The speaking of another’s language signifies a life lived in submersion and in submission to another’s cultural realities. Nothing is as humbling as learning the language of another in which the very rudiments of daily life must be identified in the signification system of another people . . . .Those who heard the words of cultural intimacy on the day of Pentecost were invited to act on the meaning of this event. They must choose Jesus and be baptized in his name. The narrative of Acts shows that this early church event remained fundamentally in Israel, so that the disciples did not realize the ramifications of speaking the languages of others.
Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), 266-267.
[Read the Introduction to 95 Theses for Christian Racial & Ethnic Unity here.]