The Mistic, the Evangelical and the Fundamentalist


(Photo, Hubert Steed)

There is an old anecdote in which a mystic, an evangelical pastor and a fundamentalist preacher die on the same day and awake to find themselves by the pearly gates. Upon reaching the gates they are promptly greeted by Peter, who informs them that before entering heaven they must be interviewed by Jesus concerning the state of their doctrine.

The first to be called forward is the mystic, who is quietly ushered into a room. Five hours later the mystic reappears with a smile saying, ‘I thought I had got it all wrong.’

Then Peter signals to the evangelical pastor, who stands up and enters the rom. After a full day has passed the pastor reappears with a frown and says to himself, ‘How could I have been so foolish!’

Finally Peter asks the fundamentalist to follow him. The fundamentalist picks up his well-worn Bible and walks into the room. A few days pass with so sign of the preacher, then finally the door swings open and Jesus himself appears, exclaiming, ‘How could I have got it all so wrong!’

(From Chris Heuertz’s blog, quoted from How (Not) To Speak of God by Peter Rollins (Paraclete Press, 2006), page 21.)

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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