'I had a long conversation with a distinguished scholar last month whose lifelong expertise is story structure. He is not a Christian. And as we talked, he said something that fascinated me. He said this:
“I understand you Christians. I understand the essence of your message. It’s this: If you are not a good person, you are going to burn in hell for all eternity.”
As I said, this man was a distinguished scholar and so it surprised me when he made this statement from a position of absolute knowing. There was no doubt in his voice. He wasn’t asking me to confirm. He knew. But he was absolutely wrong. That isn’t the essence of the Christian story, and anybody who believes so is a heretic.'