Reflecting on a number of articles in the ChurchTimes this week I realised how many of our discussions in public life revolve around finding accommodating forms of words. Whether it be loyalist unhappiness with 'the war is over' and 'our weapons are beyond use' or liberal Christan discontent with 'Christ died for our sins'; whether it be Nigerian Christian disagreement with the possibility of homosexual orientation being lifelong or one of my own clergy colleague's hesitation about a sentence in the baptism service - these things all get solved by words.
My thoughts go back to teenager C (when he was a teenager) who said, and I wrote it down, 'Christians are always arguing about words. They say 'nah nah nah, I'm not having that word in my church I'm starting a whole new church.''
Not for nothing did the bumper sticker say, 'Ask a teenager while he still knows everything.' It was a while back so we can forgive the exclusive language just this once.
But why not? Other strategies have failed. I'm going to ask teenagers to solve more of the world's problems. They feel invulnerable enough to risk almost anything so why not let us risk them making the world a safer place.