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Toward Mutual Understanding

Essays by Andrew Kotcher

This website contains my essays and writings on subjects of interest to Christians and those who study Christianity. I haven't put them on here entirely out of a wish for vanity publishing, but because I believe strongly that lay Christians are as able to comprehend the scholarly debates over theology and biblical studies as are any students in theological colleges.

I find it very irritating that academic textbooks are made inaccessible to the ordinary Christian, not because the ideas in them are too hard for them to understand, but because they deliberately use language which makes them hard for non-university educated Christians to understand. There are times, of course, when specific language is needed for these discussions, but I often get the sense that writers use such language simply to say "look at me! I'm clever!".

I once read an article by a feminist theologian where she stated that she wanted grassroots Christians to be able to participate in theological discussion - because what use are professors pontificating on such topics if they do not connect with the real community of faith out there on the streets and in the churches? While her aims are ones I uphold, I burst out laughing when I saw that through her entire article she had used very academic language - there was much talk of "paradigms" and "self-actualisation" and other such words which are not used in normal speech. In fact her article was one of the most jargon-laden scholarly articles I have read in a long while!

So this is the purpose of this website. I have titled it "toward mutual understanding" because I am not yet so arrogant as to believe no one can teach me anything. I am sadly aware of many things I do not know, and much understanding that escapes me. Any reader of this site has as much to offer me as I ever have to offer them. I offer my various articles in the hope that they may be helpful to readers, and I appreciate any comments and feedback you may have.

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