Without a doubt, the existence of the myriad human languages is a major factor in the sense of segregation and even alienation often felt between different nationalities and ethnic groups. These language differences, according to the Bible, are the result of God’s direct action to prevent mankind from cooperating excessively, whatever that might imply. The Bible states that after the languages were confounded, men scattered all over the earth.
Now from the viewpoint of evangelical Christians this proliferation of different languages and the resulting scattering of mankind into thousands of varying cultural and ethnic groups have greatly complicated the task of reaching the whole world with their message. Not only are these different groups difficult to communicate with, but their separate cultural heritages incline them to accept what is familiar to them and reject what is new and strange. For both of these reasons, the attempt, by western Christianity in particular, to reach and convert many people has been a struggle.
If it was always God’s purpose to bring about man’s salvation through the mechanism of one man teaching another, including across different cultures, the confounding of the language was very counter-productive to that plan. When we consider the difficulties which western Christians still exhibit in understanding and explaining the Bible within their own culture, you can imagine how much more difficult it is to adequately explain and teach the Bible to outsiders. The relatively minor impact of Christianity in major portions of the world attests to that fact.
For me the bottom line is this- if God really meant to impart essential knowledge and understanding through the Bible and Bible teachers to all of mankind, He certainly went about it a most perplexing manner. Why stack the deck so, making the possibility of success so obviously slim? The God who extends Himself in self sacrificial Love for all mankind, cannot be the same One who then limits the efficacy of that sacrifice by attaching arbitrary impediments which deny His stated desire that all be saved. When 2 and 2 don’t equal four, it’s time for a new math and maybe a new math teacher.