Saturday, August 07, 2010

Good quote on language

Okay, so this quote kinda came out of left field for me. I was listening to NPR's weekend edition today and they were interviewing Robyn, the Swedish Pop singer who had a few hits in the US back in the day. She is still way popular in Europe. Anyways, she was asked why she writes her songs in English and what she said blew me away.

"When you know a language really well, it's almost like you stop questioning what you're really doing."

It's likely that Robyn doesn't really know the full weight of what she said. When one thinks about "language" and "question" in a theological or philosophical way, this quote gains some momentum.

My first thoughts turned to the reality of Christian worship because that is where I think language and questioning are most valuable. Christian worship poses the question par excellence in the form of a cross (crux probat omnia). The cross is the language of Christian worship. Most of the time we think that worship is about our words to God. It's not. It's about His words to us, although we do speak. We speak in the form of response. We speak when spoken to, in a sense. The other side of this is to say that language without an end (telos) is mere rhetoric (words for words sake). Christian worship is charged with language that is going somewhere. It has an end and it speaks to it. We speak the language of Christian worship (another language, a Kingdom language) so as to not forget what we really doing.

No comments: