I’ve been writing about words lately… how ubiquitous they are… their value… their meaning… Theological words need to be reexamined from time to time as well. Some are in danger of losing authenticity because of our westernized, individualistic thinking. Following are some theological words with a more typical meaning and then with what I think are translations that reflect a more holistic/Biblical and also more post-modern view italicized. These ‘updated’ definitions are not, of course, the complete and final say. But it gets us going in the right direction I think. (I adapt this idea from Dallas Willard so there’s nothing really original on my part. You can learn more about him at dwillard.org.)
Discipleship – One who is serious about church involvement. Whole-heartedly pursuing Jesus.
Salvation – Going to heaven, not hell, after death. Being immersed in the individual and corporate work of God here on earth and for eternity.
Grace – God's forgiveness for our sins. Accomplishing what we cannot do on our own.
Love – A feeling. Ordering our lives around God’s design and wanting the best for others.
Kingdom of Heaven (Of the four Gospel writers three use the phrase, ‘kingdom of God’, and one, Matthew, uses this phrase, ‘kingdom of Heaven’.) – The perfect realm that will exist at the end of history. The present availability of God working in our lives. The ‘here and now’.
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