I found a great post from Chris Anderson about words that in today's culture have lost their meaning. Here's his top 5:
Anderson goes on to explain why these words have lost their value:
"So here are five words that I would suggest are usually meaningless in a world where the populations we're talking about are limitless in size and diversity and doubling overnight (just add the word "blogs" after any of them and you'll see what I mean)"
Those words "limitless in size and diversity" resonated with me as I think about the challenges I face in communicating the Gospel to believers and non-believers. Even within churches with a relatively homogeneous racial population, a great amount of diversity exists: modern vs. postmodern minded, thematic vs. inductive teaching, visual vs audio learners, the list goes on and on.
Communicating Gospel-defined love to a modern-minded, inductive-teaching person would look radically different than to a post-modern minded, thematic-teaching person. Since you cannot say the same thing 3 or 4 different times to capture the various audiences, one is almost always alienating someone when they are communicating.
I've heard it said that when one is sharing the Gospel, that person needs to address both believers in it and non-believers. I would add that one should acknowledge modern and postmodern paradigms. The shifts and differences are so dramatic, it seems worth it to add some contextualized implications to both audiences.
Here are 8 more that Anderson says obscure meaning more than add meaning:
- Is/Are (statements make general declarations)
- Virtually all or Practically none