Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Evangelical Tsuris

Maybe the problem is the mixed messages. On the one hand you have Dr. Agatston writing in calm, matter-of-fact sentences that build into paragraphs that leave you with a cooperative and alert sort of feeling, ready to renounce white bread and sugar for most of forever, and FRUIT and ALL GRAINS for the next two weeks, because his logic is just so CLEAR. C.S. Lewis has a similar effect on me: the clarity, the logic, the excellent grammar, the direct address.

And on the other hand you have the American Heart Association, and their poster that's posted up in every school cafeteria in America. I mean, the Food Pyramid is public education, practically. It can't be wrong. Six to eleven servings of grains per day, period. "Don't be silly," says the AHA, brisk with authority. The AHA is lined up in my mind--perhaps unfortunately-- next to Joshua Harris and John Eldridge: Eat plenty of fruits and whole grains. Don't date, court. Let the man initiate: concentrate instead on cultivating low cholesterol and a lack of covetousness.

And Dr. Agatston and Henry Cloud, I assume, meet after work at a Starbucks to have great conversations with people of both sexes, and drink coffee with Splenda. "Dating is not about marriage!" says Dr. Cloud, snacking on a turkey and part-skim cheese roll-up. "It's a chance to discover more about yourself!"

Clearly we need a tiebreaker. I offer this: somewhere in Volume II of the Complete Letters of C.S. Lewis, which my dad got for me last Christmas, he mentions that, having gotten a little fat, he's been told to stay away from too much bread, and from sugar in his coffee.

The dating thing might be a little more complicated.

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