Words Cannot Describe

I thought I would make a meme from a question I asked someone in a theological conversation: how do we assess the relative adequacy of language used to refer to God, when all human language is inadequate? [Read more…]

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Paul Gitwaza in Indianapolis

I had the pleasure of hearing Paul Gitwaza speak on Saturday at the licensing ceremony for Emmanuel Musinga, who pastors a congregation of refugees that meets in the same building as Crooked Creek Baptist Church. He then made an unanticipated visit to Crooked Creek Baptist on Sunday morning and so delivered the morning message. That [Read More…]

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How To Roll Your Rs

This is the video that I have been waiting for someone to produce for a long time. I really appreciate Justin Stoney’s videos in the New York Vocal Coaching YouTube channel in general. But as someone who has tried unsuccessfully to learn to roll his Rs, this one I just had to share. [Read more…]

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Review of Lexical Tools to the Syriac New Testament (Logos Edition)

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to review the Logos version of an incredibly helpful Syriac language-learning tool, Lexical Tools to the Syriac New Testament by George Kiraz. I used the print edition of this book when learning Syriac, and found it very helpful. It incorporates learning aids of a sort that [Read More…]

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Just Kidding

This cartoon makes a serious point. Deciphering the nuances of ancient communication, in particular things like humor, is challenging.   [Read more…]

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On Religious Language and Transcendence

Here’s another Facebook comment, this one expressing something of my view of religious language: I don’t think any human language is adequate. But I think that language which points towards and is drawn from the deepest, most meaningful, and most self-transcending aspects of our own experience is more adequate than language which reflects human experience [Read More…]

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Mythicist Language is Designed to Make Lies Sound Truthful

Neil Godfrey's latest rant includes a quote from George Orwell, and describes the fact that I will be addressing mythicism and religious freedom in a conference paper as “Orwellian.” And once again, there is no evidence of awareness of Poe's Law, as a mythicist writes things that seem like a ridiculous parody, something that no [Read More…]

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Atheism, Language, and Theology

As a follow-up to my post from earlier today about atheism and the meaning of “god” I thought I would offer here some further thoughts that I also shared in comments on that post. If someone objects to calling something or someone a “god” because that is not an accepted use of that word in [Read More…]

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In the Biblical Sense

As someone who teaches Bible, this cartoon Hemant Mehta recently shared made me laugh: It is funny that, through a series of twists and turns in the history of language, a reference to something being “Biblical” can turn it into sexual innuendo. This actually illustrates an important point about how languages work, a point often [Read More…]

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Quote of the Day (Dezső Kosztolányi)

Idegen nyelvet lehet nagyon jól tudni, de jól soha. [Translation: “It is possible to know a foreign language very well, but never well.”] — Dezső Kosztolányi in his 1922 essay “Nyelvtudás” (“Language Knowledge/Learning”) [Read more…]

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Winning Ugaritic

Jim West announced on his blog today that I was the winner of his giveaway of the brand new volume An Introduction to Ugaritic by John Huenegard. Since he said that I had the most compelling answer regarding why I deserved the book, it seemed it might be worth sharing what I wrote. I realize [Read More…]

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