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The Dialogue on Christianity


John stood staring out the window at the blowing rain as Bryan made coffee. Light glinted off the racing drops like frightened cat's eyes.

"So what brings you out in a storm like this, John?"

"My storm," he said too abruptly.

"And what is that supposed to mean?"

"It's something you said."

This seemed melodramatic. He knew he appeared to be foolish, as if he were not strong enough to sort out his feelings, to make logical categories for such things. He felt childlike, vulnerable. But he had committed, like a parachutist stepping out of the plane's belly.

"Look, I used to be an altar boy. I always thought things were all right. I used to try to live by what the church said, but I've really never had any sense of religion meaning anything much. I thought I might be as good as anyone else, so I never worried about it."

"A few weeks back I heard you say something about death and a final location—that we live beyond it. You just mentioned it. But I've not been able to get those words out of my mind. I've been bothered with the thought that if there is even a remote possibility that you are right, then it is only reasonable to consider it. I just wanted to talk with you about it, that's all."

"Oh really."

"You used to be one type of person; now you're another. Maybe you know something. I mean...I feel awkward talking about this. Religion is a private thing, I know. Forgive the drama; but I'm unused to it."

These last words stumbled out stupidly. But he had parachuted out now; he felt somewhat relieved. He had rehearsed a better beginning, but this would have to do.

"You're serious, aren't you, John?"

"Dead serious."

Chapter 1
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