Friday, November 21, 2008
Simple Words Deep Truths
Last month, I watched a very enjoyable Japanese drama series called "Change". The story revolves around the trials and tribulations of an elementary school teacher, Asakura Keita (played by popular Japanese actor Kimura Takuya) who reluctantly took over the mantle of his politician father after he died in an accident.
Although Asakura managed to win the by-election by a narrow margin, he really had absolutely no knowledge of the inner workings of the political system. His political secretary, a lady with many years of political experience, tried to explain to him how the system works using all the technical and political jargon that she is so familiar with.
Naturally, Asakura could not understand a single word she said and stopping her in mid-sentence said,"Could you please treat me like an elementary school 5th grader and explain everything all over again?" She used a different approach and explained the workings of parliament using the elementary school system, which Asakura was familiar with, as analogy.
Similarly, there are many "theologians" in the blogosphere spewing out comments saturated with theological jargon - big words that the ordinary Christian doesn't really understand. The ordinary Christian who is searching for answers end up getting choked by these "pearls of wisdom"; confused rather than enlightened.
Jesus, during his ministry on earth, spoke deep truths using simple language that the multitudes (many of whom are just ordinary peasants) understood.
I am not saying that there is no place for theologians or religious scholars. I am saying that they have to realize that theological tools and study are a means to an end. They help to uncover deeper truths in the bible, and such truths have to be shared in a manner that can be easily understood.
However, if they treat theological tools and study as an end in itself, they will succeed in only puffing themselves up just like the Pharisees during Jesus' ministry on earth. The religious scholars of the day studied the Tanakh since young but still they could not see the Messiah in the Tanakh. For if they had seen Jesus in the Tanakh, how could they have rejected Jesus in the flesh?
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."