Hard to Reach
S. M. Hutchens on Clarity, Mystery & Their Demands on Preachers & Hearers
"Always put the cookies on the lowest shelf," said the seminary professor. He meant that all preaching and teaching should be suited to the meanest understanding, that everyone in a general audience should be able to comprehend fully what one is saying in the exposition of Scripture and explication of the Christian faith—that Christianity, to be believable, must be understandable, and not only that, but understandable to all. He was a famous man, the author of many very understandable books. Most who were listening, including myself, were in awe of him, and had worked hard for the grades that gave us the privilege of sitting under him.
He himself did what he was teaching us to do. His lectures were clear and concise, and he pointedly encouraged his students to become what he himself was—master of a theology that removed all sorts of difficulties by means of a comprehensive interpretational system, making them easy for anyone who was willing to ignore or rationalize away certain persisting problems.
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S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.
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