9/17/10 William about 50
While out for a jog I felt led to stop to talk to a well dressed African-American man standing outside an IIT classroom building, and asked if I could run an interesting question by him. I asked what he believes about life after death. We talked a while and he generally believes in God's existence but has been turned off by the hypocrisy he has seen at church. He has seen "too many rich preachers in expensive suits and driving fancy cars". He doesn't read the Bible but said he believes he falls short of God's requirements for salvation as taught in church. I have come to believe that people will not live with the belief that they will go to hell when they die, so they do whatever they can to avoid this belief - such as discrediting belief in the Bible and changing their idea of God to one that they are more comfortable with, or deciding not to believe in God in the first place. I explained the gospel, really trying to emphasize that we are saved by God's grace, not our own good works (Ephesians 2:8-9). However when I talked about Jesus, William seemed to think that in Jesus God became human in order to better relate to us, but had an unfair advantage because of his divine nature. This is the same man-centered theology that says "If you were the only person in the world, Jesus would have died for you" Its just not biblical. We kept talking about this until Fred, a Buddhist, came and joined our conversation, but that would be another story to tell.