Let My People Think

The power of WHY


In speaking with people who value the Bible, I am often struck by a strange phenomenon. People try to follow the “how” part, without giving adequate thought to the “why”.

I believe one of the top reasons why children learn new things at such an amazing rate is that they ask the “why” question as soon as they are capable of speaking it out. Then they are able to file new data into a mental latticework of concepts, and shape a baseline for a worldview that they will use for the rest of their lives. It seems to work quite well at that age. But what happens when we grow up and then we are introduced to God-stuff? Should we approach learning God-stuff any differently? Should we suspend our logic? I think not.

To be sure, the Bible is full of stories. Different people did different things which sometimes translated to success in their particular situation. The question is: why did they do it? Should we copy the solution without understanding the problem first? Shouldn’t we first understand the nature and the scope of the problem first, determine how the proposed solution addressed it, then see if we have a similar problem, and how the original solution to the original problem maps to our situation? If we do this consistently enough, then we are likely to develop a framework of thinking that will be based on more general principles rather than specific techniques and which, in turn, would enable us to generate our own customized set of solutions that address our own existential issues in their context.

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