Language choice is key. What you choose to say to others is important. Using foul language, for example, has no place in any society, except to display the poor character of the speaker. We hear off color jokes, privately told at the water cooler, as well as routines on Comedy Central (cable television). We overhear snide remarks made to a co-worker. We hear defamatory lyrics that top the music charts. The choice to use foul language is pervasive; so also is the cultural norm to accept it as part of the fabric of our society – a stained fabric, but nonetheless, a fabric of our society.
How we speak makes a difference, not so much for others, but for ourselves, in the view of our own self-worth. Read more…
I have become all things to all, to save at least some. — 1 Corinthians 9:22
Is there a more challenging place in America for sharing the word of God than the pro-life arena? There’s always that “gotcha” impulse, on both sides, with people waiting to jump on each others’ misstatements or awkward phrasings or just plain outrageous assertions. I know one activist who has dedicated his life to pro-life work because he thinks aborted babies go to hell. He may have saved some babies, but I’m skeptical that the dear man – and he is a dear man – has touched the hearts of any adults with his cockeyed theology.
I have a vocabulary with which I’m comfortable when I’m talking about the life issues. Pro-life, not anti-abortion. Pro-restorative justice, not anti-death penalty. Preborn, not unborn or “fetal,” however clinically accurate “fetus” may be.
And yet if I am to be all things to all people, my vocabulary has got to expand. How far can I take that and still deal in truth?
But there are St. Paul’s words: all things to all. He didn’t say be a word snob.
Today, I was challenged by someone who objected to my use of the term “preborn.” Not trolling, but a sincere objection. Why not “unborn”? Why not “fetus”?
While I’m edging out of my comfort zone, I’d like to hear from people who’ve learned more about the art of dialogue.
Read more here.