Thornton Wilder once wrote these prophetic words:
"The revival in religion will be a rhetorical problem -- new persuasive words for defaced or degraded ones."
This seems to me to be a much more potent problem than many of us believers grasp. Sometimes, I think of faith as like looking at an old and famous painting for so long that it becomes impossible to see it any more. By see it, I mean see it with eyes fresh to its core meaning, open to its ambiguities and associations, and prepared to be shocked by its audacity.
I think of the term "incarnation" - a word that has come to seem like tired dogma. But what can it possibly mean that God became man? How is that different from God infusing all of us with love and hope and sometimes such overwhelming power that we lose all sense of ourselves? What made Jesus so different, so more remarkable than all the rest of us sons and daughters of God? To non-believers I know this must seem just insane; for those of us trying to get past the staleness of our faith, it's a pressing challenge.
Mockingbird blog touts Paul Zahl, mentioned on the Dish before, as someone engaged with this issue. The video above speaks for itself. There are more here.