Canon Mark Oakley was delivering the Donald Barnes Memorial Lecture, arguing for a renewal of theological language.
The Canon, who is responsible for the educational and outreach work of the Cathedral, explained that a priest’s vocation ‘is not about giving information’ but helping ‘formation’ and ‘growth’, adding that ‘the Church is always in danger of such deadening jargon that means little to the uninitiated’.
He said that talk of faith and God is ‘so often at the moment polarised’ and ‘beaten into crass characterisations and then fired like bullets’.
This leads to ‘a lot of bumper-sticker theology, soundbites on God that we’re meant to honk at if we agree or just drive by if we don’t’.
“We are not here to resolve the mystery of God but to deepen it. We are not to reflect jargon and cliché – the devil is in the drivel when logos have turned to slogan,” he said.