Monday, May 21, 2012


Lanugauge Matters

Laura Ziesel:
As is natural in all subcultures, Christians have developed dialects. Christians (Protestants and Catholics, clergy and laymen) use many terms non-Christians would not understand. Well, perhaps more often than not outsiders understand us—but we simply look odd. One of the biggest grievances against Christian culture is our bubble-like tendency. We can genuinely hurt the cause of Christ when we create holy huddles, only experiencing the world through our own eyes or the eyes of other Christians.

I've heard many people refer to this phenomenon as "speaking Christianese."
She lists circumstances where such may not be "all bad."

I get her point, nut to me it sounds a bit lazy. Language is a funny thing, it is always morphing and developing, but our culture recently has sought to carry that to extremes - at this point we overuse phrases until they are meaningless.

I also tend to think that we use the catchphrases of faith as substitute for the genuine experience. For example - her point about "no other words." I find that developing the words for something is part of appropriating it and making it mine. SO if I have a spiritual experience or insight, I MUST learn to express it in order to fully "own" it. If I fall back on some cliched expression of it, then I am ceding that experience to the originator of the catchphrase.

It's easy to fall into cliche, but life as a Christian is anything but cliche.

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