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The Lamp and the Mirror
Illuminating Personal Theology
Questions for Reflection: 1. What are your own lenses and biases?… 
26th-Apr-2006 07:51 pm
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Questions for Reflection:
1. What are your own lenses and biases? What are the gifts and limitations they bring to the task of doing theology?

I have a Biblical lens and bias. I see everything through that lens. Because of that, I have more in common with a fellow believer from Africa or China than I do with any of my immediate neighbors. They are my brothers and sisters. I am a Christian first, and everything else - nationality, race, sex, family role - is secondary. Any biases I may pick up incidentally from my culture have to be examined through that lens and then allowed to remain if they do not contradict Biblical principles or rejected if they do.

If I am intellectually rigorous, this process forces me to examine my thoughts and feelings and enables me to discover any ideas I may have that are mutually exclusive. I can then determine why I am holding conflicting worldviews. It's a good way to keep a check on my heart. I find a lot of people hold conflicting worldviews and don't even know it because they never bother to follow their thoughts and feelings to their logical conclusions.

2. What words do you use most frequently to describe the Divine, your spiritual beliefs, and your ethics? What do these words reveal about you?

The Divine: Jehovah, God, Father, Creator.
Spiritual Beliefs: Truth, discernment
Ethics: Justice, mercy, wisdom, love, humility.

I think they reveal I'm a pretty straightforward person who believes there is an objective truth and it is a virtue to search for it.
Comments 
1st-May-2006 02:28 am (UTC)
I find a lot of people hold conflicting worldviews and don't even know it because they never bother to follow their thoughts and feelings to their logical conclusions.

What would be some examples of that? TIA
1st-May-2006 06:25 am (UTC) - Examples
They're pretty much endless. A couple of examples.

1) Just this morning, I was watching George Clooney on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. He wants something done about Darfur. I don't blame him; it's horrid over there. He was quite adamant that this cannot wait and that something has to be done immediately. He wants NATO troops (which would no doubt include Americans) on the ground right now. He admitted that Osama bin Laden has said that those interfering in the Sudan were constituting themselves enemies of Islam and would pay for it. Clooney said that people are being killed and raped, we have to go now and "there is no other side to this."

To me, there is definitely another side to this. It could be argued that we have no right to interfere, especially militarily, in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation. It will incite a religious battle and only solidify the position of the militias and the government. In addition, it will further inflame Islamic hatred against America and the West. These are much the same arguments that the anti-war groups made against going to Iraq of which Clooney was one. Although there are a number of variables here, in essence, he is holding two conflicting views. Only he can answer why the killing and raping of the Sudanese is a good reason to interfere but not the raping and killing of Iraqis.

Note: I'm not taking a political position on either conflict. I see the pros and cons of each.

2) Christians (the kind who actually believe the Bible) who think you can become involved in politics. Jesus specifically said that his people are no part of this world and that friendship with the world is enmity with God. Jesus preached about the coming kingdom that is the hope of true Christians. I have read a great deal of reasoning on the subject from people who wanted it both ways, to believe Jesus is the king of an actually reigning kingdom of which they are subjects and who want to also help rule the ones already here on earth. However, these views are fundamentally incompatible. There is a reason they are holding onto conflicting views about Jesus' rulership, but each of them would have to look into themselves to find out what it is.
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