Explorations in Theology

The series explores a theology that is human friendly! Jesus as the true human shows us who God is, and because of his consideration for us ('who are we, that God should make note of us?') defines who humanity was created to be. The nature of sin is to fall short of the glory of God. The glory of God as revealed in the truly human one - 'we beheld his glory full of grace and truth'. This volume is a foundation for the other volumes. And there are ZOOM groups available...
Volume 2 Significant Other and Volume 3 A Subversive Movement now also available!
El libro electrónico (en Español) también ya está disponible

So go on... you know you want to!!! Order a copy Boz Publications

What words can we use?

Words have meaning. Probably the true meaning is what is attributed to those words rather than the ‘root word means’ (cringe when your favourite preacher does that). Some words, in certain contexts, probably simply become unhelpful as the hearer cannot make the adjustment needed to enable the word to be the bridge that brings across a healthy concept. Gayle and I do not use the word ‘Christian’ in Spain. One could use it, but by the time all the qualifications are put in, perhaps the listener will have switched off. We tend to use ‘follower of Jesus’, acknowledging that phrase also needs explaining. Indeed one might wish to suggest that the ‘God’ word is too loaded with meaning already to be of use! Where does one stop? (I was very struck by Michele Perry’s phrase that ‘our words create worlds’.)

In one of the Zoom groups someone said I am not sure I like the ‘saved’ set of words. Again not without validity. If saved immediately communicates ‘saved from hell / saved from the wrath of God’ we are going to face a difficulty in using it. We have moved so far from ‘saved for…’ when we use the saved set of words. (I have been so blessed in one Zoom group where there is a view shared from a Catholic perspective, and another coming from an Orthodox viewpoint when looking at such concepts.)

[And ever so important and got nothing to do with this post… to accompany the current three books in the series I have been writing some articles relating to those books. Find them at https://3generations.eu/explorations. For the techies – pages are stored in JSON files, and loaded via javascript, with the text in MarkDown format. Thought you might like to know (David in Alsace?). A lot faster than accessing a database.]

Words, can they be redeemed? Some maybe can’t or in certain contexts might not be able to be redeemed. Then we come to the New Testament. That presents another challenge to us. Here are a few words used that could be (could be??) misunderstood:

  • basileia – kingdom (of God) and Empire of Rome.
  • eirene – peace. Peace through the cross; peace by the sword (with the temple to peace built on the hill deicated to war in Rome.
  • ekklesia – ‘church’ or Roman governmental office.
  • king of kings = Caesar or Jesus (as also Saviour, lord, lord of lords).
  • son of god – Caesar or Jesus?

The terms are so obviously parallel, and used without an immediate explanation of ‘Jesus is Lord, but not like Caesar and not like…’

And the painful word ‘despot‘ – well not really, the Greek word despotes is used of Jesus and of God is used some 5 times in the New Testament. We might get the word despot from this but it does not get its meaning from the word despot!

I find it interesting that the New Testament easily used words that were in common use all with an Imperial meaning already stamped on them. They were greatly redefined though as they could only be understood through a Jesus’ lens.

Some words we might not be able to use as they have become too corrupted; some we might have to use with explanations; all words we have to use through the Jesus lens of our lives. As Francis of Assisse said

Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.

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