Posts Tagged ‘elephants’

Not too long ago I was sorting out over a decade’s worth  of paperwork in our study at home. Some got re-filed; loads got shredded  – but this image was salvaged.

Unity killed the elephant

Found in the magazine of CABTAL

CABTAL (or the Cameroon Association of Bible Translation and Literacy) is essentially Wycliffe Bible Translators in Cameroon. I have happy memories of visiting their centre in Yaoundé and travelling upcountry with CABTAL colleagues to visit the Oku project.

The elephant drawing is brilliant, but the text may be hard to read. It says:

When hunters unite, they plan on how to kill the elephant. This traditional wisdom reminds us that together we stand, divided we fall; just as it is not possible for one hand to tie up a bundle.

and then the article starts…

What is true for the elephant and the bundle also holds for Bible translation.

Unity or partnership obviously led to the downfall of the elephant at the hands of  traditional Cameroonian hunters, but it is vital if the Bible translation task is to be completed. Thus our Wycliffe Vision…

Vision 2025

A partnership of organisations, churches, individuals, skills, experience… under God’s guidance.

WordleSo let’s get together and evict the elephant in the Bible translation room!

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Twilight of the Giants: Botswana 1989 Franz Lanting

The national animal of Cote d’Ivoire is the elephant.

The Ivorian football team is known as les Elephants.

One of the Ivorian national team Saloman Kalou comes from the village of Bouhitafla just down the road from where we lived in Cote d’Ivoire for eight years.

We visited several Ivorian game parks – and never saw an elephant. The closest we got to seeing one was (a) an alleged footprint and (b) an alleged elephant dropping!

So I just couldn’t resist this photo that I found on the BBC Africa website.

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Stranmillis elephant

The Stranmillis Elephant

Thank you to friend and Baptist pastor David McMillan for drawing my attention to the latest in public art in Belfast.

Is it an elephant? What do you think? You can follow David’s analysis here.

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I’m sure you’ve heard the story of how six blind men meet an elephant. I came across it again recently – here it is…

Six blind men encounter an elephant – although how they knew that it was an elephant the story does not recount. The first touches its trunk and says that an elephant is like a palm tree, another touches its side and says that an elephant is like a rough wall. Another feels its tail and says that an elephant is like a piece of rope. Each comes into contact with a different part of the elephant[2] and is convinced that their own explanation is correct and that the others are wrong. None of them realises that they are all experiencing just one part of the same elephant and that none of their explanations are complete.

The story is supposed to explain how different religions experience different parts of ‘God’ but none realise that they have just a part of the truth about ‘God’.

As a Christian I don’t agree – for a start I don’t wish to put the God of the Universe  in inverted commas!

Chris Knight at bethinking.org offers an updated version of the blind men and the elephant in the zoo which I am much happier with and think is worth a read

The problem with this interpretation of the parable is best phrased as a question: How does the interpreter know that every religion is just a part of the overall conception of God? In order to know this, one would have to be able to see God in all his fullness and understand how each religion reflects just a part of that complete picture.

The updated story of the blind men and the zoo

Here is an alternative version of the story, which to me rings far more true about mankind’s search for God.


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