Thursday, October 29, 2009

Three People I'd Love to Have Over for Dinner

I love to read Sports Illustrated and I'm thankful to my father-in-law Kim for always hooking me up with a stack of back issues whenever someone comes to visit us or when we get the chance to spend time back home in Atlanta. I basically read it cover to cover, except for I skip 99% of all hockey articles and 90% of all auto racing articles. I imagine that those two percentages would be reversed if i hailed from the north instead of the south. Anyway, about a year ago, I read something fascinating and made a note of it, and for some reason I thought today might be a good time to share it with all of you:

When asked to name “Three people I’d love to have over for dinner”, Jets LB Bryan Thomas’s answer was as follows:

Jesus, Halle Berry, Bill Gates

I find this answer both hilarious and fascinating! When I first read it I laughed out loud and immediately shared it with Erin. I don’t know Bryan Thomas or anything about him, but it seems to me that with this answer he is totally covering all of his bases in terms of what people in our culture worship. There’s sex, represented by Halle Berry. I mean, who is hotter than Halle Berry? Then there’s money; who is richer than Bill Gates? And oh yeah, we can’t leave out Jesus. Gotta have a little Jesus thrown in there, too.

Jesus, Halle Berry, Bill Gates

Well it would certainly be an interesting dinner.

I have no idea which three people I’d choose. Jesus and Paul are just about guaranteed two of the three spots at my table. The third spot is a tougher call. There are certainly plenty of other biblical characters who come to mind. Maybe it would be fun to throw Peter in the mix and listen to he and Paul argue. Or maybe I’d throw Barnabas in there and observe the “son of encouragement” in contrast with Paul’s intensity. Perhaps I would choose the prophet Nathan, my “tocayo”, or Judas in order to hear from him exactly why he did what he did, or Joseph or Mary to hear stories about Jesus as a kid. Or maybe someone more anonymous like the guy whose friends lowered him through that roof in order that he might be healed by Jesus, or the woman who touched Jesus’s cloak and was healed, or the woman at the pozo in John 4. Or maybe I’d go with a great artist and/or writer like Johnny Cash, or Bob Dylan, or Bono, or C.S. Lewis, or J.R.R. Tolkien, or Michaelangelo, or Da Vinci. Maybe Einstein would make the cut. Or perhaps I’d go with someone universally regarded as totally evil, like Adolf Hitler, and observe how Jesus and Paul handled that one! Or perhaps I’d invite Mark Twain or Conan O’Brien or Will Ferrell or Greg Coley in order to ensure some good laughs – although I think Jesus would probably be good for a lot of laughs without any outside help. Maybe I would choose chef Bobby Flay in order to ensure that the food came remotely close to living up to the caliber of the company and conversation. Or perhaps I would invite some ancestor of mine, like my deceased Granddaddy who I really miss, or the first McDade to come over from Ireland. Or maybe I would just use the third spot on Erin or my brother so that one of them could also experience hanging out with JC and San Pablo! It sure is an interesting thing to think about.

So, I pose the question to you, the reader (all 14 of you): Who would be your three people? They can be alive today or from the annals of history. Please put your answers and explanations in the “comments” section below this blog. In fact, I'll add a caveat - let's do three people other than Jesus. Just about every Christian and many non-Christians would put Jesus in one of those three chairs. So basically you get four chairs.

With a gun to my head, here's my final cut, at least for today: Jesus, Paul, Bono, and we flip a coin between Johnny Cash, Michaelangelo, and Tolkien. Plus we try to find a way to sneak Erin in there, too - I could argue the whole "But you yourself said we are one flesh!" thing with Jesus at the door or something. Yeah, that's a round table conversation I would love to listen in on.

Let's hear your answers! Should be fun to see everyone’s responses.


  1. Firstly you realize that even before we count Erin you are up to 4 right?

    Secondly I am going to agree with you that I can slip Betsy in under the "one flesh" excuse.

    Thirdly, this is really hard because once Jesus is there, I am not sure who else I really need. Most of the other figures from history that matter to me basically matter because they have helped me understand Jesus.

    So with that said, I want


    My Dad (because he will think of all the questions I would want to ask but wouldn't think of) and

    My Son (who is 7) I would love for him to really know Jesus. I don't know Jesus very well and I would like for him to know Jesus better than his dad does.

    Now for the sake of fun if I'll take Jesus and family members out of the mix, it is easy.

    John (the disciple), C.S. Lewis, and Basil of Ceasarea.

    Ethan Magness

  2. can i swap jesus' seat for someone else without being heretical? i mean duh i want to see him more than anyone, but i get to see him forever, so maybe i use his seat on someone more likely hellbound who i WONT get to see ever again.

  3. I agree, as you can see, having Jesus in the equation totally sent this exercise in a different direction for me.

    I would totally be in favor of a no Jesus rule.

  4. okay, let's rephrase the question or offer the alternative no jesus option. i like it. you guys are right - it really changes the game and probably stifles creativity. keep the comments coming! this is fun.

  5. also, ethan - please explain why you'd choose john, clive, and basil...

  6. great answer via email from my step-mom:
    "I would love to sit and talk to the woman I would have been had I followed God's plan for my life and especially having grown in His knowledge from the very beginning."

  7. wow. hard to top that with some random hot dead guy that i would have selected. i get nervous every time i try to make this decision.