Nine point nine posts out of ten I enjoy Dan Phillips of Team Pyro fame and I’ve started frequenting his blog. He’s almost always got something worth reading up. In the comments of a recent Biblical Christianity: Denominational (or otherwise) inquiry“>post he pokes fun at two folks who use the word “conversation” in its typical form. Here is a thesaurus entry from Webster.com for conversation
Text: talking or a talk between two or more people
Synonyms colloquy, dialogue (also dialog), discourse, discussion, exchange
Related Words banter, cross fire, give-and-take, repartee; conference, parley, powwow; babble, chat, chatter, chitchat, gabfest, gossip, palaver, prate, prattle, rap, small talk, table talk; roundtable, symposium; debate, deliberation
Defined, a conversation is—again according to Webster—an oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas (2) : an instance of such exchange : TALK b : an informal discussion of an issue by representatives of governments, institutions, or groups c : an exchange similar to conversation
I am a little ticked that the emergent/emerging folks have hi-jacked this word for their own use even though what they use if for probably falls under “c”. I’ve browsed through several sites, posts, and comments that talk about the emergent conversation and it seems to pretty much just be small talk. Their conversation seems to be sort of a euphoric cloud of spiritualism in which they can walk around, or at least their heads. It’s not actually deep enough for all of them to fit.
I was also reminded during the three or four seconds that it took for me to look this up that conversation used to mean conduct or behavior but that’s now obsolete. I’m hoping that the concept of conversation as we know it today won’t someday come to mean, ‘a group of self-proclaimed non-theologs sitting around talking things to death and calling it church’.
Here’s Ephesians 4:17 – 4:24 with the Kings English version of ‘conversation’ in the text:
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20But ye have not so learned Christ; 21If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Personally I think that’s the conversation we should be concerned about. Even a quick look at the church today will show that we’re not.
“…the word of God is not bound.”
–2 Timothy 2:9