Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Five People, Five Questions

One evening while dining out the week before New Year's, Susie asked me “If you could meet five people from history, who would you like to meet?” It was an interesting question. She said Jesus, Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi, G. K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis.

The next morning it stimulated in me the follow up thought: What would I want to ask each of the five people I talked with from history.

I found the idea of it so stimulating that I decided to send this question to everyone in my Outlook Express address book. It seemed like a good way to discover which of my email addresses were obsolete, and would generate some potentially interesting replies. The replies did not disappoint.

I did include the disclaimer that I might place their responses on my website, but in the interest of a small measure of privacy I will use initials only here.

The question re-stated: If it were possible to have discussions with five people from history (past or present) … who would you want to talk to and what question would you like to ask them?

E.S., a writer from Duluth:
I had a hard time coming up with a list of five people, because the only historical figure I'd really, really like to meet is Mark Twain. But I worked on it and thought about it, and here's my list: Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Molly Ivins, Rachel Carson, Jacques Cousteau. They all have one thing in common, they used their skills wholeheartedly to effect social change.

D.B. from Napa Valley:
Here is my answer to your your question. There is no importance to the order, just as I thought about them. I tried to stay away from those you already mentioned, but also I don't think I could look Jesus in the eyes, let alone ask Him a question. But I would have loved to have sat at His feet when he taught, and I would have loved to taken a class with C.S. Lewis. I am not sure my questions are good ones, but I respect each of these men, and would have been honored to have worked with or for each. I kept it to five, but if I think of some more I may send them later...

Abraham Lincoln – If you could only name one thing which sustained you through the stress and tribulation of the Civil War - what was it?
Thomas Jefferson – What was your greatest success, and what was your most disappointing failure?
Sir Winston Churchill – In your political career, what would you have done differently?
The Apostle Peter – Why do you think the Lord chose you to be the first leader of the Church?
Francis Schaeffer – What is the biggest failure of the Church of the twentieth century?

M.D. from New York:
President Eisenhower: where are the bodies from the Roswell crash kept?
Chris Columbus : what food did you bring aboard your ships?
Henry Ford; how would you feel if your cars could travel at 300 mph?
President Truman: what if we don’t drop the atomic bomb?
Jesus: why does the Lord make children suffer?

G.K. from Michigan:
These are the first five that came to mind. It is far to late for me to be up on Saturday night. I need to go to bed. Thank Susie for the challenge. I liked her choices too. In particular Chesterton and Lewis. I am hoping that there will be times of storytelling on the other side with all of the people that I admire for their stand for Jesus.

#1 My great- grandfather Henry Kins -- The question: Is our name really Kinserdahl or is it Hermundson? Is the story you told my Dad true about why you came to America true and if it isn't true why did you change our name?

# 2 Ulrich Zwingle - Was it really a difference about the Lord's Supper that drove you and Martin Luther apart and was that what prompted you to say about him , " We are not of the same spirit."

#3 General Armstrong Custer - Were you shot by an old man when you rode across the river like the native Americans tell the story and were you killed relatively early at Little Big Horn like they say or were you the last to die like the movies depict it. Also, was your motivation for attacking by yourself and not waiting for your re-enforcements, that you were wanting to run for president and wanted a glory story to kick off the campaign?

# 4 Lief Erikson - Did you discover America or did you get no further than Greenland?

# 5 The Apostle Paul - Did you really evangelize in Spain and get as far as Great Britain or are those just legends?


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