Thursday, September 25, 2008

Christian Buzzwords

"Gospel"
"Faith in Christ"
"Salvation"
"New Covenant"
"Saved"
"Atone"

What do these words mean to you? What do you think they mean when others say them? What are your favorite Christian Buzzwords?

Many of these terms manage to be just nebulous enough to allow Christian leaders to talk about things without saying anything in particular... or arousing questions or disagreement in their audience. [Because a questioning Christian is about as welcome as tuna salad accidentally left in your car over a 4-day weekend in July]

For example, if a leader says "Salvation only comes through Faith in Christ." Then you may or may not agree, but at least you have to work a little before you can object. What does he (likely a he, it is, after all, a church leader we are talking about) mean by "salvation"? What does he mean by"Faith in Christ"?

If he defines salvation as "goes to heaven" and defines "faith in Christ" as "Believes only Jesus can save me from Hell" (not the only options, of course, but somewhat common ones), then it'd be a lot easier to think about the question and decide if you agree or not.

For example, how does that relate to Christ's description that several ancient Jews [who certainly could never have "believed in Christ" in the way the term is being used here] will most definitely go to heaven:
I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline {at the table} with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven;
[Matthew 8:11]

And how does that statement relate to Christ's advice given to the Jewish expert in Luke 10:28. It seems to me that Christ would have said something different unless He was willfully misleading the expert.

But instead of saying what we mean, we use these vague terms to keep everything fuzzy... because fuzzy things are harder to pin down or question.

So, what's your favorite Christian Buzz word?

6 comments:

angela aka mrs. maverick said...

hahaha, or should i say LMBO since i'm a part of Christian culture. your interests are, well, kinda interesting.
would boiling water be the same as watching water boil or are they 2 different things- and would they be in the same category as watching paint dry?
my curiosity is getting the best of me.

David Rudel said...

No, boiling water and watching said boiling are definitely two separate things.

Instead of watching the water boil, I use that time to knit with laundry lint.

spud tooley said...

'the word of God'.

nice commment at jt's site. we do tap dance around the real crux of things, don't we? that's why we get addicted to the anonymity of the internet ... imagine what the book of james would be like if it was written today.

mike rucker

David Rudel said...

Hey Mike,
Thanks.
Indeed, one belief I'm fighting is the idea that the Bible says what the Church or Christians says it does. People just seem to assume [because no one checks] that what Christians say the Bible says [or does not say] is accurate. There's this core lie that Evangelicals have the market cornered on a literal interpretation of the Bible.

David Rudel said...

I realized another one based on a comment someone made on the housing Crisis at Between Two Worlds.

Legalist

Christians like to use this term to refer to things they don't like. Legalism is in the eye of the beholder. Indeed, Christ did not berate the Pharisees for requiring people to follow the written law, but rather He berated them for not also encouraging the more important aspects of the unwritten law.

Jim said...

You should checkout the Christian Buzzword Bingo page I wrote - http://dullroar.com/CBB/ChristianBuzzwordBingo.html, or see the CBB Google gadget I created in the sidebar on my blog.