This begins the Apologetics Toolkit series on: Tips for the Apologetic Life. The goal behind this next series of 5 tips is to provide a few ideas on how to take the ideas studied in apologetics and apply them to “real life” situations. What good is knowledge without being able to communicate that knowledge effectively?
Tool #01: Keep it Simple
1. Use simple terms
When in conversation, avoid using specialist language if it is not needed. Don’t assume all people know terms like epistemology, ontology, teleology… or apologetics. Use language that the person you are speaking with understands. Don’t try to impress; seek to express. Communication that is simple and clear is persuasive. Greg Koukl is a good example of this, as he rarely uses terms that are more complex than necessary.
2. Use stories and illustrations
Jesus used parables, illustrations, and stories to reach the minds and hearts of his hearers. This made his communication memorable, clear, and powerful. This kind of communication works better for most people and takes the complex and puts it into practical terms. Ravi Zacharias is a good example of this, as he uses powerful personal stories and images to communicate ideas that word alone do not express.
3. Own what you are talking about
Perhaps the key to keeping things simple when communicating complex ideas in theology or apologetics is to “own” what you are talking about. To communicate simply, it helps to understand deeply. If you have trouble communicating your ideas in simple terms, it could be a sign that you are just repeating things in the way that you have heard others say it. Spend time making the subject your own by crafting your own illustrations and ways of communicating the subject — and keep it as simple as possible.
What does this look like in a in everyday life? It looks like this:
You speak clearly and concisely in terms that everyone can understand. You tell your own stories and use illustrations that cause what you are talking about to be memorable and make sense. You seek a deep understanding of your subject and leave a unique imprint through your own fresh perspective.
Why tips do you have for keeping things simple?