The God-Talk Club – Tornadoes!

[This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between the characters and real people or the places and real places is strictly accidental. What’s more, this is practice fiction, wherein I practice writing dialogue, so any resemblance to real fiction is accidental as well. This is the second of the series. I introduced the God-Talk Club here, and provide some additional information on the current characters here. Comments, including criticism, are welcome.]

Mark settled into his normal seat at the Roadside Cafe a little later than usual. “His” seat was still not taken, but he noticed that none of the others were there. Before he had even thought about ordering, he saw Ellen, who had been here every time he had, bringing his normal large Coke.

“What would you do if I told you I didn’t want a large Coke,” he asked, smiling.

Ellen’s face fell for just a moment, then she realized he was joking. She paused for a second as she put the drink down and gave Mark his straw. “I’d probably get fired,” she said.

It was Mark’s turn to be speechless. “Surely the wouldn’t fire you for a thing like that!”

“No, not really.” Ellen giggled. “But it was good to see the look on your face.”

Mark laughed. “OK. Got me!”

“What do you guys do here anyhow?”

“We plot the downfall of civilization,” said someone from behind Ellen. It was Mac.

Mark looked up at her. McKenzie “Mac” Strong was celebrating warmer weather with a halter top. He suspected she mostly wanted to offend Jerry Simonson, who had commented on female modesty during their discussion the previous Friday night. He thought the comment had been directed at Mandy Kelly, a stay-at-home Mom in her 40s with four children, but Mac had taken it to heart. She enjoyed teasing the conservative elder and Sunday School teacher.

Continue reading “The God-Talk Club – Tornadoes!”

The God-Talk Club is Born

Note: This is the start of a new series, without the end of any others. I will expand on this in the series page. Briefly, I want to practice writing dialog, try various ways of presenting it, and also try presenting different views on various theological topics in a sympathetic way. Basically I’m practicing here, so read at your own risk. Of course, that’s not much different from anything else on this blog!

Also, all characters, places, events, and churches in this story are fictional. It is a work of fiction.

* * * * *

Mark wasn’t too sure why he pulled into the roadside cafe. He rarely ate out. As a seminary student on a partial scholarship but without church support he had to be careful with his money. But tonight he needed to get working on a three page paper, and he couldn’t think how he was going to do it.

It was Saturday night, the paper was due Monday morning. He felt silly as he thought about that. He was a veteran of countless all nighters in which he had produced 10, 15, or 20 pages in a night with no problem, complete with footnotes, formatted according to the professor’s requirements. Yet he had this feeling of dread.

“You will write three pages on what it means to you personally to be a Christian. No references, no quotations, not even Bible verses. Just three pages from you.”

There was a short time of silence in the class. For many of them, half or more of a paper could be made up of summing up other people’s views and providing references for them.

“But Dr. Youngman,” said one, “References to the great teachers of the past are important! I can’t imagine talking about Christianity without referencing some of the great thinkers in Christian history.”

“Well, you’re going to learn to imagine it. Just three pages.”

“Exactly?” asked another student.

“Make it between 2.9 and 3.1 pages. Edit it until you get it to the right length.”

“What if I’m not a Christian,” asked another student.

“Good question,” said the professor. “One assumes that most students at a seminary are Christians, but one may be wrong. If you are not a Christian, then write about what it means to you to say someone else is a Christian.”

“And if we’re not sure, not committed?”

“Write about why you’re not sure then, 3 pages, all your words.”

“I don’t think I can express myself in three pages. You’ve given us a broad subject.”

“Narrow it down.”

“But how? What is the most important thing for me to talk about?”

“That’s what you should be asking yourself.”

“What if I can’t think of three full pages?”

“Consider the impact of a zero for this assignment on your grade, and feel the motivation flowing over you.”

Continue reading “The God-Talk Club is Born”