Are Any of us Really Independent (repost)

— Aaron

This is yet another re-post from Donald Miller. He’s got a way of making me think, lately.

How many of your theological positions did you arrive at through independent observation and objective thinking?

Not long ago, a psychology class played a trick on their professor. Every time he walked to the left side of the room, the class would tune out, look away or just look down at their notes. When he walked to the right side of the room the class would look at him, pay attention and nod their heads to affirm his ideas. By the end of the class, the professor was literally standing so far to the right of the class he was teaching from the doorway.

No kidding.

So it makes me wonder how much of the things we believe are “us” are really just a subconscious reaction to validation. Do we engage our theological positions because we’ve come upon them objectively, or did we find ourselves in a community that embraced those positions and rewarded us with affirmation when we came to the conclusions of the community?

I’m willing to bet the concept of Total Depravity is much more total than we understand. I bet we are so depraved that we can’t even understand why we do what we do, and that much of our religious motivations are simply attempts to have a religious community validate our personalities.

What about you? Are your views about God objective? Or are they arrived at through a communal experience of affirmation and validation? And how confident are you that you are an objective person?

That’s from here: