“Bowden,” Dad said. “Will you never cease to amaze me. You are not programmed for a scriptural discussion. You know so little about what you profess to believe. My hesitation is for your benefit, to allow your words to work their way around this room and back into you ears.”
“You’re stalling,” Bowden said, “because you have no answer.”
“My goodness, Bowden,” Dad said. “I could fertilize my farm with the bullshit you shovel out.”
I restrained my snicker from my balcony seat.
“I have to admit,” Bowden said. “I’m feeling rather smug at this juncture.”
“In Matthew Chapter 7; Jesus warned of hypocrisy,” Dad said. “Was that meant for the Jewish dispensation or Christian?”
“Again,” Bowden said. “Jewish, he was speaking to Jews.”
“Consider this, Bowden,” Dad said. “In the 7th chapter of Matthew Jesus referenced certain people not entering into the kingdom of the heavens by mere profession and saying, ‘Lord, Lord.’ Do you follow me?”
I thumbed to Dad’s citation.
“Yes,” Bowden said. “I’m quite capable of following.”
“Was the thought of kingdom of the heavens from the Jewish dispensation or was it a thought from the Christian dispensation?”
“God’s kingdom has always been a part of Jewish thinking,” Bowden said. “They were ruled my kings.”
“But,” Dad said, “it was the kingdom of the heavens and entering it that Jesus talked about.”
Bowden stood. “Thanks for your time.”
“The same here,” Dad said.
“We shall speak again,” Bowden said.
“I’m sure we will,” Dad said.
Bowden walked to his car.
I heard Dad yell, “Hey, Bowden, what I said about cow shit in my chair, I was just kidding.”
Dad waved as Bowden drove away. I was back down stairs by then.
“Did you finish your homework?” Dad said.
“I didn’t have any,” I said.
“You really shouldn’t have listened in on our conversation,” Dad said.
“How did you know I was listening?” I said.
“The vent is right above my chair,” Dad said. “Dust sprinkled down as you opened it wider and I could hear you leafing through your Bible.”
“Why don’t you want me to listen?” I said.
“Bowden is proud,” Dad said. “If he ever gets the impression I’m making sport of him he’ll never return.”
“You want him to come back?” I said.
“The man is curious,” Dad said. “Curiosity is the first turn in the road to learning and understanding.” Dad smiled and ruffled the hair on my head. “I think Bowden has great potential.”
“But he’s cemented by doctrine, dogma, and tradition,” I said.
“You got some good ears, Boy,” Dad said.