Why Christians are really bad at communicating to Aussies

NEWS | John Sandeman
Thursday 5 May 2016

Words like “Faith”  that Christians use all the time, mean one thing to us, and another thing entirely to the unbeliever, Australian Christian leader Phillip Jensen has told the “Together for the Gospel” conference in the US.

“Sin in Australia basically means a religious view that is against sex” says Jensen. “Faith basically means superstition, repentance means feeling sorry, justification means rationalisation.

“So you preach ‘justification by faith for your sins’ and no Australian has the faintest clue about what you are talking about. When you preach the Gospel the message received is more important than the message you sent. If you send the message out in our (Christian) normal language it is just not understood.”

faith = superstition graphic

Jensen has an issue with Christians using the word ‘faith’ in particular. “Bible translators out there can you stop using the word ‘faith’? It only means superstition to the Western world out there. In Australian English, ‘faith’ no longer means what the Bible means by faith.”

In the Two Ways to Live evangelism tool that Jensen wrote he used the word ‘trust’ instead of ‘faith’. Jensen suggests that ‘trust’, ‘rely’ or ‘depend’ are good substitutes for ‘faith’.

These comments come from an interview of Jensen by US Baptist Minister Mark Dever here.

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