There were questions about his ordination examination.
He kept inserting the word “perhaps” in his answers.
Perhaps is not a user-friendly word when it comes to
ordination exams invoking such queries as, “Does the
young man vacillate in his faith?”
Surety is expected, strong convictions about propositional
truths. After all, the flock needs to hear absolutes uttered
with conviction from the pulpit otherwise there might be
those straying into the dangerous lair of ravenous wolves
of secular prey.
The young seminary student didn’t even realize that he had
been using that language until a sympathetic examiner
approached him at lunch, to tell him the situation. As a
result, he used the word less often in the afternoon session.
If he had been older, wiser and not frightened about failure
or the need for the acceptance of his elders, he simply might
have said, “We are dealing with a great and wonderful mystery
and so, humility requires the plenteous sprinkling of the holy
word ‘perhaps’ on our oven baked (or perhaps half-baked)
commentary on revelation.”
In hind sight, the kid did just fine.