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20160526_160509As a Lutheran pastor, as soon as I said it, I knew how surreal it must have sounded to the little girl.

I had downloaded and was watching the movie “Risen” with my son Joshua. Jen was sort of watching it, too. She was sitting next to me with her headphones on and listening to Dave Ramsey, or something like that.

The movie, while it started off pretty well, became the typical low-budget attempt at retelling a Biblical event, with most of the drama being passing camera shots of awestruck character expressions. After a while, and I really hate to say it, but even the Jesus character was so annoyingly shallow and disconnected from the Biblical account that I was glad when he finally ascended because by then at least the director’s less-than-adequate attempt at cinematic exegesis had ended.

But as I said, it started off pretty well. The crucifixion scene was interesting. There was a combat scene between a Roman troop and the Zealots, even adding a moment when Barabbas (you know, the guy Pontius Pilate let go instead of Jesus) gets his due. That was an interesting spin. But it was during one of these violent scenes that Evelyn came skipping through.

“What are you watching?”

I paused the movie.

“We’re watching a movie called ‘Risen,’” I said.

“What’s it about?” she pried.

“It’s about Jesus,” I answered, “and it’s not for you, so get going.”

Silence and a confounded gaze.

Jen and Josh gave uncomfortable glances, and even though they knew what I meant, it didn’t render the moment as anything less than bizarre. Here before this little baptized lamb was a pleasant gathering of half her family participating in something that had to do with Jesus, and yet it wasn’t for her.

I wish she would have asked me nearer to the ending of the movie. I would have said something like, “It’s a really lame movie with a guy who I think was struck on the head so that now he always has a really goofy smile on his face. Oh yeah, and he’s pretending to be Jesus.” She would have accepted that wholeheartedly and moved on to her Legos, probably offering a quick rendering from Matthew 24 about the dangers of false Christs. She’s only six, but she’s that good. And with that, I wouldn’t have had the overwhelming feeling that I was going to hell.

Speaking of false Christs, have you tried the William Lawson’s Super Spiced Blended Scotch Whisky? With all the folks out there clamoring for me to try and review the cheaper stuff, I’m surprised you answered “no.” And yet I’m heartened by your answer because you have avoided a charlatan Scotch.

First of all, it was $9.99 for a 750 ml bottle. That should tell you something. Well, maybe most of you. Or maybe not. Who knows anymore?

Anyway, one of the cardinal rules of Scotch-ness is that it must be at least 40% ABV to be considered Scotch. This edition is only 35%, which means it is a liqueur and isn’t technically Scotch, even though the label so loosely describes it as such. Kind of like a Jesus who, instead of lifting up into the clouds in His ascension as described in the Bible, sort of walks off into the sunset like a character from an American Western, expect this cowboy explodes into a burst of sunlight and drifting dandelion fuzzies. This was the kind of infusion of artsy syrup that rendered the aforementioned film useless for a guy like me.

By the way, the label of the William Lawson’s reports that it is “infused with spices, natural flavor, & caramel color,” or in other words, artsy syrup.

The nose is that of an opened can of Dr. Pepper that has been sitting in a hot car for quite a while. That is the best description you’ll find anywhere. There’s nothing else to this detritus. It is a decarbonated bottle of warm Dr. Pepper.

It’s the same in your mouth, except along comes the realization that someone must have pranked you while you were away from your vehicle and dropped a few cherry flavored cough drops into the can. They dissolved into a sorghum with a medicinal nip at that back of the throat, which may, for some, cause the opposite of what the lozenges were designed to prevent. Kind of like a movie that attempts to coax its viewers to give Christianity a try, and yet does nothing but reaffirm for them all of their reasons for avoiding it. I mean, for one, the Apostle Bartholomew literally acts like a dope smoking hippie. He can’t stop laughing, even as he’s being questioned by Clavius, the Roman tribune. It’s like he just finished a brownie “infused with spices…”

The finish is long, but in the sense that you’ll need a 2500 PSI power washer to remove the pharmaceutical silt this stuff paints onto your tongue. I dumped what was left in my glass once I had my thoughts in order. This is all around bad stuff.

So, take heed, for many will come saying, “Look, here is Scotch!” or “Behold, there it is!” Do not believe it. For false Scotches will appear and present themselves to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. But see, I have told you ahead of time.