Sunday, July 31, 2005

Is Christian an adjective or a noun?

I know, it's a little thing, but that's the point of this blog. Little things sometimes have large impact.

In the pastor's sermon this morning, he shared an illustration of a gangster who became a Christian. As time passed, he demonstrated little in the way of life change between the way he lived before and after his decision. When asked why, his reply was along the lines of "I've met Christian doctors, Christian lawyers and Christian businessmen. Why can't I be a Christian gangster?"

Not a bad question, huh? This prompted the idea that the gangster considers the term "Christian" to be an adjective. And I've heard others express the same thought, just never thought of it that way.

If Christian is an adjective, it modifies what follows. That's not bad, however, if it is a noun, it describes something deeper. It describes one's very being. Nouns both exist and do something. The term then describes one's identity and actions. And the action must be congruent with the characteristics of the identity.

In this case, it seems to me that it's better to be a noun than an adjective. Just a thought. A little ordinary perhaps, but as I think about it, it becomes extraordinary.

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