Philosophical complexity vs. gospel simplicity

Still others prefer philosophical complexity to the simple gospel declarations. Each time Jesus or His prophets say “This is my gospel,” the brief declaration implies a loving Heavenly Father who has sent His Only Begotten Son to rescue and redeem mankind. “And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time” (Moses 6:62; see also 3 Nephi 27:13; 27:20-21; D&C 76:40-42, 50). Yet some people reject this simple truth, seeking instead things they cannot understand. Theirs is a mistake of reckoning involving more than a few degrees on life’s compass. It is an enormous error resulting from “looking beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14)—the mark of Christ, who is at the center of it all.

– Neal A. Maxwell, Not My Will, But Thine

Appreciating nuance is a useful skill–but some people come to love nuance so much that they lose the firm declaratives and principles which admit of no nuance or compromise.

Those who seek the complexities usually, in my experience, fancy that they can understand the deep, complicated things they seek, and have at least a little secret joy that others cannot.

These others may be treated with a quiet, amused condescension. Or, the sophisticate can be more loud, shrill and insistent that the dunderheads need to see and accept what their betters have already perceived.

Tertullian’s great question still rings loudly, however: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?”