Language barriers

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.

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