Saturday, March 21, 2009

Experiences, Emotions and What We Really Believe About God

"Very few people wake up one morning and decide to change their theology. Changes in a person's belief system are seldom that self-conscious.... In ways we don't often recognize, [painful] experiences are hermeneutical; that is, they become lenses we use to interpret life. Unfortunately, we are seldom aware that this is happening.

"The emotions we feel as we first go through difficult experiences are not static. They morph into subtle but extremely influential conclusions about God, ourselves, others, and life. Yet these major changes in what we believe have not been well thought out. We have not put ourselves through a careful theological re-evaluation. Rather, our unresolved feelings become our interpretations of life. Emotions morph into conclusions, and we end up not believing the things we say we believe [e.g., about God, his goodness to us, his wise purpose in our lives, etc.]"

-- Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp "How People Change" pp.110-111 (New Growth Press)

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