Behind me, many leagues down a long and forlorn road lay the ruins of a city. Years have passed since a raucous mob burst through gates once thought impenetrable and pulled down walls once thought insurmountable. In the interceding years, rains have washed the fire-blackened soot from the streets. Ravens and swallows have built nests in the partially exposed timbers of burned-out houses. Rabbits have built warrens beneath the stones of the empty square and squirrels scamper along upper ledges, gracefully bounding across the void when they encounter a collapsed facade. No people reside here anymore: they all died in a futile attempt to defend the doomed polis as torches set it ablaze, fled in terror at the destruction, or else departed in its wake to seek greener pastures elsewhere. With that description, it would certainly be easy to look upon this scene in sadness and remorse, but not so for me. Were I to travel back along that rutted road to the place I left long ago, I would not see the remains of a place once happy and vibrant, but one that was full of oppression, confusion, and heartache. I would feel neither regret nor loss, but something akin to a soaring contentment, perhaps not unlike to the sort of feeling a freeman might experience were he able to look from a place of safety upon the decrepit estate of his deposed former master. This city is not a real place, as you may have guessed by now. It is instead a metaphor for something that once existed within and held great power over me but does no longer. That thing would be my faith. Continue reading
Note: Unless you find language or history interesting (and/or have an appetite for mostly-useless trivia), this post will probably be incredibly boring to you.
In doing research for my senior paper, I came across a book with a chapter titled A Brief History of the English Language. It wasn’t information relevant to my research, but I found it interesting and read it nonetheless. In the section on Old English, as an example the authors had shown how the Lord’s Prayer was written in Old English:
Fæder ūre þū þe eart on heofonum,
Sī þīn nama ġehālgod.
Tōbecume þīn rīċe,
ġewurþe þīn willa, on eorðan swā swā on heofonum.
Ūre ġedæġhwāmlīcan hlāf syle ūs tō dæġ,
and forgyf ūs ūre gyltas, swā swā wē forgyfað ūrum gyltendum.
And ne ġelǣd þū ūs on costnunge, ac ālȳs ūs of yfele.
Sōþlīċe. Continue reading
As of 5 p.m. this afternoon, 22 of my Facebook friends had shared this video on their walls–or, I’m pretty sure it’s timelines now, but whatever. It was uploaded to YouTube two days ago and already has almost 2.5 million views. This is unfortunate, because it demonstrates the degree to which the word “religion” has become a pejorative and used to describe what could be most accurately billed as “legalism.” Furthermore, it highlights the ambiguity associated with “religion” when that word is tossed around by Christians (usually non-denominationals) who claim to be up on Jesus but low on “religion.” As the British would say, that’s bollocks, and I’m about to tell you why. Continue reading