Monday, September 25, 2006

A Dirty Word

For many believers, the word "revisionist" is a dirty word. It is primarily associated with liberal theologians and historians who reinterpret and revise sacred and historical documents, disputing and negating factual evidence in order to serve their own liberal agendas. Obviously, this kind of revisionist activity is just flat-out wrong.
However, it is important to recognize that genuine revision is needed when it becomes apparent that change is occuring, that present institutions are ineffective, or worse, obsolete. Most recoil at the thought of revision simply because it is like taking a wrecking ball to the place where we live and find comfort and security. It is destroying what we've put our trust in, even, in many instances, our own misplaced identity. Therefore, many reject revision outright, unknowingly, to their own detriment.
Pete Ward, in the introduction of his book, Liquid Church, is very forthright in declaring that his book is revisionist. I'm sure there are some who, reading that statement, would put the book down and proceed no further, failing to recognize that to revise is basically to correct or improve.
Ah, to correct or improve! So the real connotation of "revisionist" is quite positive, but we have perceived it in a negative light because of guilt by association.

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