Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2012

Freedom from English

Here's the transcript of my talk at the 세바시 on Freedom from English. This is an approximate transcript that I prepared for my talk, so that they could provide Korean subtitles for listeners. My delivery was kind of unnatural and sometimes not so fluid, because I had to give my speech from a memorized script.

Freedom from English I remember several years ago, I was at a bus stop near 왕십리 [Wangshimni], when some high school boys came up to me, wanting to practice English. But as they opened their mouths, all they could say was, “Hi... I like kimchi... I love you” - and then walked away quickly, giggling, and embarrassed. Sadly, they studied English in school for many years, yet they could not say anything meaningful – just a few simple, awkward phrases, not knowing that it is not appropriate to say “I love you” to stranger.

I often hear of how Koreans spend so much time, so much effort and so much money on studying English, but with such poor results. In fact, English has become …

세바시: Freedom from English

Alas! My talk has been posted on Youtube. I gave this talk at 세바시 a month ago, on "Freedom from English."

I talk about how English education has become such an obsession in Korea, that it has actually become a form of bondage. This speech describes the difficulties and misconceptions of learning English as a second language, the motivational problems that are prevalent here, and some steps to freedom. I hope your friends can be blessed by it. Later I'll post a transcript of the talk.

Theological limericks

This post is updated with a few more limericks.

I'm not a Calvinist, of course, but if you're familiar with Calvinism, you may find the following limerick to be cute - about a brand of hyper-calvinism.
Franciscus Gomarus
Was a supralapsarius;
He actually gave Adam an excuse.
God had decreed, foreordained Adam’s deed,
God had precooked Adam’s goose.
And a couple of Catholic or high church flavored ones...
With a fear of divine retribution,
You are seeking the priest's absolution.
Show remorse and regret?
He'll forgive, not forget,
What you did to deserve execution. ...
It's hard to describe the frustration
We derive from our priest's cantillation.
His liturgical text
Makes us bored and so vexed,
When he stops, he receives an ovation.
For a bit of historical flavor...
In Christology's greatest debate,
The Antiochene school carries weight.
"Our Lord Christ," they opine,
"Was more flesh than divine."
Alexandrians say, "Now, just wait!"…

Cat allergies

A solution for cat allergies...?

추석 [Chuseok] and ancestor rites

Chuseok is a harvest festival, similar to Thanksgiving, which involves family reunions, eating, and in some households, ancestor worship rites. Ancient Koreans did not know the one true God who was to be thanked, and as in many other cultures, they turned to developing other spiritual identities (see Rom. 1, Acts 17), and instead gave thanks to the spirits of their ancestors. Nowadays, Korean Christians use this opportunity to thank God for family and divine blessings. Christian families hold memorials instead of ancestor rites, to express thanks to God and to remember the deceased.
But some Christians find themselves caught up in family conflict, when their non-believing families insist on their participation in ancestor worship. How believers in non-believing families are to respond is difficult, and sometimes controversial. For Asians, familial piety and relationships are especially important, and a Christian does not want to be a poor witness by violating this, but at the same t…

Gossip, accusation and spiritual warfare

Paul once wrote to the Corinthians, “For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder” [1 Cor. 12:20]. Gossip is diagnosed as a serious spiritual problem, not a harmless form of conversation and social entertainment, as many in the secular world would view it.God views it differently. Gossip is the opposite of the love and grace that God wants to display in our lives.
Gossip is often exaggerated (and thus, untrue), or outright fabricated. Even church people engage in gossip in a seemingly sanctimonious guise (“We really ought to pray for X – you wouldn’t believe what he told me yesterday!...”). Whether secular or “christianized,” gossip betrays trust. “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret” [Prov. 11:13]; “A perverse person stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates clo…