AMBIGUOUS: lacking clearness or definiteness; obscure; indistinct:


Ambiguous is a word that can have a couple of meanings.  One is that it is a word that describes a phenomenon when one or more definitions can apply, such as the illustration to the right.   Is it a beautiful woman or is it Bill Clinton waxing jazz on a saxophone?   The point is that […]

AGILITY: physical or mental quickness


I suspect that most of us think of physical activity when we hear the word agility.  In my case it has to do with that quality which has never been attributed to me.  Agility in physical activity implies that the person has lithe, flexible moves, making (him) capable of twisting, turning, and bending to do […]

ANGELS: celestial beings who serve God

Over the past week there have been numerous comments from people reflecting on the tragedy in Connecticut which have referred to the role of angels.  For the most part, grieving people have said that the 20 children gunned down in their classrooms have “gone to Heaven to be angels.“  It is a convenient idea which […]

BÊTE NOIRE [beyt nwahr] : a detested person

I find it hard to identify someone as a “hated person.”  It’s a really, really awful thing to say about someone, meaning that the person has no redeemable qualities.    That’s what is meant by a bête noire.  This is an (obviously) French word that has come over into the English language intact…even the circumflex accent mark […]

THEOLOGICALLY DEPRESSED: to suffer from depletion of a positive attitude toward one’s faith

There is an extensive range of arenas of depression, ranging from social, economic, sexual, post-traumatic, post-partum, and numerous others.   But I’ve never encountered the idea of theological depression, at least not in any kind of academic or instructional form.  I “googled” it and found that there are, indeed, a number of articles about depression and […]

“PHONY THEOLOGY”: an arrogant judgment needing response

I waited several days to be sure I wasn’t just reacting emotionally.   But the arrogance of the comment by Rick Santorum, the leading vote-getter (for now) in the Republican Party’s attempt to identify its candidate for the Presidential election, won’t let me delay any longer.  I’ve had to sort out whether I’m responding as a […]