Careless Words

2 Timothy 1:13
“Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”

The apostle Paul told Timothy that he should “hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me”. Words are very important, and it is very easy to miscommunicate by using the wrong words. For example, I was a teacher in government schools in England and Wales for many years and well used to teaching students the science national curriculum. So one day in church, discussing dinosaurs, I remember referring to them as “prehistoric animals”. This was just a label – I have accepted the truth of Genesis and creation since my teens. But the word “prehistoric” has almost new use within a biblical creation worldview because there is no extended period of time before human beings existed on Earth. And in any case, dinosaurs were created on the same day as humans, so the term pre-history really cannot apply. 

Some misuses of words are slightly less important, and I should balance what I say next against Paul’s later instruction to Timothy to “charge them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit” (2 Timothy 2:14). However, another word, the use of which should cause us to take care, is “microevolution”. Evolution literally means change, but in the popular mind it refers to Darwinism. If we suggest, therefore, that the adaptation of the original dog kind into wolves, dogs, foxes, etc. is microevolution, then many people think that we are allowing for a kind of Darwinism. Far better to refer to adaptation or speciation rather than microevolution.

 Prayer Lord, help us to use words that are clear and thoughtful and that can be understood. Please let no one stumble because of my poor choice of words. Amen. 

Author: Paul F. Taylor 

Ref: Arguments we think Creationists Should Not Use, < >, accessed 8/31/2017. 

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