Fake Smart


I have a friend who told me he read book reviews instead of books because it was more important to know about a new book than to have read it.  He called it “fake smart”.  It’s a good phrase.  I do the same.  I don’t want to be caught not having at least some knowledge about the latest book so I snack on the reviews and unfortunately ” lose my appetite for reading.

I was at a conference a couple of years ago and realized we were doing the same thing with speakers.  We were “speed dating” with content.  We were curious about what they had to say but not really interested.  At home we have a bird house outside our kitchen window and I was watching the mother swallow her food and then belch it up into the babies beaks.  They do that because the enzyme mechanism is not fully developed in the babies and they don’t yet have the bacteria that allows them to break food down themselves.  It felt similar. The speaker was chewing it up for us because we didn’t have the enzymes needed.

It feels like ideas have become entertainment instead of an opportunity to think and respond.

Today I read an interview with Eugene Peterson by Owen Strachan that once more emphasized the importance of words” thought and discipline.  “Good writing does not come easy; it takes a lot of discipline a lot of self-criticism.   A lot of people in my position want to know how to write and after talking to them for a while I realize "You don't want to write you want to get published; you're not willing to go through the disciplines…”  That’s the heart of it ” I think.

We have slow cooking and slow church movements.  Maybe I need to work on a slow conference for The Gathering. 


  1. I like your “mother bird” analogy. I that speaks volumes as to education and preaching within the church. Fowler used to talk about it as “putting cookies on the lower shelf”. However even baby birds grow up and begin to find and eat their own food. The crucial matter is how to empower people to grow and build their capacity to bite into the meaty substance of the Gospel.
    What would a slow conference look like?

  2. To go deep into any undertaking (making a piece of furniturewriting an impactufl story or book sharing a meaningful meal/fellowship/conference together building a family legacy in The Way of Jesus Christ) is to approach the thing with love. Diligence and care are aspects of love.
    If the love of Christ comes inthen it will spill out. I think the ‘slow’ or ‘fast’ of the thing is less determinative than plain love. I think most recipients can sense when the giver is in love with Jesusor with his or her work — or in love with both.
    The technology revolution is a mixed blessingas was the industrial revolution. We now know this; will we learn from history? It’s doubtful; we’re smitten as before. A lot more stuff a lot easier always exerts a pull. The Internet is the highest speed thus far in humanity’s accelerating din and whirl — and this is the water in which we all swim now. It’s a vital challengebecause “fake smart” can no cover so very much of life that we end up with “fake real”. Factoids multiply and the whole mess grows fangs.
    Goodnessyes; do make Christian gatherings “slow” by design! A ‘full and diverse program’ is not nearly so helpful to the human heart in critical conditionas the life-shifting insight that pours out of plain honest love.

  3. Enlighetning the worldone helpful article at a time.

  4. Thinking like that is ralely impressive


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