Great Christian Men Park
Our scene opens with a dark and stormy night on an unknown tropical island. A couple of maintenance workers in khaki shirts are driving a truck. "Some night, huh?" The driver squints through the water-splattered window. "Makes me wonder if God is trying to tell us something." "Come on, man," the passenger says, "if anything we're on the Big Guy's side. This place is going to be huge."
The driver sighs. "I don't know. I just think that--" Lightning flashes and thunder cracks. A massive tree branch plummets in front of the truck. The driver slams on the brakes, but the truck still collides with the limb with a cacophonous crash. "Great," the driver remarks, "You okay?" The passenger rubs his head: "I've been better." CLANG! The two glance back at the cargo bay of the truck. "Didn't you use the tranquilizer?" CLANG! "Me? I thought you did."
Simultaneously, the two open their doors and stumble out into a driving rain. They run around to the back of the truck. The passenger slips and falls face down in the mud. The driver skids over to his friend and helps him up. "Thanks. Maybe you're right about God trying to--" CLANG! The back door of the truck flings open. The two men fall down in fright. Lightning and thunder. We don't see what is in the shadows of the truck but we hear a stern voice speaking German. The subtitles read: "Here I stand; I can do no otherwise. God help me." The film score blasts an ominous stinger. Cut to black.
We fade in on Dr. Al Grant. Handsome and in his early 30s, the recent PhD graduate is furiously typing on his laptop. He writes for The Modern Institutes, a popular blog beloved by young reformed ministers. He is presently deep into a debate with a commenter about a Jonathan Edwards sermon. Suddenly a different commenter pops up with a bizarre question: "How would you like to ask Edwards in person?"
"What you're saying isn't even possible," Grant says with disbelief. He is now sitting in a diner booth across from eccentric billionaire pastor Franklin Hammond. "Oh, but it is. Imagine sitting down to hearing all the great men from Christian history debate. Imagine how great America would become. Imagine the theological arguments that would be completely settled."
Grant gets up and paces. A waitress brings them each a slice of apple pie. "But human cloning is not even possible. How does the science even work?" "Oh the science is completely shoddy and ,even if we were successful, there is no way these men would turn out the same because their environment is so dramatically different, but for the sake of the plot these men are exactly the same as they would have been back in their time."
Grant hesitated. All of this seemed dangerous. Sunlight comes through the window and gleams off Hammond's American flag lapel pin. "Dr. Grant, I am not asking you to believe me. Just come and visit. We are inviting a select group to preview all that we have created. Then we'll open to the public the next day." Grant sighs; still uncertain. "Okay..."
We're now on a helicopter flying above the tropical islands that house the park. In the chopper are Grant, Hammond, Hammond's young nephew Jim and niece Lois, and a spectacle-wearing man in his late 30s sitting across from Grant. His name is Robert Malcolm, a progressive pastor with whom Grant does not see eye to eye. Malcolm quipped, "So if I'm understanding this correctly, you're planning to bring America back to God by playing God?"
Grant leaned over to Hammond: "What's he doing here?" Hammond grinned his politician's grin and whispered, "He's here to see how wrong he is. About everything." "Two minutes to land, folks. Make sure you're buckled in." Hammond smiled. "Ah, now the fun really begins."
As everyone gets off the helicopter, they pile into a pair of SUVs. Hammond beams with pride, "These are the newest prototype models of this vehicle. Fully automated. Voice controlled. Spared no expense." Malcolm responded, "Couldn't that money have been used to...I don't know...help people in actual need?" Hammond grumbles. Grant rolls his eyes. The cars run on a track through a jungle passage and through an impressive gate.
Suddenly the jungle turns into what looked like an early 20th Century English village. The quality of recreation was uncanny. The vehicles slowed to a stop and Hammond encouraged everyone to get out onto the cobblestone walkway. Grant and Malcolm looked when they found themselves in front of a pub with a sign that read "The Eagle and Child." With excitement, both men exclaimed, "The Inklings!" As if summoned, a man emerged from the pub. "Good afternoon. I heard we were going to have visitors. My name is Clive Staples Lewis, but you can call me Jack."
Grant and Malcolm stared in amazement back at Hammond. The John Williams score reaches a dramatic crescendo. "That's right, gentlemen. Welcome to Great Christian Men Park!"
To be continued...in Part 2