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  • Virginia Brown

On Nuancing

I really like the word “nuance.” Not only does it roll off the tongue in a pleasant manner (very different than “entrepreneurial”), but the term also encapsulates an important concept. When I use the term, I define it as “a subtle difference in or shade of meaning.”

We should nuance when we speak about complex realities. Take, for example, divorce and remarriage. Thinking and conversing about this issue requires great nuance, provided its sensitivity and complexity. A great number of godly Christians maintain different views on the subject, so that requires us to tread lightly (but tread nonetheless) when thinking about it.

In other situations, though, it is important that we don’t nuance. Take, for example, Christ’s physical resurrection. Our whole faith depends on this event. Paul says 1 Cor 15:14, “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain.” When we talk about Jesus’ resurrection, we shouldn’t nuance. Nuancing in this situation by saying, “Well, Jesus might have been resurrected physically,” is a denial of our faith. Never deny the faith. Preach Christ’s resurrection; don’t nuance it.

Some people engage in hyper-nuance, so they refrain from making a forceful statement. This group needs boldness (Eph 6:19). Others never nuance, so they consistently present the truth in black and white terms. This group needs their ignorance curbed (1 Tim 1:7). Wisdom requires knowing when to nuance and when to not. May the Lord give us this wisdom.

Pastor Chance


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