Thursday, February 10, 2005

A few words about words

While reading, it's common to come upon phrases or even sentences which catch my attention and become powerful meditative tools for days or weeks. But Gregory Feeley, an author and blogger, weighs in with an intriguing personal experience in which, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, he is told by a friend about a support group which promotes the phrase, "I am not broken." Quickly Feeley replies that he is definitely broken, "But I still work."

His final words in the post caught my attention:
Interesting how we can be moved by phrases that possess rhetorical power. Say it figuratively or with great concision, and it sounds true.

I think as a minister, I am guilty of doing just that. I suppose we all are at one time or another. I recognize the need for change if the Church will be effective in the 21st century. But we must continually reflect on the true meaning of the things we do and say, lest we become trapped by the "rhetorical power."

Many things inherent in what is becoming known as the emerging church feel great -- not too differently from the emergence of the charismatic movement last century. Where we fail as the Church is to do this because it feels good to us, and let true meaning dissolve.

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