insider language pt. 2

Yesterday I was talking with Joseph and he told me a funny story about a conversation he had not too much earlier that day. He was on the University campus and was approached by a group of Asian girls who were trying to ask him something in pretty broken English. Eventually he realized that they wanted to know where the bathroom was and so he said, "Its down the hall about a stone's throw away."

The girls just looked at him and he realized that they had no idea what the phrase 'stone's throw away' meant. These girls were coming from a different culture which spoke a different language. Joseph had to adjust what he was saying if he was going to connect his message with their ears.

The same is true when you and I talk to people about the Gospel. We need to remember that most people do not know theology-speak. We need to be smart about the words we use and choose images and phrases that will connect with our friends in their cultural context. This doesn't mean we never talk about hard things or ask people to stretch in their understanding. There is a time for that as well, but for the first go round we should be sensitive to the language our listeners speak and try our best to connect with them there.