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Reasoning April 5, 2006

Posted by amybeth in Christianity, Old Blog.
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I was reading in my cognition textbook today about reasoning. It was talking about a confirming bias in that we prefer to collect evidence that confirms what we believe and rarely look for what evidence might disprove it. A fundamental principle of science is to consider how any theory might be falisifiable and then test such a possibility.

I began to ponder how this relates to arguments about the existence of God. Christians argue that there is so much evidence for God (confirming) while scientists argue that his existence cannnot be falisifiable (disconfirming) and therefore isn’t a valid proposition. Did God create us with a natural tendency towards confirming evidence? Is this the ‘good’ in the knowledge of good and evil that the tree in the garden represented? By testing God’s words about surely dying was Eve departing from this paradigm and entering into a new way of looking at things, testing to see if God’s words could be falsified? What might this mean for how we should approach the search for truth?

I realize that I’m stretching the analogy a bit, but I thought it was an interesting way to ponder the story. The same chapter talked about how we are biased in the arguments we consider valid, giving preference to those that confirm a belief we already hold. In light of this, do we as Christians need to stretch ourselves to consider evidence outside the box? Not for the purpose of losing our belief, but for the purpose of honestly evaluating which arguments for and against our faith are truly valid. 

Security = Grace April 5, 2006

Posted by amybeth in Deep, Old Blog.
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I was reading a novel the other day where one character was describing another, commenting on how he didn’t seem afraid of questions and challenges to his faith, feeling free to accept disagreements without allowing them to divide. That character responded: “You are right. I see nothing whatever to be anxious about in such disagreement. Perhaps it is because I so strongly believe that all truth will in the end be known that I feel so little anxiety to right every error here and now.”

I was struck by this reminder that my security must be in God, in my belief that he is in control and loves the people I disagree with as much as he loves me. My anxiety about unbelievers or even about churches that don’t parallel my particular perspective on life is a burden I am not meant to carry. God is their father to and I can trust that he is aware of and taking care of everything that is necessary both to open people’s eyes to truth and to guard the honor of his name.

When I am secure like that, I can then offer grace to those around me rather than criticism and judgement and high-handed opinions.

Constant April 5, 2006

Posted by amybeth in God, Old Blog.
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“God’s relationship with us is not a bartering tool to be withheld for discipline’s sake – it is a constant, our access to the throne purchased on the cross.”

This thought came to me during class – I’m not exactly sure why. I think I was pondering why we always fear that God will get mad at us when we mess up and so we hide, not sharing with him our struggles and our failures and letting his love carry us through to victory. We’ve been adopted. That parent-child relationship is never called into question. God doesn’t hold the threat is discommunication over our heads.