Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Flog Theological Cliches

"paradigm"
"living into"
"affirm"
"shadow"
"What I hear you saying..."

We are still allowed to use the above words and phrase, but there WILL be a penalty.

25 comments:

Tiffany said...

Can we add "growing edge" and "intentional" to that list?

Cathy said...

I would love to give a penalty to teachers who overuse educational cliches.

Songbird said...

Oh, Tiffany beat me to "growing edge."

Mrs. M said...

I'm with you on all but "what I hear you saying." I'm still surrounded by a number of churches/people who couldn't give a rat's behind about what anyone is saying. It is nowhere near overused here.

will smama said...

Oh yes, mrs m, you are right. I should have added my context (which could be another word to add to the list) which is hanging out with 14 other clergy as we present exegetical and preaching papers to one another covering the next lectionary year.

It is like being back in seminary and so we are having a tendency to overuse some of those words/phrases or at least hear them a HECK of a lot more than we do in our calls.

Preacher Mom said...

I suggest we add a variation of "growing edge" - "cutting edge."

sherry said...

Sounds like a new way to play quarters.

Quotidian Grace said...

Add "resonate with" to this excellent list.

Mark Smith said...

My pastor was a big hung up on "bandwidth" a few months back.

His staff conspired to use the word in his presence as often as possible.

Anonymous said...

Even though I'm really into the ideas of moving the church from the modern era into the postmodern world, can we cringe when people use the words "Postmodern" and "Emergent" too?

I'll nominate those as one who really believes what is behind them, but is tired of the verbage.

And I think the subtitle for your post could also be "Buzzkilling the Buzzwords" because both of those frustrate me too.

cheesehead said...

What I hear you saying is that one of the growing edges, or shadow sides of our recent paradigm shift is our tendency to affirm, or intentionally lift up each other, therefor utilizing all our emotional bandwidth, instead of living into the reality that half the time we don't know what the f*ck we're talking about.

Is that it?

Rev Dave said...

Gonna have to work up a buzzword bingo sheet for our forays into study leave this summer. Is it too much to bring a cowbell along to ring whenever someone uses one of those jargon laden phrases?

The only time I want to live intentionally is when we're camping.

Rev Kim said...

Thanks, Cheese, for "unpacking" the discussion for us.

I must really be behind the times, because I don't know what "bandwidth" means.

God_Guurrlll said...

I'd like to add pedagogy, didactic and ontological to this list.

Reformed Catholic said...

cheesehead said...

What I hear you saying is that one of the growing edges, or shadow sides of our recent paradigm shift is our tendency to affirm, or intentionally lift up each other, therefor utilizing all our emotional bandwidth, instead of living into the reality that half the time we don't know what the f*ck we're talking about.

Is that it?


I see what you're saying, but that paradigm was rendered obsolete by the emerging themes of the postmodernist age. Thus, we need to change our ways of thinking to the new standards of today's thinking!

will smama said...

So in other words, thinking outside the box and having a toleration for ambiguity which is over/against the current trends for liminal space...

ok. i just hurt myself.

Mark Smith said...

"bandwidth" - in electronics, it literally refers to how much frequency space a particular signal takes up. AM radio is very narrow, FM is wider, and TV is very wide.

It's used in the corporate world to mean the amount of work that a given group can complete in a given amount of time. It also refers to the amount of information that a person can take in without losing focus over a given amount of time.

I'm not really clear on what my pastor is using it for.

Sue said...

Cheese, you're cracking me up!

WS - I was only cringing slightly until you offered up (there's another one...) "thinking outside the box"

*shudders*

Please. Make it stop!

jledmiston said...

Also:
"a heart for . . ." (gag me)

Auntie Knickers said...

Teehee! Amen to all of you!

mid-life rookie said...

I'm not clever enough to comment on this one, but I felt the need to delurk.

Barb said...

Have just come back from an intense 48 hrs working with 5 churches, 4 of whom have congregations under 10, 2 of whom are so remote that they don't have mains water supply. Even they were talking about 'getting out of the box' Lord have mercy !

St. Casserole said...

I entertain myself at clergy meetings by keeping count of obnoxious language. No one gets a prize but it helps keep me from spewing all over the table.

Glad you are having a good time.

Reformed Catholic said...

St. Casserole said...

I entertain myself at clergy meetings by keeping count of obnoxious language. No one gets a prize but it helps keep me from spewing all over the table.

Glad you are having a good time.


When I was in the Information Technology business as a programmer, we had sheets that some unknown programmer had put together listing all the 'IT Buzzwords' setup as a Bingo card. There were two or three different cards all with some variation of buzzwords.

Of course, at long boring meetings, while we would pretend to take notes, we'd be checking off this card, the first person to 'bingo' by raising their thumb in the air would get a free soda by the other players at the table after the meeting.

Sounds like its time to create one for theological cliches to use at presbytery and synod !

will smama said...

rc - bingo cards. It shall be so!