Linguistic Levity

October 16th, 2011

It is true that by reading only our posts one would not perhaps learn of all the difficulties of living in a different part of the world.  However, we would prefer to emphasize the positive dimension and the adjacent joy that belongs to the Christian.  See my critique of joy versus happiness (inner/outer; independent/dependent/ meaning/chemical).  So, in this little post we shall narrate a fanciful moment that happened to us recently; make some comment about what resistance looks like when people reject the message; and, we will close with some photos of some Milanese students who have chosen to study the Scriptures with me on Friday afternoon.


Recently, I found myself standing in line at the local supermercato when the couple behind me, thinking that I was Italian, asked whether I knew if the chocolate that they were buying was an Italian chocolate.  Since the gentleman was English and his wife was Japanese, I pulled out my expression from The Three Stooges, Curly Joe, to be precise—

“Why certainly!”   The gentleman erupted into laughter.  Another foreigner, he thought.  His wife replied, “I was surprised when you spoke perfect English!”  I said, “Believe me, The Three Stooges do not speak perfect English.”

We have been learning from Jesus in John chapter 4 this past month.  Some of this data pertains to how the message of Christ is or is not received.  When it comes to resistance in the human experience, as pertains to the gospel message, we have come to realize that the classical defense mechanisms apply very well.  Resistance, at the end of the day, may very well involve at least some part of the following: regression (regresso), repression (repressione), and rationalization (razionalizzazione).  We mention these components to resistance because when one encounters resistance it is important (a) perceive it as such, and (b) possibly even to expose the fallacy to the individual  being taught.  Typically, we have found that people are not always aware of how overt these factors have become in their lives.  Pointing these out exposes potential barriers to “hearing” (akouein= to hear).  Hearing, in the gospel accounts, is a large issue with Jesus.  Some can hear, and some cannot.  Why?  Well, it appears that regression is a type of reverting to a former way of living or thinking.  This is not limited to children.  As to repression, this is distancing oneself from some aspect of the message.  We see this all the time; that is, choosing to relegate something about living for Christ into a remote something else—something else far a field from following the Master.  Then, we have rationalization.  This is sheer manufacturing of excuses (yes, even intellectual agnostic type avoidance of the Lamb of God).    Put this all together and resistance is, in brief, a blocking of the message.  Ciao!

La Cena

English Students

La Pranza