Do our readers appreciate it when we use complex and obscure language to communicate theological truths? Do we use elaborate phrases because we want to them think “Wow! This writer uses words even I don’t know. He must be really smart.”? We Christian writers are communicating the most important message in the world. Shouldn’t we use language that our readers can easily grasp?
When we receive a letter from a doctor or official, we want to understand the important message inside.
We may be stuck in thinking “simple writing comes from simple minds.” However, that’s not the case. Simple language can be used to to convey complex truths, without “dumbing down” the power of the theology behind it.
Readers Digest, which may have the largest readership in the world, purposely uses language that can be understood by a 12 year old to talk about science, astronomy, finances, health, and other complex topics.
Editors of Christianity Today, one of the most respected Christian magazines, tests every article word by word for clarity and simplicity of language. Yet their articles handle complex topics related to culture and theology, and their readers tend to be highly educated.
It is possible, and critical, to convey the greatest and most important message of all time in a manner that is both theologically sound and easy to understand.
[bctt tweet=”sesquipedalian: characterized by the use of long words. #vintagevocabulary #bringitback”]