I love words; reading them, writing them, or learning about them and his book is all about them.
Sacred Words Are Vanishing
Jonathan writes on “religious” and “spiritual” words. And, as I listened to him read it aloud (he reads the audiobook himself and that’s the only way to ‘read’ this book in my opinion), I couldn’t stop saying one word, “Yes”. I said it over and over as he strung words and sentences, describing what had only been undeciphered thoughts in me.
He writes that words, specifically sacred ones, are vanishing. Whether they have developed a negative connotation, hurting instead of healing, or have been overused that they no longer have clear meanings; they are ceasing to be.
As he deconstructed words I’ve grown up hearing and saying in Church, I heard my undeciphered thoughts making more sense. Of course, I’m not the only one who ever questions repetitive and vague clichés. Or feels like wincing when I hear certain words said in sermons, prayers, or in conversations about God to the point of avoiding them completely when I speak. I’m not the only one to struggle at Speaking God with anyone who didn’t grow up knowing the “Church” language.
He makes it clear: sacred words are vanishing, for very real reasons.
But he doesn’t stop there.
How We Can Revive Them
He shares his own journey in Learning to Speak God from Scratch and it’s best described as pruning. Some sacred words need to be cut away for good, others need to be trimmed to regrow. While this is subjective and personal, he adds that it shouldn’t be done completely alone. Input from trusted people who know the journey you’re on should be accepted openly.
The purpose of reviving sacred words is to make them heal instead of hurt again, they should be tools instead of weapons once more. It should be done thoughtfully, and intentionally.
Sacred words can and should be revived:
When we lose our spiritual vocabulary, we lose much more than words. We lose the power of speaking grace, forgiveness, love, and justice over others.
I already want to re-read this book, and I’m already on a journey of my own of learning to speak God from scratch.
I give this book 5 out of 5.
If you want to read it too, see if your local library has it, or you can go get it on Amazon.