If you are reading this column hoping to get some insight into Mark 9:49-50, you can stop now. These verses are intensely obscure; the commentaries offer little help; neither I nor anyone I know has received a special revelation explaining the text. Let us simply agree to move on to other matters. By this point in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus has started to speak openly about his impending death.
I ran into Perry recently. How many years has it been, I wonder? I came to know Perry when he visited our church. He was a man with no passion of his own, a guy who walked from church to church and seemed to come to life only when he discovered some well-hidden heresy or doctrinal error. For Perry, Christianity was only a means to an end.