Over the last couple of years, I have grown to appreciate and even adore Christian Worship music. It was not a genre of music I have ever liked, even when my comfort level of Christianity began to increase. I experienced the language of mainstream Christianity through a conditioned lens, not yet transformed enough to re-work the language into more developed meanings.

Lines like “Jesus is my Lord and Savior” or “How He saved my soul” never had resonate power with me; and most of the time caused me to cringe. I knew I had to find some way to make peace with the language if I ever hoped to deepen my understanding and become an instrument for its evolution and transformation.

So through my contemplative practice, I would enter into a space of receptivity and await Gods help to re-shape the meanings of such lines, and many others, so that I could appreciate the art just as much as anyone else. In reality, I feel that such a practice is instrumental in deepening our experience of God, Christ, and our true nature as Sons and Daughters of God.

Words to Live by and Words to Grow With

The Bible, as I am learning, is a very sophisticated collection of literature. Learning how to read it is an important part to understanding what exactly it says. And the journey of reading the bible [as well as the many commentaries] is a life-long journey.

However, I don’t for one moment believe that the Bible is the “be all, end all” of the Truth; rather, I see it as a single piece of a very intricate yet fully unified puzzle with parts from every culture and continent the world over. And just as the people who practice these traditions develop and grow, so to should the language we use to describe and communicate our ever-deepening spiritual experiences continue to develop and evolve.

It is for this reason I would like to begin a running blog series, alongside and within the series of Emergent Christianity, which specifically focuses on the development of certain concepts and/or words which are frequently used in mainstream Christianity, and revisit them with an Emergent lens.

I would like to invite others to share some of the words or phrases that have them hung up, and even perhaps how you have been inspired to change the meaning of these words or phrases to increase resonance within you.


4 thoughts on “The Emergent Christian Lexicon

  1. I’m so like you in that I sometimes recoil from certain words that have negative connotations for me. “Worship” is one that is hard to get past. So is “evangelical.” I study A Course in Miracles (in addition to the Bible), and it uses much of the same language but with slightly different meanings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. Its interesting, however, if we look at the root meanings for these words, their use is pretty accurate. To worship, for instance, is to “make worthy” or ” to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion”.

      In this sense, to “Worship God” is to recognize His True Value, and the value of His Creation. The practice of Worship then, would be to ‘love what God loves’.

      I too am a student of the Course, though it remains a personal practice for me, which what I learn from it is applied to my many other studies.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very interesting take on the meaning of the word “worship.” Than you, Ryan.

        So in the Course’s view, I can give extravagant respect, honor, or devotion to my brothers as they are part of God’s Creation. And here’s the kicker for me: They are completely worthy no matter what the world shows me, no matter what I view as their sins, and no matter what actions they take. Seeing them through the eyes of Christ instead of the eyes of the ego has been an ongoing challenge.


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