Doggone Metaphors

June 20, 2007

Keven Bussey recently wrote about the need for new metaphors in Christian discourse. Citing my book (For God's Sake, Shut Up!: Lessons for Christians on How to Speak Effectively and When to Remain Silent) he argued that "believers need to find new metaphors." After listing a few examples of metaphors, he then wrote:

I think we can make a greater impact on our world if we talk to them in a language they can understand.
Amen! He is absolutely correct.

In that vein, I wrote a column that Ethics Daily ran today which examines a troubling metaphor used recently by Bobby Welch. It is entitled "Doggone Metaphors." Welch said that evangelists need to be like "hunting dogs" instead of "lap dogs." I argue that such a metaphor is inappropriate and presents an unhealthy view of evangelism.

Meanwhile, Sam Hodges at the DallasNews Religion blog responded to the piece by asking if instead of hunting or lap dogs maybe we should use the metaphor of "sheep herding dogs." And someone else commented there that maybe a "Rescue Dog" metaphor would be even more appropriate. Both of those options would definitely be better than Welch's "hunting dogs."