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Knowledge and Mental Assent

A few years ago, the police in Phoenix, Arizona, found a three-year-old lad walking down the street. They figured he was big enough to at least partially identify himself. The desk sergeant kindly asked, “What is your name, sonny?” “Baloney!” declared the youngster. “Please,” the sergeant pleaded, “tell me your real name.” “Baloney” was the reply. They tried bribes, but nothing worked. The mystery lad ate a candy bar and refused to change his story.

In the process of time, a lady called, voice quivering and filled with anxiety; to ask the police to help her find her lost son. Assuring her that he had already been found, the inquisitive officer asked, “What is his name, madam?” “Baloney,” replied the woman. The police had knowledge, but they did not have mental assent. They did not accept the knowledge they had as true.

Evangelism, A Biblical Approach, M. Cocoris, Moody, 1984, p. 75