Brothers and Sisters in Christ, though we are having a work party this week in place of our teaching series, I do not want to take a break from posting. We are nearing the end of the “Inward” portion of our series and will be moving to the “Outward” portion soon. As a transitional topic between “Inward” and “Outward,” I want us to examine the “Christian” language to which we have grown so accustomed in America. Our inward and outward interactions are shaped by the words we use, so why not consider what words, cliches, and phrases we often use and why we use them?
Try to read at least two or three of the articles but read all of them if you would like to do so! The following paragraphs are borrowed from Michael J. Kruger’s “Taking Back Christianese: The Complete Series”:
This past Summer, I completed the ten-part series, “Taking Back Christianese.” Below is the complete and final list of articles.
The motivation for this series was that our Christian lingo – “Christianese” if you will – can sometimes be mistaken. Or at least partially so. It can attempt to express a theological truth that (sometimes) bring more confusion than clarity.
So, this series addresses the way we talk as Christians. It is designed to analyze a number of theological phrases or practical bits of Christians wisdom that may simply be wrong, or at least misunderstood. Or maybe both.
As a reminder, I am not suggesting that the instances of Christianese below are necessarily wrong. Taken properly, they may be right in many ways. But, of course, that is precisely the issue. Often they are not taken properly. Instead they can be used to justify some questionable theological views.
So, the goal of the series – and this is important to get – was not to refute these phrases but to clarify, to nuance, and to balance out these phrases. In the world of theology, lack of nuance is one step (often a big step) towards doctrinal error.
Let me also say that the list below is by no means exhaustive. Nor is the list below intended to represent the worst or most inaccurate ways we speak as Christians. On the contrary, I (and all of us) have heard much worse!
Here they are:
- Christian life is all about being transparent and vulnerable
- Preach the Gospel; Use Words if You Have To
- God is always pleased with you
- We have freedom in Christ
- Just ask Jesus into Your Heart
- All sins are equal in God’s sight
- America is a Christian Nation
- It’s not my place to judge someone else
- God views all our works as filthy rags
- Jesus is neither a democrat or republican