The Great Quest (A Reflection on Deuteronomy 30.11-14)

One of the great archetypes of world literature is the Quest: one hero given a mission to do something that seems impossible, whether that’s to conquer the unconquerable enemy, or scale the unscalable mountain. It’s such a stirring trope to the human imagination that it forms the basis of the Hero’s Journey, the universal narrative … Continue reading The Great Quest (A Reflection on Deuteronomy 30.11-14)

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)

Interfaith Learning as Foreign Language Acquisition (Languages of God, V)

The previous post in this series on using linguistic analogies to understand religious differences talked about the idea of language games. You may have noticed that in that post I only talked about differences within a particular religion, and not differences between religions. This was intentional.  While intellectually speaking, engaging with a completely different belief … Continue reading Interfaith Learning as Foreign Language Acquisition (Languages of God, V)