Theology is controversial (you are making statements about God, anthropology, origin of the universe, morality and ethics, etc.), such that it is easy to be misunderstood. If you are going to speak-theology, then you need to put forth your best effort to do so with clarity, i.e., as the idiom goes, you need to wax eloquent. However, if you’re going to listen to someone, you too have a duty to be fair and charitable and put forth an effort to understand them in the best light possible.
Theology is controversial and it is hard work (it requires diligence), e.g., one ought to be nuanced when discussing faith and obedience (works).
Needing to speak with clarity regarding faith and obedience can be illustrated in the writings of William Ames, Puritan born in England in the late 1500s. In his writings, Ames emphasized the “will” of the Christian. He was passionate about maintaining the kinship between Christian thought and action. Because of this emphasis on the “will” of Christians, some (i.e., Kuyper, Kendall) argued that Ames departed “from the mainstream of Reformed Theology” (Joel R. Beeke and Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology – Doctrine for Life, 54). This, however, is not an accurate portrayal, as Beeke and Jones contend, Ames was well within the mainstream of Reformed Theology, but to gather this you must consider the covenantal framework within which Ames emphasized the role of the “will” of Christians.
But Ames, as a faithful son of the Reformation, continued to emphasize that “the final dependence of faith, as it designates the act of believing, is on the operation and inner persuasion of the Holy Spirit” ([The Marrow of Theology] 1.3.12.). . . . The key to properly combining sovereign grace with freely given faith and responsible obedience was to be found in the context of God’s covenant. Under the covenant of grace, Ames expounded the harmony of faith and obedience, the gospel of Christ and the Ten Commandments, orthodoxy and orthopraxy. Rather than isolating Ames’s statements about the will and crying “voluntarism,” we must interpret each of his teachings in the light of his whole theology — a Reformed theology of heart religion and humble obedience” (54-55)
Theological statements never occur within a vacuum – they always occur within a context that also needs to be examined and accounted for in order to understand the theological statements. Understanding a person’s theology, like most things worth doing, takes effort and requires hard work. Like the philosopher Spinoza said, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”