The Verbose (wordy) Passage by Merwin

Originally posted in old blog.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Verbose (wordy) Passage

I read a paragraph from C.S. Lewis that busted my chops bad. The quote from the book "The Grand Miracle" is included below... but the manner in which I got popped, happened in kind of a round about way, the explanation follows the quote.

From "The Grand Miracle" paragraph on Apologetics...
"To conclude... you must translate every bit of your theology into the vernacular. This is very troublesome and it means you can say very little in half an hour, but it is essential. It is also of the greatest service to your own thought. I have come to the conviction that if you cannot translate your thoughts into the uneducated language, then your thoughts were confused. Power to translate is the test of having really understood one's own meaning. A passage from some theological work for translation into the vernacular ought to be a compulsory paper in every ordination examination."

Of course when I read this I immediately thought of the atheist wannabe scientist, who quotes the real scientists (atheist or otherwise) who's words are beyond them (as they are beyond me).

Then of course my criticism overflowed on to the (atheistic) scientist themselves, that use the kind of lingo that most people (like me) have to look up to understand.

This all comes on the heels of reading comments on a blog where those who posted on the blog were mostly atheistic, educated, and very wordy.

I remember thinking that, if a similar format were to be used in my blog I would wish the best minds to want to contribute their two cents, but I would also have them use simpler language that everyone could grasp.

So when I read the C.S. Lewis thing I thought AHA! I will use this quote and let his comment put these Mensa maniacs into a mindset that will end up making the whole exchange fit in, where anybody could understand it.

My directions were well intended. I wanted to leave behind the insult trading that goes on between atheists and believers in "spiritual" chat rooms, with the remedy being more than less educated contributions. And I wished to have everything made easy to grasp, with the "Lewis" remedy, this seemed certain.

I was really rockin and rollin with these lines of thought (its always the other guy right?) and then I remembered how much lately I have had to re-write my own efforts and... I'm busted!

Anyway I will broaden out these thoughts and put them on my blogs, as an encouragement to keep all the dialogue respectful and simpler for everyone to enjoy.

Comments 3 comments

Chasuk 6 years ago

You only really understand something when you are capable of explaining it to others. Try explaining something to a child, and you will find that you understand it better when you are done.


Chasuk 6 years ago

As a corollary to the above, I would like to point out that oversimplification is possible, and can cause actual damage, when it delays or stunts growth. Some subjects are just hard, and require an investment of time and focused brainpower to learn. You aren't doing anyone a favor when you give them a false sense of comprehension.


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thevoice 6 years ago from carthage ill

very well read hub thanks

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