One of the few reliable maxims in theology is that the simpler the question, the tougher the answer. Volumes of scholarly articles examining centuries of intellectual struggle emerge from questions that are strikingly stark: Who is Jesus? Why does evil happen? What is salvation? What is the point of the church? The less these questions are adorned, the more pressing they become.
I was walking home when Vicki ran up to me. Vicki and I had become acquainted over the last few months because I regularly walked past her hangout in Old Louisville. The intersection was anchored by a Chinese restaurant, a liquor store, a pharmacy and a bus stop and flanked by low-income housing developments. I lived near the downtown church where I served as priest.
On a busy day recently I pulled into a gas station and filled up my car’s gasoline tank. As I stood next to the car, I noticed that metallic stickers on the gas pump verified that the state department of weights and measures had tested the gasoline and approved its sale.
When I was in high school I was fascinated with the field of evolutionary psychology. With the help of authors like Robert Wright and Richard Dawkins, I believed that I could see through the veil of what we humans do and what we say about what we do and then discover what was at the heart of our motivation.
You may be better organized than I am, but in my overscheduled life, every once in a while I miss an appointment. Then comes the dreaded e-mail: “I have on my calendar that we were doing lunch today at noon. I looked for you, but didn’t see you. Call me . . .”