J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

Murder Was the Case that They Gave Me

Murder-Mystery-c-StockxpertCS Lewis in his book “Studies in Words” coins the term “verbicide” or the murder of a word.  He says, “The greatest cause of verbicide is the fact that most people are obviously far more eager to express their approval or disapproval of things than to describe them.” Essentially, many folks come across a word in which the initial, clear-reading definition appears to offend.  Instead of pursuing meaning and application, the temptation is to reject what the word means because the reader does not like the potential impact to their thought/belief system.


In today’s world, this happens all the time.  Throw out words like liberal and conservative, and people can tell you what they don’t like about the other without entirely pursuing the meanings attached.  Categories are easier than conversations.


When applied to study of God and scripture, that means that often we encounter difficult truths about God and the initial response is to either instantly like them because it fits our system or dislike them because they do not.  Unfortunately, pursuing a detailed explanation of what we don’t like doesn’t happen as often as it should.


Habits like this are fostered in most every system, denomination, and theology.  Pursuing words like predestination, election, tongues, gifts, elder, covenant, etc are necessary to being intellectually honest to our selves, intellectually honest with others, and even more importantly, intellectually honest with God and His scriptures.


Where might there be areas where you categorize the scriptures instead of pursuing theological depth?  Where might you dig deep where you have only swum in shallow waters?

This article also appears at the Raleigh Examiner.



November 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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