne from Firefly is an example.

    I’ve been attacked a few times in my life. I’ll save them for the main blog, because I think they’ll make an interesting post.

    The “turn the other cheek” philosophy is one I wrestle with, because on the surface it seems to say self-defence is wrong. But I think the slap on the cheek is more the idea of insult rather than physical attack. In our litigatious modern world, so many things can too easily be classed as assault (particularly in schools). Infected as we are with modern values, we have to be careful how we interpret the Bible. You could end up letting somebody walk all over you.

    I think it would be great for your daughter to take jujiden lessons. Learning how to defend yourself is sensible. I only wish society didn’t condition us to think that only women need to learn it.

    About ten years ago, when I was attacked, I made the decision to learn a little about self-defence. Basically, I know how to make a single blow count – by picking the right area: nose, throat, solar plexus, groin, shin, and if he’s got you from behind, stand on his foot. I hope I never need to put any of it to the test, but it pays to be ready.

  4. Darryl Sloan says:

    A.P.

    Thanks. I don’t think I was in much danger that time (because I didn’t rise to the challenge).

    “Be seeing you soon”? Now there’s a loaded statement! That was a heck of a post on your blog the other day. I start to think along the same lines every time I hear about yet another earthquake or flood or battle. My ideas on Armageddon aren’t as solid as yours, but it’s a sobering thought to contemplate that it might be soon … especially since my relationship with God could be better.

  5. Chris says:

    Since leaving Killicomaine for America, I’ve been having some odd thoughts of longing for the old homestead. It’s stories like these which remind me how glad and fortunate I am to be done with the scum of Portadown. Sorry you’re still stuck in the trenches, Darryl.

    I read, with interest, your buddy Fuchs’s post on the apocalypse. Living in the mid-west here in America, I’ve met a lot of people who hold fast to an End Times belief which has us all well on our way down the plug hole already. But I don’t believe our situation is as bad as all that.

    Most nondenominational Protestant beliefs on the Last Judgement (including those of your buddy Fuchs) seem to rest on misinterpretations of the Bible (see here, for example). It would be better if people took a view that’s more weighted by the entirety of Christian thought throughout the ages, one that agrees with the Church Jesus told us would not fall to the gates of Hell and which serves as the pillar and foundation of truth (see, for e.g., here).

    Of course, as Christians, the accuracy of our individual eschatological beliefs are not going to win us any merit on the final exam. The best strategy to avoid the flames of Hell is simply to improve our day-to-day imitation of Christ.

  6. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Oh, I get the “goatee board” thing. When I have a goatee (and not a full beard, as I do now) mine completely circles my mouth.

    I agree with the “turn the other cheek” interpretation that you have. King David was a warrior and he was greatly loved by God. Peter obviously new how to fight, as he took off the ear of one of the soldiers who arrested Jesus.

    To answer Chris’s comment, I checked out the Catholic site that you had linked. As a Protestant, I don’t agree with all five of those things mentioned in the article:

    1. Actually, people have been thinking that Christ would return in their lifetimes since the days of the early Church. Paul even had to tell them not to stop working because of this belief. I *hope* that He will return in my lifetime, but I’m not positive of it.

    2. I admittedly know little of the Millenium. I should probably read Revelation again. :0)

    3. Independence, MO, as mentioned in the article, is a Mormon belief. I do NOT believe that Independence, MO, is going to be the New Jerusalem. As a Missouri resident, the nearness would be pretty cool, though.

    4. I wholeheartedly believe that there will be Catholics (my best friend in the world included in them) in Heaven. The Catholic church is *not* evil, in and of itself. There are hypocrits in every church, mine included.

    5. The only one I believe, based on my own interpretation (and hope) in Scripture.

  7. A.P. Fuchs says:

    Hi Darryl,

    I know it’s your blog, but if it’s possible, feel free to post the following comments in reply to the posts left under mine. (As well, I want to say I love your new layout for your site.)

    What I got from the article “The Time is Near” as linked to by Jeff is basically a refutation of those who came along down the path of history to set dates, something which the Bible warns against. One might argue that’s what I did in my blog post, “Jesus is Coming Soon.” However, I didn’t state Jesus is coming on such-and-such a date or in a year from now or anything. What I did state was Jesus informing us of what the season would like prior to His coming (that is, the way the world will be and the signs that will occur; as mentioned in my post, what’s significant is that the items listed are happening simultaneously in the year 2006 versus one here and one there; as well, as said in my post, to list ALL that is going on (the signs) would be a book (a couple hundred pages) in and of itself, something a blog simply doesn’t allow for–at least the one I’m running which is basically a weekly commentary on what’s on my mind during any given week). Likewise the article fought against those who say the Whore of Babylon is the Catholic Church. The truth is, it might be or it might not. We’ll find out when we get there. What we do know is that their will be a worldwide religion which force the people of the earth to worship Antichrist as a god and if they don’t they will die.

    The pre-trib Rapture refutation as put forth in the article is flimsy at best. Myself, I’m a pre-trib believer but am willing to go through the Tribulation (whether half (mid-trib Rapture) or pre-wrath or the whole thing (post-trib Rapture)) if that’s what God intends. However, based on extensive study on ALL Rapture timing theories, to me, the pre-trib is the one that stands the most firm especially since Jesus likened His coming to the tradition of a Jewish wedding and if one knows how the Jews used to marry in Jesus’s day, He will remove His Bride prior to the Tribulation. It is also a fact of church history that Jesus’s return was/is imminent. The disciples even believed that hence why the first gospel wasn’t written till roughly 40 years after Jesus ascended into Heaven. The pre-trib Rapture relies on the long-held doctrine of imminency because if it didn’t, then we would know when Jesus would come back as per Daniel’s prophecy for what happens after Antichrist commits the abomination of desolation.

    I think one of the big problems most people encounter with the book of Revelation (this is speaking “generally” here) is that they regard it as some strange and mysterious book of which their finding out “what it means” is impossible. However, that doesn’t sound like God to me. More than anything, He wants a relationship with us (hence sending His Son to die so we won’t have to) and wants to be near to us and make Himself known to us, and for Him to shroud His words (after all, He is the Bible’s author) in secrecy or hidden meaning, doesn’t make sense. For all Scripture, we must take it at face value and believe it for what it says versus trusting “interpretation” to guide us. The Bible is a literal book. If it wasn’t literal, we wouldn’t believe that by trusting in Jesus our sins are forgiven. On the prophetic side, for example, the prophecies dealing with Jesus’s first coming were all fulfilled literally. It stands to reason His second coming will be fulfilled literally, too. Granted, there is some imagery and metaphor in some of the prophecy, but those are common in any language (but the meaning is 9 times out of 10 deciphorable when the statement is read in context) and we also need to remeber that when John saw the things that will come to pass, some of what he saw he wouldn’t have had words for (i.e. if he indeed saw a microchip for the Mark of the Beast; he wouldn’t have known the word “microchip” but “mark” would have worked in his understanding of it), so he would have used the closest words he could think of to describe what he saw.

    And, yeah, I disagree that Independence, MO will be where Jesus sets up shop during the 1000-year reign. The Scriptures state He’ll rule from the throne of David and David ruled from Jerusalem.

    I agree with Chris that our individual eschatological beliefs will be irrelevant when these things do in fact occur (whether now or later). The issue, at the end of the day, is where does one stand with Jesus: beside Him or across from Him?

    On a side note, another interesting pointing favoring the “hour is late,” is that, as per several studies of Scripture I’ve read, the whole of history will be a “week” long (this includes Christ’s millenial reign, the millenial being a “Sabbath” of rest), meaning we will have rouhgly 6000 years of man’s history and 1000 years of Jesus’s physical reign on the earth, equaling a full week. Biblically speaking (if one uses the Bible as the official timeline from Day One of the Earth to the present–and we should since God would know better than we how old the planet is), we’re at the end of the sixth day. The “week” of history is put forth under the statement in the New Testament that with God a day is a thousand years and a thousand years a day. Feel free to Google this as it’s a fascinating study done by those more well-versed in Scripture than I.

    For me, and this my personal view, to think we won’t be seeing the return of Jesus in our lifetime doesn’t add up. Too much is happening (especially in Europe) to just regard this as coincidence. Though I’m aware He can come at any time or I might have my own personal “Rapture” (death) at any time, we’re also commanded to keep watch and that those who do watch and long for His appearing will receive a crown. Not that the reward should be the motivation but rather the obedience to our Savior’s words to “keep an eye open.”

    Anyway, great discussion here. Someone else can take the mic now.

  8. Darryl Sloan says:

    Chris … Hey, ol’ Portadown ain’t so bad. You will recall a certain run-in you heard in your first weeks in Missouri!

    A.P. … Yeah, I got sick of looking at Clounagh every time I looked at my blog. The new look is merely one of the available templates within Blogger – with a couple of minor HTML tweaks by me.

    Wow! A religious debate has broken out on my blog! Feel free to continue chatting here, guys, if you’re motivated. Religion is certainly not a taboo topic for me. Besides, I live for comments. Here’s my two cents on the debate.

    I think the secret to interpreting the Book of Revelation (and other prophetic passages such as Matthew 24) is in understanding how Hebrew writers tended to word things. They tended to be colourful in a way that goes beyond conventional English metaphor:

    The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs (Psalm 114:4). Also, I remember fierce battlees characterised by the mountains shaking.

    Similarly, I believe that statements regarding the moon turning to blood and the stars falling from heaven are these same ultra-colourful metaphors depicting bloodshed and calamity. Obviously, the moon isn’t really going to turn to blood. But it’s important to note it doesn’t mean something is going to make the moon appear red, either (after all, mountains don’t actually skip).

    Once you take note of the colourful way that Hebrew writers had of expressing themselves, things start to look a bit different in the Bible. For instance, I am far from certain that we should be looking out for an actual mark of the beast. Instead, the question I ask myself is, “What does the idea of being marked in the hand or forehead mean to a Hebrew?”

    I first learned about Hebrew metaphor whilst hearing a sermon on Matthew 24. Commonly, this passage is interpreted as part of Armageddon. But I heard it interpreted pretty convincingly as the calamities that befell the early Church. Me, I’m not sure.

    It’s far from easy to get to the bottom of all this.

  9. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    A.P.,

    I pretty much agree with your interpretation. I just wanted to correct you in that I wasn’t the one who linked to the site.

  10. Chris says:

    Darryl: Yeah, I guess ol’ Portydown ain’t all that bad. There’s a lot of comedy material in the “hardmen” of the area. I kinda miss that here in Missouri where all I have to work with is the way Americans talk.

    Btw, I like the new site design. Did you really change it because you “got sick of looking at Clounagh”, or was it because you’re not going to meet that September release date for “Chion”? 🙂

    A.P.: Some interesting comments there. On your opinions of the Rapture and Biblical literacy, I must say that there is not much evidence in the Bible to firmly support a pre-tribulation Rapture belief. The Church is the mystical body of Christ – it seems more consistent with the Bible to believe in a suffering physical Church that perseveres until the very end, much like how Christ did in His Passion.

    However, if one is going to argue such issues based on a philosophy of Biblical literalism, one should be careful. I’ve found that many Protestants are eager to believe in doctrines, such as the Rapture, which are fairly recent innovations, tenuously supported by Scripture, whereas they ignore or symbolise away other stuff, such as Jesus telling us we literally have to eat Him in order to have life (John 6), or baptism being necessary (with water baptism the norm) for salvation (John 3:3-6, 1 Peter 3:20-22), for which there is much stronger Biblical evidence, and corroborating support in the practices of the early Church.

    Darryl & A.P.: An interesting interpretation of Revelation, which I’m sure you’ve never heard before, is that it is a description of the Mass celebrated by the Catholic Church in heaven and on earth (see, for e.g., here).

    Considering that John was a Catholic, and the Bible is a Catholic book, this interpretation makes a strange kind of sense. However, I guess it may be hard to see if someone doesn’t have any experience of the Catholic liturgy. Still, it does bear some thought…

  11. Darryl Sloan says:

    I ended up changing the look of the site for this reason: I was designing a another blog for someone, and when I hit on this template, I liked it too much to pass up. But yes, it’s true that Chion will not be out in September.

    I should have realised that being back in the swing of the day job would put a dampener on working at home. But I’ll get there. Mark Stevens recently gave me a detailed edit of the first half of the novel, so there’s still a bit of work to be done. But it has been great to have so many heads on board for the editing process. Should make for a well polished final version.

  12. A.P. Fuchs says:

    Darryl:

    I’d have to disagree with viewing the Scriptures the way a Hebrew would “colorfully” express himself. What I mean is I do agree there were obviously expressions used back then that we don’t use today, but attributing Scripture to metaphor and/or allegory is dangerous road because by doing so we can pretty much assign any meaning to the words that we want. That’s the problem with allegory and metaphor. The Bible has to be taken at face value, but also face value in the Greek and/or Hebrew because, truthfully, the English language does a poor job of conveying the actual meaning of the original texts.

    Jeff:

    Sorry. My bad. I had a few web browsers open at once while I wrote my reply (multi-tasking).

    Chris:

    To correct you, the Rapture isn’t a recent innovation/invention. The idea of being changed “in the twinkling of an eye” and the imminent return of Jesus has been around since the early church. (I’ve read some of the writings from the early church fathers dating from within 100AD-200AD.) I’d also disagree regarding lack of evidence for a pre-tribulation Rapture. Isaiah, the prophet, prophesied of one in Isaiah 26:19-21, we as Christians are not subject to wrath or judgment, Noah and Lot were preserved prior to judgment; as previously mentioned, the Jewish wedding and how its customs mirrors exactly what Jesus did throughout His life, death, resurrection and what’s to come, the passage in Luke about escaping what’s about to come to pass, Rev. 3: 10-11, Micah 7:2-6 (in context speaks of the Rapture), 1 Th 1:10, 1Th5:9 and a host of others. I’m not looking to debate, but those are a few points to consider.

    In the end, and has been agreed upon, Jesus is the bottom line. Where does one stand?

  13. Darryl Sloan says:

    A.P.,

    I know the danger you’re referring to. Some scholars have taken great liberties with Bible interpretation, to the point where they’ve asserted, say, Noah’s ark as myth.

    Even so, it is still true that not everything is to be interpreted literally, and doing so could lead to error. For instance, in Revelation 5:6, Christ is described as a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes. Clearly, this is not a physical description of Jesus, but each part means something. Now, I don’t understand what it means, because I haven’t studied it, but I’m confident that the key to understanding it lies in learning about the author and his culture. Revelation was, after all, written for actual readers of his day.

    It’s worth noting that the passage I mentioned makes specific mention of the number seven in a non-literal fashion. It may be that numbers should be taken figuratively in the rest of the book, too. This is why I haven’t formed a clear opinion on the whole subject of prophecy.

  14. Darryl Sloan says:

    Whoops! HTML blooper in post above. Paragraph two should begin:

    Even so, it is still true that not everything is to be interpreted literally …

  15. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Chris,

    Did you say that you’re from Missouri? I was under the impression that you live in Kansas. What part?

  16. Darryl Sloan says:

    Careful, Chris. Sounds like Jeff is out to get you. You should have known better than to voice your Catholic propagana in here … especially to a good Prod* brother who happens to own a Samurai sword. Good to know you can count on Prods everywhere. For God and Ulster! 😉

    (*Protestant)

  17. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Actually, I have a ninja sword, not a samurai sword. Not that I wouldn’t mind owning a katana. I’m not out to *get* him, per se. It’s just a cool concept that one of the people on here lives so close to me. I mean, you’re in Ireland and A.P. is in Canada, but Chris is not only Stateside, but actually in the same state.

  18. Chris says:

    Jeff: I live in Kansas City at the moment, on the Missouri side. When I finally get a work permit from the government, I’ll probably end up moving over to the Kansas side of KC as that’s where most of the computer/tech companies are. Either way, Independence is just a short drive from here, so I’ll have a front row seat when the Lord returns. 🙂

    Are you the guy that lives in Springfield? My wife just graduated from SMS, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time down there too. We both really liked Springfield, so it was a little sad when we moved her back up to KC.

    A.P.: The idea of a pre-tribulation Rapture is found nowhere in the Church Fathers, and is virtually unheard of prior to the 19th century. I have read Clement and Polycarp (the Church fathers to which you probably refer), and their thoughts on God’s judgment do not make any clear reference to a pre-trib Rapture. To say that they do is stretching things to an extreme.

    The traditionally held view of the Catholic Church interprets 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 literally, i.e., that the rapture will immediately follow the general resurrection on Judgment Day, when the living and the newly-resurrected-dead will rise up to meet Christ as he descends from heaven to judge the world. This “rapture” is but a minor detail of Christ’s second coming.

    I really do not see how Isaiah 26:19-21 gives support to a pre-trib Rapture belief without some extrapolation based on one’s prior assumption that this belief is true (which is pretty much the fallacy of begging the question). Yes, it clearly talks about a resurrection of the dead, and Christ’s final judgement, but verse 20 hardly indicates that the saints will be Raptured out before Christ comes – if anything, it indicates that they will still be on earth during the time of God’s wrath.

    You say the Bible should be interpreted literally, yet pre-trib Rapture theories (and many other core Protestant beliefs) do not take the Bible literally and make projections and extrapolations based on verses which give no clear indication of such a doctrine.

    I find the philosophy of Biblical literalism to be fundamentally flawed: it is self-defeating, and inconsistent with reason, nature, and history.

    Darryl: I’m not worried about Jeff’s samurai sword. Prods in America seem to have a different attitude to Catholicism compared to Prods in Ulster. When I first started meeting my in-laws here (who are non-denominational, “charismatic” Prods), I kept expecting them to lynch me during the night, but, they were pretty much blase about my faith. I get the odd sarcastic remark, and occasional reminder from people that the Bible should be my sole rule of faith, but I just tell ’em that heretics should be burned at the stake.

    Only kidding… 😉

  19. Darryl Sloan says:

    LOL!

    By the way, Chris, are you receiving my emails lately? I’ve asked you a couple of times about flights to the US, but no response. I’ll refrain from calling you a lazy sod until I hear your excuse. 😉

  20. Chris says:

    It occurs to me that something I said in my last post was a little less than clear:

    “I find the philosophy of Biblical literalism to be fundamentally flawed: it is self-defeating, and inconsistent with reason, nature, and history.”

    By which I mean the philosophy of Biblical literalism as held by the proponents of Sola Scriptura. It is my belief that if an unprejudiced person of good will was to read the Bible, and take it at face value, they’d be strongly compelled to become Catholic. A study of the history of Christianity and the Church would irrevocably confirm it for them.

    Darryl: Yep, I’ve gotten your mails. I’ve even fired up gmail to reply to you several times now, but, the realities of bringing up a baby (and living with my in-laws) always seem to throw a spanner in the works and demand my attentions instantly elsewhere (that still doesn’t seem to stop me from spreading my Catholic propaganda though!). I do intend to get back to you, have no fear. 🙂

  21. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Chris is right. Most of the Protestants in America have more of a problem with each other than with the Catholics. I just kind of view them as the grandparents of my denomination. About the only real thing that I hear us complaining about is that Catholics don’t really evangelize. That’s another that’s getting disproven, though. Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” was probably one of the greatest movies of this century. Chris obviously has no problem sharing his faith. I think that this is amazing.

    Chris,

    Yep, I’m the one from Springfield. Kansas City might explain the reason that I thought you were from Kansas. I went to SMS, too. I’m of the firm belief that it’s the best university in the US. I was in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship there, which was the “Assemblies of God” campus ministry. The year that I was in it, the president of our chapter was a Charismatic Catholic.

    I’ve never been to Kansas City, but I think it’s only three to four hours from here. We should get together sometime.

  22. Darryl Sloan says:

    When I head over to Missouri at Easter (was to be Christmas, but it’s not working out for me), the three of us should definitely arrange to get together.

  23. A.P. Fuchs says:

    Chris,

    I suppose we’ll just have to agree to disagree. No worries. 🙂 But I will add as my last comment on the subject on a pre-trib Rapture that the Tribulation period is reserved for judgment and wrath. If we as believers were subjected to it, then God would be going against the very work of the cross, which was to deliver us from His judgment and wrath. (The Bible says we were children of His wrath before we accepted Jesus.) The cross is a completed work and can’t be undone. For us to suffer through His judgments (I’m not talking about general “suffering” (i.e. being made fun of, oppression, etc.) that all believers go through and that Jesus said we would go through), then the cross would have been inadequate, which I can’t believe. It was a done deal on Calvary that day.

    Darryl,

    I agree. Culture would have to be a part of the understanding of Scripture. Also when it comes to symbols used, Scripture interprets itself.

    I’m not a “wooden” literalist, but it makes sense to take things at face value unless the writer implies they are using imagery (ie. “I saw…”).

    Off to make dinner.

  24. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Okay, Easter it is. A friend of mine (Evan, the one who was so freaked out by “Attic” that he wouldn’t sleep in his room alone while his wife was visiting her parents) will probably come along, as I hate riding on long trips by myself. He’s also more familiar with Kansas City than I am.

  25. Chris says:

    I was originally thinking that perhaps we could meet up halfway, thus saving either of us the long trip. However, I ran this whole idea by my wife, and she seems to like the concept of meeting up with her old friends down in Springfield while us guys have a natter. So, if that still applies come Easter, Darryl and I can come down to you.

  26. Chris says:

    A.P.: My last word to your last word (which I think is worth making even though this conversation is attached to an old post) would be to consider the ten plagues of Egypt. Even though the Israelites were present for God’s wrath, they were not subject to it. In fact, God made the distinction, several times, between the Israelites and the Egyptians.

    This would seem to indicate that, even though Calvary is a “done deal”, the Church can still be present on earth during the time of God’s wrath prior to the Second Coming without negating Calvary. Like the Israelites, the Church on earth will serve as a witness to God’s wrath upon the world without being subject to it.

    I don’t think I can agree to disagree on this issue because your position on pre-trib Rapture seems to be inconsistent with the Bible.

  27. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Chris and Darryl,

    Springfield sounds great. I actually don’t like to make those long drives. Do you guys like Chinese?

  28. Chris says:

    Jeff: I know I can speak for Darryl when I say, yes, we both like Chinese.

    In Northern Ireland, there’s a Chinese takeaway on every street corner. In fact, I read once that the Chinese community is the second largest ethnic group in the country (next to dumb white folk). The reason for this stems from the Irish love of alcohol – there’s nothing like 8 pints of beer on a Saturday night topped off with a good portion of chicken fried rice…

    But Darryl and I, as do most people in N.I., appreciate Chinese food for its own merits. You have it on good authority that Darryl’s a particular connoisseur. Right Darryl? 😉

  29. Darryl Sloan says:

    I’ll have chicken with honey/chilli/wine sauce and fried rice, thank you.

    Actually, I haven’t had a chinese meal in yonks*. I got into doner kebabs for a bit, until I was educated on how unhealthy they were.

    I actually eat a lot of pretty healthy stir-fries. Nothing but loads of veg, rice, couscous, prawns, and a touch of soy sauce. But I don’t mind a big sugar-loaded chinese sauce every once in a while.

    * “Yonks” is probably a Northern Irish slang term. It means a long time.

  30. Jeffrey Allen Davis says:

    Actually, I prefer the spicier offerings, like General Tso’s chicken. I used to like Chop Suey, until I learned that they invented it just to sell to us “dumb white folk” by just tossing together a bunch of ingredients. One Chinese guy told me that “Chop Suey” has a connotation like “garbage.” Ick.

    We generally go to a place called “Jade Dynasty,” because they also have some Mexican and American food and my wife doesn’t really like Chinese. They also have California Rolls.

    However, seeing as there are so many Chinese places in Ireland, we might want to give Darryl something different. How about “Lamberts?” Did you ever go there, Chris?

  31. Eddie Mullan says:

    I used to walk at night too. Sometimes 3/4 in the AM. It’s calming and peaceful, particularly around Autumn.

    I like knowing almost everyone is asleep and I’m walking down streets that will be full of people in a few hours time.

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