Sunday, January 10, 2010

A New Entry in Christian Vocabulary

OK, here's where I play the part of the compleat geek. There's a word which originated in a science fiction work (Robert Heinlein's Stranger in A Strange Land) that has been achieving wider and wider usage aided by this medium, the world wide web, that English speaking Christians would be well advised to start adopting. It's not a pretty word but it encompasses something we just haven't got in the English language. That word is "grok."

wikipedia describes grok like this

To grok (pronounced /ˈɡrɒk/) is to share the same reality or line of thinking with another physical or conceptual entity. Author Robert A. Heinlein coined the term in his best-selling 1961 book Stranger in a Strange Land. In Heinlein's view, grokking is the intermingling of intelligence that necessarily affects both the observer and the observed. From the novel:
Grok means to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed—to merge, blend, intermarry, lose identity in group experience. It means almost everything that we mean by religion, philosophy, and science—and it means as little to us (because of our Earthly assumptions) as color means to a blind man.
Yup. There's something missing in our concept of knowledge (as in "Do you know God?") that this word could definitely fill. For years we've pussyfooting around with the dichotomy between heart-knowledge and head-knowledge and still, both of them elude us. The closest thing in English, is the word 'get' as in "Do you get it?" but even that doesn't describe the true 'Holy Grail' of our quest. Do you grok God the Father? Do you grok Jesus? Do you grok the Holy Spirit? (Nuff Said)

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