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.