An interview

May 24, 2007 at 4:08 pm 1 comment

A few weeks ago, I volunteered to participate in an interviewing meme, which involved me being interviewed by Charles. My response is a wee bit delayed (what can I say, he asked hard questions!), but here’s the interview:

1. You have been given the opportunity to choose a Master of any art, craft, or science from any point in history to apprentice and study under. With the only exception being that you cannot choose Jesus Christ, who would you choose and why?

I can’t point to one particular individual by name, but I’d like to study under a Japanese tea master and learn the art of the tea ceremony. I know little about the ceremony except that it is very complicated (hosts sometimes spend days preparing each detail) and that each word and gesture are carefully scripted and full of meaning.

As for why I would choose to study the tea ceremony, I suppose it’s because I find the formality of the ceremony simultaneously interesting, instructive, and calming—interesting because of its contrasts with the informality of my own culture, instructive because I think there is something to be gained from ritual, and calming because of the peacefulness, self-discipline, respect, and control that are practiced in the ceremony.

2. The head of Warner Brother calls you and tells you that he is willing to greenlight a book into a movie of your choice. You may choose the book, set your own budget/type of movie you want it to be (artsy, blockbuster, etc), and choose the director, writer, actors, so forth. Be as specific or as general as you want, but you must at least choose the book, name the movie (if different from the book), and give your reasons for picking this book.

Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. I know there is already one (or more?) cinematic adaptations of this book, but I’d love to see a new film version of the story. Why this book? Well, I think the love story is a bit on the sappy side (not to mention rather unrealistic), but I like the theme of love and its relation to sacrifice and redemption in the story. Realistic or not, the sacrificial love in the tale is poignant. I have no clue who I would select to write, direct, or act in the film, though—making such choices is decidedly not my forte!

3. You are given the power to change any one event in Scriptural History. Do you do so? If so, what event do you alter? Why?

No, I wouldn’t change any of the events, because I can only trust that God knew what He was doing. But the event (or type of event) that seems most antithetical to my sense of what ought to be in the Bible is the genocides in the Old Testament. When it comes to those, I wrestle to figure out what God could possibly have been thinking.

4. We have all had moments of revelation in our lives, whether from watching a movie, reading a book, or from real experiences, conversation, ordeals, trials, etc. If you could distill and bottle the essential idea of an experience, a concept, an understanding, a revelation, etc, and give it to someone else so that they could have the good without the bad, what three things would you do this with?

1. The reader is always right. (The maxim is for the students I work with as a writing tutor, but it’s a good communication principle in general: if the intended reader—or listener—doesn’t understand what you’re trying to communicate, you must assume it is your fault, not theirs.)

2. Pride goes before a fall. (I know this from too much experience, most recently from playing tennis yesterday morning.)

3. Give them flowers while they’re living. (The principle, from an article by Thabiti Anyabwile, is that we should show our love to those we care about NOW, while they are still with us, rather than waiting until their funerals when it’s too late.)

5. What do you want to be known/remembered for? Not after you die, but after an encounter with you. What would you like (not necessarily think would be best) people to think as they walk away?

It would be nice if they thought I was eloquent, witty, and profound, but I think if I had to pick just a single trait, I would prefer to be thought wise. (Hey, I can wish, right?)

6. Extra Credit: Explain free will in a way that satisfies all scriptural reference to predestination (I keed, I keed)

I’ll work on that one. When I’ve finished my 900-page magnum opus, I’ll let you know. 🙂


Feel like being interviewed yourself? Don’t be shy! If you want to be interviewed by me, just leave your name in the comments or drop me an email. I’ll make up some questions and send them to you.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Punishing the innocent for the sins of the guilty Dissecting faith

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Matthew  |  February 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Sure, you can interview me…unless the statute of limitations has already passed? 😛


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profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

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