A question which troubles me endlessly is how to “level off” in my teaching, to choose what should be taught, to control my vocabulary to the group, and to discover what illustrations and analogies, if any, will make the material absolutely clear and understandable. When and if all this is accomplished I then wonder if I have been true to the subject if I have made it so easy and understandable; maybe there should be more mystery than knowledge to some subjects such as the Trinity or the Lord’s Supper or Unity with Christ or the Atonement.

To come at the problem another way, just how intelligent does a man have to be to be a Christian? The lassie at the street corner service keeps crying or singing, “Come to Jesus,” so a man comes forward and everyone around says, “Bless you,” and there is some kind of a count of saved sinners. Or another asks us to “Accept Christ,” so we “Accept Christ,” and that’s that. Is anything else required? Are some missionaries on the frontiers (I almost called them foreign missionaries) justified in requiring a period of probation between the time of the acceptance of Christ and the reception of such a one into the communion of the church? Are we being presumptuous in requiring anything more than the “coming” to Jesus or the “acceptance” of Christ? And assuming that we believe that we can require something more than some simple affirmation, what should that “something more” be? Are not communicant manuals prepared on the assumption that we know what the least common denominator is by which a person, at least from the standpoint of information, is “prepared” for membership in the body of Christ? If we “profess with our lips” are we in? If we “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” are we saved? Is that ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.