About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Keep It Simple, Stupid


Historians say that throughout the 20th century western culture shifted away from the modern era of history to the postmodern era.  Generally speaking, the modern era was marked by a detailed, systematic, and analytical approach to thinking issues through.  Those calling themselves postmodern prefer not to be so engaged in such a detailed thought process.  "Don't bore me with the details.  Just give me the bottom line," or as I often hear, "keep it simple, stupid," is the hallmark of postmodernism. 


Over the last few decades various authors have documented how our postmodern western-world has dumbed itself down, and that includes western-world Evangelical Christianity.  In Biblical terms, I call it "the Sundayschoolization of Scripture."  I call it that because many of us fail to mature in our Biblical understanding beyond the simplified Bible stories we learned as a child in Sunday school.  I believe Hosea 4:6 speaks to this when it says that God's people are "destroyed from lack of knowledge."  In context, the word "knowledge" is in reference to knowing God, but included in knowing God is knowing all He wants us to know. 


I realize that not everyone has the capacity or the calling to be a highly educated Bible scholar, but as the Apostle Peter told us in 1 Peter 3:15, we all should be capable of giving a reason for why we believe when asked.   


"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."


Notice the word "prepared" in Peter's statement.  Being prepared requires thinking issues through in advance so when the time comes to provide your reason, you actually have a reasonable reason to provide your enquirer.    


The Apostle Paul wrote about maturing into adulthood in 1 Corinthians 13:11.


"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me."


Inherent in Christian maturity is being competent to instruct as Paul said in Romans 15:14.


"I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.


The Roman Christians whom Paul addressed did not have the complete Bible and internet study tools that we have today.  If those believers were sufficiently knowledgeable to competently instruct, how much more competent should we be?   


Ironically, my point here is simple.  The Sundayschoolization of Scripture keeps us Scripturally stupid.  For me, graduating from Sunday school to adulthood in my Biblical understanding is a life-long endeavour.  It will not end until the day my body is buried in our family grave or my mind is no longer capable of thinking issues through.  I want to obey the Biblical mandate to be ready, able, and willing, to provide the reasonable answers for why I believe when asked.  I do not want to be so Biblically simple that I am Scripturally stupid.   


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