Using “Christianese”

This past weekend, I was reading in the blogosphere and came upon this excellent post about preaching to students.

6 Things We Need to Learn from Youth About Preaching

In this blog Cameron Cole expounds upon speaking to students. My favorite line from the blog is point #1:

We don’t know what sanctification means, but we know about the process of growing in grace.

This is the kind of statement that is the epitome of threading theology into youth ministry. When speaking to students, you have to be careful about using “Christianese.” Yes, there are times when “propitiation” must be used, but most of the time we should look for a better way of saying certain words and phrases.

This language has a tendency to turn some students off rather than engaging them. Also, when you substitute phrases it can add color and emphasis instead of sounding above the students heads.

As I will keep saying time and time again, students can and will handle theology. We just need teach it and integrate it the right way – especially in our preaching.

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