Friday, September 10, 2004

Bitter or Sweet?

At a certain moderate theological school a guest lecturer was invited to speak at a public event. This man was a college professor, and a staunch and noted atheist. He spoke for two and one-half hours, attempting to prove that the resurrection of Jesus was false. He went through the tired old arguments involving the opinions of Biblical "scholars" and modern philosophers, and concluded that the tradition of the church was groundless, an emotional fantasy. In keeping with his liberal and collegiate background, he said that Christianity was a viable option among religions, but fell quite short of providing a reasonable worldview for a functioning society, mostly because it was false.

Having been prompted for questions, an old evangelical preacher stood up. He stood silent for a second, then began to speak after reaching for an apple in his lunch bag. In between bites he explained that, although he was a professional minister of this faith, he was not familiar with the philosophers and scholars that the professor had quoted. Nor could he read the Scriptures in their original languages he explained with a full mouth. But he did have a question for the professor. "Here's what I want to know: This apple I'm eating-- is it bitter or sweet?"

The atheist paused for a moment a confused look on his face. He asked the old fellow, with a very patronizing air, "Sir, how can I tell? For I have not tasted that apple."

The white-haired old man looked back and said slowly, with a slight pause for effect, "Neither have you tasted my Jesus."

The crowd sat silent, all eyes glued on the professor for his response. He stared straight out over the crowd, hands grasping the edge of the podium. Then, slowly, a smile crossed his face, and he spoke into the microphone.

"Yes, thank you. That will do nicely. Good day."

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