Education, that serious world of retention and detention, of stimuli and alumni, now offers Ruleg. Ruleg is a system of programmed learning. It presents the learner with a concept, or rule, followed by a number of examples, or egs. (If your Latin is up to Vatican standards, you will surmise that an eg is an e.g., which is short for exempli gratia.) Programmers are now counting responses to see which should come first, the concept or the eg.

If statistics show that we should begin by adding egs, a new recipe will be necessary. What this inductive approach should be called, I’m not sure. Since examples may lead a learner to formulate an abstraction, something like Extraction or Egnition might serve. Gelur is a possibility—Ruleg in reverse.

Pastor Peterson has long been practicing both Ruleg and Gelur in his sermons. Either way the egs abound. He insists that E.G. would be a better degree than D.D. to keep the practicing preacher down to earth. For every egghead who follows abstractions there are a dozen eg-heads who need an example.

But the Pastor regards the Ruleg-Gelur controversy as a case of Big and Little Endianism. Swift was satirizing theological disputes when he described the Lilliputian controversy as to which end of the egg ought to be broken. Today more people seem dead serious about education than about religion. Big and Little Endian movements rise where they are taken seriously.

“The Bible,” says the pastor, “is concrete and abstract at once. What statement could be more concrete or more abstract than ‘God is love’? Or, for example, take the parables.… By the way, do you know the Negro spiritual, ‘Set Down Servant’?”

“Certainly—‘my soul’s so happy dat I cain’ set down!’ ”

“What Scripture does it refer to?”

Since ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.