Lactose Intolerance

by S. M. Hutchens

One cannot become educated without the labor and strain of figuring things out, which should be the practice of a lifetime. Thus, it is a pedagogical compulsion of mine not always to make everything easy. Ask my children what I learned from my own father in this respect—and about the satisfactions of growing in grace and knowledge under a good Master. The miserable advice I heard in a lecture from one of my seminary professors frequently erupts in my mind: "Always put the cookies on the lowest shelf." Nonsense. The New Testament doesn't—why should we?

My rule is, "Be as clear as you can manage to be, since unclear expression is a sign of muddled thinking, and include something for everyone—including the advanced." Yes, this excludes some of the people from some of what is said (this should not be apologized for!), but is consonant with what St. Paul said about milk (and cookies?) and meat and growth. To represent the Truth faithfully, we must actively acknowledge that it is both perfectly simple and infinitely difficult.

The pastoral disciples of that silly professor may expect at best to serve congregations of infants, since the adults will have to go elsewhere for a decent meal. And what shall become of the church whose pastor, being an infant in understanding himself, has nothing more than milk to give his people?

S. M. Hutchens is a senior editor.

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