Saturday, July 11, 2009
Right Living or Right Thinking?
Right Living (Orthopraxy) presupposes Right Thinking (Orthodoxy). How one lives is dependent on how one perceives the world. Perception always precedes action. In order for someone to determine that an action is required (or not), a perception must be made. If a person makes the wrong perception, the wrong action may very well follow. Of course, if the right perception is made, the right action may very well follow also. This is not a definite equation because one still has to make a decision based on, not just one perception but, numerous perceptions; and it may not always be clear which of those perceptions should take precedence over the other(s). To make that determination (action), other perceptions must be invoked.
Our actions are the result of a long chain of perceptions. If one perception is incorrect, it may throw off the system beyond that point. Luckily, some perceptions can force us to correct (another action) other perceptions, and that will help put us back on the right path to the right actions (orthopraxy).
Here is where "Understanding" (Education) versus "Memorization" (Information) becomes part of the idea. You can read my post "Information vs. Education" to get the details, but here's a quick summary: A focus on Information leads to being able to make right decisions in a set number of situations, while a focus on Education does not have the limitation of a "set number".
I'm not saying that Right Living (orthopraxy) is not important, because it is (read my post "What's Important About Consistency?" and follow the links to other posts). Right Living is the logical outworking of Right Thinking. Right Thinking (when all perceptions are taken into account) cannot lead to wrong living. At the same time, Right Living cannot guarantee Right Thinking.
Here's an episode from William Lane Craig's (of Reasonable Faith) Defenders Podcast "Introduction to Christian Doctrine"
This also ties back to my post "Judgment Day- Part 1".