Sometime in the recent past I ran across an article in which Dallas Willard suggested the possibility that some of the language we frequently use has developed a popular understanding that does not necessarily communicate the true intent of the language. He suggests developing a "new dictionary" to help us refocus on the meaning of several words. While one may not personally use what he describes as the popular definition, one would be hard pressed to deny that this is the meaning much of the world ascribes. Below are 5 words that he suggests need to be redefined, with the popular definition in italics followed by his revised definition:
Popular - One who is serious about church involvement.
Willard - One learning to live their life as Jesus would if he were they. An apprentice of Jesus.
Popular - Going to heaven, not hell, after death.
Willard - Being caught up into the life that Jesus is living right now on the earth.
Popular - God's forgiveness for our sins that takes away our guilt.
Willard - God acting in our life to accomplish what we cannot do on our own.
Popular - A feeling of desire for, or to act nicely toward, another.
Willard - To will the good of another.
Kingdom of God
Popular - Heaven, or the perfect realm that will exist at the end of history.
Willard - The present range of God's effective will, where what he wants done is done.