Define your Terms –

Words are symbols for concepts.  Concepts are extremely more complicated than the words we use to define them and there are all sorts of issues that come into play when trying to discuss these concepts.  The slightest misunderstanding of a concept can pit two people against each other in a nasty engagement and sometimes clearing up the language is all it takes to solve the problem.

The two most common problems in my experience:

1.  Two parties using the same word to mean two entirely different concepts.

2.  Two parties using two entirely different words to mean the exact same concept.

Number 1 is probably the one I run into most often, and there’s good reason for it.  We use language so often.  We like to think that we’ve got a good grasp on it, and that we understand the meaning of most words.  In certain contexts, there are words that we all take the meaning of for granted.  We all accept the most commonly used definition of a word.  Some people, however, will take those words, in order to make a point, and inadvertently redefine them in a slightly different way (changing the concept they are describing) in order to fit in to their reasoning better.

Here’s a list of words that commonly get thrown around in discussions of God that are amorphous and ill-defined.  Anytime you see one of these words or use it, you should clarify the definition before moving forward:

1.  God

2.  Supernatural

3.  Spiritual

4.  Faith

5.  Historicity

6.  Morality

7.  Truth

8.  Soul

9.  Creation

10.  Sin

There are plenty more, but this is a good start and some of the more common things that I have seen.  Dancing around these words is what keeps people from being pinned to a particular point.

 

Kindly, inform these people that they can’t dance:

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