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It Takes Guts to Say "Jesus"


This is a true story of something that happened just a few years ago at U.S.C. There was a professor of philosophy there who was a deeply committed atheist. His primary goal for one required class was to spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God couldn't exist. His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic. For twenty years he had taught this class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him. Sure, some had argued in class at times, but no one had ever "really gone against" him. No one would go against him because he had a reputation.

At the end of every semester, on the last day, he would say to his class of 300 students, "If there is anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!" In twenty years no one had ever stood up. They knew what he was going to do next. He would then say, "Because anyone who does believe in God is a fool! If God existed, He could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking. Such a simple task to prove that He is God, and yet He can't do it." And every year, he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom and it would shatter into a hundred pieces. All of the students could do nothing but stare at the broken chalk. Most of the students were convinced that God couldn't exist. While a number of Christians had been through this class, for twenty years not one of them had the courage to stand up to the professor's challenge.

Well, a few years ago, there was a freshman who happened to get enrolled in the class. He was a Christian and had heard the stories about this professor. While he was afraid to take this class, he had to take it because it was required for his major. For 3 months that semester, he prayed every morning that he would have the courage to stand up when challenged, no matter what the professor said or the class thought. Nothing they said or did could ever shatter his faith (he hoped).

Finally, the last day of class arrived. The professor said, "If there is anyone here who still believes in God, stand up!" As the young freshman Christian stood up in the back of the classroom, the professor and the class of 300 students stared at him in shock. The professor shouted at him, "You fool! If God existed, He could keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!" He then proceeded to drop the chalk, just as he always had done every year before. But this time, as he dropped it, it slipped out of his fingers, off his shirt cuff, onto the pleats of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. At it hit the ground, it simply rolled away, unbroken. The professor's jaw dropped as he stared at the unbroken piece of chalk. He looked up at the young man and then ran out of the lecture hall. The young man then proceeded to walk to the front of the room and share his faith in Jesus for the next half hour. 300 students stayed and listened as he told them of God's love for them and of His power through Jesus.

"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. " John 1:12-13

"But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as golden " Job 23:10


Please continue to pass this on from one Christian to the next as a message of encouragement and hope. In fact, why not share it with anyone you know and not just other Christians.


  • The above story was included as an insert in the Lifewatch Newsletter - Winter 1997

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