Evidence for Creation -- From Language to Tongues
Within a few generations of the Flood, a universal language enabled the descendents of Noah to build the World Trade Center of Babylonia. Aiming to “make a name” for themselves, they laid the foundations of a skyscrapered-megalopolis in the plain of Shinar. The enterprise was a double affront to God. Not only were they shirking God’s command to “fill the earth,” their monolithic tower was a bid to achieve divine-like status through human effort.
The divine response was quick and effective. The language God had given Adam and Eve was atomized into a multitude of “tongues,” thwarting communication and putting an end to the ambitious urban project. Thus began a deepening of the alienation man had experienced with the Fall.
Evidence for Creation – Language Loses Meaning
With no common language, mankind was forced into tongue-centered enclaves. Enclaves became cultures that, over time, became increasingly isolated from each other with their own set of social customs, conventions, and values. Within each culture, language, which had created culture, was being changed by culture. Still under the conviction that truth existed and could be apprehended through language, new words, and new meanings to old words, were introduced reflecting changes in cultural needs, attitudes, and beliefs.
But the malleability of language and the relativization of truth gradually led to the denial of language as a carrier of meaning. According to the late deconstructionist Jacques Derrida, a linguistic expression is nothing more than a string of characters with no fixed truth content or relevance. Ironically, Derrida, and his fellow deconstructionists, spent decades writing libraries of books and essays, filled with, uh, language, to educate the logocentric masses with the “truth content” of their philosophy.
From Eden to the philosophy wing of modern universities, language is a gift that ever points to the Giver. The Lord of Hosts is also the Lord of language, whose gift is given that we may have fellowship with Him and, in fellowship, know Him.
Compliments of Regis Nicoll. This article first appeared on BreakPoint at www.breakpoint.org.
Regis Nicoll is a Centurion of Prison Fellowship’s Wilberforce Forum. He is a columnist for Breakpoint, Salvo Magazine, and Crosswalk and writes for Prison Fellowship’s blog, The Point. He also publishes a free weekly commentary addressing the pressing issues of the day.
This article is also available in Spanish.
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