An accidental blog

"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Friday, 22 September 2006

Phrases Christians should avoid

  • Full-time Christian ministry: it implies that some are not involved in Christian ministry - we are all full-time for God!
  • Secular: what does this mean? All of life is religion - the only thing secular is sin.
  • Laity: it implies that there are some second-class Christians. The Scriptures know nothing of the distinction of clergy and laity - we are all saints and we are all priests.
  • Nature: it's not nature it's creation. Nature implies some autonomous entity that exists apart from God.
Any other suggestions?


John Dekker said...

I've come to dislike the word "nature" so much that I've stopped talking about the "supernatural". I don't believe in the supernatural because I don't believe in the natural.

Steve Bishop said...

Thanks for that John - an excellent point.

Paul Otto said...

Even Kingdom Service tends to imply that some Christians do it and some don't.

I agree on the creation-nature distinction, but it sure takes the wind out of the sails of some great hymns once you become sensitized to the issue.

Steve Bishop said...

Yes, it does rather! There are some hymns and choruses that really make me squirm. For example:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Baus said...

But we need suggestions for replacement terms too. Creation is nature (although the supratemporal 'heavenlies' is also creation, so by nature is often meant 'temporal creation').

Secular can also be an ideology or practice that imagines a non-religious sector of life.

In stead of "full-time Xian ministry" we should go back to the terms distinguishing the ecclesial "ordained" minstry (elders/bishops[pastors/teachers] and deacons) and non-ordained. In political community we properly distinguish between "rulers & subjects" or better, "government & citizenry". This distinction holds in almost every societal sphere. The church has it too.

So, I don't mind "clergy" for the ordained and "laity" for the non-ordained. Laity is derived from a word for "the people." Clergy are the "clerks".

Leslie Carbone said...

seeker-friendly, for a concept that is more aptly termed "seeker-centric"

worship, when what is meant is only the musical part of the service

Jeremy Pierce said...

I think we do need a way to refer to those who get paid to do ministry, as opposed to those of us who get paid not because what we do is ministry but because of some other reason. It's true that the second category ought to be seeing everything we do as ministry, but there is a distinction here that's worth recognizing. Thsoe we call full-time ministers are being paid to do what they do precisely because it is ministry. I am ministering through teaching philosophy at the college level and challenging students and philosophers in a way that I hope serves the gospel, and the way I live my life in these settings and everything else I do will ideally be part of my ministry. But I'm not getting paid to do what I do because it is ministry. I just happen to do it in a way that I intend will also count as ministry.