Choose a topic of your own. You can choose any sports figure (Colin Kaepernick) Main Thing: Compare how there are articles bashing him for kneeling, and compare articles on how it was a good thing for him kneeling? How do these articles tell the story? What aspect of the incident is emphasized? What things are left out? Do you see any of the people involved in the incident treated unfairly by the popular media? Do you see any component of the article in some way related to issues of race, gender, social class, or sexuality? Do you see intersections of these “power lines” in these articles—for example, black masculinity (race and gender) and middle class white femininity (race, class, gender)? Do you see any ideology being reinforced, celebrated, or challenged in these articles, for example, the American dream ideology, the dominant gender ideology, the myth of black athleticism, or other cultural messages we discussed in class?
Each essay question answer should exhibit good writing style and mechanics and be documented. The recommended length for the total assignment is 400-500 words.
Reading Questions 3
Convince the reader why your favorite movie, book, or song is the best. You will convince the reader three times, in three styles:
1. Quasilogical style
2. Presentational style
3. Analogical style
The Unit 3 Devotional focuses on the role of language in God’s interaction with mankind. Silence is also an important part of communication. What does silence communicate to you? How is your culture’s use of silence connected to E.T. Hall’s cultural patterns of low and high context? Explore the role of silence in incarnational witness across cultural barriers.
Unit 3 Devotional:
Language is a big deal.
All of our structures of meaning…
All of our ways of loving and being loved…
All of our ways of experiencing the world, ourselves, and beauty…
All of this comes through language…
Language is the carrier of culture, and the two cannot be separated…
Language is central to our identities.
To share a language is to have social agency.
To share a language is to have a voice.
To share a language is to have a home.
Read the following texts and consider the role of language in each:
Babel: Genesis 11:1-9
Pentecost: Acts 2:1-21
In the story of Babel, all the people spoke one language and united to build a tower, probably akin to a ziggurat. Ziggurats were pagan structures built with a temple dwelling (not a temple for worship) on top for the local gods. The stairs were the central aspect of the ziggurat to connect gods to the earth. Stairs were primarily for the gods to come down, not for the people to go up. A ziggurat was a common way for a group to make a name for itself. And being scattered was an unpleasant notion since making a name for yourself (identity) was tied to physical location of rituals, burials, etc.
God certainly came down, but clearly not as the builders intended! Was the scattering and language division (formation of cultures) a punishment or God’s mercy? If God didn’t allow them to all stay together with one language and reveal himself in that context, why would he seemingly make it harder for them to know him/find him by scattering everyone?
Language seems to divide in the story of Babel, but then we move onto our Pentecost passage and it appears language is intended to enhance clear and effective communication. The common summary of the Pentecost account is that there was a whole bunch of people who couldn’t speak to one another because of language differences, the Spirit helped the Apostles speak all those languages, therefore, impossible communication was made possible.
However, historical context tells us that Israelites gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost could certainly function just fine linguistically as visitors and re-settlers to Jerusalem. There was linguistic diversity, for sure, but all would have been able to communicate effectively in the trade languages. Furthermore, language miracles were not required elsewhere in Acts with the same population of listeners. So if no language miracle was required, then why did the Spirit do this? Did multiple languages actually make things more complex and complicated? After all, some marveled at what God was doing, others thought the disciples were drunk.
Finally, read Revelation 7:9-12.
Contextual notes regarding Babel summarized from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible.
Bullet points about language and contextual notes on Pentecost are from theologian Dr. Aaron Kuecker’s notes for his chapel address at Trinity Christian College chapel on January 20, 2017.
For your devotional post this week:
Share additional observations and analysis from the three passages about God’s use of human language in the Bible.