Category Archives: Psychology

Is the World Getting Worse?

Napkin math!

Imagine the scope of human behavior on a bell curve. You have extremes of good and bad on either end with most people (and their subsequent actions) being somewhere near the middle (68% within +- 1 standard deviation and 95% being within 2.).

Now shift the mean in either direction. The normal distribution (bell curve) is still intact but the overall amount of good behavior or deviant behavior becomes more or less frequent depending on which way you shift it.

As societal norms shift so will behavior. As a society we have shifted the mean. We devalue human life and then are shocked when someone acts on it. I am explaining, not justifying. You reap what you sow. If we sow the whirlwind we reap destruction. That is where we are as a nation. As things which were once morally unacceptable become acceptable the mean shifts as does the whole bell curve and the prevalence/frequency of what were once considered extreme are now considered normal or natural.

When we shift norms like this the behaviors that were once in the extremes will become more mainstream (take marijuana for instance).

Few of us consider how our seemingly insignificant moral failings and indulgences contribute to the problem of a morally decadent and decaying society. We must do our part to shift the mean again and that means our beliefs and behaviors really do matter as they contribute to the culture we are immersed in.

Our nation needs repentance and it starts with us, Christians.

Homeostasis – The Discipleship Killer

There is something in our human nature that likes equilibrium. We don’t like disruption. Most of us don’t like a lot of change. We like consistency. We like normalcy. We like routine. There are exceptions to this of course but by and large this is part of human nature. The fancy word for this isContinue Reading

The Root of Church Division is NOT Primarily Theological

Church split for two reasons that have theological spin but not theological roots. We say that church split over instruments or over women’s roles. That is what brought tension to the system but the system wasn’t robust enough to handle the tension. What is the root? The first root, that I have been discussing relentlesslyContinue Reading

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 anyContinue 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

Intentionality Over Reactivity

Jesus tells us there are two paths through life: the narrow way and the broad way. The broad way has many people on it and it ultimately leads to destruction. The narrow way is one few find and it leads to life. In context Jesus is saying that the way we live our life reallyContinue Reading

Psychotherapy, Preaching and Self-Differentiation in Ministry

There is a term in psychology that every preacher needs to be aware of called “self-differentiation” and it basically means knowing where you stop and everyone else starts…it is the maturity to be able to pull apart what is going on inside of self and what is going on outside yourself. Part of self-differentiation inContinue Reading

James 1: Which Kind of Person Will You Be?

James starts his letter characterizing two types of people (click here to read James 1). The guy experiences trouble and out of that experience develops a mature faith. The second guy James describes doubts God. He is foolish and his life ends up being blown around like the waves, going here and there but neverContinue Reading

Hurt by Chap Clark

Have any of you read “Hurt” by Chap Clark? Our youth minister has highly recommended that I read this book and has laid out the premise of it for me. Then I was speaking with another youth minister who also mentioned this book and how powerful it is in understanding today’s adolescent culture. From whatContinue Reading

Now Offering Statistics Help for Doctoral Candidates and Dissertations

Over the last several months I have started offering help with statistics and research design for people who are working on their dissertation. Often people are severely under-equipped for doing the statistical analysis for their doctorate. Many programs only require a small handful of stats courses and very little by way of research design. NowContinue Reading


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