ONE of the following stories is false. At least, it didn’t happen to me. And I believe it to be a version of what is called an “evangelegend.” And evangelegend is a religious urban legend–a story that makes the rounds of a religious subculture without verification and nobody ever seems to know to whom it happened or where. And yet many people believe it is true.
The first person to correctly identify the evangelegend may receive a free, autographed copy of one of my books (provided he or she is willing to give me his or her mailing address within the U.S.) It would be good, but not required, to explain why you think it is the evangelegend. Tomorrow (Monday) I will close the contest and declare the winner. Then the winner can decide whether or not to give me his or her “snail mail” address (only within the U.S.) so I can provide the promised signed book.
Here are the stories–only one of which is false. (I attribute some of them to myself–as if they happened to me [i.e., I supposedly said it]–only for variety. It makes no difference as to whether the story is true or false.)
One attempt per person, please!
The provost of the university was speaking at a church attended by many students and faculty of the university’s divinity school. During his sermon, while attempting to talk about the importance of seminary training for pastors, he accidently referred to his own university’s divinity school as “cemetery.” It was clearly accidental as he immediately turned red and stopped and sincerely apologized.
A seminary dean was talking to his faculty shortly after becoming their leader. Passionately he denied having any intention of making unilateral decisions and said to the faculty “I don’t intend to ever circumcise anyone.” (Of course, he meant “circumvent” anyone.) In this case it was so awkward the faculty chose to stifle their guffaws (with great difficulty in my case).
I was visiting chapel at a Christian college and a freshly minted graduate was guest preaching. His subject? “The joys of immorality.” He meant, of course, the joys of immortality. He only said it a couple times and tried to cover up as if he hadn’t said it. But the damage was done and snickering broke out occasionally even when he said it right.