Subscribe in a reader or enter your address to get posts via email: 
Like this blog on Facebook!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

"I Sold My Soul On eBay" book review - part 1

073472: I Sold My Soul on eBay
I Sold My Soul on eBay
By Hemant Mehta
I ran across Hemant Mehta's book I Sold My Soul on eBay recently by chance when searching the Web for something else. The subtitle, "Viewing Faith Through an Atheist's Eyes" piqued my interest. Over the years I have blogged thoughts about atheism from time to time, and as someone who has spent some serious time thinking about whether God exists, I was very interested to find out what this "Hemant" guy had to say (by the way, according to the book, he likes to pronounce it "HE-mint"). I picked up a copy of the book and started to read.

First of all, if you are a Christian who is afraid to read books by atheists because you think you will feel attacked and ridiculed for your beliefs, don't be afraid of this book. Hemant (the book is so informal and conversational that it would feel weird to call him by his last name) is very respectful of religion in general and Christians in particular. He does not back down from what he believes, but neither does he make fun of people who believe something different. He truly comes across as someone you might sit down and have a conversation with, and he invites you to do just that on his blog, (his blog posts, though still quite civil, seem to be a little bit more confrontational than the book; then again, on the blog he's discussing current events and can't be expected to not take a side, especially when things get a little crazy). I enjoyed the book immensely; it gave me lots to think about, and it's just an enjoyable read. I think Hemant makes some terrific points, but I think there are a few places where his reasoning falls disappointingly short of the mark.

Hemant's basic story is this: he was raised in a devoutly religious family, although the religion was not Christianity. Around the age of 14, he began to question some of the beliefs he was taught as a child, and eventually decided or realized that he no longer believed in the teachings of his religion and began to consider himself an atheist. After an initial "what does this mean to me?" period, Hemant became something of an atheism activist, starting/participating in/leading a number of atheist organizations. But one day when he was in his early twenties, he began to wonder if there might be something to this Christianity thing; as a person with a very inquisitive mind, he decided to "auction his soul" on eBay, meaning that the winning bidder would get to send him to whatever church the bidder wanted to, for a length of time dependent on the amount of the winning bid. (Proceeds were donated to a charity of Hemant's choice.) The winning bidder sent him to fifteen different churches of varying sizes all over the United States, with a promise to post Hemant's reactions to the church services on the Web site now known as Those church visits became the basis for Hemant's book.

The layout of the book is fairly simple; in the first few chapters Hemant tells the story you just read (obviously, in much better detail than I've provided above) and gives a little background about his beliefs. The next several chapters are descriptions of some of his church visits, starting with some very small churches and ending with some huge megachurches, relating what he saw and heard and felt and providing his personal reactions. At the end, there is a chapter summarizing the good and bad points overall of the churches he visited, and then a chapter entitled "What It Would Take To Convert Me." After Hemant's last chapter there is a "discussion guide" written by another author for any groups who might want to use the book in that fashion.

I enjoyed the book very much. As a complete outsider to Christian churches (at least when he started his church visits) who is also carefully observant and quite intellectual, he has a lot of valuable observations to make about church services in general. Sometimes his comments are funny without being disrespectful... for example, his description of different ways people stand during worship (arms down, one arm up, both arms up, hands clenched, hands open, hands pointing skyward...) gave me a chuckle. Some things he observed have more complex explanations than he seems to realize: he mentions, for example, that most churches have a pretty homogenous racial makeup; I think he's right to wonder if all races would be equally comfortable in those services, but I think there's more to the picture than he realized (I'll go into that in more detail in part 2 of this review tomorrow). Hemant also seems perplexed at the strong degree of animosity that the Christian world seems to have toward the atheist world in general, and I think the reasons for that are even more complicated than the ones for the racial mix in individual churches (again, more detail in part 2). But this is a fairly small book we're talking about, not a detailed scholarly work, and I don't think a full analysis of every side of every issue is the point. I think the point is to give Christian churchgoers a glimpse at what their service might look like to someone who walked in off the street with no prior exposure to Christianity. I think it succeeds admirably at that.

I think the biggest and most valuable takeaway from Hemant's book is to realize that for the most part, Christians don't think very much about what they do or believe, They don't think about how what they do in their services might look to an outsider, and they don't often explain why they do things, even to their own children. I don't think it's the church's job to compromise the messages of the Bible in any way, and I think that churchgoers should feel welcome to express themselves before God in worship in pretty much any way they see fit (well, maybe not folks who endanger others, like those people who play with the snakes). But I also think that churchgoers should be sensitive to how what they do looks to others, and be prepared to provide an explanation for people who have questions about something. In order to do that, Christians are going to have to understand their own rituals and traditions and Theology a lot better than many of them do now! If you are a churchgoing Christian and don't understand something that is done at your church, please speak to your minister and find out the reasons. Hopefully, the explanation will do nothing but deepen your worship experience! And then if a Hemant comes across your path, maybe you can be the one that helps him understand what's going on.

Tomorrow I'll be posting the other half of this book review. I've tried to focus mostly on the book itself in this part; in the other part I'll address some things about Christianity and religion that Hemant touches on in the book that I think merit a closer look. After tomorrow, every Friday for the next several weeks I'll be blogging about various misconceptions about Christianity that occurred to me as I was reading. I hope you come back and enjoy the trip!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Love Wins - can we back the truck up just a minute?

There are a number of things in the writings of C. S. Lewis that should positively baffle most Christians. Take the final book of the Chronicles of Narnia, titled The Last Battle. In chapter 13, the heroes of the story metaphorically "go to Heaven" by being forced through the door of a stable (which is obviously a reference to the stable in which Jesus was born). Some of the "villains" of the story go through the door too, a bunch of dwarves who have consciously decided to reject the Lordship of the Christ-figure of the books, Aslan. They all, heroes and dwarves alike, wind up in a beautiful place with blue sky, refreshing summer breezes, delicious fruit growing on the trees, and reunions with loved ones. The heroes of the story love it, but the dwarves hate it; they are so determined that they know the nature of the inside of the stable that they refuse to see the reality inside. They imagine a place of discomfort and punishment, when actually they are in a place comfort and plenty. The implication would seem to be that even if someone rejects Christ, he still goes to Heaven... he just doesn't know he did. A chapter or two later, a Calormene (a member of a country that is the sworn enemy of Narnia) who spent his life serving Tash (the Satan figure in The Last Battle) gets into Heaven because Aslan has accepted his service to Tash, thinking Tash was the good true God, as service to Aslan. If you told most Christians that you thought that people who had rejected their former religion would go to Heaven anyway but not know that they were in Heaven, or that a Muslim who served Allah with all of his heart would go to the Christian Heaven because Jesus would accept his heart toward Allah as a heart toward God, they would say you were nuts, but that's what Lewis is implying in the book.

In a different story C. S. Lewis wrote called "The Great Divorce," the characters, who we eventually learn are deceased, begin as residents of Hell, but they take a ride on a bus to Heaven where they are given a chance to become full-fledged citizens. Most of them decline the invitation, and go back to Hell. Hell in this story is not a traditional flames-and-pitchforks place, but a dreary, boring, rainy kind of place. What? No fire in Hell? People leaving Hell and given a chance to repent and go to Heaven after they've died? This from the author who wrote Mere Christianity, one of the clearest articulations of the Christian faith ever written? Scandalous!

I don't think, based on what I've learned over the years about the life of C. S. Lewis, that it registered to the readers of his time what he was saying in his stories. Either that, or those kinds of views were much more mainstream in Christianity then than they are now. So C. S. Lewis probably never reaped the benefits of the sensationalized marketing that seems to surround each new Rob Bell book. I wonder if all those people who wrote all those scathing debunkings of his new book, Love Wins, before it even came out realize that all they were doing was raising interest in the book? I know several people (myself included) who might never have read it except for the controversy surrounding it. I'm glad I did pick it up, though. It gave me a lot to think about.

The Bible is a book about God and His pursuit of man, based on His love for mankind. For that reason, some things are left very ambiguous. Take the origins of the universe and mankind, for example. The Bible, not being a science book, does not explicitly confirm or debunk the Big Bang, evolution, the age of planet Earth, or many other things that scores of extremely smart human beings have spent their lives trying to figure out. God (or Moses, who scholars believe wrote Genesis, if you want to get picky) apparently wasn't that concerned with those details; the point is that God caused the world to exist and God caused people to exist, but people tried to do things their own way and they wound up in a pickle because of it. The ultimate fate of mankind is another thing that the Bible doesn't have as much to say about as we would like. Despite what some may think, the Bible doesn't say that the human race will sit on clouds in Heaven and play harps forever.

In fact, the Bible doesn't say that human beings will live forever in Heaven at all. Check the end of the book of Revelation: the human race doesn't wind up in Heaven. The human race winds up on Earth. It indicates that there will be an end to this world, God's people will be saved from destruction personally by Jesus Himself, there will be a thousand years of peace, and then... it doesn't say much about the time after that, other than that we will be on Earth (obviously a "new" Earth, one with some qualities that set it apart from the current Earth, but Earth nonetheless) and that God will be in charge through Jesus. The idea that Christians will spend forever someplace in the sky is the kind of misconception that Rob Bell takes on in the book.

But let's back the truck up here. Let's talk about the things that people have said that Bell says in the book, but which he does not actually say.

Rob Bell does not say in this book that Hell does not exist. He pretty clearly says that Hell does exist. In fact, he extends the concept of Hell from the time after death into this lifetime. Ever hear someone call something "Hell on Earth?" Ever hear about something happening with qualities that are so horrible that it qualifies for the description "hellish?" He extends the concept of Hell to those before-death situations, but he also affirms the existence of a Hell after death, flames and all.

Bell does not say that everyone will go to Heaven. In fact, he affirms that some will go to Hell, and that it will be because of their own choices that they do.

What Bell does do is challenge the cut-and-dried concepts of Heaven as a place in the sky where people play harps forever, and Hell as a place under the ground somewhere where people burn in anguish forever. Bell seems to characterize "Hell" more as the torment that a human being feels when he has chosen to reject God than as a specific place, although he does discuss Jesus' story of "the rich man and Lazarus," which indicates that the two of them are physically in two different places, at some length. Essentially, Bell seems to indicate that the "punishment" of the flames of Hell is not there to callously torment people forever, but to "punish" them in the sense of purifying them and teaching them that there is something wrong about them that needs to be corrected. He also contends that the word "eternal" (as in "eternal punishment"), based on the meanings present in the source Greek word, most likely refers to the intensity of the experience rather than the time span in which it occurs. So when an uncomfortable experience for you seems to take "an eternity," that's the sense he postulates. So perhaps the "eternal punishment" of Hell is not burning forever with no end at all to the punishment, but an experience which, no matter how long it actually lasts, is a very intense lesson in "right" and "wrong." The fire which the Bible says in several places will try the works of believers is in mind here, the "wood hay and stubble" fire. Maybe the same fire that burns away those things and leaves the gold of works done by believers by the Spirit of God - maybe that same fire will be applied to unbelievers, and likewise purify them.

Bell doesn't even contend that people will get out of Hell immediately... actually, he doesn't say that they will definitely get out at all. He seems to be saying that the purifying process will last as long as it takes for them to let go of anything they are holding onto which is anti-God. After they have been purified, presumably they will be able to join in the afterlife God had wanted for them all along. Presumably they'll get to take C. S. Lewis' "bus ride to Heaven" at that point. Whether or not anyone will be stubborn enough to stay in the flames forever or not is a question Bell does not address.

There are a number of things Bell doesn't address directly in the book, although you can infer some of the answers. One thing he does not directly state is whether or not he thinks that everyone will eventually come to Salvation. In fact, if you notice my use of phrases like "perhaps" and "seems to" and "most likely" throughout this post, you'll realize that Bell, as often as not, leaves room for doubt about what he actually believes. Whether this is to allow the reader to reach his own conclusions, or whether it is there to provide Bell some "plausible deniability" of the "I never said everyone would go to Heaven!" type, or maybe a little of both, I guess is something only Bell himself knows. I know that the sort of "presenting a huge list of unanswered questions" format of the first chapter, which is presumably intended to be compelling, I found frustrating. I already have questions - everyone does. I didn't read the book to get more questions. After that chapter, the book is less riddled with question marks, but it is also a lot less filled with "this is how it is" kinds of direct answers than most books about religion tend to be.

And in a sense, that's a good thing. Sometimes people have to be forced to think for themselves, to examine their own beliefs about things, and to reach conclusions based on their own perspective of the facts. Love Wins presents itself as this kind of book, but because it doesn't truly present every side of the story, in the end you wind up supporting Bell's apparent views without him ever saying that his views are correct. So you are convinced of something that the book never came out and said, this is what the Bible says. It's clever writing, but I'm not sure it's 100% honest about its intentions.

For many years I've said that I truly believe that we will be surprised at the people we run into in Heaven. In the end Bell brings this to an extreme: we may be surprised to find that anyone might be there one day, even people who consciously rejected God in this life. Even people who consciously reject God for a while in that life. I don't want you to get me wrong; I enjoyed this book very much. I like Bell's writing style, and his ideas gave me a perspective that will be with me for a long time as I go through the Scriptures. I would heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in the afterlife. His ideas are different from what most Christians believe, but not in the way the pre-publication critics thought. Bell agrees that Heaven and Hell exist. He just thinks they exist in a different way than we always thought. Give the book a chance. Find out what it says. Then take it or leave it, but you owe it to yourself to at least know what it is that you're taking or leaving.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dopple Ganger Chronicles: The Great Mogul Diamond

For the next couple of weeks, I'll be featuring a book review every Friday morning. The books are pretty different from each other, but if you have eclectic tastes like I do, or if you're just curious what weird stuff I've been reading, stop back every week for Book Review Fridays!

At the end of this post I mentioned that my tween son and I were both looking forward to devouring the next installment of The Dopple Ganger Chronicles, The Great Mogul Diamond. Shortly after that, a review copy arrived in my mailbox! We were stoked! My son was so excited that I actually let him read it first, and that's saying something!

This series is visually one of the most strikingly original sets of novels to come out in some time. They combine traditional textual narrative (like in your Huckleberry Finn book) with graphic novel sections (like in your Batman comic books) to form a hybrid that is hard for either kids or adults to resist! The graphic novel sections don't interrupt or repeat the narrative sections; they actually carry the story forward, so if you skip a GN section (you won't, because they're great, but if you did) you would be missing part of the story. And the stories are of course terrific, but I'll get to that in a minute.

The Great Mogul Diamond is a little different than the previous two books. In the first two installments, The First Escape and The Secret of Indigo Moon, the setting is fairly static... within a short drive of Isambard Dunstan's School for Wayward Children. This story starts in that area, but quickly develops into a traveling mystery that takes Sadie, Saskia, Muzz Elliott, Erik Ganger, and Dorcas Potts on a trip from England all the way across France to Cannes in the French Riviera. The girls and Muzz travel by train; Dorcas and Eric follow by car. On the train ride, Muzz and the girls meet up with a friendly but mysterious man who seems to know an awful lot about them, and then they discover that someone is acting out scenes from the mystery novels Muzz has written in order to intimidate and frighten them. Dorcas and Eric, meanwhile, are chased, caught, imprisoned, helped to escape in a mysterious way, and finally meet back up with their friends in Cannes. I enjoyed the story maybe more than I enjoyed the other two, because the sense of travelogue seems to propel the story along in a way the more static settings in the other books do not. I enjoyed having Muzz Elliott back in this story, too; in Moon she is almost completely absent from the story.

The visuals are augmented, in this third book, by photographs, which lend a sense of realism to the story. Don't get me wrong: the illustrations in the first book are wonderful, and they certainly draw you into the story; those illustrations are present here as well. But scattered throughout the book are a dozen or two actual photographs, tweaked a bit to fit into the style of the rest of the artwork. I liked them a lot, although I did find it a bit jarring that the photograph of a "Restaurant" on a page opposite some narrative about the characters going to a "café" has a sign next to the door clearly showing that the name of the place is not the name in the story. That particular photograph does evoke a sense of going to a French café, and for that reason I love that it is there, but you would think that a half-hour with Photoshop could have reworked that picture so the café name in the story could have appeared on the sign. All nitpicking aside, though, the photos are a cool addition to this volume.

In the first two books, Sadie and Saskia have encounters with a mysterious figure known as Madame Raphael. The implication in the story is that she is an angel, although she won't directly admit it to them. In this book, Erik gets his chance to meet Madame Raphael, who helps him and Dorcas get out of a sticky situation mid-book. She also mentions someone else to Erik: The Man of Good-Bye Friday, who is mentioned to the twin sisters in the last chapter of Moon. Erik's "chance" meeting with this man, who is easily as mysterious as Madame Raphael, fills in some important blanks in Erik's knowledge of his past. He also appears on the very last page of the book, having a conversation with Madame Raphael, and the last sentence of the book actually brought tears to my eyes. (To avoid spoiling it for you, I won't tell you why... you'll know when you get there!)

My eleven-year-old son loved this book, as he has loved the other two. We actually never bought a copy of book one of the series (we checked it out from the library); when he finished this one, he asked me if we could buy and have a copy of it at home! I will certainly be making that purchase. I think it's fascinating to begin to see the patterns that author G. P. Taylor is weaving into the series: there is always a mystery to solve; the twin sisters always get temporarily separated somehow; there are always two plots happening at once, one involving Erik, with or without one of the sisters, and the other involving one or both of the girls; one character always has an encounter with the mysterious Madame Raphael and/or Man of Good-Bye Friday. The last chapter always contains a clue as to what the next story will be about. The villains keep popping up from previous books, too, and it's fun to continue to sketch out their history and find out what they've been up to since the last time we've seen them. Each book has a simplicity and straightforwardness to it, but the series as a whole is developing a more complicated mythology than any of the books on its own. Like any good book series, you don't have to read the first or second books to enjoy this one, but if you go back and read them and then read this one again, you'll understand things you didn't understand before. I think the simplicity of each story draws you in, but the multiple connections between the stories, and the larger spiritual story arc involving the two (so far) mysterious characters, are the hook that keeps you coming back for the next in the series.

The worst part about reading these books is that eventually, you come to the most recent book in the series, and then the wait for the next one seems to take forever! I wasn't able to find a projected publication date for the next in the series, but I did find an indication that there are at least three more books planned, which is great news! If your tweens love graphic novels but traditional novels not as much, pick up one of these books - any of the three would make a good entry point - and see what happens. But beware: you may wind up buying all three before you're done! They're that fun to read!

I was provided with a review copy of The Great Mogul Diamond by Tyndale House Publishers. The opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Far is "too far"?

The following question came to me via Formspring:

Is there anywhere in the Bible that specifically lists what sexual impurities refer to, or how far "too far" actually is?

Here's my answer:

The short answer: no, not specifically. This is related to something we were talking about last night at my church, actually. There are two concepts in the Bible that you have to understand: "Law" and "Grace." "Law" means a set of rules that you follow in order to keep things square with God. The Ten Commandments are the most famous example of this, but the concept is throughout the Bible. "Grace" means that you are square with God because of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross. Under Grace, whether or not you follow rules and regulations does not determine if you are right with God; whether or not you accept Jesus' sacrifice for you determines whether you are right or wrong with God.

That is not to say that there are not right and wrong things to do even if you are living under grace. For example, a Christian under grace is not allowed to rob a convenience store at gunpoint. If he does, although he is forgiven by God when he confesses his sin, he is not forgiven by the owner of the convenience store or by the local police department. There are consequences of his actions which are not wiped out by Grace. So, there are "right" things to do, and there are "wrong" things to do, even if they are not necessarily always codified in specific sets of rules in the Bible.

The reason the Bible doesn't necessarily set up specific sets of rules for every circumstance is that, first of all, God doesn't WANT us to live under a Law. Part of the reason God gave the Law to the nation of Israel was to demonstrate how impossible it is to always perfectly follow a set of rules. Living that way is a losing game. And second of all, God has actually written His Law on our hearts (see Hebrews 10:16 If you have accepted God's sacrifice through Jesus, your heart knows right from wrong. You know when you've crossed the line; you don't need a playbook with diagrams and a tape measure to know whether you've gone "too far." Under grace, The Law which is external becomes unnecessary, because God's Law is internal to each of us.

But you don't need a rulebook to determine whether you have sinned or not anyway, because from God's perspective, the sin is not something you do with your body, but something you do with your heart. Matthew 5:27 ( says that if you even look at someone with the intention of having sex outside of marriage, you have already sinned, whether you actually follow through with it or not. This is not to say that you can't be attracted to someone and desire a physical relationship, because sexual attraction was created by God. But the instant of the sin is probably sometime around when you go from "I would really like to go to bed with that person" to "If given a chance, I WILL go to bed with that person."

So: the Bible doesn't particularly give specific "how far is too far" rules, although doubtless you could find some in there if you look around enough. The reason why is that you already know the limits, because God has written them on your heart; if you choose to look for rules and regulations, you don't have to look any further than there. When the sin has occurred internally, the sin has occurred from God's perspective. My advice to you is: keep your mind pure. Keep your hands from going where they don't need to go. Keep the parts of your body that need to be covered, covered. And if you make a mistake in your heart, bring it before God in prayer and make it right; don't beat yourself up about it. Live under Grace; don't go looking for the Law to tell you what to do, because the Law is merciless in meting out punishment when you mess up.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Power in Weakness

WCCF Barbellphoto © 2011 Kyle Eertmoed | more info (via: Wylio)
So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 ESV)
There has always been, and will probably always be, a lot of debate over what is meant by Paul's "thorn in the flesh." I personally think it's most likely that it was just some person that was continually bugging him, but that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to mention something very interesting that I noticed several weeks ago, not about the "thorn in the flesh" but about the "power made perfect in weakness."

There have been any number of times in my life, and I'm sure there have been in yours as well, when I felt helpless. Unable to cope with something. Pleading with God to make it go away. Sometimes it felt like my pleas were falling on deaf ears. That seems to be what Paul is describing: praying, no answer, praying some more, no answer, then finally receiving an answer. But look again. Does it really say that God waited until the third prayer to answer? I think it's probable that God gave him the same answer every time, and it just took Paul three times to accept it! But whether God answered three times or only one, God did answer, and His answer is quite interesting.

God's answer has two parts: 1. My grace is sufficient for you; 2. My power is made perfect in weakness. The grace of God is the favor of God, Him saying to you that He loves and accepts you. All of us who have accepted the gift of Jesus' righteousness by faith are smiled upon by God's grace. God is happy with you when you are in Christ; that's the message of grace. But how does our weakness "make" God's power perfect? Isn't God's power perfect already?

Of course it is. We're not doing anything to God's power by experiencing weakness. What we are doing is exposing that although we ourselves are weak, God's power is so strong that it is able to work through us. When we are weak but we allow God to work through us, we show the perfection of His power.

I think it is interesting to note that Paul prayed three times for his difficulty, whatever it was, to be removed before he mentally accepted God's answer. There is another character in the Bible who did basically the same thing: he prayed three times that he would not have to experience a difficulty, but he received strength from God and went on to triumph over the situation by the Father's power, not by his own human effort. Ironically, although Paul probably did not literally have anything embedded in his flesh, later on in this second story, the character ultimately does. Let the example of these two major Bible characters come to your mind the next time you are experiencing a "thorn in your flesh." Here's the story:
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. (Matthew 26:36-44 ESV)

...saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. (Luke 22:42-43 ESV)
More about these stories: Pleading Three Times