The title of my blog is “Thinking My Way Through”. When I started the blog in 2009, I thought this was noble enough. I would not be one of those pulled and shoved by emotion, or by peers, or by culture. I need to change the title. Why? For psychological and theological reasons that are hopefully, and ironically, thought-through.
One explanation is Personal. One of my favourite personality tools is the Enneagram: it points to key motivators in life that explain behaviour. On the Enneagram scheme, I am a ‘Five‘. Fives have a driving need to understand: they accumulate knowledge, mostly to protect themselves from painful emotions. Too much knowledge is never a bad thing; their cardinal sin is gluttony. However, I found that too much knowledge ties me in knots of thoughts that thought cannot alone untangle. I cannot think a way through. The Enneagram suggests that I need to put myself in positions where thought cannot suffice: places of action, places of prayer, places where emotional vulnerability is needed.
The other explanation is Theological: the thought of John Calvin has not been an attractive one, mostly from ignorance. I am to remedy that soon. One element of Calvin’s thought is that of ‘Total Depravity‘. Given I am no expert on Calvin, I hesitate to attempt explanation. Many people shy away from Total Depravity because it seems to allow no possibility of good human behaviour, but I think gives us honest ground on which to stand.
My take is: there is no dimension of human life and endeavour that has not been somehow corrupted by our desire to go our own way: against the wellbeing of others, the natural world, even our own good. For Christians, this is a definition of sin: ‘rebellion’ against God, and what God has created. How does this apply to my blog title?