Wednesday, October 5, 2011


The October 3rd issue of The New Yorker has an article by John Colapinto entitled Famous Names. Colapinto explores what makes a great name for a product and then goes on to the creative process of how to generate names. We can be seduced or repulsed by a name.

Naming has power. The Bible says so. God gave us power to name things. When God renews people, he renames them. God withholds his/her name from us so we do not have power over God. Jesus tells us that name-calling can be akin to murder.

We can lie or at least avoid the truth with names – Peace Keeper Missiles, passed away, pre-owned cars, etc. We can reduce real, live people to less-than-sexy categories with names; fat, poor, sick, unemployed. Categories don't make us feel bad. Real people in pain can make us nervous. Labeled a failure, people and projects fail. Beloved fills one with life. Names have power. For good or ill.

You have power today. Name faithfully. Name in love.

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