• Larry

    The most important of all,

    “I will pray for you”

    Go [insert expletive here] yourself. I am done talking to you and about your [Godless/not the same faith/sect as I am] ways.

  • Jack

    I have an idea for you, Laura.

    Since you’re not likely to write a book on systematic theology or presuppositional apologetics or the missiological implications of Dr. Kaiser’s historic premillennialism, why not do an evangelical equivalent of the Preppy Handbook?

    The “Preppy Handbook” was a humor book peppered with glossaries pertaining to a….. certain subculture.

    To get a visual of more of the same, decades later, go to youtube and type Tea Partay (nothing to do with the political tea party).

    You may wish to do likewise with evangelicals…….with a tip of the hat to the Preppy Handbook.

    Do the whole book on evangelicals, and include generational differences:

    Start with the founders of the country — Pilgrims, etc — and then skip a few centuries to the 20th and talk about the founders of modern post-fundy evangelicalism…..your grandparents’ generation. Poke some light-hearted fun at their “we’re-not-fundies-but-we-still-love-Scripture” stance (Carl Henry, Billy Graham, etc).

    Eventually, you’ll get to your own generation…..which you can call the “we’re-not-secular-humanists-but-we-still-hug-trees-and-have-gay-friends” generation.

    At some point, in honor of the Preppy Handbook, devote a chapter to the most endangered species in America — preppy evangelicals, meaning evangelicals from truly old-school northeastern families.

    Seriously, you’ll probably do well with that book, but read the Preppy Handbook first as a model.

  • Jack

    You’re half right, Larry.

    “I will pray for you” sometimes means “my initial response to you is go [ ] yourself and all the rest, but I am choosing by sheer will power, and hopefully the aid of the HS, to actually pray for you and your well-being…..”

    Other times, it simply means “you know, I really am rooting for this person, so why not pray for them.”

  • Shawnie5

    LOVED the Preppy Handbook as a 9th grader. And still have a weakness for blazers and topsiders.

    As a companion piece, we need a volume on new atheist lingo. Where we can collect and catalogue all the tired but persistent artifacts of the last decade or so of atheism such as:

    “…bronze-age goatherders” (actually Dawkins said “tribesmen” but his worshippers couldn’t even get that right)

    “I like your Christ…etc. etc.” (Which Gandhi never said)

    “shoving your religion down our throats” (please spare us the secret fantasies)

    “…medievalists who thought the world was flat…” (an odd claim about an age when the leading astronomical textbook was called “Sphere”)

    Just a sampling off the top of my head. Feel free to add.

  • MarkE

    You nailed it. Especially that prayer mantra “Father God” and “just” formula that for some reason seems to imply that the prayer is really, really heartfelt and honest (raw and vulnerable???) Thanks for your different perspective and voice.

  • I like the “just.” I’ve noticed that myself used as a humbling word.

    Another I’ll add is “season” (any particular time period). In the aftermath of the Mark Driscoll shenanigans at Mars Hill church here in Seattle, we heard a lot about the difficult “season” the congregation was in.

  • Maybe “just” came from “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper. I don’t know; it could happen.

    I laughed out loud at your list. Interestingly (to me, at least), I wrote about the humble/proud thing just last month: http://prinsenhouse.blogspot.ca/2015/02/proud-and-humble-kanye-tell-difference.html I think it’s more than just a Christian usage.

  • Jack

    Hi Shawnie……That’s a good idea, too…..The difference is that we as evangelicals can laugh at ourselves and our subculture because we’re secure in what we believe, but some of those so-called new atheists are humorless because many are not.

  • Wade

    Just – This is obviously a term to express intense desire (with poor motivation it allows one to sound utterly devout). There are a large number of people who do not have your talent or vocabulary to express themselves and “just” works for them because it singles out a detail of the prayer as important (though there may paradoxically be many). If there is something to complain about or recognize, it is the folly in believing in a God who only hears those who say “just”. We know God only listens to those who use much more expressive and poetic terms for their prayers.

    God shaped-hole is just another fashionable imagery. Obviously as mentioned by you, like a child’s toy which needs a triangle in a triangle hole, you have a hole in your life and the only thing which fits is God. You certainly get this, so why knock people who are using this to tell the gospel? Of course, the problem is that they are telling their version of it or you just like to insult people. No, I’ve never used that term myself.

    I’m glad no one but evangelicals are guilty of the third one. The telling of how hard life is to gain pity, then turn it around to show how strong and mighty they are in the power of God/themselves to overcome it all. How the little untidy things in life are so beautiful if we just take a look at from the angle of the cross. No moderates like myself never do that. No liberals have never been known to draw attention to their drama (big or small) and strength to sound more mature.

    The final complaint should be above you. As already mentioned, this is far more widespread than evangelicals. It shows your contempt for people more conservative than you because your annoyance lacks all objectivity. Watch an awards show for sports or entertainment and they say it all the time. Of course, it can have meaning for some awards. You can be honored and humbled at the same time. You are honored for the award of accomplishments, but with many awards it carries with it the idea that a future mission which looks like a mountain is before you. You have something to live up to. Imagine Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize early in his presidency. It was given to him first to recognize his work, but also to challenge him to greater things. He was not humbled before the people, but before the challenge they were calling him to take.

    I hope you remember that just because you do well with words, it doesn’t make your words right. That just because you were (are) oppressed that you cannot oppress others. As a moderate, I believe Jesus calls His church and people to reconciliation which requires truth and reckoning, but it doesn’t require this needless mockery.

  • Jack

    I ran into that Handbook as a kid and gave it to an older friend because he seemed like Exhibit A for the book….most of his expressions could be found in it. I poked fun at him for that, but he had a comeback when I called a certain store where my father bought a suit B squared. That was in the book, too, but I missed it. His point was that while I was mocking him for being a cultural stereotype of the book, I wasn’t completely immune from it either.

  • Jack

    “Just” could have originated as a well-meaning attempt to express simplicity….so maybe we’re making too much of its admittedly copious use.

  • Jack

    The “Father God” part is fine. Too many Christians miss the order of the Trinity and address their prayers solely to the Second Person of the Trinity. The normal order is to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name. It doesn’t have to be all of the time, but when it’s never there, it’s evidence of a profound theological error….which honors God as Redeemer but not as Creator and Sustainer.

  • Michelle

    I would also add to the list “figuring out what x looks like.” Example: “I love being a mom and figuring out what this awesome responsibility looks like.”

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  • daveeckstrom

    I commented on Part I a minute ago about the word “just”. Then i clicked over to this one and there it is! I’m not the only one, apparently. Like your analysis.