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Paul Tillich Upstaged by a Simple Preacher-
Summary of the eRumor:
famous theologian and philosopher Paul Tillich was speaking at the
University of Chicago on "Baptist Day." He spoke for more
than two hours, challenging the resurrection of Jesus. At one point,
a old African-American preacher stands up. He's munching on an apple
and asks Dr. Tillich whether the apple is bitter of sweet. Tillich
tells the man that he can't answer the question because he hasn't tasted
the apple. The old preacher then says, "Neither have you tasted
The Truth: A
spokesperson at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago says
there's no evidence that this exchange ever took place.
Additionally, he says there is no record of the school ever having a
"Baptist Day" in its annual schedule. Paul Tillich
was on the faculty of the school from 1962 until his death in 1965.
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
TASTE MY JESUS
At the University of Chicago Divinity School each year they
have what is called "Baptist Day." On this day each one is to
bring a lunch to be eaten outdoors in a grassy picnic area. Every
Baptist Day the school would invite one of the greatest minds to lecture
in the theological education center.
One year they invited Dr. Paul Tillich. Dr.Tillich spoke for two and
one-half hours proving that the resurrection of Jesus was false. He
quoted scholar after scholar and book after book. He concluded that
since there was no such thing as the historical resurrection, the
religious tradition of the church was groundless, emotional mumbo-jumbo,
because it was based on a relationship with a risen Jesus, who, in fact,
never rose from the dead in any literal sense.
He then asked if there were any questions. After about 30 seconds,
an old, dark skinned preacher with a head of short-cropped, woolly white
hair stood up in the back of the auditorium. "Docta Tillich, I
got one question," he said, as all eyes turned toward him. He
reached into his sack lunch and pulled out an apple and began eating it.
"Docta Tillich" . . . CRUNCH, MUNCH. "My question is
a simple question." CRUNCH, MUNCH . . ."Now, I ain't never
read them books you read . . . CRUNCH, MUNCH, and I can't recite the
Scriptures in the original Greek. I don't know nothin about Niebuhr and
Heidegger." . . . CRUNCH, MUNCH . . . He finished the apple.
"All I wanna know is: This apple I just ate - was it bitter or
Dr. Tillich paused for a moment and answered in exemplary scholarly
fashion, "I cannot possibly answer that question, for I haven't
tasted your apple." The white-haired preacher dropped the core
of his apple into his crumpled paper bag, looked up at Dr. Tillich
and said calmly,"Neither have you tasted my Jesus."
The 1,000 plus in attendance could not contain themselves. The
auditorium erupted with applause and cheers. Dr. Tillich thanked his
audience and promptly left the platform.
2 For 1
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