Language

Princeton Trades Classics for Diversity?

"Imagine a software engineering class that doesn’t make students learn computer code. That should give you some idea how ridiculous it is that Princeton University is no longer requiring classics majors to learn Greek or Latin. Not zoology students or English majors, but classics students. You know, the folks who study Greek and Latin culture." - Breakpoint

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Peoples and Languages, Not Political Boundaries

More than ever before we need to see cross-cultural missions as advancing the Gospel among peoples and language groups, not merely reaching those within certain political boundaries. This distinction is becoming increasingly important as our world grows integrated through a global economy and technology. Peoples and languages, not countries—this is what I would like to emphasize.

COVID-19 has taught the world how easy it is to lock down whole countries, to control the flow of travel. Internet “footprints” and rapidly developing facial recognition make it so that people can be easily tracked and known. That means that it is now easier than ever before to keep people out that a country doesn’t want in and keep people in that it doesn’t want out. Many of us have been sensing where all of this is headed, and thoughts about the end times are on our minds.

Even before this past year, I was already quite burdened to communicate about this topic. Countries have already been denying access over its borders because of political contention or religious fanaticism. We talk a lot about “open” and “closed” countries when discussing missions. Is there a way to think about missions that will help us more effectively reached people in and from those “closed” places? Yes, there is!

1334 reads

Oxford Dictionaries Change Definitions of “Man,” “Woman”

"After a petition gained more than 34,000 signatures, Oxford University Press ... either removed or labelled certain synonyms as 'offensive, derogatory, or dated.' Some of those terms are indeed offensive and vulgar, but they didn’t stop there. They then went on to add that a woman 'can be a person’s wife, girlfriend, or female lover, not only a man’s.' Similarly, the definition of man has been updated from 'a woman’s' to 'a person's husband, boyfriend, or male lover.'" - AiG

920 reads

What Do You Mean?

One of the most frustrating aspects of the recent civil unrest in America for me, has been trying to figure out what people mean by what they say. Am I at fault for failing to understand the plain meaning of simple words, or are the words themselves intended to obscure the real intentions of the speaker?

I am beginning to suspect it’s the latter. It seems that words are being used in a manner intended to hide, not reveal what the speaker actually means.

Defund the Police

Consider the catchy slogan, “Defund the police.” What does that mean? It sounds like the abolishment of police departments by eliminating their funding. If money for salaries, training, headquarters, equipment and vehicles is withdrawn, there will no longer be any police. Am I wrong for thinking that’s what “defund the police” means? But no, several prominent politicians have assured us that “defund the police” doesn’t mean get rid of the police, even if that’s what it sounds like. It really means reduce some fraction of present funding by shifting it to other purposes such as social work or reduction of poverty.

Well, that’s reassuring. At least we should be able to have an honest conversation about whether police officers could be more effective if they were not expected to deal with social problems. Still, one wonders exactly what that means as well. How can the police know if a call for help involves social problems before they respond to the call? I’m not sure I understand exactly how this is supposed to work.

1784 reads

Can We Talk? A Brief List of Annoying Expressions and Verbal Fumbles

Whatever Happened to Literal Hermeneutics? (Part 2)

(From Theologically Driven. Read the series so far.)

This blog post is fairly ambitious, seeking to answer two questions: (1) How can we prove the existence of universally “received laws of language”? And, assuming they exist, (2) Who gets to decide what those laws are in the absence of an explicit biblical statement of those laws?

My answer to the first question may seem a bit unnerving, but hopefully I can make a recovery with the explanation. My answer, simply, is that we can’t prove the existence of universal laws of language. That’s the nature of a transcendental—it can’t be proven, only assumed. But what we can do is to demonstrate that people universally observe certain laws when they use the medium of human language; in fact, they cannot cogently do otherwise. This is what logicians sometimes call “transcendental” argumentation.

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