At times it is best to be honest or maybe a better way to express this is, we need to be frank. In this context “frank” is best defined as “direct in speech or writing, especially when dealing with unpalatable matters.”
We prefer the easy way. We would rather not make the effort.
Before I go too extreme I have to admit that sometimes we do need easy answers to our questions. When I first read John Stott’s book Basic Christianity in the mid-1980s I needed basic, easy information about coming to Jesus Christ. He provided what I needed. I could not have understood his book The Cross of Christ at that time in my life.
Now The Cross is less intimidating and with my growth in my faith, my study of the Bible, my study of other spiritual growth resources, I can understand it more. At least I think so. The “proof is in the pudding” so to speak.
If I can explain Stott’s more complex ideas to you (the reader of this blog) than I have accomplished my purpose.
But as I travel through each section of each chapter of The Cross, something else is happening: I am growing too.
Stott published a small booklet entitled Your Mind Matters in 1972. In that booklet he makes the case that Christians should be challenged to use their minds. We should not always seek out “easy” answers. In his booklet he argues that we were created to think, we should attempt to understand God’s thoughts as much as we can, we benefit from the renewing of our minds, and we will be judged by our knowledge or lack thereof.
He has a point.
I like a challenge; maybe you do too.
As we turn from Basic Christianity to Chapter 8 in The Cross of Christ, we leave the basic answers of one book and turn to complex questions and complex answers in the other.
It won’t be easy, but I am convinced that it will be worth the effort.