thoughts brought us back to our favorite topic in this forum, theoretical thinking,
analytical, critical thinking, or what is often referred to as "thinking
through." My childhood quest for right thinking set the stage for my adult
life of theoretical thinking as an editorial writer, author, columnist, critic,
and director of a university-based study center or "think tank" for
almost 15 years. "Make sure you're right, then go ahead," as Davy Crocket
allegedly lived by, may be good advice or just a hollow bromide; but how do you
know the difference between deep truths and simplistic sloganeering? How do you
know you're right? Just follow your heart? "The heart is deceitful above
all things and beyond cure," the Prophet Jeremiah warns. I'll jump ahead
and answer: "no, not your heart; your God."
that can be deceptive, too. Who is your God, really? Is it a God of your own creation,
a pop-culture concoction, a new-age formula, or is it your own Creator and the
Creator of the universe? How to find out? Is it a conception of "the ultimate"
that you're comfortable with and therefore ready to "follow," or should
it be a hard task master, more akin to a drill instructor, who makes you squirm
and makes you work and drives to your knees in submission? My quest for answers
to such difficult questions goes through some tough exercises and tests. My self-test
questions are along these lines:
Can I claim to have arrived
at the truth if I haven't read the Bible? Have I missed anything that's in it?
If I have to choose between the spiritual insight of my pals and that of Moses,
who do I trust? If I have to choose between the wisdom of my university professors/the
New York Times editors/the anthropology textbooks, versus Jesus and the
Apostles, who do I trust? Yes, there are varied interpretations of Moses and Jesus,
so though this line of questioning may seem like fundamentalist simple-mindedness,
it isn't simple. It's rigorous.
I administer my self-tests
and take them in increments. What have I learned thus far? How can I be sure I
know what I think I know? How can I be certain about my certitude? If the anthropology
textbook says there's no Creator, is there anyone whose word is more reliable
than that? By what standard of measuring "reliability"? Does 5000 years
of "biblical history" add up to a conclusion that it hasn't proven anything
yet and therefore isn't likely to do so, or is it the best evidence you could
hope for that God is, that He works in history, He answers prayers, and He cares?
who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have
never forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:10).
LORD looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if
there are any who understand, any who seek God (Psalm 14:2).
follow your heart. Follow your LORD.
do you do that? If "...you seek the LORD your God,
you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul"
complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005