Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Inside Knowledge

Over the weekend we hosted a Junior Doctor, so there was a lot of medical talk in the house. Chatting about ECG's and ABG's and DEF's and any other medical abbreviations. The girls knew what they were talking about, but I was completely in the dark. Insider knowledge that excluded non-medics. Not that I minded, as I'm probably a bit squeamish about medical things - watching Casualty is a problem for me!

But it has got me thinking - do we in the church also have an internal language which we all understand, but that makes the Christian faith unintelligible to outsiders? The words sin, grace, faith, salvation, sanctification, justification, antinomianism, predestination, etc... may trip off our tongue, but do they exclude the unbeliever?

I'm not saying that we need to stop using such words - the root of the human problem is sin, after all - but perhaps we need to take the time to explain what we mean when we use the words? In preaching the word, let's hope that we aren't part of the reason unbelievers remain unsaved.

*** There are no such things as DEF's - just a comedy invention for the purposes of this posting. The others apparently do exist.


  1. Hey, Dan and I were having this conversation (or a very similar one) earlier this morning in relation to a Bible Study he's doing with a young man here. It's true, we use so many words that we just expect others to be familiar with....BUT..."antinomianism" has NEVER just tripped off MY tongue!! P

  2. Forget about transub.. thingy, Here's something I was asked to define recently, as I was leafing through my new biblical dictionary. "Anglican", had me stumped.
    God Bless. MrsMcF

  3. Aw Primrose, you disappoint me! No, I don't think I've ever used it either, but it sounds very grand.

    Mrs McF - Anglican is a hard-to-define word... given the current crisis, we're seeing that it means different things to different people.