#1
c4c. etc.


Knock, Knock, Knock, Knock, Knock.

Pastor Johns is deaf in his left ear and blind in his left eye; freak car accident in his sixteenth year had left him that way. He hasn't even looked up from his studies and I've been knocking for five minutes. The door creaks as I open it, but he doesn't even notice me until I reach around his short red hair and tap him on the shoulder.

"Oh dear. You scared the bjesus outta me lad." He offers me two chairs, I decide on the plush one and begin to sit as we waltz through formalities:

He's great. I'm fine. We've both been busy and are tired.

He twists his head slightly to the left and his right eye stares at me thoughtfully. "What can I do ya for, laddy?"

I launch into my rehearsed spiel. "Sir, how can I ever tell there is a God? I mean, there is nothing to prove he's there and there is plenty of injustice in the world that says he isn't. Science explains almost everything, people who don't believe in God are living decent lives too... I just, I just don't understand."

He grins a false-toothed smile and rocks back in his office chair. He begins to fumble through the pages of his bible, pausing every now to smack his lips and mumble "hmm, interesting." Suddenly he stops, closes the bible and looks at me.

"You ever heard that song 'More than a Feeling?' It's by Boston. I want you to go listen to that song and then go and pray to God earnestly. If you come back to me after that and aren't a Boston fan... we'll know we have troubles." With that, he pivots his chair back to the other book thats open on his table and begins fumbling through more pages, stopping every once in a while to moan to himself, "hmm, interesting."
#2
Hmmm... Interesting.

It's hard for me to give a crit to something of this format, but I thought it was pretty good. It had a quirky style to it, in my opinion.
#3
I had written a big paragraph where I mostly ranted.

I deleted it. Personal growth.

I find it such a restricting style; everything is so self-contained it makes the situation, the characters, the actions so wooden and, well, stock. There could never be anything more to it, and it's this that, for me, creates little to no emotional attatchment with anything here.

That's it, sorry Zach. S'all I got. I could go and be picky but, eh, I think I'm done.

Best of luck Zach. I hope in a few years you have continued to write and are reading more, too.

#4
Seems to be a lot of church related stuff today


The question of why is thier suffering in the world is the oldest arguement to Faith. So the topic of this short story isn't really new at all.

I see it as a "I don't know" answer (Boston Song) being written into a Church Authority Figure (Pastor Johns)

As a christian, all I can say is that it is a shame that so many people think that the only answer we have to our beliefs is "It's more than a Feeling"

But, such is the world today.

It'll be a controversal piece with lefties praising it and righties scorning it.

(is his last name Johns with a s, or did you mean "John's" instead of "John is")
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#5
Zach, i think you need to have a little more "choosiness" about you when you pick your subject matter. i know you've been tackling the different aspects of traditional American Christianity here lately; almost as if it were a series. and a quite enjoyable one, i might add. but i have to agree with James on this one, there's really no impact here.
when i got to "I launched my rehearsed...," i was like, "hmm, interesting." lol. but i was really expecting a drastic conclusion, even if it was just more of a run-around, from the Pastor. idk, i hope i'm making sense.
some of these have been presented in a very approachable manner for the audience, and some haven't. i don't know where the "zing" is lacking at, but i'm quite intrigued that not one of these have really been....lukewarm. they've either been hot, or cold.
maybe it's just hit-and-miss subject matter any way it's went about.
aaaand that's my Darwin on the matter, lol.
There's a road that leads to the end of all suffering. You should take it.


- Jericho Caine


secret, aaaaagent maaan.
secret, aaaaagent maaan.
#6
like jamie said, the form is really constricting the piece, especially in terms of explosive verbal inventiveness and the capturing of the addressee.

i don't think it's harsh to say that you've committed mimetic fallacy, this piece appears somewhat akin to the situation you describe, which is really pretty mundane. there's no underlying emotion in the piece which was certainly prevalent in 'wine glass religion'. it seems to be absent entirely here, unless i've missed it, which is perhaps likely.

your character in wine glass didn't have any specific reason to be doubting the christian faith, as far as i can remember, but the fierce despising of his mother allowed the poem some degree of raw feeling that reached out and made a connection. i mean, here, you've not really set the scene to any great extent. you've explained that there's a pastor, perhaps inferring through metonym that this is some kind of sunday school or regular church service? i do get the impression through the... constructed naivety, of the narrator that he's a young kid, which is interesting, but this leads to questioning the strange inconsistency of vocabulary. "waltz" appears to arrive as if from nowhere, although now i fear i'm being too directly intricate (on this topic, the syntax in the concluding sentence of the first stanza is dreadful).

generally, i thought this was pretty tedious. as much as i've read and re-read, i can't for the life of me find a redeeming feature. nothing is pulsating to the extent that i want to come and read this again, and i don't really think there's any underlying message, bar perhaps the triviality of his faith extended by the pastor when encouraging a delicate listening of Boston to strengthen religious belief (was this an approach that was inferring the simple enjoyment of life is enough to warrant a belief in god, or is the pastor just stupid?).

i normally love your writing zach, but this felt like a piece for the sake of the piece. nothing, really nothing, held this up for me.
Last edited by skagitup at Jul 2, 2008,
#7
You're an excellent writer. But in my opinion, you took this topic entirely too melancholy, and I finished reading the piece feeling somehow empty. Like, questioning Christianity should end on more than "Hmm, interesting". I felt like there should be some sort of enlightenment for the person questioning God's existence. Maybe, this is just the beginning of many chapters to come, and if that's the case, then fantastic. However, a lot of it is dry. This piece is really difficult to crit because I'm not positive on where it's going to go later on. I can't assume that this is it. I won't. Because if it is, then the only thing that can be said for it is that you're an exceptional writer but the piece is weak. I have to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume there's more to it. It's entirely too short to leave your characters so open-ended. The pastor, I see as someone senile but very wise. The person questioning, I see as someone struggling. These need to be expanded upon for this to be a solid piece, in my opinion.

Like I said, you're an exceptional writer though.


If you could check out my piece in my sig, I'd appreciate it.
#8
i agree. the idea of this as a preemption of a larger piece or perhaps the beginning of a series is the only way i can really justify the extensive description of a pastor's disabilities which, essentially, have little contribution to the main theme of the piece. perhaps i'm missing something, but if i am, that's your fault, zach
#9
Perhaps the Pastor's disabilities are symbolic of his inability to see the truth? But I doubt it; I would say the description is unnecessary and may even be worse than useless: it may make the reader feel they're missing something or not looking deep enough and in effect distract them from what was intended to be the main focus of the piece. I think you sometimes need to evaluate what's not important, and what needs to be gotten rid of. But I'm always interested, Zach.
#10
Hiya... I'm new to critting and writing texts' and lyrics and such so don't expect the perfect crit from me..

well, here goes:

in overall I don't really know what to say, It's nicely written, It gives me the feeling that it's kinda... "rolly", if I may say so... it doesn't feel like compact text, it's a bit flowing.

"He's great. I'm fine. We've both been busy and are tired."

That part do I like a lot.
there's something with it, don't know what really...
but it's special in some way...

Now that's all I can come up with, as I said I'm not really experienced with this...
but could you have a look on my text? it's found here
You like it
#11
Hey guys,

yeah, this was written originally to be the opening for a slightly longer short story which I soon abandoned because well... it sucked. I mostly posted this just to see if there was anything worth saving. Apparently not, lol.

Thanks everyone. Should be getting back to you soon.

EDIT: Alex, the Boston thing was intended to show off that even the Pastor can't really prove the faith... just offer some strange way to find a connection... but that there is nothing concrete at all that he can point too.
#12
Quote by ZanasCross
EDIT: Alex, the Boston thing was intended to show off that even the Pastor can't really prove the faith... just offer some strange way to find a connection... but that there is nothing concrete at all that he can point too.


I would seriously at least LOOK into apologetics before you released something like that. The pastor is suppose to represent an authority figure, he's supposed to know what a real apologetic would say.

It's like when they don't do thier research for making movies and they show a police helicopter flying 20 feet off the ground, with a spot light on the criminal, before a car crashes into it.

Helicopters don't fly that low in real life, and any pastor worth a nickel wouldn't offer a Boston answer for a basic question like that. If your going to write about it, at least look into it.
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#13
Well, sir.

I was raised in the church. I'm still a Christian. I've debated every pastor to every church I've ever been in. I write because I'm sick to death of pastors not knowing their own faith, not knowing how to guide people, and because I'm frankly sick of the church as we know it. I find nothing that even resembles how Christ originally designed the church to work.

I have looked into it. I know all the church answers, I've received them 10000000 times over and over, and they still don't answer the big questions about Christianity which is why it all comes down to faith. I understand all of that, I've considered it all... I know what I'm doing. If I wanted to come in and trash Christianity, I could... I know its dirty little secrets and all the loopholes. I really do. I don't want to do that, and thus I didn't. All I'm saying wiht this piece is that there is something screwed up in teh church today. That was the point. And I'm also saying in a lot of my more recent pieces that I'm just about fed up with it.

So in short. I have looked, more than most. I've considered being a pastor myself. Still do on occasion. That doesn't mean that they aren't wrong on occasion, ignorant and believing the same pretty much unbelievable things that you adn I do. I mean seriously, we believe that because some Jew died on a cross 2000 years ago, we can go to a heaven that we only know of because this crazy guy who died said so. If I can't question that, what rights do I have? And, that ISN'T a basic question, its one of the most ask questions there is... and also one that the bible never specifically answers... and I've never heard a pastor answer well.

EDIT: Another point in this is that "Real" apologetics is bull. There isn't one right answer for everyone, because god speaks to everyone through different avenues.


EDIT EDIT: Forgive me for going off like that, but for you to say I would toss around such bold shots at something I know nothing about is a bit insulting. I may be a sarcastic asshole, but I'm not going to attack something I don't understand.
#14
Hmm, this whole loopholes of christianity would be interesting to hear zach, but anyway, I personally found it quite good, I like hearing stories that you have to think about the previously concieved idea that has been hidden amongst the words, sure it's not as good as some of your other works, sure the characters may seem a little wooden or what not, but still the message behind the words captivates me

Have a look at Silhouettes and Coffee Mugs for me, needs a little bit of lovin'
#15
Quote by ZanasCross
Well, sir.

I was raised in the church. I'm still a Christian. I've debated every pastor to every church I've ever been in. I write because I'm sick to death of pastors not knowing their own faith, not knowing how to guide people, and because I'm frankly sick of the church as we know it. I find nothing that even resembles how Christ originally designed the church to work.

I have looked into it. I know all the church answers, I've received them 10000000 times over and over, and they still don't answer the big questions about Christianity which is why it all comes down to faith. I understand all of that, I've considered it all... I know what I'm doing. If I wanted to come in and trash Christianity, I could... I know its dirty little secrets and all the loopholes. I really do. I don't want to do that, and thus I didn't. All I'm saying wiht this piece is that there is something screwed up in teh church today. That was the point. And I'm also saying in a lot of my more recent pieces that I'm just about fed up with it.

So in short. I have looked, more than most. I've considered being a pastor myself. Still do on occasion. That doesn't mean that they aren't wrong on occasion, ignorant and believing the same pretty much unbelievable things that you adn I do. I mean seriously, we believe that because some Jew died on a cross 2000 years ago, we can go to a heaven that we only know of because this crazy guy who died said so. If I can't question that, what rights do I have? And, that ISN'T a basic question, its one of the most ask questions there is... and also one that the bible never specifically answers... and I've never heard a pastor answer well.

EDIT: Another point in this is that "Real" apologetics is bull. There isn't one right answer for everyone, because god speaks to everyone through different avenues.


You know, I'm sorry. That just sucks that you would grow up all your life in a christian environment and not be given one a decent answer to a basic question like that.

I've just had a very similiar arguement with my brother a couple days ago, becuase he is also feed up with Church. I grew up in a decent church, and now I have an excellent church, so maybe I take that for granted. But I tried to tell him, and I'll tell you, Yes there are a lot of garbage churches out there, dead churches, churches that teach some weird stuff. But there are also a LOT of really good churches, it may take a while to find one, but I garuntee there is one near you.

Real apologetics is not bull, let me explain. What I meant by Real apologetics, is a field of people who actually study and debate in defense of the faith. Yes, they will disagree about a whole lot of things, but it's the journey in seeking and studying that makes it Real. Pastor Johns obviously has no clue about apologetics.

I don't know exactly what you mean by God speaking to everyone through different avenues. I certainly don't believe in "Open" Christianity, as Oprah terms it. Where Christianity is nice, but all other religions lead to Heaven also.

I believe (And this is getting a little much for this forum) that God speaks to everyone Primarily through the bible. Yes, he speaks to everyone a little differently, but the primary tool is the bible.

Quote by ZanasCross

EDIT EDIT: Forgive me for going off like that, but for you to say I would toss around such bold shots at something I know nothing about is a bit insulting. I may be a sarcastic asshole, but I'm not going to attack something I don't understand.


I also apologize for that comment. In defense your story is (you admit) an attack on apologetics. And it is a poor one. I assumed that if you did know a better answer to the question, you would of given it to Pastor Johns. I mean seriously "Go listen to Boston"?

How would the speaker react if Pastor John pulled out a response from someone like Dr. Ravi Zacharias?

But you're right, there are pastors out there who have no clue how to answer that question, and I guess your article was an attack on that, and not really on the whole of christianity. Becuase believe me, theres a whole lot of better pastors out there.

Well I pray you find a good church, and get your loop holes answered. Because I assure you there are plenty of intelligent well spoken men out there pointing out the loopholes in the loopholes. if you know what I mean.
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