Friday, May 9, 2014
I went to pick-up my wash at the laundry some four blocks away from my hotel. I know that my wash in Slovenia will cost half what it will cost in Norway. I picked it up just before five in the evening and thought, “Ya, know, I’ve never been up that street?” The wide thoroughfare goes north toward the train station. This street, like most others is lined by small coffee bars. As I past by the first two they sat empty but next was a cafe with a number of people talking and having coffee or a beer. On purpose I sat down next to two tables each with three people. The one right beside me had a young Canadian who, when he he heard me order in English, asked where I was from. He was leaving that very day back to Canada after a semester of university. On the opposite side of his table were two Russian girls that understood some Slovene but almost no English. Somehow, my table and the other two began a casual three way conversation. At the other, in the corner, were three thirty year old young men. It seemed to me that they might be here the longest so best to invest in that table rather than the Canadian who would soon be on his way to the train.
I took out my ballpoint pen and on the back side of the drink menu I drew one of the young men. Once I finished it, I took it over and handed it to him . Immediate surprise and approval came over him as he showed it around the table. One of the fellows said, “Who are you? What do you do in Slovenia (uh, oh) and would you like a drink? Why don’t you join us here at our table?” Within minutes we are battling over evolution, comparative religion and moral law. I am winning. They are all three bright and university educated. One claimed to be an atheist, and two others were born Catholic but not practicing. They demonstrated a clear approval of my positions on a variety of theistic arguments. As I went toward sin, judgment, atonement grace and the person / purpose of Christ, I had them and their friendship. They all said, “No one here talks like this. We need this kind of serious conversation”
After two hours of this banter, I invited them to come with me to the hotel where I would buy them books in Slovene. They were primed and ready. At the hotel I gave them copies of Timothy Keller’s, “The Reason for God” and “God’s Undertaker, Has Science Buried Religion?” (this is where fifty euro your money goes) at the same time I was able to introduce them to my friend Sergeja and have a photograph taken. I do hope we will meet again. Rarely have I seen anyone get this far with intellectuals in this length of time. I certainly never have. Is there a shift in the wind?