“Make it plain” or “reach out without dumbing down?”

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I share an automated blog reading level with Andrew at Gen-X Rising and Theolog among others. I am not sure if I should shoot higher or lower, or what that might mean.

Allan R. Bevere and First Things are both on the “college (post grad)” level.

Jonathan is an absolute genius, Bishop Willimon aims at junior high kids, and John at L&H as well as the great blogger Marvin Lindsay just underneath that (“elementary my dear Watson”).

I guess if I am a preacher worth my salt, I need to work harder to “make it plain” – but without dumbing down. Any ideas on how to do that?

Hat tip: Allan R. Bevere


  1. >I have to be very careful not to preach over my people’s heads. At the same time, I want to challenge them. So I might — once — during a sermon, quote Clement of Rome.One of the things that I’ve done since arriving here is having a John Wesley quote printed in the bulletin, usually from one of his sermons. The language is archaic, but congregants have the opportunity to strech their minds around their own heritage.

  2. >I struggle with this a lot Kevin. I do think one can be profound without be obscurantist. That in preaching and writing people without theological training want to be taken seriously intellectually. That doesn’t mean we should drop technical jargon on them! So we have to describe what we mean by perichoresis without using the term.

  3. >Kevin:I have serious doubts about the accuracy of the post analysis.But you are right– how do we reach out without dumbing down? It is an excellent question.By the way, I continue to enjoy the substance of your blog. If I may say, you would do the blogosphere a great service if you would post more often.

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