It is also possible to say precisely why. Truth seduces us very easily into a kind of joy of possession: I have comprehended this and that, learned it, understood it. Knowledge is power. I am therefore more than the other man who does not know this and that. I have greater possibilities and also greater temptations. Anyone who deals with truth - as we theologians certainly do - succumbs all too easily to the psychology of the possessor. But love is the opposite of the will to possess. It is self-giving. It boasteth not itself, but humbleth itself.
And so they easily suppose that this truce, owing to helplessness, is victory and that they have convinced the other man. But in fact, instead of winning him over, they have merely applied a kind of shock therapy — only it was never 'therapy.' They have smothered the first little flame of a man’s own spiritual life and a first shy question with the fire extinguisher of their erudition. By such performances a person can really be smothered and strangled!
It is a mistake for anyone who is just in this stage to appear before a church as a teacher. He has outgrown the naivete with which in young people’s work he might by all means have taken this part. He has not yet come to that maturity which would permit him to absorb into his own life and reproduce out of the freshness of his own personal faith the things which he imagines intellectually and which are accessible to him through reflection. We must have patience here and be able to wait. For the reasons I have mentioned I do not tolerate sermons by first-semester young theological students swaddled in their gowns. One ought to be able to keep still. During the period when the voice is changing we do not sing, and during this formative period in the life of the theological student he does not preach.