What Keeps Us from Truth (#673)

What if the thing you believe to be true with all of your heart and soul, turns out to be false?  Then, where are you?  Bias is everywhere! It can be eye-opening to realize how much bias we pick up going through life that allows some of our familiar interpretative patterns to keep us from seeing the truth. The School of Thought has published a chart of 24 biases that affect how we see life that affect our ability to actually see what's true. Wayne and Brad work through the chart exploring their own biases and how our awareness of them can help us avoid their pitfalls and live more freely in the world.

Podcast Notes:
The Bias Chart at weforum.org
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  1. Important exercise, this. I remember listening to a man on TBN in 1997 that still resonates. He was basically issuing a rebuke to the normal TBN preachers by saying (in summary conclusion) that we must not confuse the apparent blessing of God with approval of one’s methods.

    I try to live open to seeing my biases, so cultivate a very diverse community … but it’s getting a lot harder in these times!

    Thanks for the link to this group…this chart of 24 biases is just the beginning! ?

  2. I had a read through that list of biases, very thought provoking. The weird thing is that after reading a list like this, if I assume that I now know something about my bias, I might actually become even more blind to them as a result.

    I came across an article a few weeks ago that I really liked: “A belief in meritocracy is not only false: it’s bad for you”. It talks a lot about this idea of a “just world”, generosity, and how something in our nature wants to believe that our success comes from personal merit: “Where success is determined by merit, each win can be viewed as a reflection of one’s own virtue and worth … [it] transmutes property into praise, material inequality into personal superiority … By the same token, worldly failures become signs of personal defects, providing a reason why those at the bottom of the social hierarchy deserve to remain there.” … But I guess what I really liked in the article was where the author suggested how remembering luck and things beyond our control in life can lead us to gratitude and generosity.

    Anyway, thanks for the discussion, certainly a lot to take in.

  3. “what you think the bible says says more about you than about the bible.” our biases, our a priori’s, our worldview determines how we interpret all information we take in including the bible. we see exactly what we expect to see…nothing more, nothing less unless an outside force pushes us to see beyond our bias (even then we tend to ignore it or rationalize why we cannot abandon our original position). i think we all sense and know that this is true, but we really want to believe we are objective, and everyone else is subjective. therefore, we believe that we have truth, and all others are holding false views. how many times have you asked yourself, “it’s so obvious, how can they not see the truth?” to muddy the waters even more, most christians believe the holy spirit illuminates the true meaning of scripture to them and them alone. the reality of lack of unity and the sheer number of denominations that have come about from different interpretations of the bible makes this belief untenable. we see what we expect to see. our “objectivity” is simply someone else’s “subjectivity”. we may not like it, but that’s reality…at least the way i see it. ; )

  4. The title of this podcast was “What Keeps Us from Truth”. For me, the title was a bit more thought-provoking than all of the listed biases. I live in a very “Christianized” Bible-belt town, with 3 “Christian” universities, and a City Council where I’ve seen the members pray before public meetings. I work in an organization of about 500 people and interact with many of them and would guess that 50 to 75% or more claim to be some variety of Christian. But if you bring up the idea of personal transformation, as in being conformed into the image of Christ, or simply preferring others over oneself, they will look at you like you just door-banged their new car.

    Years before N. T. Wright published his book; “The Day The Revolution Began” I came to the same conclusion about much of our culture of “western Christianity”. Idolatry is our biggest problem, the result of which is then “sin”. As Wright put it; we’ve abandoned our primary vocation of being image-bearers, and are simply Idolaters. 1 Corinthians 10:13 has no power unless we read the verse that follows as a warning. “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. ” 14.

    I’d say Idolotry trumps all other biases in keeping us from Truth!

  5. I chuckled to myself as I listened to the first part and wondered would I give King David a chance and read future literature of his after finding out he committed adultery and had an honorable man killed to hide it if he was a current church leader? Do i give David a pass because he’s in the bible? Sometimes I find myself also discounting a person I have enjoyed gaining knowledge and wisdom from if I notice that the criteria I have set as in their marriage, parenting, finances fall below what I set as honorable. I have begun to notice this more often and try to pay attention to my response and still sift through what’s beneficial to my walk with God and what I feel the Holy Spirit is sharing with me through an imperfect human, just like me. Thanks so much for the podcasts! I appreciate the space it opens up for me to chew on certain topics I find interesting( or challenging)and opens up great dialogue I can discuss with the Holy Spirit and my wife. It definitely is nourishing

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