Sunday, January 11, 2009


Last January at the symposia in Fort Wayne, I couldn't believe how MUCH talking could be done about minor points. Sometimes a whole hour-long lecture could've been summed in 1-2 minutes of plain English. Now, don't get me wrong: hours upon hours of talking (and even debating) theology does not bore me or tire me out. But what surprised me at symposia was how obvious topics could be belabored and questioned and picked to pieces.

The topic of symposium last year was the atonement. Some of the speakers spoke for their whole hour, weighing the opposing viewpoints and intellectual evidence, and came to a conclusion that most Christian 7-yr-olds would know. Or worse yet, came to a conclusion that a young Christian child could easily debunk.

Now, given the topic, those three days could've been spent talking about the atonement in a way that would be not only academic/educational, but it would have been nice too if the atonement had been "preached." I remember after one of the lectures, talking to Sandy. She and I both noticed that in one sermon, either of our pastors could teach all the worthwhile academics in some of those [much longer] lectures, while nevertheless focusing primarily on preaching Jesus and bringing the comfort of the forgiveness that's found in the atonement.

I realize there's a place for academic, high-falutin' speeches and debate and examination of issues. But somehow, last year, I would've preferred to hear about the atonement as we teach it to little kids instead of to grown-up, intelligent, theological experts.

Kinda makes me nervous about this year's symposium. I'm thinking that I may spend more time playing patty-cake with a grand-daughter than listening to lectures.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be sitting next to you watching you play pat-a-cake. I've often thought, "Why don't they talk English instead of Educationese?"