From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

Top 10 Misused English Words

I’m an amateur writer and amateur lover (pun intended) of the English language. So it needles me when I hear the language misused – the use of the non-word “irregardless”, for example. So I was intrigued when I read this post by Andrew Pepper on the Top 10 Misused English Words, which I commend to you.

There’s no scientific survey or poll here, just Pepper’s opinion. But his opinion elucidates several misconceptions about words such as “refute”, “enormity”, and “decimate”. The last one I knew, having taken Latin in high school – to decimate means to reduce by 10%, not “destroy” as in common use. Come to think of it, I guess that means tithing decimates your income!

So what does any of this have to do with God or theology? It has to do with precision and accuracy. God, of course, is deeper and wider than any of our language. No matter how precise we are, there will always be more God to understand, always more to distinguish and describe. But is that any reason NOT to pursue greater knowledge of Him? We become satisfied with vague, general thoughts about God – unexamined and undistinguished thoughts which may not be false but are simply undeveloped. And what kind of relationship with God does that describe? Unexamined and undeveloped. I certainly hope that my wife or children have more than a vague, general relationship with me! The desire for greater knowledge, greater precision is simply a reflection of the desire within us for the thing itself.

We are, after all, to love the Lord our God, not have a vague sense of ease or affection for Him. And we’re to love Him with all, not some or sorta, of our minds. So I encourage you to let the love of the Lord draw you deeper, and with greater precision and accuracy, toward Him.


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