A Rabbi and a soap maker were walking along and the soap maker questioned the Rabbi by asking, "What good is religion? There's been religion for a long time, but people are still bad to each other" The Rabbi was silent until they saw a boy who was dirty from playing in the street. The Rabbi asked the soap maker, "What good is soap? We've had soap for many, many years and people still get dirty." The soap maker protested the comparison and insisted that the soap had to be used in order to keep people clean. "Exactly my point", said the Rabbi. "Religion", he said, "has to be applied in order to do anybody any good."

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J. Michael Shannon is professor of preaching at Cincinnati Bible College in Cincinnati, OH.