Author Archives: Matt Dabbs

Metacognition and Church of Christ Theology: An Introduction

It is important to think about how we think. That is what metacognition is all about. What are the presuppositions that we bring to the table that influence our understanding of the Bible? John Locke believed infants were born tabula rasa (blank slate) but that is certainly not the case when we enter into any kind of communication or attempt to understand another person.

We come with a context. We often think that context is what is in the text or communication itself but we, the reader, speaker, etc also come with our own context. Reading and understanding a text is the intersection of two sets of contexts. While the words on the page may not change the one reading the text can come to the text with an infinite number of possible presuppositions (personal context) that influence how one reads the text and subsequently what they believe the text actually means (interpretation).

I want to take a few posts to unpack the intersection of our own personal context and the scriptures we are reading to help us understand what it is we think we understand. The better we get to know our own thought processes, the more we can come to understand the meaning of the text itself. In the process we come to know ourselves as Socrates once said, “the unexamined life is not worth living” or as was inscribed at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi “know thyself.” If you want to know the text you need to know yourself because all that you come to understand is a process of sifting and filtering information through your own personal context.

I am looking forward to the conversation. I hope you are as well.

What is the Real Issue in Churches of Christ?

It isn’t women’s roles. It isn’t instrumental music. It isn’t clapping or dancing. If I had to boil down to what our real issue is it is this – how we read scripture and the presuppositions we bring to the table when we read the Bible. A necessary and related discussion is our view ofContinue Reading

Self-differentiation: One of the Greatest Gifts You Can Receive

I wish someone had told me sooner, when I was much younger that the more you depend on others for how you feel the worse you are going to feel. It has taken me the vast majority of my life to figure this out and I am glad I did. The moment I stopped worryingContinue Reading

Reframing the Name “Church of Christ”

Having grown up in Churches of Christ, I am well aware of our quirks and idiosyncrasies. I am sure many of you are as well. We have traditionally used all kinds of phrases that are not found in the Bible to talk about things found in the Bible. For instance “we use Bible names forContinue Reading

Hearing God

“In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.” – 1 Samuel 3:1 In our day and age, it isn’t that God isn’t communicating with us, it is that we aren’t good listeners. I don’t think “the word of the Lord” is “rare” today. I think we have gottenContinue Reading

Finding the Thread – Listening in John 9-11

In John 9 Jesus heals a man who was born blind…on the Sabbath (9:14). This got the attention of the local authorities who began to question the healed man. After verbally assaulting him the man defends Jesus saying, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who doesContinue Reading

Preaching Philippians – A Reflection

This Sunday I am wrapping up a sermon series on Philippians. Philippians has long been one of my favorite books of the New Testament but I had never preached through it before. There were a few things that stand out in retrospect. First is partnership. The word for this is koinonia, often translated “fellowship” butContinue Reading

Social Media as a Spiritual Discipline – Practical Guide to a Healthier Conversation

The last few posts on social media as a spiritual discipline all lead up to this post. What can you actually do to have a healthier online conversation? 1 – The Pause Instead of jumping in quickly to respond to comment after comment you stop. Take a moment to gather your thoughts. It may beContinue Reading

Social Media as a Spiritual Discipline – Physiology

There is one more thing I want to discuss before I get into what one can do to have a more productive and loving online conversation. One of the biggest things that is working against our success in our innate physiology. Have you ever been insulted online? If so how did you feel when itContinue Reading

Social Media as a Spiritual Discipline – Entropy

I have never seen a political or religious argument ascend into pics of the grandkids or even what someone had for dinner last night but I have seen pics of the grands or your latest, greatest dinner devolve into a verbal assault. Entropy – the idea that things fall apart, that organization more easily turnsContinue Reading

Follow

Follow this blog

Email address