Words have immense power—and that fact is in part the inspiration for this blog’s new direction. Words are the most malleable, understandable, and thorough means that we have to communicate with each other. And if there is a “God-Song” playing all around us, words are without a doubt the most common notes that we use to express that song to each other and to others, not to mention to commit our songs to “communal memory” (i.e., words are how communities expresses the stories and rituals that help them define who they are).
And yet, most people would agree that words can get it wrong… In fact, our words can flat-out blow it. And now I speak with at least a little more authority on this, being married. I’m becoming quite the expert in miscommunication, actually. I like to think of it as a gift.
We all know that miscommunication is EASY… disturbingly easy. Yet for some reason, sometimes we pretend that its not an issue in the church, in theology, and in our scriptures. Sometimes, we are tempted to see our words to express these things as “holy” words, that are self-defining, immune to miscommunication.
Part of what I’d like this blog to accomplish is to start dialogues surrounding the use, and the potential MISuse, of our “holy” terminology… how we often assume too much in our “God-dialogue,” how that might lead to serious misunderstandings, and how we might begin to re-think our definitions and usages.
As I write this, my lovely wife, who ALWAYS communicates perfectly with me, and I are making our way to our new home in Huntsville… via California wine country, Chico, Tahoe, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Lubbock, and San Antonio. (Yes, that does involve going backwards for a significant amount of time. We’re visiting friends and family in Nor-Cal prior to our somewhat-scenic drive home, in case you were wondering.) So I will post my first example of what I’m describing, hopefully, this weekend after we get a little settled.
Until then, I’d love to hear any thoughts or feelings anyone has about my premise. Where do you notice the power of words? Do examples of miscommunication in the church come to mind?