Over time the meaning of the words we use can drift, the way that we use them can shift; the stories we tell may faithfully use the old language, but horribly misconstrue their meaning in the new contexts we are in. Fifteen hundred years can allow for quite a bit of drift! An important effort of the Reformation was to rethink traditionally held definitions. Not in an attempt to simply change existing ones for newer
ones, but to refine them for greater accuracy.
We must stop using traditionally defined words, concepts, practices, definitions, strategies, models, and methods without any significant and comprehensive reflection.
We must start defining words, concepts, practices, definitions, strategies, models, and methods in light of God’s Kingdom power and purpose revealed in the Cross.
This is a process that provokes a tremendous emotional response in those who look on; sacred cows will die, perhaps even our own; and so some fear and trepidation is expected. But, as we watch others play with matches near our cherished traditions, we must clearly state this, “We are not lighting a match to destroy our definitions, but to see them more clearly, and then compare them to the truth.“