Excerpt from Age of Reason

Posted: July 10, 2008 in Excerpts

Okay, this is something completely different. I’ve been working on a screenplay I’m calling Age of Reason for a few months now. It’s a totally different way of writing. In this story, a researcher in Israel believes he has found the ossuary of Jesus (yes, I know about the James Cameron fiasco movie). The bones in the box have been crucified, and DNA testing has revealed a match to blood taken from the Shroud of Turin.

A TV special has revealed all this to the general public, and now the members of a local church are dealing with the wreckage to their faith. The whole movie hinges upon Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 15:14, 19 “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith…. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”

So here is the excerpt:

INT. CHURCH CONFERENCE ROOM – NIGHT
Pastor Tom, HARRY LAWSON, and KEN JOHNSON are seated around a conference table in a heated discussion. Tom’s face is drawn and worried. Harry Lawson is a compassionate, middle-aged man with thinning hair. He is dressed casually. Ken Johnson is slightly older, with silver hair and an intense expression. He wears a white collared shirt with a loosened tie and the sleeves rolled partway up. The room is an adult classroom in the church. They each have a pad of paper and pens in front of them, on which they occasionally scribble notes.

KEN JOHNSON
This whole thing is nothing but a sham! People have got to see through this.

HARRY LAWSON
Ken, I know what you’re saying. And I’m inclined to agree with you. But I think we need to address the question: what if it’s not?

KEN
I can’t believe you just said that–

TOM BOSWELL (INTERRUPTING)
Hang on, Ken.

KEN (CONTINUING)
I mean, where is your faith?

HARRY (TERSELY)
My faith is right where it’s always been. But I won’t deny for a moment it’s taken a thrashing tonight.

TOM (TRYING TO PACIFY THEM)
At this point we don’t know–

KEN (INTERRUPTING)
Oh yes, we do!

TOM (GLARES AT KEN)
We don’t know how people are going to react to this. And we need to formulate a response. But we need to respect the fact that people are going to be struggling with it.

HARRY
That’s what I’ve been saying!

KEN
I don’t disagree that people are going to be struggling with this. That’s precisely why we need to be rock-solid in our response. They need to see we are steady in our faith, that we’re not shaken by this

(beat)
fallacy!

Tom and Harry exchange glances. Neither looks as confident as Ken claims to be.

INT. BOSWELL BEDROOM – NIGHT.
It is dark. Tom has changed into pajamas and is now slipping into bed next to his wife. He lies down, facing away from her.
Camera cuts to her side of the bed, where she is still wide awake. During their conversation, camera continues to switch between their two sides.

DIANE
How’d it go tonight?

TOM
You’re still awake?

DIANE
Can’t sleep.

TOM
Ah. Things went about as well as could be expected, I suppose. Ken’s all over it. Calls the whole thing a hoax. Harry’s not sure what to think.

DIANE
And you?

TOM (HESITANT)
I don’t know. Just kinda numb, I guess. I don’t know what to think. I want to look into it more, see what’s behind it all.

(beat)
Thing is, I just can’t chuck my faith ‘cause of one TV special.

(beat)
On the other hand….

DIANE (AFTER A MOMENT)
On the other hand what?

TOM
I just can’t figure out why God is doing this to us. I understand a test of faith. I get that. But this? This just seems a little-I don’t know-over the top. It leaves me to wonder.

DIANE
What?

TOM
Whether or not God is doing it. What if it’s not God? What if He’s not even there?

Diane doesn’t respond. On her side of the bed, we see her begin to cry.

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