1) I thought everyone kept a respectful tone in their comments, which I appreciate. Because most of us have been greatly influenced by the modern era, we tend to feel that the things we believe are part of our identity. The modern era placed such a huge emphasis on knowledge and being right, so we tend to take it personally when someone tells us we’re not right or when our long-standing beliefs are challenged.
2) We can all use more practice when it comes to disagreeing with each other in a peaceful way – hopefully yesterday provided that.
3) Words and their meanings change over time, usually subtly, sometimes drastically. I would challenge everyone not to become wed to a particular word in order to convey a concept because, especially these days, the perceived meanings of words are changing all the time, faster than ever. None of the English words in the Bible are sacred in and of themselves – Jesus did not speak any of them specifically, word for word. They are simply our best interpretation of what was said in the original language. If we’re not keeping our finger on a word’s pulse of meaning, if we lose touch with how most people are defining a word, we could very well be conveying a message we don’t want or mean to convey.
4) Communicating a concept requires that the communicator maintain some sort of flexibility depending on the audience and situation. Jill touched on this in the comments of yesterday’s post – in a foreign country, if you don’t speak the language, you’ve got to come up with creative ways of communicating. Sometimes, based on our upbringing or background or socioeconomic status, we are speaking “different languages” from other folks, even if we both speak English. If you are trying to communicate a complex set of ideas (like how to build a nuclear power plant, or what being a Christian means), be prepared to get creative in the language you employ.
What words do you think have lost meaning, or changed their meaning, in our lifetime?