Okay, this post should probably be called “Language and theology . . . sort of” but I didn’t want to put that many periods into a title.
As I mention in both of my sermons and as is completely and unavoidably obvious to anyone who knows me, I love language. I am limited to the English language, which is actually kind of pitiful, so I love the English language. It is a medium sized hobby of mine to keep an eye on the language to see what is happening to it and how my society is debasing all kinds of very useful words and rendering them useless. The word I use as an example in today’s sermons is “awesome” a word which has been rendered virtually void of meaning. There are other words that I am sure you can think of so I’ll leave that up to you.
There are some words that haven’t been all messed up yet, I think I mentioned a while ago that Philip Yancey puts “grace” into this category and I agree with him. The word that I am focused on today is “faithful.” This is a word that has maintained its positive connotations and, what is more, most of its meaning. What does it mean to be faithful? Is it more than not cheating on your partner? Yes, it is. The point I am hoping I made in these sermons is that being faithful is a fundamental quality of God; a quality on which we can depend.
Knox Presbyterian Faithful
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Faithful
On the off chance you are interested in how I became interested in words this way, assuming for the moment that I wasn’t born with this interest, it can probably be traced back to C. S. Lewis and his discussion of words in Mere Christianity. That interest was further fed by his An Experiment in Criticism, both of which I heartily commend to your attention.
PS I will be out of the country next week so there won’t be any sermons up here. I don’t make any promises that I will put anything up while I am away but if something strikes me that needs to be blogged about, I’ll be right on it.