Live by slang, die by slang 37

Someone get Brad Cooper a concordance or Bible dictionary. He offers this description of God’s work tonight:

God is so Amazing…. He continues to peel back new layers of Awesomeness @ Fuse*…. Tonight equated to BangORang!

I’m not even going to provide a link, but you really don’t want to know what that last word means. Let’s just say that it was too much for even the guardians of World of Warcraft.

I’m certain that Cooper didn’t have the very worst definition in mind, but when you go to the culture for words to describe God, you’re just as likely to curse him as to praise him. No youth pastor should come within a hundred miles of using this word.

Words fail me, though not as seriously as they seem to fail Cooper.

UPDATE: Commentators have pointed out that his Fuse audience would have understood the word to come from Disney’s Hook movie, and, in that context, would mean cool. See the comments for more.

37 thoughts on “Live by slang, die by slang

  1. MW Sep 4, 2009 12:01 am

    Duncan,

    No because I asked someone that I KNEW played WoW. I know one or two kids out of the hundreds of kids that I know that actually play that game. If you were taking a stats class they would say that that would be a flawed stat because I had the intention of asking someone who played WoW. Plus I only asked three kids. The main point was that they all knew the real meaning which was “awesome.”

    You are holding someones name up and causing others to doubt their integrity. Would it really be so difficult to do a post like this differently? How about a post with no name that says “What would you think if you heard someone say this…?” Don’t tell them who said it but figure out what people come up with. Throw in your two sense and watch how it unfolds. Most people on here that agree with you only agree because they don’t like Brad or Perry, and the ones that disagree are the ones that like them. Take the biased out and have a real and nuetral discussion. You know me well enough to know that I will try to be fair (especially lately), but this post isn’t fair and your thesis is way too flawed.

    You and every other person on this planet uses the language of your culture. I think you judge the language of the youth culture too harshly. The youth culture is a free spirit. It uses the same language to mean different things. That’s ok. They know context well enough to know what Brad or anyone else means when they say something. Your culture doesn’t like that because you want everything to look black and white. This culture doesn’t like or see truth in black and white. They see gray most everywhere. That’s why it takes men like Brad to do the job. Someone willing to reach into the culture, love it, live it, research it, etc. and speak to the kids in a way that connects to them and at the same time be able to give them a black and white truth on the gospel.

    By saying this I am not saying I agree with every little thing Brad does. I don’t agree with every little thing I do, but you need to back off of this guy. I like that he reaches the kids with their language. BAMF might have gone too far, so what? Learn and move on. Should we create a blog about your flaws or areas where you may not be wise? What if we did? would it bother you? would it really make you learn or would it drive you insane to ever try to live up to these kinds of standards? That’s my point. “No one is righteous, no not even one.” Rom. 3.

    I know you are trying to make points on this blog and some are really good and I don’t even mind some of the naming that you have done with pastors who have called themselves God’s but are false teachers. But Brad doesn’t deserve that kind of treatment. I really think you need to take his name off the blog for good unless he starts preaching another gospel. This kind of language is not deserving of this kind of post.

    To All,

    P.S. If you never heard BangORang before you either haven’t lived because you never saw Pan or you are too old to remember. You aren’t American if you haven’t seen Pan and don’t know BangORang. 🙂 I honestly couldn’t believe it when I saw that people didn’t know what BangORang was. That’s like not knowing what groovy meant in the 60’s. I thought everyone had heard BangORang before. Ya’ll need to grow young again. Go watch some Pan dudes!

    • James Duncan Sep 4, 2009 8:21 am

      MW,

      You say, “I think you judge the language of the youth culture too harshly. The youth culture is a free spirit.” Oh, so that makes everything OK? They’re free to do whatever they want to in church, and they’re free to refer to God however they want just because they enjoy being free? This is really one of the themes that drives the critiques on PP. We don’t think that we have as much freedom as perhaps you do to treat and talk of God however we want.

      I’m astonished that you appeal to the postmodern mindset to defend this nonsense. You write, “Your culture doesn’t like that because you want everything to look black and white. This culture doesn’t like or see truth in black and white. They see gray most everywhere.” If we’re seeing the truth as gray, isn’t that our problem, not the truth’s? Actually, you’re acting like the black and white policeman here. You insist that Brad’s vocabulary can ONLY draw its meaning from Walt Disney. Why not relax and admit that the meaning of the word might not be so black and white? It’s so freeing, I think you’ll find.

      You say that we should not be paying any attention to Cooper, but in your third paragraph (the most revealing, I think) you say that he has an extra special ability to work against the conventions of my culture (whatever that means) to reach and disciple a new generation of believers. This is a man who’s introducing the faith to scores of impressionable teenagers at one of the largest and most influential churches in the country. And that’s why we should pay him no attention? I don’t think so.

      Your argument here contains the seeds of its own refutation, which becomes apparent as soon as your fourth paragraph. After arguing that we can use whatever language we need to, you then extend that logic to Cooper’s unapologetic use of BAMF to describe God’s house. You say that BAMF “might” have gone to far. Are you really not sure about that, MW? You throw up your hands and ask, “so what?”

      “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.” That’s what.

      • James Duncan Sep 4, 2009 9:13 am

        Let’s assume for a minute that BangORang has no alternate meanings, that its only usage is in the Disney movie. Does that help? Not much.

        The first thing that struck me when I read Cooper’s tweet was that it was so juvenile (yes, I know he’s leading juveniles, but he’s supposed to be leading them, not mimicking them). He’s trying to describe a profound work of God by resorting to nonsense words. What is it about this leader’s mindset that sends him to Disneyland for the language to praise God? Why wasn’t “awesome” enough? If it really is awesome, say so and stop speaking. We need no other words.

        Beyond the word’s unimpressive origins, it’s empty. What does it actually mean? What’s its definition? I’m not talking about pointing to Peter Pan’s usage of the word. You’re assuming that because he uses it when he’s happy that it means cool or awesome. Usage, however, is not the same as meaning, though it can provide clues to it. Can someone point me to a dictionary (besides U.D.) that defines what this word means?

        That’s what I was looking for the other evening. Perhaps we must assume that the word means nothing, which may have been what made it such an easy target for an alternate meaning.

        So what are we left with? A youth pastor describing God’s work with a meaningless epithet. Is that any better than describing him with a derogatory epithet?

        Isaiah 40:18 asks, “To whom, then, will you compare God?
        What image will you compare him to?”

        Perhaps using words that God actually used to describe himself would be the safest way to do that, not the empty words of an excitable fictional Disney character.

  2. Anthony Sep 4, 2009 6:06 am

    MW – Well said. Your entire post is right on with my thoughts about this blog. I was reading Romans last night so I smiled when I read your post 🙂 I think I might go rent “Hook” today!

  3. JT Sep 4, 2009 10:00 am

    Duncan, you said: “The point, which is made in the post’s title, is not what BC meant by the word. The point is that he used a slang word to refer to God’s work, which, if you google it, turns out to mean more than BC probably thought.”

    Thanks. I’ve been waiting for you to finally admit that the point of this blog isn’t to question what your targets actually mean, but rather to criticize them for some imaginary message that you’ve twisted out of their words.

  4. James Duncan Sep 4, 2009 11:17 am

    JT, it’s even better than that. You could deduce from the 9:13 comment today that I’m criticizing him for something he DIDN’T say.

    Isn’t that fun?

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