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God’s Wrath Revealed and Deserved

The Point — 1013 7th St NW

Remaining Performances: Friday, July 23, 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 25, 5:45 p.m.

They Say: “Are you afflicted by wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity?  Envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice?  Shameful lusts?  Futile thinking?  Disobey your parents?  Do you INVENT ways of doing evil?  There’s hope.  Come see Pastor Daniel.  He’s got what you need.”

Adam’s Take: The church cannot seem to escape its conflicted yet unrelenting relationship with art.  It could be that five hundred years ago were the glory days.  Michelangelo did his part with the Sistine Chapel.  Not to mention just about every other Renaissance artist who ever lived.  More recently, however, Chris Ofili’s use of elephant dung stymied that goodwill.  There was then one question: could Andrew Korfhage rebuild what had been damaged through his honest and frank portrayal of Pastor Daniel?  But even a lofty task as that quickly seemed inconsequential when stacked against Pastor Daniel’s laundry list of sins for which the souls of all humanity are on the verge of damnation.

We have all come across people at one time or another who we desperately wish to share with everyone we know.  Forever devoid of fame or notoriety, these individuals are (to our great chagrin) destined to remain in oblivion.  But Korfhage appropriately decided to not leave that yearning unquenched.  Under the direction of Jenifer Alonzo, he resolved to become Pastor Daniel.  Using the Pastor’s own words to recreate an extemporaneous sermon actually delivered in February 2008.

The sermon itself is not brilliant.  It is filled more with trite admonitions than compelling theological insights.  Passages of the Bible are used as a liturgical stomping ground.  St. Augustine and R.C. Sproul serve as the foundational sources of inspiration.  All told this was a sermon more worthy of a molehill than a mountaintop.  But even with a less than Shakespearean script, Korfhage’s portrayal is compelling.  He is able to come across as a hip young preacher looking to build a church.  He can be an amiable friend while also a stern father laying down the rules.  He can also be conversational, so as not to appear conceited in his knowledge.  Korfhage presents an evangelical preacher of which there are only more questions—a noble feat compared to the seemingly viable alternative of never wanting to hear of Pastor Daniel ever again.

It is with a tad of irony that Korfhage reveals through Pastor Daniel that idolatry—the embracing of substitutes—is one of the most reprehensible of all sins.  For that Korfhage in becoming a substitute for Pastor Daniel will surely have to repent.  But he would be right to wait another week for absolution so that others are able to join his congregation and cherish his portrayal of the teachings of his Pastor.

See It If: You’ve been waiting patiently to find a conservative Reverend Billy to call your own. Skip It If: You play basketball with a Pastor Daniel every weekend after attending Bible classes.