A Refreshing Missive Against the Common Tendency to Dumb Everything Down

January 4, 2005

I can identify with Dale Fincher, in this installment of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries’ “Slice of Infinity.” Dale tells us that we should not underestimate children — or each other — or place limitations on them, or ourselves, by shackling them with low expectations. Kids want to dig deeper, especially where Christ and Biblical principles are concerned. Dale points out that we may well lose people if we always dumb things down and just assume that if someone can’t grasp something in its entirety he won’t profit from it at all.

There is undoubtedly a degree of tension in many churches today, especially the seeker-friendly churches, who want to keep things seeker-friendly, but who do not want to dilute the message. Dale warns us of the drawbacks in going too far in the direction of seeker-friendliness. Dale writes:

Yet there is a constant pressure in our society, even our church societies, to keep things simple, practical, to a reduced bare minimum. After all, it is reasoned, if we don’t speak to the lowest common denominator, we may discourage people from being part of the church community. While I think this a noble thought, it may actually be a disadvantage to the healthiness of each individual believer and our church communities.

Dale, in my opinion, is exactly right. We don’t want to surrender vertical growth for horizontal growth.

Dale also uses this commentary to point out that Christians have a yearning to grow in Christ, to learn more about Him, and Scripture, and to develop, to the extent possible, a Christlike mind. In reading this, I was reminded of my friend and fellow blogger La Shawn Barber’s recent post lamenting the universal problem of too little time. La Shawn wrote:

Then, sometime in the next few months, I’d like to take an intensive course on Christian apologetics. With assaults on the faith and historical lies and inaccuracies floating around (The Da Vinci Code movie is on the horizon — Also see the book review) and increasing every day, I need to be equipped to defend my faith. Reading and studying on my own or in Sunday school is fine, but I need the incentive of tests to really study a subject.

La Shawn’s sincere interest in studying Christian apologetics makes Dale’s point quite perfectly. I hope La Shawn will find the time to pursue this laudable goal.