The New Lexicographers

“If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.” – Confucious

lex•i•con (lek’si-kon’) n. 1. A dictionary. 2. A specialized vocabulary.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about the language we use as Christians, and how what is meant is not what is said. And what is said, is not what is meant. I find myself more and more frustrated at my lack of good and true words to communicate my thoughts and beliefs. The lexicon of my youth and early adulthood no longer expresses my true heart, and not only so, but the lexicon has been used to manipulate, corrupt, judge, condemn, isolate, ostracize, polarize, abuse, and oppress. The list could go on, but you get my point.

How do we move from the lexicon of our fathers and mothers and their fathers and mothers? Are we willing to commit to the hard work necessary to form a new lexicography? We need to address this question and open up the conversation to begin to dismantle words which no longer hold true to their meaning. We must become the new lexicographers… charting our words for future generations, carefully, thoughtfully, and honestly.

What are YOUR thoughts on this? How will this change the language of our churches? What about how we interpret scripture? Where does this leave us as the inherited church? How do we move forward and what will our language be???

Please leave your comments below and join the conversation!!


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