The kingdom of God is bigger than that

The tale of the Fisher King, as told by screenwriter Richard LaGravanese and Scot McKnight:

It begins with the king as a boy, having to spend the night alone in the forest to prove his courage so he can become king. Now while he is spending the night alone he’s visited by a sacred vision. Out of the fire appears the holy grail, symbol of God’s divine grace. And a voice said to the boy, “You shall be keeper of the grail so that it may heal the hearts of men.”

But the boy was blinded by greater visions of a life filled with power and glory and beauty. And in this state of radical amazement he felt for a brief moment not like a boy, but invincible, like God, so he reached into the fire to take the grail, and the grail vanished, leaving him with his hand in the fire to be terribly wounded.

Now as this boy grew older, his wound grew deeper. Until one day, life for him lost its reason. He had no faith in any man, not even himself. He couldn’t love or feel loved. He was sick with experience. He began to die.

One day a fool wandered into the castle and found the king alone. And being a fool, he was simple minded, he didn’t see a king. He only saw a man alone and in pain. And he asked the king, “What ails you friend?”

The king replied, “I’m thirsty. I need some water to cool my throat.”

So the fool took a cup from beside his bed, filled it with water and handed it to the king. As the king began to drink, he realized his wound was healed. He looked in his hands and there was the holy grail, that which he sought all of his life. And he turned to the fool and said with amazement, “How can you find that which my brightest and bravest could not?”

And the fool replied, “I don’t know. I only knew that you were thirsty.”

“Oh,” said the king, sorely disappointed. “Then this cannot be the grail I have sought all my life, because kingdom realities only apply to ecclesial actions. The only things that are connected to the kingdom are the things that are done in the context of the local church.”

I really enjoy Scot McKnight’s writing and find his blog, Jesus Creed, is often a source of wisdom and thoughtful inspiration. And even here, where I think he’s wrong, I think he’s wrong in an interesting and thought-provoking way. But still wrong.

McKnight has stirred up some lively discussion by wanting to make a distinction between social justice work done by Christians outside the context of the church and the work of God’s kingdom. Both, he insists, are good and necessary, but for McKnight, “kingdom work” can only be done by the church, within the church.

In a recent post titled “Kingdom Work, Social Justice,” McKnight writes:

I want the church to be a kingdom embodiment and I’m not criticizing social work at all; I’m pushing back against the left-wing mistaken notion that kingdom is what happens outside the church, that kingdom is something bigger (and therefore other) than church, etc. … The local church is called to be an embodiment of kingdom realities. But kingdom realities only applies those ecclesial actions.

Let me push back against this pushing back. I appreciate his concern for wanting Christian mission and identity to be more grounded in the community of the church, but shrinking down the kingdom so that it will fit through the church doors is the wrong way to go about that.

Part of the problem, I think, arises from a misreading of the thing he wants to criticize here — a misreading made clear in his phrase “bigger and therefore other.” McKnight seems to be picturing a Venn Diagram with two wholly separate spheres, one labeled “church” and one labeled “kingdom.” And if I’m reading him right, he wants to say, No, there should be only one sphere labeled both of those things.

But those of us, erm, “left-wingers” (?) who believe that the kingdom is bigger and more expansive than the church are picturing a diagram in which the sphere of the church is inside the sphere of the kingdom. Bigger, but not other.

The other problem is that McKnight’s distinction is anachronistic. He elaborates on his argument in an interview excerpted on the Slow Church blog:

Kingdom work and church work cannot be divorced, and when we divorce them, we ruin what church means in the New Testament, and we lose what kingdom means in the New Testament. I tell my students all the time, if you think you’re devoted to the kingdom but not to the local church, then you’re not devoted to the kingdom. The only things that are connected to the kingdom are the things that are done in the context of the local church.

That’s an anachronism. Jesus’ Gospel of the kingdom preceded the existence of the local church and preceded the idea of the local church. Jesus’ own ministry, was not “done in the context of the local church,” but I don’t think we’d want to say that Jesus was “not devoted to the kingdom.”

I mostly agree with McKnight that “there is no such thing as ‘kingdom’ outside those who follow Jesus,” but I think he stumbles when he equates “those who follow Jesus” with “the local church.” Unfortunately, those aren’t always the same thing.

And, also, fortunately those aren’t always the same thing.

I say I mostly agree with what McKnight says there because I think it’s right, only backwards. I would say rather that there can be no such thing as followers of Jesus outside the kingdom. While Jesus did not teach to, at, in or about “the local church,” he did make a clear distinction between those who followed him and those who were what we might think of as church members yet did not really follow him. That distinction can be found in many of his parables and, indeed, seems to have been the main point of many of them. If you’re looking for “kingdom work” in Jesus’ parables, it’s usually expressed by the character who is not the church member.

The parable of the Sheep and the Goats, for example, is not the parable of the church members and the outsiders. It is a story, rather, about what it means to follow Jesus. And in that story it means simply this: “I only knew that you were thirsty.”

  • Anonymous

    You know, the original Grail in Chrétien de Troyes’s “Percival or the Story of the Grail” (1181) was a pagan fertility chalice, accompanied by things like a giant bleeding lance (guess what all this symbolized?). That’s right! Dirty, dirty sex. There was no Galahad, and the whole thing was obviously a pre-Christian story.

    Who has two thumbs and took a Masters level course in the King Arthur legends? THIS GUY!

  • Amaryllis

    Well, it isn’t me. But…

    If it was a pre-Christian story, or more exactly, if there was such a pre-Christian story, and I’m sure there was, that doesn’t have much to do with the fact that there is now a Christian story. Or more exactly, that there was a Christian story, Chretien’s world being nearly as alien to us as is, oh, the Four Cities of the northern isles or Bran’s Island of the Mighty. But the story remains, and the Grail is where you find it.

    Back out of all this now too much for us,
    Back in a time made simple by the loss
    Of detail, burned, dissolved, and broken off
    Like graveyard marble sculpture in the weather,
    There is a house that is no more a house
    Upon a farm that is no more a farm
    And in a town that is no more a town.


    And there’s a story in a book about it:

    The height of the adventure is the height
    Of country where two village cultures faded
    Into each other. Both of them are lost.


    I have kept hidden in the instep arch
    Of an old cedar at the waterside
    A broken drinking goblet like the Grail
    Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it,
    So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t.
    (I stole the goblet from the children’s playhouse.)
    Here are your waters and your watering place.
    Drink and be whole again beyond confusion.

    -Robert Frost, Directive

  • Anonymous

    If it was a pre-Christian story, or more exactly, if there was such a pre-Christian story, and I’m sure there was, that doesn’t have much to do with the fact that there is now a Christian story. Or more exactly, that there was a Christian story, Chretien’s world being nearly as alien to us as is, oh, the Four Cities of the northern isles or Bran’s Island of the Mighty. But the story remains, and the Grail is where you find it.

    Oh, absolutely. One of the wonderful things about the mythology of Arthur is that its development took place in writing, much of which survives, unlike, say, Greek mythology. We have stories ranging from around 800 AD to the modern era. These stories were told and retold by various writers who picked out what aspects they were most interested in.

    Chrétien, as far as I know, was the first written account of the Quest for the Grail, and many motifs that would become synonymous with the story, such as the wounded Fisher King, showed up in it . He was most likely working from oral folklore of a pre-Christian story, and in his version, Christianity was something of a non-entity. The symbolism in his story was quite unavoidably pagan. While Chrétien was Christian, he wasn’t as overt about it in his writing, plus he was working for a woman who enjoyed her stories about tawdry affairs. Chrétien was also the person who either created Lancelot, or grafted the Lancelot folklore into the King Arthur mythology. He was, however, absolutely the one who first decided to hook up Guinevere with Lancelot in an adulterous love affair (again, probably at behest of Marie of Champagne who liked that sort of thing), a detail that would eventually overwhelm the entire mythology.

    “Percival” was actually never finished, and so many writers over the next century took to writing an end to it. Until one Christian monk decided to rewrite the entire thing. By this point Lancelot had become the main character in the stories, and his roll had been firmly fleshed out, that he was the knight of love. So this unnamed monk took “Percival” to be explicitly Christian, and basically teach good, moral lessons. He made Lancelot a symbol for Earthly love, and created Galahad to basically be Jesus in a knight’s armor. Galahad was the son of Lancelot (due to the daughter of the Fisher King basically raping him via use of magic), showing that God’s love supersedes man’s love. His version of the story is filled with knights running around the countryside killing things, and then wise monks come out and discuss the theological meaning behind what they just did. And this is when the grail stopped being a pagan fertility chalice and became the Holy Grail.

    A century or so latter, Sir Thomas Mallory wrote what has become the definitive version of King Arthur, and he was not overly found of the Church, or the aristocracy, or pretty much anyone. He was actually in prison (more like house arrest) for murder when he wrote his book. And the wonderful thing about it (it really is an amazing read) was that he always wrote on two levels. Superficially he wrote fun stories about knights running around the country fighting each other, but sub-textually it was all irreverent, subversive satire about his society. He more or less striped out as much of the theology he could from the story. But when you think “King Arthur” you pretty much think Mallory, as every writer after him has basically been adding their own twists to his version of the events.

    Then, centuries latter, Monty Python did “Quest for the Holy Grail.”

    The wonderful thing is that we have all these different versions (and many more) of this one story. Everyone’s free to pick what version they like best, what version appeals to them most, and they’re even free to write a new version if there is something they feel has been over looked.

    Although seriously, Mallory did some really crazy things in his book.

  • Amaryllis

    He was, however, absolutely the one who first decided to hook
    up Guinevere with Lancelot in an adulterous love affair
    (again, probably at behest of Marie of Champagne who liked that sort of
    thing), a detail that would eventually overwhelm the entire mythology.

    And we’ve been plagued with triangular love stories ever since!

    (Although I suppose Chretien and Marie were not the first to find the triangle a fascinating shape.)

    Was it also Chretien who dragged in the Joseph-of-Arimathea connection?

    And now I feel that I have to go re-read Mallory, because it’s been a long long time.

    Everyone’s free to pick what version they like best, what version
    appeals to them most, and they’re even free to write a new version if
    there is something they feel has been over looked.

    As long as we’re not including a certain badly-written best-seller with a highly idiosyncratic  interpretation of what exactly is meant by “sangreal.” There are limits.

  • vsm

    As long as
    we’re not including a certain badly-written best-seller with a highly
    idiosyncratic  interpretation of what exactly is meant by “sangreal.”
    There are limits

    Hey, those poorly thought-out theories made for a very entertaining adventure game in Gabriel Knight III. You wouldn’t believe how much having decent puzzles and going properly overboard with vampires and Tim Curry improve the basic story.

  • Anonymous

    And we’ve been plagued with triangular love stories ever since!

    Particularly this triangle love story. All modern adaptations torture the hell out of this story.

    What’s interesting though, is that prior to Mallory, Guinevere was a serial adulterer. In the old Welsh stories she was perfectly happy to shack up with Mordred, in Marie De France and Chaucer she threatens random knights if they failed to return her affections, in an old Norse story she “gave a ring” to an “attractive youth.” Chrétien specifically states that Lancelot loves her a hundred times as much as she has affection for him.

    It isn’t until some time after Mallory that their story became the great, tragic love story that everyone knows today.

    Was it also Chretien who dragged in the Joseph-of-Arimathea connection?

    No, that was added thirty years or so later by some unknown French monks. Thanks to Chrétien and Marie de France, the genre of medieval romance really began to be kicking across Europe. But both Chrétien and Marie were working off oral stories that most likely were from pre-Christian Celtic folklore, the monks decided to remake it into explicitly Christian. Hence the rather complicated explanation of how a holy relic managed to travel from Jerusalem to England.

    One of the fun things about the Arthur legends is that it never successfully escapes its roots in Celtic myth. Arthur originated as a Welsh story, and you can tell all the oldest characters because they all have Welsh names like Arthur, Gawain, and Morgan. 

    Morgan le Fey is probably the most obvious example of these origins as her name literally means “Morgan the Fairy,” and yet she’s never depicted as anything other than human. She was most likely a Celtic goddess that was grafted onto the story, and became a witch as the stories were increasingly Christianized. In the earliest stories she’s nothing less than a constant source of aid and comfort for Arthur and his knights. And even when she morphs into something of an adversary, when Guinevere’s betrayal becomes public, she and Arthur basically become best friends and she eventually escorts him to Avalon. So essentially good nature has never been completely erased. Well, at least until some modern versions where she’s basically reduced to filling the role of Big Bad (I’m looking at you “Merlin!”).

    And now I feel that I have to go re-read Mallory, because it’s been a long long time.

    My favorite moment of sheer WTF in Mallory is how, in the middle of “Sir Lancelot du Lac,” he has Lancelot pretty explicitly have sex with Sir Kay. It’s one of those moments where I read it, and then I stopped and thought “did I just read that correctly,” and then went back over it. In fact, I think that entire story is just one giant joke about Lancelot’s sex life.

  • http://twitter.com/Rhysdux Rhysdux

    I’m sorry, but I’m confused by the concept of “kingdom work.” I never heard the term before, and I don’t know what it means.

  • Anonymous

    The Fisher King is one of my favorite movies, and fittingly enough it’s given me more comfort and sense of the importance of love and looking out for one another than any of the religious instruction I’ve received. If there is a God and a Kingdom both are much too big for the physical restraints of any building. 

  • MikeJ

    And in that story it means simply this: “I only knew that you were thirsty.”

    Which brings us back to the Lemony Snicket line that’s been circulating lately: Someone feeling wronged is like someone feeling thirsty. Don’t tell them they aren’t. Sit with them and have a drink.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    See, Fred, once again you demonstrate to me how ungentle and impatient I am in comparison, because instead of a calmly explained argument, my response to the idea you’ve summarised here:

    McKnight has stirred up some lively discussion by wanting to make a distinction between social justice work done by Christians outside the context of the church and the work of God’s kingdom. Both, he insists, are good and necessary, but for McKnight, “kingdom work” can only be done by the church, within the church.

    was simply “bullshit”. Bull. Shit.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The thing that really leaves an impression on me is that the person who only wanted to help an obviously hurt msn was able to use the Holy Grail for its intended purpose, while the king who so desperately sought it out for selfish motives failed to notice what was right in front of him.

    There’s a lesson in there about being a decent human being without expectation of reward or recognition.

  • Anonymous

    I had a fun time disassembling that movie ‘King Arthur’ from a few years ago, the one that claimed to be a more accurate retelling of the Arthur myth.  You know the one — the one that completely borked Pelagianism, made the entire Knights of the Round Table all Sarmatian auxiliae of the Roman legions, reduced the Lancelot and Gwynhyvar romance to a couple of smouldering glances, turned Excalibur into an oddly long gladius made of British cold iron, made Merlin into a scruffy druid, and had more people talking about ‘Freedom’ than Mel Gibson in Braveheart.  That was what really got my goat.  They go on and on about “FREEDOM!” and I do not think that word means what they think it means, especially when you name a king to rule over you several centuries before the Magna Carta.

  • Anonymous

    Amaryllis: And we’ve been plagued with triangular love stories ever since!

    I prefer my love stories to be a bit more three-dimensional.  Love Icosahedrons are where it’s at! ^_^

  • Anonymous

    *now resists urge to take joke further and go into ‘platonic love solids’*

    vsm: You wouldn’t believe how much having decent puzzles and going properly
    overboard with vampires and Tim Curry improve the basic story.

    Everything is better with Tim Curry.  Especially Tim Curry in Gabriel Knight.  That voice is to die for.  Tim Curry in Legend, too.  I caved and in the theater of the mind where I was casting the NPCs in the game I’m running, Andramalech (both pre- and post-Christian-influence) was played by Tim Curry.

  • rizzo

    Pretty sure that Jesus said that the Kingdom was everywhere, that’s why you don’t need to proclaim your faith from the street corners.

  • Rikalous

    Chrétien was also the person who either created Lancelot, or grafted the
    Lancelot folklore into the King Arthur mythology. He was,
    however, absolutely the one who first decided to hook up Guinevere with
    Lancelot in an adulterous love affair (again, probably at behest of
    Marie of Champagne who liked that sort of thing), a detail that would
    eventually overwhelm the entire mythology.

    Freaking Mary Sue OCs breaking up the canon couples.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Everything is better with Tim Curry.

    You should give Brutal Legend a try then.  He plays the primary villain, an emperor of a BDSM-dressed demon army in a world inspired by the artwork to every heavy metal album cover ever.  Some of his lines send shivers up the spine.  

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    > *now resists urge to take joke further and go into ‘platonic love solids’*

    Platonic Love Solids really ought to be a punk band.

  • Q .

    Well, either McKnight is wrong, or I’ve really, really, missed the point of the “Good Samaritan” story.  Has anyone asked him what he thinks it means? 
    (Maybe he got the misprinted Bible with the “Good Temple Priest” story instead?)

    >Chrétien was Christian
    Well, yeah, but even babelfish could have told me that…

  • Amaryllis

    Particularly this triangle love story. All modern adaptations torture the hell out of this story.

    Not to mention the modern adaptations that you don’t realize what they are until it’s too late. Guy Gavriel Kay, I’m looking at you.

    And now I really want to go and re-read Mallory.

  • Lonespark

    Speaking of modern Arthur stories, has anyone read The Knights of Breton Court by Maurice Broaddus.  It’s a trilogy, and I don’t know if they’re all out.  I read King Maker and I’ve just got King’s Justice.  I have the feeling knowing a lot more Arthurian stuff would help me get the allusions, but I did really like it…and I hope the triangle gets handled in a not-too-annoying way.

  • Ruthatterberry

    In the Matthew text there are those who Jesus claims as Kingdom people who had not “seen” him. Are there anonymous members of the Church?

  • Robin Swieringa

    “Jesus’ Gospel of the kingdom preceded the existence of the local church and preceded the idea
    of the local church. Jesus’ own ministry, was not ‘done in the context
    of the local church,’ but I don’t think we’d want to say that Jesus was ‘not devoted to the kingdom.’”

    Well, technically you’re right, in the same way that the Bible doesn’t mention the Trinity. But the Bible does tell us that Jesus began his preaching ministry — as well as his healing and exorcism ministries — in the synagogues and/or the temple (where the people of God congregated for worship and instruction in their faith), and that it was his custom to teach/preach in that setting on the Sabbath as he went around Galilee. And he said, “You are Petros, and on this rock I will build my CHURCH.” So he clearly wanted to build his church, comprising all who believe He is who He said He is, and we who are the church are to serve and to minister as the church in His name in and out of our buildings as the way to bear witness to Him.

    Additionally, in Romans and elsewhere, Paul is clear that the Holy Spirit draws believers into the church — i.e., the community of believers — when someone first believes, in order to be discipled and, again, to serve in and out of the church in Jesus’s name. Unfortunately, the modern evangelical and pentecostal churches have done little to make known the theology and pneumatology of the church, so most of us don’t know (or understand or believe…) that every believer is called into the church by the Holy Spirit — whether or not s/he is obedient and goes. Yes, there are people in the church who aren’t following Jesus, and there are people outside of the church who are following Jesus…but Jesus’s plan was that his followers would be his church, gathered to continue his mission until he returns again.

    Finally, I agree with Scot that if you aren’t telling people that you are ministering to them and doing the work that the King of Kings wants done on earth, simply because you ARE a member of His Kingdom and He wants you to do His work so that people can see that He loves them and is “at hand,” then you aren’t “ministering” or doing “kingdom” work. Although a rose by any other name would be as sweet, to do the work without mention of the One who commands us to do it is equivalent to putting the parabolic basket over our parabolic lights.

  • Anonymous

    Finally, I agree with Scot that if you aren’t telling people that you are ministering to them and doing the work that the King of Kings wants done on earth, simply because you ARE a member of His Kingdom and He wants you to do His work so that people can see that He loves them and is “at hand,” then you aren’t “ministering” or doing “kingdom” work. Although a rose by any other name would be as sweet, to do the work without mention of the One who commands us to do it is equivalent to putting the parabolic basket over our parabolic lights.

    No. No, no, and no again. Doing the work without mention of who commanded you to do it means the hungry who aren’t part of your religion already get fed and the homeless who aren’t part of your religion already get housed, instead of those people either sacrificing their dignity to accept help from someone who preaches to them or continuing to live with their need because they won’t accept help from someone who preaches to them.

    Would you, if you needed help, accept it from someone who said “I’m doing this because I’m an atheist and I think you should be an atheist too”? And if you did take the help, would you be glad of it, or would you be gritting your teeth the whole time? Because I can tell you, if I needed help, I would not take it from the Catholic Church or anyone else who said they were doing it because they wanted people to know the kingdom of Jesus was at hand. Or in the highly unlikely event that I did, I would be gritting my teeth the whole time, and that’s bad for the teeth.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    But if you who have this world’s goods see a brother or sister in need, and you help them without explicitly explaining that you’re doing it because of your religion, how can you say you have the love of God in you?

    You will see that a man is justified by works and not by faith only, but that only counts if the works are labeled as Christian and done under the auspices of an explicitly Christian organisation

    When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

    Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
    Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. Except those times when you didn’t say “in Jesus’ name”. Those times don’t count’.

    What translation are you using? I can’t find these verses in any of my bibles.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Hey, who else went to church camp as a kid and used to sing that old song “They’ll know we are Christians by our mentioning it every single time we do anything loving”?

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    To turn off the sarcasm:

    Very simply, I believe in a God who is more concerned that people are loved than that he gets the credit for it when they are.

  • http://heartfout.typepad.com/blog/ Heartfout

     Sadly, some people do refuse atheist medical help (not even atheists attempting to convert them, just help from someone who is an atheist).

    http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/lme1i/i_have_to_go_to_court_because_of_a_womans_choice/

  • Lalouve

    Well, the thing about Chrétien’s Grail story is that it can be read in many diverse ways, some of which contradict each other and all of which are valid. I have seen them read as a non-religious story about family and politics (Brigitte Cazelles) as a religious story (David Staines and others) and as a story about gender (myself). We should not limit the story to being about one specific thing.
    And I have a PhD in Arthurian literature, does it show..?

  • Tonio

    My own preference is to state the principle in both secular and nonsectarian terms – anyone who is concerned about getting credit for kindness to others is wrongly making it about hirself, and anyone who would describe hirself as selfless is really being selfish.

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

    When I was in my high school prayer group, the leader, who was very conservative Baptist would say that the work that the Respect Club (yes, that was the name) was “nice” but didn’t “really” serve God’s kingdom.  As a member of both, I found that insulting, and thought that the rest of the Respect Club members would be insulted as well.

    Basically, when you tell someone that they can’t serve anyone outside of the church and have it be part of “God’s kingdom,” you’re telling them “What you do isn’t good enough for me.  What I do is better than what you do.”  You’re undervaluing their contribution to social justice or service and putting yourself above them, even if that’s not what you mean to do. (“Intent isn’t magic” and all that.) In addition, it encourages Christians to cut themselves off further from other organizations.  If Kingdom Work can only be done in church, why would you ever work with any other group?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    > when you tell someone that they can’t serve anyone outside of the church
    and have it be part of “God’s kingdom,” you’re telling them “What you
    do isn’t good enough for me.  What I do is better than what you do.”

    That’s only true if you accept that anything that’s part of “God’s kingdom” is better than anything that isn’t.

  • Anonymous

    The telling of the Arthur story I’m most familiar with is the T.H. White version. In it, not only does White direct the reader to Mallory’s version for more details (in the middle of the narrative, not just in a preface or something), but Mallory even gets a brief cameo.

    Man, now I want to read a deconstruction of The Once and Future King, those books are quite explicitly formed around the author’s political opinions (and prejudices), it’d be fascinating to see all of that teased apart page by page.

  • http://guy-who-reads.blogspot.com/ Mike Timonin

    Man, now I want to read a deconstruction of The Once and Future King, those books are quite explicitly formed around the author’s political opinions (and prejudices), it’d be fascinating to see all of that teased apart page by page.

    Me too! I’d almost be interested in doing it myself, except I loaned my copy out, and haven’t got it back yet.

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

    True, but this guy obviously did.  And even if you don’t agree with them on “working for God’s kingdom being better,” having someone hold that opinion about you is still insulting.

  • HelenRDC

    Amen from a Christian who is very uncomfortable with the idea of a kingdom in which only the followers of one religion are considered members.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    The Gospels in six words:

    “Love everyone. No, EVERYONE. Fucking listen!”


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