Over the weekend I took note of some words Francis shared with the bishops of Brazil. Lamenting the decline in church membership there Francis pointed to a few different issues. One of them was that the church had become too intellectualized:
"At times we lose people because they don't understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people. Without the grammar of simplicity, the church loses the very conditions which make it possible to 'fish for' God in the deep waters of his mystery."Amen. I recently made a similar point about progressive theology becoming too intellectualized, too reliant upon Continental philosophers like Lacan, Derrida and Hegel.
I think progressive theology has "lost the grammar of simplicity." In my own experience when I am "reading the bible with the damned"--in prison or among the economically vulnerable--I find myself reaching for "the language of simplicity" and I hear myself, more and more, sounding like a fundamentalist.
I find myself speaking of simple things, things like sin, brokenness and the mercy of God.