Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldie Lox who left her little postmodern condo to go for a walk in the forest of worldviews. Pretty soon, she came upon what looked like a shopping center, because, in fact, it used to be one, but had recently been converted into a mall to accomodate three evangelical Christian churches. As she looked around for a sign showing the hours of operation she tried one of the doors, and since it was unlocked she walked right in.
The place was huge, and the fact that it was pretty much deserted at this time of the morning made it look all the more so. She eventually wandered to the food court, but since she had already had her porridge that morning the first things she noticed were three books, laying open and face down, on three separate tables. Goldie Lox was an avid reader, so she immediately started reading the first book.
“This book makes too many absolute truth claims!” she exclaimed, since even one absolute truth claim was a bit too many for Goldie.
So she started reading the second book.
“This book makes similar absolute truth claims,” she said, “but it sounds like it was written by someone in marketing.”
She then turned to the third book.
"Ahhh, this book is just right!" she said happily, and read the whole thing, writing ample notes in the margins that didn’t necessarily relate to the text, and even ripping out a page to put in a collage she planned to make.
Not far from the books Goldie noticed three unattended MP3 players lying on one of the tables. So she walked over and picked up the one that said “Memorex” on it, and stuck the ear buds in her ears.
"Yuck! It’s just some guy talking," she exclaimed.
So she picked up the second one, which was a Rio.
"Huh! Music. A bit too perky, though," she complained.
So she tried the last player, an iPod, which was playing a song that juxtaposed Jesus with suburbia in a tritely (and somewhat rageful) quasi-deconstructive fashion.
"Ahhh, this player is just right," she sighed, hanging it around her neck as she continued to listen.
Goldie then noticed that various people had entered the shopping-center-turned-church-mall, and were making their way to the churches of their choice.
“It must be some kind of day of worship,” she thought, and followed the first group she saw into their church.
She found a place to sit in a padded pew, but when she plucked the earbuds out as the sermon began she found the reasoning far too linear and dependent on un-deconstructed binary opposites.
So she quietly excused herself and proceeded to the second church and sat down in a comfortable theater seat. But when the speaker at this church began speculating about what Jesus might say to Osama bin Ladin she was put off by the reliance on a heremeneutic of authorial intent implicit in his epistemology, and she left, not noticing that the iPod’s earbuds got stuck in the seat when it flipped back up.
Making her way to the third church she found a nice floor pillow on which to sit, and it was soon clear to Goldie that this church would be just right. She was a bit concerned about the words that the speaker initially read out of some book—something about plucking out your right eye and cutting off your right hand—but that was followed by an enigmatic and delightfully disconnected narrative that put Goldie fast to sleep.
While she was sleeping, members of each of the three churches arrived at the food court.
“Someone’s been reading my Bible,” noticed the fifty-something man.
“Someone’s been reading my Purpose-Driven Life," said the thirty-something woman.
“Someone’s been reading my Blue Like Jazz—and they scribbled in it and ripped out a page!” cried the twenty-something man.
They turned to the other table.
“Someone’s been listening to my R.C. Sproul lectures,” remarked the fifty-something man. “Look at that earwax!” he said, holding up the earbuds.
“And someone’s been listening to my worship music,” said the thirty-something woman. “Eee-eewww!” she exlaimed, holding up her earbuds.
“Hey! Where’s my iPod?” cried the twenty-something man.
So they decided to help the young man look for his iPod, starting at the closest church in the mall, where the fifty-something man soon growled, “Someone left a mess here in my pew. Look—it’s the ripped-out page from your book!”
At the second church the thirty-something woman said, “Someone’s been sitting in my row. Are these your iPod’s earbuds?”
At the third church the twenty-something man exclaimed, “Someone’s been sitting on my pillow—and she's still there!”
Just then, Goldie woke up and saw the three church members. As she rubbed the sand out of her eyes they fell on the fifty-something man’s Bible.
“Have you read the non-narrative didactic portions of that?” she asked.
“Of course,” replied the fifty-something man. “We all have.”
“You all have?” asked Goldie, as the thirty-something woman and the twenty-something man both nodded.
Goldie shrieked loudly, jumped up and ran out of the church screaming. She fled down the halls, opened a door to the outside, and ran away into the forest of worldviews. And she never, ever returned to the shopping-center-turned-church-mall.
The three church members just stood there incredulously, although in a few moments they were secretly blaming each other for Goldie’s panicked exit. Then the fifty-something man noticed something on the ground.
“Hey—your iPod! She must have dropped it.”