On the whole issue of John Piper recently blurting out the word ass at Passion07 I think the Jolly Blogger sums up the situation and takes a balanced position on using strong language.
Give it a read. I'm not advocating Christians everywhere starting to use strong language but I'm not going to condemn Piper for using it. Should he have used another word for it? Perhaps, but that's the word that came to mind and that's the word he spoke and he was trying to make a point. Rather, it seems like the point may have been missed and the focus became the use of this word.
Jolly Blogger makes a strong point when he stated: My main concern in all of this is that we in the church often display, or seek to attain, a kind of super-spirituality, ultra-piety and over scrupulousness that goes beyond what the Bible requires. Plus, there is something in us that just needs to feel offended at others. He goes on, I also think this sends a bad message to anyone who stumbles on discussions like this who are considering the Christian faith. I can imagine someone seeing this stuff and thinking, "my goodness, if I ever embrace the Christian faith and have a little slip of the tongue I'll probably get hammered for it - no thanks!" I doubt they would be impressed with our convictions and our spirituality, nor do I think this would entice them toward the faith. Peter Leithert contributes to the debate in his blog by clarifying the crucial passage on this issue, Eph. 5:1-12. In some sense, its good that this has come to light so that we may all examine this again.
Not long ago I sat in a class with other middle-age Christians like myself. The teacher is a pastor, well educated, and very interesting. While discussing one of the early Pelagians he started to stumble trying to find the correct word. He tilted his up and uttered, "What he said was..., was..., was just bullsh*t." I was of course caught off guard and thought at first I mis-heard him but I know I did not. I looked around the table and no one batted an eye. I have not heard him use a word like that before or since. But somehow, it was the right word then.