About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
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.
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."
Christian maturity is being competent to instruct as Paul said in Romans
"I myself am
convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of
goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
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?
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