Two years ago, I wrote a post titled “Two Copper Coins”. I made a metaphor alluding to, but not directly quoting, the Biblical story in Luke 21:
Jesus looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.’
Luke 21:1-4 (NIVUK)
I wasn’t too surprised the first time that I got a comment from a coin trader. They’d presumably stumbled upon my post when searching for possible sales or purchases, but then read and made an appropriate comment.
More recently, I got a comment from a different coin trader asking to see the copper coins in question. I was surprised they’d completely missed the point of my post – the coins in my case were a metaphor.
I related this story during the bloggers conference, then in the process of telling the story, I realised that the others didn’t know the reference to the widow’s offering either.
I had forgotten that not everyone reading this blog has read the Bible for as many years as I have. The stories I grew up with in Bible in Schools classes are no longer common knowledge. I apologise now to my readers for my assumption that you all knew what I was talking about in my Faith posts.
I’ve also been at the other end of this, when I was trying to follow a theological discussion that mostly seemed to involve lots of long words ending in –ism and –ology and acronyms of Jargonese. I got lost very quickly.
The challenge for me is to balance my “Faith” posts between those readers who are even better qualified than I am to write about faith, and those readers who have no Christian background, but are still interested in this part of my life (otherwise they aren’t reading these posts anyway).
Good theology should be easy to explain and understand, and also be real and relevant to daily life.
When I’m reading or listening to Christian teaching I tend to find myself asking three questions:
- Does this make sense? Do I actually understand what’s being said or is it some academic waffle that’s over my head? Does it line up with what theology I already understand?
- Do I agree? Often this is a subjective, gut level feeling. Sometimes very reasonable sounding arguments just feel wrong. Experience has taught me to trust my instincts.
- So what? How is this relevant? There are discussions out there in the Christian world today that have about as much relevance to how the ordinary believer lives out his or her faith as the supposed medieval discussion about angels dancing on a pinhead.
When I write about my faith I want to be thinking and writing about the “So what?” How do I personally apply my faith in my daily life as a spouse, parent, employee, friend and neighbour? I hope this gives me something to say that’s relevant to all my readers.
I pray that what I write is helpful and meaningful to you in your life and faith journey.