I’m back in John 1 again, where I have found the answer to one of my questions from yesterday. The Pharisees (and Sadducees, presumably, although they are not specified) have not gone out to hear John because they were wanted to know anything or even because they wanted confirmation of what they already knew but because they were sent by someone in charge.
Just as Paul was sent on “the authority
of the chief priests” to persecute Christians (Acts 26:10 NIV), which led
him to hear Stephen’s powerful retelling of the story of the Jews culminating
in the murder of their long awaited Righteous One and to witness Stephen’s vision
of “the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:56). Paul,
himself a Jew, would soon come to believe in this Son of Man too, and no doubt
Stephen’s account and subsequent murder were instrumental in Paul’s conversion.
And among Stephen’s audience were also many others antagonistic
to what he had to say: those who had brought him before the Sanhedrin to
blaspheme and be legitimately stoned to death as well as the Sanhedrin
themselves. Whatever their intentions, they too heard Stephen’s message and
witnessed what must have seemed his divine inspiration: “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at
Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel” (Acts
6:15). It seems ironic that, in order to stone this messenger of God to death,
they first “covered their ears” (Acts 7:57).
Which leads me to Lulu’s new video game, Assassin’s Creed, which appears to be
about someone from the future going back in time to kill Crusaders.
(Forgive any inaccuracies, here or in what follows. I hate
video games—the grunting killing noises, especially, not to mention the obsessiveness
with which people who do like them play them—so my only experience of Assassin’s Creed is what I witness when
I go in to deliver meals to Lulu so that she does not succumb to malnutrition while
she’s in the throes of New Video Game Syndrome.)
The thing is, while Crusaders appear to be the enemy in the
game, as far as I can tell—as, in my view, is appropriate to their murderous
behavior—their Christian message is nevertheless openly and, as far as I can
tell, accurately displayed. Various of them stand on street corners preaching
key messages of Jesus. And the assassin-hero of the game—that is, the incarnation
of the player herself—is impressed with their dedication and apparent true
belief in their own words.
Whatever else I may think of this game, I must say that I
like this about it: It speaks scripture to a bunch of empty-headed NVGS
sufferers, many of whom may never hear it in any other place.