What are words?
Really, they are just names that we attach to concepts….that’s it, nothing more. What we’ve done, in the name of efficiency and ease in order to shorten the length of communication, is that we have taken these big ideas and concepts and put them in the little package of a word. Why do these big ideas and concepts have names attached to them anyhow? In a word; importance. They were concepts important enough to name, unfortunately, somewhere along the way the name become more important then the concept.
If we really have killed language and let the empty shell of it walk around casting its shadow on nearly nothing and we simply use words to fill up space with no meaning, then nothing that we say is important.
Words like justification, sanctification, redemption, and grace are no longer important. With their importance no longer important there is no reason to have to deal with the implication of these concepts.
It’s not the words we are trying to get across, it is the idea and concepts we are trying to get across.
Culture has got language by the toto.
In order to understand particular conversations, see particular metaphors, or engage in bits of language and formal discourse – it is necessary to have more then a superficial acquaintance with the language being spoken. Language and words are intimately entangled and in bed with culture. A firm grasp of the culture in which the language is embedded in is obligatory to understanding language as much as the syntax of the language itself.
Culture loves to change the definitions of words, and, unfortunately for language (because of the handy position culture has got on it), it is pressed and squeezed to agree.
We will never get the ideas and concepts that words are trying to tell us if we also don’t know the culture that is attached to those words and concepts!