That guy would make a good preacher! You know what I mean? 🙂
It is interesting how communication morphs… different is not necessarily worse, change is not necessarily negative, and the ability of language and communication to flex and remain relevant is more important than rigidity. English has become a world language in part because of its flexibility. Elizabethan English while more rigid is not better nor more accurate.
BTW… to point out the obvious, while poop DOES emerge, it is also shaped by the intestines and the anus, so clearly one could also say that poop is reformed. I’m not sure that poop’s characteristic of emerging is any more relevant than it’s reformed shape. I guess it’s good that poop DOES emerge, as it’s better out than in, and its good that poop is reformed, as it peristalsis would be challenging and painful if it were brick shaped.
1. I agree..the issue though is whether we gain anything by making language as a concept so flexible that it retains no meaning, or rather all reality is created and retained in language…which is where we seem to be.
2. Wow that stretches the analogy disgustingly far…
I think that what many folks who are digging into their beliefs… deconstructing, inspecting… are doing is healthy and good. PART of doing that is linguistic, do the words we read MEAN what we think they mean. The term “gentleman” has morphed considerably in the last few hundred years. Some folks talk about this in terms of “should” or “shouldn’t”, which belies a belief that folks are being purposeful in changing the meaning of words. I think the changes are more drifts than controlled actions.
Folks who never reconsider their beliefs are subject to the drift as well, but the language that they are using does not reflect the truth they believe, or at least the language does not mean to anyone ELSE what they mean. Take “born again”… in Christian circles, for many Evangelical Christians, it means that someone has invoked the incantation of the sinner’s prayer. Others in the faith believe that “born again” means surrendered to the transforming power of Christ. OUTSIDE the faith, “born again” means ignorance only eclipsed by simultaneous arrogance. Almost no one agrees specifically what it means, although many in the faith have definitions that are not identical but are similar and include many common aspects.
Yeah, the analogy thing. I have been around enough emergent folk to know that most of them find criticism like the title of your blog hilarious, and when reading over the posts of most emergent folk, the tone is generally not angry, defensive, and suspicious. I think they laugh at themselves well. They have a good sense of who they are, and tend not to be defensive. Places with Reformed roots, on the other hand, tend to be shrill and suspicious, go from zero to pissed in six words flat, and tend not to be capable of laughing at themselves. So when I read “Emergent Poop”, it clearly reminds me that poop was Reformed first. Had poop not BEEN reformed, it might be emergent would be unnecessary… might be we’d all just have colostomies, and poop would just appear… everything was ok, then, suddenly, nothing smells right.
Ultimately, I think that language IS flexible, but that despite the flexibility, we all have no problem with making ourselves clear to each other and to the world. The spread of the Gospel is not dependent on static linguistics.
I also think that the communication of the faith happens less BY language, and more by the love that flows through us from God. Sure it’s partly language, but most folks aren’t argued into trust in Christ.
I feel like you are arguing a point that no one else is..maybe that is because language is so flexible :)…at any rate no one is arguing against contextualizing…only that there is indeed something to contextualize.
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