Over the recent past I have been quite vocal in encouraging the removal of jargon from our public church life. If we use a word that has a particular nuance when uttered in Christian circles we ought to say so and explain. So I have said.
Now I have been grappling with James K.A. Smith's, Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? It is an excellent little book although demanding concentration and careful thought the while. Probably no less than you would expect from a book sub-titled, Taking Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault to Church.
In chapter three, 'Where have all the metanarratives gone?' (I sense some of you closing down at this point) he draws on an analogy made by Quinn Fox in an article in Perspectives magazine called Liturgy and Starbucks. Coming to faith in coffee, they say, requires learning a new language. Let's call it Italiatte, I say. People who previously asked for a coffee now have to ask for a grande skinny latte or a tall mochachino with an extra shot.
They're right. From time to time I have taken people out for a coffee who have not previously set foot in a Starbucks and had to educate them. I don't have too much of a problem with this. Why am I so scared then that someone might encounter a liturgical language in church used without explanation. Is it off-putting? Or is it being invited into a different world? Rethink time.