Category Archives: Answers to your questions
Based on real questions from the viewers and readers not only here but all over the places I write. Some of these were also answered elsewhere, but especially YouTube doesn’t give enough space for a decent answer to most good questions.
Please don’t ask me private questions unless it is on something really private, as otherwise I will probably not answer unless I’m allowed to share it wider. That doesn’t apply to people I know in real life or to people seeking spiritual guidance.
Reader Jarad Mayers wrote the following very good question:
I want to learn Mandarin. I am not sure how to go about it. This is the very first language I am attempting to learn. I have not done anything yet. I am on very tight budget and currently not employed. I tried to access the free material on Mandarin (http://fsi-language-courses.org/ )but it is no longer accessible . I was wondering if I could use your experince and if possible sort of outline the steps I need to follow.
BTW, I am not sure where to post my question. I am sorry if this the wrong place for posting it.
I’ve prepared the answer as a table – it is a whole programme to 80% of Chinese that you’d need to get your degree, read newspapers, live an everyday life in China. The rest after that comes down to vocabulary building for which I’d recommend the goldlisting of dictionaries or of bilingual literature. You could spend four times as much time getting from 80% Chinese to 100% Chinese (ask Vilf “the Gilf” Pareto, he’ll tell you why, or might have done, until 1923 – now you’ll have to look up what he thought in order to know why, or simply accept it).
Real Chinese philologists like Victor Berrjod might give you other useful sources better than the ones I have listed. All of the ones I have listed are available on Amazon. The audio courses are expensive so it will pay you to shop around a bit.
Dzień dobry, Panie James!
Właśnie obejrzałem oba filmy wideo na temat Gold List i jestem pod ogromnym wrażeniem! Moje zeszyty są już gotowe do użycia, ale pojawiło mi się kilka pytań.
1. Metoda opiera się na krótkiej pamięci, która zanika po 2 tygodniach. Jak to możliwe, że potrafię zapomnieć, co przed chwilą komuś napisałem, a te słówka będę (w jakiejś części) pamiętać tak długi czas?
2. Czy jest to dopuszczalne, bym podczas zapisywania, tworzył pierwsze lepsze skojarzenia czy to już jest ta nauka, której w tej metodzie należy unikać?
3. Załóżmy, że wpiszę dzisiaj słowo. Po jakim czasie, średnio, zniknie ono człowiekowi z zeszytu? Pytam, ponieważ czeka mnie matura w tym roku i zastanawiam się, czy zdążę po prostu tą metodą się uczyć słówek.
Z góry dziękuję za odpowiedź, będę bardzo wdzięczny!
Drogi Panie Jakubie,
Oto odpowiedź na panskie trzy pytania:
1. Metoda Goldlist opiera sie na ideę, potwierzdoną praktycznym doświadczeniem już setek ludzi, że pamięć używana świadomie jest krótkofalowa, lecz istnieje też pamięć długofalowa, do której nieświadoma częsc mózgu przypisuje próbkowo wybraną część informacji, która jest mu przedstawiona.
Skoro długofalowa pamięć jest funkcją nieświadomą, nie wiemy od razu co na prawdę zostało jej przypisano, a co nie. Ale skoro krótkofalowa pamięć trwa tylko dwa tygodnia, musimy po prostu odczekać ten srok aby dowiedzieć się ex post, czego na prawdę dlugofalowo uczyliśmy się a co jednak zapomnięlismy.
Na ideach w tych zdań leży cały klucz do zrozumienia tej metody. W tym jest zawarte jej podstawa “fiziologiczna”.
Pamiętajmy jednak, że zawsze pamięc długofalowa polega na probkowaniu we własnej, nieświadomej nam gestii. Ale wielkość bądź częstotliwość tego próbkowania może być różna – jeżeli próbujemy sie uczyć na siłę, lub przez zbyteczne powtórzenia, lub bez robienia adekwatnych przerw, lub kiedy jestesmy chorzy, piani, lub przy muzyce itp, pamięć długofalowa staje się dużo mniej aktywną, i wtedy oddawa gros roboty krótkofalowej pamięci, co chcemy unikać.
2. Uczenie się przy stworzeniu na siłe tych “skojarzeń” jest typowym uczeniem się do krótkofalowej pamięci i da Panu fantastyczne wyniki poprzez 2 tygodnia, potem wielką porażkę i demotywację. Dlatego często metody opierające na tę funkcje skojarzeń oferują pieniedzy spowrotem w ciągu 16 dni, a potem nie. Oni z doświadczenia dobrze wiedzą, że nie dzialają ich metody po dwóch tygodni, ale i tak sprzedają je! Ale proszę zauważyć, ze jest wiele osób które wygrywają na konkursach pamięci, którzy jednak nie znajdują się w gronie prawdziwych poliglotów. Read the rest of this entry
Goldlisting may or may not be from the very beginning of learning a language, but it’ll take you on as far as you like!
Neworldgirl78 wrote on my Goldlist lecture in Moscow film the following question:
I am learning Russian and have been using a variety of means such as Pimsleur, various apps, and your you tube videos of course. Should I narrow my studying to this method or add it to my current methods? Thanks, and love your videos
I started to answer this in the comments section but I thought that it needs more space than the comments section there allows.
Here’s the full answer:
I use Michel Thomas and Pimsleur myself, audio only as they are, at the beginning of learning a new language, but they eventually come to an end. You might for example work through MT first and even a very long course with all the available levels in still is only less than 20 hours of material, add on a full Pimsleur course with another 30 hours of material (much of it overlapping with the MT) that gives you 50 hours.
This 50 hours – the maximum currently available of quality audio-only beginners courses – when listened to a few times gives you 150 hours of audio time at the max, and if you use the pause button properly you could stretch that to 250. It’s great to do this at the beginning – use MT first as that method gives you the deep structures of the language and doesn’t shy away from grammatical explanations (which Pimsleur does to the point that it becomes misleading at times) and it gives you a good accent, but that 250 hours of work will only take you so far.
And let’s be clear that for many of the less popular languages there’s still no MT course – Hodder and Stoughton didn’t make much on the ones available so far as the activities of internauts were too impactful on the sales of the material, and so it may well be down to hobbyists rather than businesspeople to take Michel Thomas’ legacy to its full conclusion. So it the best case, something like Russian, you might be lucky and find 250 hours of useful work to do on audio only. If you were looking at Bulgarian you’d be hard pressed to find any – I found some in bookshops in Sofia, from an unknown method and author which I didn’t even start yet, but nothing on Amazon or the net.
So once you have finished with the audio only, or earlier if you are not an auditory learner and feel that you aren’t progressing so well with the audio only methods, you need to progress onto reading and writing. Read the rest of this entry
One of the followers of the video content on YouTube, Dennis, wrote asking about the question of aspects. I answered as I could and also as you will see got his permission to share the conversation so that more language learners would be able to take advantage of the topic.
Conversation started Thursday
Thank you so much of the add. I’m honored!
I’m a very big fan of your youtube videos concerning the Russian language. I use them in addition of my Russian language course and I ust say that they give me a headstart of the rest. So they really help!
I was wondering however if you could tell me which video talks about the time aspect ( поличать vs поличить) if you know what I mean with that. We talked about it yesterday in class and most people (including myself) find it very difficult.
I hope you can help me out with this one.
Thank you so much in advance!
Dennis Meurders Read the rest of this entry
Many thanks to those of you who have subscribed and who come again and again to my humble abode. This milestone is hopefully only the beginning, although in fact I have now been doing this since November 2009, that is three years, and a few days on top. In three years’ time where I’d really like to be is over a million views – that’ll need a lot of work to do pulling over from other places all the resources and creativity that I’ve been doing in different parts of the web and making this the unified place where it’s all easy to find in one place with the various categories and subcategories, and the ability to search by words within this space, as well as the ability to have discussions not hampered by word limits, in which you can thread them properly and include links and media to your hearts’ content – unlike in YT where most of my material currently is and where most of my hits currently occur – in total well over 4 million there so hopefully a million here by the end of a similar six years (the time I’ve been on YT is now closer seven than six) is not too much to hope for.
In the end it depends on you, the viewer. Every bit of interactivity that you do here, discussing with me or with other commentors if you feel the urge, every subscription, every use of the share buttons I’ve put under the articles, it all helps me along, it all encourages me to produce more in the future.
Not everyone will like the blog, or the films and other internet “assets” (sometimes “internet contingent liabilities” might be a better phrase), but for some of you I know it has been and will be a source of interesting ideas and an experience of language learning, travel and other subjects such as faith, politics and others from time to time, and I hope that it will continue to be a place that you subscribe to, that you like to come to from time to time, and that you recommend to like-minded people. Read the rest of this entry
On my recent post explaining the expression from the lips of Jesus Christ “ye are gods”, a comment has appeared from an anonymous reader called identifying himself or herself as A.K. saying that I am wrong in my take and that the Mormon view (which I actually did mention in my article but discounted it in passing without going into much detail) is correct. I wanted to highlight this correspondence so I have made a main article for this blog from it in the hope that more people will be reached and brought to an understanding of what Mormonism really is, who it belongs to and why it exists.
Given the fact that Mormon Mitt Romney seems to be in the running to become the most powerful man in the world, the President of the United States, now seems as good a time as any to deal with the question of Mormonism openly on this blog. We have already discussed Watchtower at an earlier date, and now we are doing another organisation (not the last of them by any means) whose origins, theology and modus operandi can be traced into masonic occultism and therefore via that can be traced back to the devil himself.
Here is the comment by the anonymous viewer and afterwards to the end of this article is my response. There are one or two embellishments here that weren’t in the original reponse just because I have had fresh ideas to add, edits to make and also because I wanted to link here to some video, which I couldn’t do in the original response.
Not really, [presumably referring to my final words in the article "hope that was helpful"] your reply is nothing but psychological evasion. God or Jesus doesn’t say anything about earthly rulers or kings you just interpreted it that way. Jesus was amongst regular Jews, at the time there were no Jewish King or Rulers, the Romans owned the Jews. In fact Jesus said it is”written in your law” meaning the very essence of your being is Godly. Aren’t we made in God’s Image? Didn’t God breathe his “breath” in us to give us life? In terms of false Gods, it was meant for those who claimed they were The way to salvation and not Jesus, but God AND Jesus said the same thing. Stop trying to create illogical conclusions from obvious words from God and Jesus. God is in the business of fashioning Gods.
Well, like I said in that article, that is the take that Mormons make on it. It goes along with their general theology that God makes gods who go on to become gods of their own. This is a Book of Mormon idea, that the course of the Lord is “one eternal round” (Alma 7:20, Alma 37:12, 1 Nephi 10:19) but in the real Bible the course of history is never considered as a cycle, but as a line with a clear beginning and an ending, from an initial Creation to a final Resurrection, and the end-time events, closing off with the Resurrected Kingdom being handed by Jesus to the Father so that God may be all in all. Jesus is shown to Man as Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, and not, like in a multi-tome encyclopedia Aa-Cr, with many more volumes to come. His is the Name above all names, both in time and in Eternity.
The appeal of the Mormon theology to the natural, self-centred mind of Man is clear. Biblical theology about a linear plan of creation and redemption talks about a time line which is a one-off, and after that eternity – but we cannot envisage eternity. And so the real Bible never attempts to answer questions such as where God came from, what He will do next after this creation is finished, etc. This leaves unanswered questions which people naturally find hard to deal with and so they seek ways to “tidy up” the theology and give snappy answers to doubters also, as we all know how atheists like to try to stump theists by asking about eternity which none of us have experienced neither can we envisage.
The Mormon theology of cyclical salvation history, called also “eternal progression”, seems to produce a nice answer to this, but it has many down-sides, the biggest one is that it simply isn’t true. On top of other dangerous aspects like effectively making us all the equals of God and debasing and downgrading God Himself in this way, making Jesus only one of many, and subordinating God to part of the Creation, this theology also doesn’t really answer the questions that atheists ask anyhow, because we still don’t know how it all started and where it will all end, it is just all pushed out into endlessness. It is, in other words, one great big cop-out. Or, to use your own words, “nothing but psychological evasion”. Read the rest of this entry
I received from a good friend the following question:
I want to ask you about something, if you are healthy enough to answer. What does Psalm 82:6 mean? Of course, this is connected to John 10:34 as well. And on the same topic, who are the “sons of God” in Genesis and Job?
This topic may look like one topic, in a sense there is an element of being related, but in fact I would regard these as two separate issues. Let’s deal first with the issue of Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34.
Psalm 82 says the following:
82.1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty, he judgeth among the gods
At first glance, this looks not dissimilar to other passages, as you say in the start of Job is a good example, where God is talking among the angelic host. But see what he says in the next verse:
82.2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?
This puts an entirely different slant on it, as we see no cases of angels being given judgement of men. Instead, we are told that we shall judge angels (1 Cor 6.3). This certainly puts human judges on a higher line towards God almighty than the angels themselves, but surely that cannot mean any humans, this may be referring to the elect, or to people within the elect that had been given certain priviledges or responsibilities to represent God in the earth. Let’s see what further light we can find as we read on: Read the rest of this entry
I received the following letter from Jeni, which has blessed me a lot during my recent struggle with pneumonia (firstly misdiagnosed as bronchitis) – I have just emerged from a four day hospital stay with a large bag of different types of pills and I don’t feel fantastic – I have been given another estimate of two weeks before it all goes away, but it’s nothing like what it was. If you haven’t had a bout of pneumonia, you don’t want it. By the way, since the lovely WordPress interface lets me do this, lets just take a check at this point of those of you who had pneumonia already and who didn’t have it yet, that would be quite interesting.
Anyhow, the letter from Jeni which cheered me up a lot is in the comments to one of the trilogy of anti -Watchtower films on this channel. In order to give more prominence to the interesting issues I wanted to give my answer instead as a main article, and thanks to Jeni for waiting patiently for me to get a bit better. I’m not really well enough to be writing about this, but if Calvin can write letters all over Europe when he had about 200 illnesses going on, then who am I to not write a blog post while recovering from Pneumonia? Even if I come up with more than the usual levels of fallibility, surely the Lord will add his blessing, which is the olny important thing.
Here’s Jeni’s letter:
I’m writing you because I watched all 3 You Tube videos on the Jehovah’s Witnesses back to back. I have been “studying” with a JW for a year now in my home and am trying to expose her to scriptures that will open her eyes. It’s a slow process. I think you and your theology is spot on and I wish you were my Sunday school teacher. Basically I just need your prayers as well as the woman with whom I’ve been studying. Please pray for her. I would love to have a house church or other ministry full of ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses from my area and disciple them.
Side note, what do you think about the scripture in 2 Timothy where Paul says he doesn’t permit a woman to teach a man? I’ve listened to a little bit from both sides of the argument and I tend to lean toward the conservative view. However I’m a woman and so this is disappointing because I so want to pour out what I believe God tells me in the scriptures to others and there is no avenue for that presently at my church. All the women’s classes have plenty of teachers. Please tell me your view so that I can more fully examine my own.
Love in Christ,
First of all, many thanks to your compliments and desires that I could be your Sunday school teacher. I have in fact never been a Sundeay school teacher and am afraid and greatly tremble at the idea of having that or any other position of “power” in an organised Church. It says in James 3.1 “My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation”. A higher level is applied to those who have had the rule in the Church. In particular there are big condemnations awaiting people who have had carnal kickbacks from being rulers in the Church, and by “Carnal kickbacks” I refer to everything from taking advantage of the monetary gifts of the faithful, using the position to gain more tempral influence like improving your CV for a temporal role, and also the utility a person’s pride has from the receipt of a title – Elder This, Deacon That (the Mormons love to leverage that one!) and also the influence over others – the joy of exercising power, and how in many cases we see little popes appear in Churches all over Protestantism – people who rightly reject the Papal claims to be able to tell people what to do in Roman Catholicism above and beyond scripture, or to be the uniques interpreters of scripture to their flock, and in the end they are even more papal in the way they treat their flocks than the very Pope in Rome that they abhor. The worst case of power abuse in the Church and the ultimate “carnal kickback” of leadership of course is the sexual abuse that thrives wherever leadership is put on some unnecessary pedestal. That again we hear of mostly in the media related to Roman Catholicism, but never fear, I am sure that Protestantism contains cases that can absolutely run rings around the worst of them, so let us be humble and circumspect. Read the rest of this entry
I was asked in private mail in YouTube this week if I am a cessationist when it comes to the Charismata, or spiritual gifts such as glossolalia, healings, prophesyings, etc, as outlined in parts of the New Testament. A cessationist would argue that these gifts were for a certain period and then were withdrawn.
I am not sure I would say that I entirely am a cessationist, in that I believe in the sovereignty of God at all times and that God is able to make people speak in tongues or be healed today just as much as He was in apostolic times. The fact however remains that God does not always deal with His people in the same way at all times. When the people of God were led through the wilderness, God led them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He gave them manna and quails to eat. When they arrived at the promised land there was no pillar of cloud, no pillar of fire, no manna and no quails unless people went and hunted for quails in the way they would today. So are we cessationist about the pillar of cloud? It’s a mere question of fact that it did indeed cease once it was no longer required and the Bible makes no attempt to cover that up. Therefore we see that particular miracles accompany particular historic events.
Once we entered into the fourth century and the Church was broadly established throughout the Roman Empire and beyond and gaining in popularity, the force of faith and the Gospel only were God’s will to carry the message forward. We don’t see much of the Apostolic Charismata applying to that period. Maybe that’s because they were no longer needed, and maybe they were only withdrawn because the Church sold out at that time to venality and carnal worliness, putting political power and Satan’s agenda before the claims of Christ and the Gospel for 1260 years, as prophesied in the Book of Daniel.
From the time of Constantine until Napoleon the true Church was engulfed by a political Church infiltrated heavily by Satan which nevertheless had many fine believers in it, and during the Reformation amazing things happened all by force of faith without much in the way of accompanying miracles or a charismatic movement.
Believers were put to death by the Roman false church in vast numbers for their proper Biblical faith, and yet none of this was accompanied by the outpourings which accompanied the Charismatic Revival.
After Napoleon, the way the battle worked changed a lot. Now the major seat of Satan was not the Holy Roman Empire invested in the Catholic Church anymore – Napoleon took back that political worldly role of the Catholic Church and handed it over to the New World Order – nation states in the main run by Freemasons and given the semblance of democracies even though their real nature was to enslave men and women as never before. From Bonaparte until the beginning of Tribulation we can trace this penultimate period of human history.
This modern period is hallmarked by the following:
1. Unparalleled numbers of people living on the planet, in fact probably over 90% of people who ever lived have had part of their lives in this period.
2. The sharp rise of secularism and the ubiquitous acceptance of the theory of evolution, and other connecting ideas all serving to undermine the view of a Creator.
3. Unheard of technologies enabling a free market of ideas and debate
4. A situation where those who believe the Gospel are able to communicate more easily than ever before with the world, so that now the Gospel has virtually been made available to every tribe and nation
5. Israel has been restored to something like its original place.
6. The world has increasingly crystallised into three camps, Gog and Magog (China and her allies vs America and the EU and other allies) and Ishmael (Islam) in between.
7. Christianity has splintered into more denominations than ever before and there are an equally large number of counterfeit sects which try to look like Christian denominations.
In the middle of this period the Charismata started to be an issue, with some people needing this boost to their faith rather than the pure faith arguments of the Reformation period. However there is little to compare the work of the Church in this period than in the pre-Constantine period.
At the same time Pentecostalist believers have contained a number of fine Christians who have done great things for the Kingdom. One only needs to look at the amazing growth of the Gospel in China to see their crowning achievement. They have also spawned more than their fair share of weirdos, charlatans and sects. That may not be a damning indictment as we know that the closer any group of believers is to being on the ball and really making an impact, the more Satan will attack that group, and deflecting onto additional revelations, wierd doctrines, venal practices and political divisions are all weapons in his armoury against Churches that make a difference. So-called Churches than make no impact for the Gospel are, on the other hand, largely left to get on with it or actively assisted by the evil one.
“By their fruits ye shall know them” says the Lord. This doesn’t mean that the evidence of satanic attack on part of Christianity should be regarded as bad fruit. The healthiest fruit is the most attractive for worms. The question is, what is the underlying fruit that is being attacked by the worms? Is it spiritual fruit, or spiritual gifts without real spiritual fruit?
I still say that the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, etc, as set out in Scripture should be any Christian’s priority. If a person can demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit, then nobody should dare deny that persons Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It should be clear enough – how can a person who demonstrates the fruit of the spirit not be with the Holy Spirit? How can a person say they have had the Baptism in the Holy Spirit if they have not the fruits of the Spirit, even when months or years have gone by since they claimed such a Baptism? If a person lacks the fruit of the Spirit but seeks to make up the lack of them by fooling others and primarily themselves into thinking that they can speak with tongues of angels, then I’m sorry, but they need to do a heart audit and think again.
Nevertheless, a time is no doubt coming when the Spirit will be poured out again as at Pentecost. Joel 2.28 and Acts 2.17 which quotes it talks about this outpouring of the Spirit. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” and therefore Joel is likened to what is happening in Acts. However the following verses go on to outline the end of the world scenario, which we now know did not happen in the first few hundred years after the Death and Resurrection of our Lord, although disciples at the time expected it, and were intended to expect it.
I see a lot of the outpouring in Acts and which is in evidence in the Churches to whom Paul writes his Epistles as being a help in Evangelisation – and it surely was as people understood these languages as if they were being spoken to in their own languages. (This of course is not the case in most Pentecostal and other Evangelical churches today – the fact above all other I dare suggest, that leads to many serious-minded Christians who came to faith in Pentecostalism gradually transferring to other churches instead, which happens a lot.) But I also beyond that see them as a renewal of the Joel prophesy, a reminder and more information for us as to what will happen in the last days. I do like what the authors of the Left Behind books have made of the Tongues issue and other spiritual gifts – they show them as being revised in the last days and that is expressis verbis told to us in Acts 2.17ff and the Joel passage. They clearly refer to the end-times period. This is a period which has not started yet, but since all the pre-requisites for the starting of this period are now pretty much in place, and the pace of preparation of the coming Antichrist in this world is is palpably quickening from one week’s end to the next at this time, we can say with confidence that this is the penultimate period, and it is not long now before you really will see New Testament style miracles, unless of course the Church is first raptured in which case it will be only those coming to faith who were left behind who will witness them. And since I think that this planet has not seen the last of the true miraculous charismata, I can’t really call myself a cessationist.
However I do call myself a person who urges faith without the need for miracles, discretion in how we publish abroad the miracles which God does give us (the better we keep these secrets the more we will have of them, as it’s God’s will still for this time that the preaching of the Gospel not be accompanied by miracles in the main, but that He himself grants the holy gift of faith by the pure preaching of the word, nevertheless He is very merciful in alleviating the distresses of believers and answering prayers for them that have understanding…) and most of all in examining ourselves first and foremost for Spiritual fruit, and only after a satisfactory answer to that question (a rare event anyway) to worry about the advanced issue of Spiritual gifts.
- The Gospel… a simple message. (screaminggoose.wordpress.com)
- The danger of misusing the misuse of tongues (bjorkbloggen.wordpress.com)
- Think (momsfirstscreenn.wordpress.com)
- Concerning Spiritual Gifts – Ever Increasing Faith (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- fruit of the spirit | patience (maryhess.com)
- The Samaritan Pentecost (thingspaulandluke.wordpress.com)