A man goes into a bar, and while he's sipping his beer he hears someone yell out, "44!"That came to mind in the buildup to this conversation, while we were all waiting to find out what Steve from the UK was going to come out with. If you're an evangelist or a would-be evangelist, this is precisely the problem with trying to talk to former Christians: former Christians already know, and former Christians disagree.
Half the patrons burst into laughter.
After a while he hears someone else yell out, "72!" This time there's even more laughter.
So he waves the bartender over and asks, "What's going on with the numbers?"
"Well," says the bartender, "this place has been around for a long time, and most of the people here are regulars. They love to tell jokes, but after this many years we know them all by heart. So we gave each joke a number, to save time. Now, instead of telling the whole joke, you just call out a number and everybody knows what joke you're making."
"Oh," says the man, "can I try?"
"Sure, go ahead."
So, he yells out "102!" and the place is dead quiet save for a few groans. Confused, he looks at the bartender, who's just shaking his head. "Okay," he asks, "Now what happened?"
"Well," says the bartender, "some people just can't tell a joke."
It really shouldn't be a surprise. I mean, as former Christians, we all had plenty of opportunity to hear those arguments; we may even have used them ourselves. And, of course, if we still found them convincing... well, we'd still be Christians, wouldn't we?