Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I need to keep working on my preaching. So today, I chose to introduce my sermon with a joke. A borrowed joke, yes, but a joke that served me well in capturing the attention of my audience and introducing the big idea of the scripture text I was preaching from. And they laughed! Ahh...sweet success. It's the little things that keep me going sometimes.
What was this great joke, you ask? Here's how I set it up.
Have you ever thought that you might be the only real person in the world, and that everything else and everyone else you see is just a figment of your imagination? (or maybe that we’re all just brains kept in vats of nutrients, with electrodes causing us to perceive a false reality...like in the Matrix?)
Philosopher Alvin Plantinga tells the story of a medical doctor he once met who believed this was true of himself. (This belief that “My mind is the only thing that I know exists” has a name: Solipsism). The Philosopher Plantinga set an appointment to meet this doctor one day at the Hospital. (Apparently the doctor found it reasonable to set appointments with figments of his imagination.) After meeting with the doctor, Plantinga was stopped by another doctor on his way out of the hospital who said with a smirk: “We take good care of Dr. So-and-So, because when he goes, we all go.”