Wednesday, March 12, 2014

the return of jargon

Here's a fun one. Are you "washed in the blood?" Have you "stood against" a "Spirit of Religion." Does reading this make you want to bring me "before the throne of Grace?"

Conversely, have you ever been turned off by Christian jargon? You're not alone. For years now we've been trying to avoid this stuff so that we can be understood by those we we witness to. But it keeps coming back. For a while there, everything was Hebraic: shalom, tehillah. Yeah I did it too. Used to always replace the Greek Christ for the Hebraic Messiah. Somehow it's thought to be more meaningful. But I'm wondering now whether if you can't express your sacred concepts in your own language, it's sort of an epic fail. You haven't actually welcomed him into your own culture and you had to dabble in someone else's just to talk about him.

And it's come back again. Now we're borrowing from Greek as it's come into vogue. Like perchoresis, kenosis and oikonimos, which are perfectly non-English words that I've come across recently. Don't get me wrong, I love words, I love words from all kinds of languages. I'm only saying, "Didn't we recently just make the effort to de-jargon-ify our faith?" I know I did. And now suddenly there are essential, or at least partially essential concepts that cannot be expressed except by borrowing a word from Greek, a word that only an interested party like me will bother to look up. Sounds like jargon to me...

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