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The language of faith: rich, complicated, historically layered

The language of faith: rich, complicated, historically layered

CNN’s Belief Blog asks, Just what do Christians mean when they use certain terms? Answers, of course, vary from person to person and denomination to denomination, school of thought, or existing political commitments.

It seems religion ceases to be interesting or useful once it hits the stage where it needs to lock in the definitions of terms for all times, places, and people. Rapture? Belief? Salvation? Anglican comprehensiveness depends partly on our ability to turn a conversation back on its ear and ask, “What do you think you mean when you use that word?” As elementary as it sounds, it’s a life-saver of a question.

Otherwise, in this great game of potato/po-TAH-toe, we could too easily wind up with that old saw by Robert McCloskey – you know, the one we memorized for school: “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”


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