GOD: Three Letters and a World of Problems

At the start of this series on knowing God, we need to think about what is we mean when we think or talk about God. It's fine — and necessary — to talk about God's will, God's initiative, God's revelation, and so on, but this can easily mislead us. Unsurprisingly, ‘God’ is a big topic … Continue reading GOD: Three Letters and a World of Problems

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

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

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)

Anguagelay Amesgay (Languages of God, Part IV)

The previous post in this series talked about typology. One typological system that’s been influential in theological circles over the past few decades has been George Lindbeck’s model of how doctrine and dogma function (see The Nature of Doctrine (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1984).). This typology distinguishes communities based on the attitudes of adherents … Continue reading Anguagelay Amesgay (Languages of God, Part IV)