Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Well hello there, Mr. Maier!

In a very interesting sequence of events, the following happened:
  • About 10 years ago, a pastor lent me her copy of Paul Maier's A Skeleton in God's Closet, which I began reading that night at 10 PM and finished at about 3:30 the next morning. Couldn't put the thing down.
  • Since the book is about the importance of the resurrection (and is a good read to boot), I began making the reading of the book an annual Lenten discipline.
  • I host a book club (Logos and Latte) at my church on the first Monday of each month, and back in the fall decided to name A Skeleton in God's Closet as the selection we'll be discussing on April 2. For reasons both selfish (I'd be reading it anyway) and in the interest of the congregation (we'd be discussing some really important Easter-type questions right before Easter).
  • James Cameron decides to produce a special on some bits of half-assed research that airs on the Discovery Channel at the beginning of March, suggesting that the bones of Jesus may have been found...which is the basic premise of A Skeleton in God's Closet...which, incidentally, is a work of fiction written by the 2nd Vice-President of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, so you can be sure that it all comes out right in the end. Of the book. Not the James Cameron Discovery Channel special.
  • Yesterday, on a whim, I decide to bring my copy of A Skeleton in God's Closet home from the office with me, since I have nothing going on at the church in the evening and think I might be able to do some reading.
  • Still yesterday at about 9 PM I check my email and see a message from a cousin of Sweetie's, letting me know that Paul L. Maier, author of A Skeleton in God's Closet, will be giving a lecture on the portrayal of Jesus in pop culture at Concordia University, about 20 minutes from my house, at 10 AM the next day (today).
  • At 9:05 PM I send an email to as many book club participants as I have addresses for, letting them know about the lecture too, but knowing that with about 13 hours advance notice, there's not much chance anyone will be able to come.
  • This morning at 10:00 I'm sitting in the second row of the balcony in the auditorium where Paul Maier is lecturing, listening to a very interesting talk, and taking notes on a couple of items he mentions about both The DaVinci Code and Left Behind, two books the book club will be tackling over the summer (editor's note: book selection doesn't necessarily indicate agreement with the book. Particularly in "Left Behind's" case, I'm strongly suggesting folks either check it out from the library or buy it used, so as not to fill LaHaye and Jenkins' pockets with more money from the garbage they've written. And, I'm following up the next month with Barbara Rossing's "The Rapture Exposed" to help continue the de-programming process.)
  • This morning at about 11:15 I walk up to Paul Maier, book in hand, to thank him for his talk and to ask if he'd autograph my copy of A Skeleton in God's Closet.

And that's how I ended up with the latest entry into my autographed book collection. (Way cool!)



Hot Cup Lutheran said...

So w/o dish, cable or satellite I must be the only person on the face of the planet to miss James Cameron's lame & shameless promo for his movie on the Discovery Channel. Several members have asked me about this b/c they saw it and were up in arms. I replied "Does anything you heard or saw match up with scripture? if not then chuck it." I'll have to read Maier's book - never have. Intrigued by it but not read it. Seriously did I miss somethig by not seeing the Discovery Channels deal?

Rev Scott said...

How cool! I remember when your sister first read the book - she loved it almost as much as you do.

Hot Cup - you missed a lot of Hot Air. Sorry to disappoint, but James Cameron got more facts straight with "Titanic"

LutheranHusker said...

Hot Cup--let me ditto RevScott's thoughts. The James Cameron thing is much ado about nothing. Unfortunate irresponsible sensationalism.

Secret Rapture--um...hmmm...well, let's see how best to put this...agree to disagree, perhaps?