Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 20 20:18:21 UTC 2009

I believe there are plenty of entries in OED that devote separate
definitions to various slightly different senses of the same term. That's
the model that IMHO should be followed here, rather than conflating them in
a single entry.

Well, maybe I'm wrong. Here are the relevant defs under "christian (adj,

    A. adj.
    1. a. Of persons and communities: Believing, professing, or belonging to
the religion of Christ.
    2. a. Of things: Pertaining to Christ or his religion: of or belonging
to Christianity.
    3. Of persons and their qualities or actions: Showing character and
conduct consistent with discipleship to Christ; marked by genuine piety;
following the precepts and example of Christ; Christ-like.
    4. Of or belonging to a Christian or Christian.

    B. n.
    1. a. One who believes or professes the religion of Christ; an adherent
of Christianity.
    2. One who exhibits the spirit, and follows the precepts and example, of
Christ; a believer in Christ who is characterized by genuine piety.
    4. Used as a denominational or sectarian name.
  Pronounced christian [with macron over first 'i'] it was assumed as a
title by a sect which arose in America. Among the names of religious
societies in England and Wales certified to the Registrar General occur
‘Bible Christians’, ‘Christians owning no name but the Lord Jesus’, and
‘Christians who object to be otherwise designated’.

m a m

On Sun, Dec 20, 2009 at 10:13 AM, Dave Wilton <dave at> wrote:

> I don't think the definition is sloppy or careless. It may be unsatisfying
> to those who have spent many hours debating fine intellectual distinctions,
> but it reflects the general use of the word. In any field you will find
> general definitions that are at odds with the jargon. This is just another
> case of that.

The American Dialect Society -

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