Me’ Thinks that Many Teachers and Apologist Think too Much!

By Patrick Hawthorne


We’ve all heard the phrase “Can’t see the forest through the trees.” It’s kind of a silly statement if you think about it. Being as I’m Southern with a dash of redneck thrown in, my response is, “Just walk in a couple of feet, ya dummy; it’s right there.”

The main point with the forest and trees lesson, among others, is that sometimes we complicate things too much when the answer is right before us. Too often we strain so hard to see into the beyond that we miss what is right in front of our eyes.  The same applies with the manner in which we often try to explain the Gospel.

Biblical teachers and apologist (defenders of the Gospel) are notorious for forgetting that we are to come to God as little children. How many children do you know tote around a dictionary and the theological works of so-and-so in order to understand what their earthly dad is telling them? Should we expect anything less as we learn about our Heavenly Father?  Hmmmm….I can hear some brain cells churning over that piece of information…or is that the gnashing of teeth? Anyways…

I am one who likes to study the Word of God along the line of Apologetics. Simply put, I like to find answers that bring defense to the Gospel. Not that I am loading my holy six shooters in preparation for a Gospel gun fight but because I like to learn. And, one thing I’ve learned is that all too often Apologist and/or teachers muddies the waters so much that we strip simple faith from our vocabulary and the vocabulary of our listeners/readers.

My reasoning for writing this particular post is simple.  The other day I was reading a post from a particular apologist whom I enjoy.  I follow several, so don’t try to figure out if it is yours or not.  Anyways, I read a paragraph, re-read the paragraph, read it a third time, and finally pulled down a dictionary to make sure I was reading the paragraph correctly.  Finally I said, “The heck with this…DELETE!”  It was apparent that my inherent level of conceptualization was significantly impeded by the dictates of this particular essayist.  WHAT?  Ok…ok…so I used the “synonyms” function on my computer to write that last sentence.  In plain English, “My brain and his brain were on two different levels cause I didn’t understand nothing he wrote.”

So, come on guys…Give us simple folk a break and don’t make us work so hard.  It’s great that you know the theological arguments of Sir Elizabethan English, but that does not mean you need to write in the style of those from the sixteenth century.  After all, those dictionaries can get mighty heavy, unless it’s on a tablet, but that’s another story.  Be blessed, Ya’ll.

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Posted in Christian, Uncategorized, writing
17 comments on “Me’ Thinks that Many Teachers and Apologist Think too Much!
  1. Jules says:

    Funny, I am about to write about being little children too, when I started reading I was worrying God had talked to you first 😉

    On this topic – we need to be intelligible, we absolutely need people to understand us and to be relevant to them.


  2. Wally Fry says:

    Amen brother. KISS is a great motto to hold

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wally Fry says:

    Oops delete that last one lol not sure how I did that


  4. SLIMJIM says:

    I think your post is much needed balance for those of us who love apologetics and theology. I think if more apologists were grounded in church life I think it would help with the dilemma you noted. For starters, I think it would remind them that apologetics isn’t everything. Something about seeing kids, grandmas, struggling moms and spiritually apathetic people and loving them should make one more wholistic if one wants to minister to them. Of course, there’s a place for teaching with an apologetics angle in some of the situations but not all the instances of body life. I think it would force apologists to explain what they are teaching in more understandable terms and explain more even the terms that are used if they have a ministering heart. Throw that in with regular evangelism, both personal and “direct contact” I think it also makes us more conscious of making what we are talking about more better in its logic but also accessible in coffee shop language and day to day life.
    Anyways, good post is what I wanted to say. It shows the importance of love is needed in our teaching, and if we are loving we should strive for clarity and not confusion.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. dawnlizjones says:

    I love apologetics also. And I also love (and need) people who I can read on my level, whatever that is. New follow, and this is going to be fun!


  6. Ufuomaee says:

    “How many children do you know tote around a dictionary and the theological works of so-and-so in order to understand what their earthly dad is telling them? Should we expect anything less as we learn about our Heavenly Father?”

    About time someone said something! This has more to do with pride than a desire to obey God, which is sad. Thanks for your post. You speak for a lot of us who have to wade through the egos at play to get to the truth.

    Stay blessed, Ufuoma.


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