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The Map is Not the Territory

I mentioned at the end of the last post that I hoped in this series on Knowing God to provide something of a map for the topic. While I hadn't been thinking in these terms when I wrote that, it helpfully reminded me of the saying of Alfred Korzybski, "The map is not the territory." … Continue reading The Map is Not the Territory

Knowing God: Introduction

Over the past couple months, I have written about the conceptual relationships between religion and spirituality and language and linguistics. While my educational background in linguistics means that these connections fascinate me, there was a reason for doing this deep-dive beyond my own interest. Thinking about God and faith through this lens is essentially about … Continue reading Knowing God: Introduction

By Our Own Words (A reflection on Luke 19.11-28)

There’s an old episode of The Simpsons in which Homer, having sold his soul for a donut, is brought to Hell. Specifically, he is taken to Hell’s “Ironic Punishment Division,” where he is force fed donuts for all eternity. Of course, being Homer J. Simpson, the joke is on the demons: he goes on happily … Continue reading By Our Own Words (A reflection on Luke 19.11-28)

Rules and Paradigms: Another look at prescriptive grammar

Way back at the start of this series, I talked about the difference between descriptive grammar, which discusses a language as it is, and prescriptive grammar, which discusses a language (someone says) it should be. While prescriptive grammar is often — and rightly — maligned for being artificial (for example, English speakers have been splitting … Continue reading Rules and Paradigms: Another look at prescriptive grammar

A Marriage Made in Heaven (A Reflection on Revelation 19.1-10)

One of the most pervasive images of salvation in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament is that of a marriage, with God as a bridegroom making the faithful his bride.  Marriage, of course, means something quite different in our context than it did in the Ancient Near East or classical Mediterranean world. In … Continue reading A Marriage Made in Heaven (A Reflection on Revelation 19.1-10)