“Habits are something you can do without thinking, which is why most of us have so many of them.” Frank A. Clark
This series of posts turned out to be a little more lengthy than I intended. I tried to be as economical as possible, but there were some things that I just couldn’t omit. So many other things could be said about how to be better critical thinkers. But for now, let me recommend my five brief posts and recap each one with a sound bite:
Sound bite: I fear much of our Christian community has largely lost the art of thinking for themselves and are, in many ways, lazy thinkers. Maybe it’s because they know they were made for another world so they don’t invest enough effort into this one. Or maybe they’re afraid to think too deeply about the world they live in lest they lose their faith, as though God and his Word aren’t capable of standing up to honest examination.
Sound bite: Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them. Proverbs 29:20 / To answer before listening—that is folly and shame. Proverbs 18:13
Sound bite: When you call someone “stupid” it’s as though you’re saying that’s all they are. They can’t be smart or perceptive or wise about anything at all. They’re just stupid. That’s their sum total. Though we’ve come to expect this sort of juvenile behavior from some politicians (not naming any names), what’s up with supposed followers of Jesus engaging in such libelous labeling?
Critical Thinking Christians Think For Themselves
Sound bite: Critical thinkers don’t let others do their thinking for them. No, not even FOX News, NPR, Rush Limbaugh, or Bernie Sanders. They don’t just regurgitate their party’s platform, or their denominational affiliation. Not even their pastor can do their thinking for them.
Critical Thinking Christians Think Through Scripture.
Sound bite: We’re all looking at our world through some lens–– our fallen nature lens, our party’s platform lens, what our pastor or favorite Bible teacher says, or something else. But God gave us a Book to read for ourselves, and his Son to embody its message. Our primary loyalty lies with him. We’re Christians first, then Americans. With this in mind we must learn process our preferences, policies, and patriotism through what he has chosen to tell us in his Word and empowered us to do through us by his Spirit.
Please, please, please, my brothers and sisters, use your God given resources to develop a Christian worldview and live into that view in every aspect of your lives, including the sociopolitical. Don’t let a party, or a platform, a politician, or even a pastor do your thinking for you.
Don’t be the kind of “conservative” that mistakes harshness for holiness or the “liberal” that mistakes compromise for compassion. Jesus walked between the two and was both compassionate yet prophetic. Follow Jesus!
You’ve got a mind––open it.
You’ve got a Bible––read it.
You have access to God’s throne––kneel before it!