The destruction of Babel and the disunity of humankind is not God's final response, though. God's vision for humanity is not Babel, but it is unity. Pentecost is the Biblical 'answer' to Babel and all attempts to mimic Babel. Notice that in the story of Pentecost in Acts 2 language is not a barrier to unity. But not the uniformity of a single language, for everyone hears in their own tongue. And what do they hear? The good news about Jesus. This is not to be confused with some grand design rolling out over the top of human difference, for it is not founded on uniformity (symbolized in Babel by a single, universal language) and is achieved through the death and resurrection of Jesus, a victim of the Roman Babel. Moreover, in addition to the universal message communicated in each tongue, the Jesus 'project' is directed toward God, and is not a monument to human arrogance. The message of Jesus is communicated through the art of a living discipleship and persuasive proclamation, and the result is a humanity oriented toward God.
A few points to finish:
- The Spirit of Jesus received at Pentecost will always lead the baptised to oppose the grand designs of humanity, whether at the macro or the micro level.
- The unity of the church is not an authoritarian based uniformity, but a genuine unity respectful of differences. Even the differences that usually pull us apart.