Viola points out that we must seek to understand the semantic differences that Christians emply when describing spiritual experiences. ”Rather than hone in on the specific rhetoric that one employs, it is better to seek to hear and understand the reality of another's experience. And to realize that they may describe it in a way that is foreign (and sometimes irritating!) to our ears.”
In much of our work across denominational lines, we run up against this type of conflicting theological jargon. It becomes very easy to get caught up in the language others use to describe spiritual truths and experiences. Language then becomes a barrier between us. We end up judging one another on the basis of the kind of language we are using to basically describe the same kinds of things!
Language. A wonderful tool, and a double-edged one, too. We know what we are trying to say; why don’t they get it? Communication is about trying to understand what the other person is saying before answering them. Easy to say, but hard to do. Maybe that’s why the New Testament says that love covers a multitude of sins.