low stability theologians

In one of my favorite Bryan Caplan posts he contrasts two types of people: people high in stability and those low in stability:

People high in Stability realize that, objectively speaking, life in First World countries is good and getting better all the time. As long as government leaves well enough alone, our problems will take care of themselves.

People low in Stability, on the other hand, habitually blow minor problems out of proportion. Even when they live in First World countries, they manage to convince themselves that the sky is falling. Their typically neurotic response is to beg for Big Brother to save them from their largely imaginary problems. When government solutions don’t work out, they misinterpret it as further proof that life is hopeless – not that their “solutions” were ill-conceived.

Although Caplan is specifically speaking about economics, these categories map nicely to theology. In the book of James, James specifically talks about the double-minded man. That is, the man who believes contradictions (such as Jesus not knowing something yet still being omniscient).

Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Double-mindedness is closely connected with instability. Those who believe contradictory things then tend to react in hysterical (in the sense of hysterics) ways when pressed on their beliefs. It is the nature of the beast.

Some theologians are low in stability. I would mark anyone who reacts in an emotional way to any question or criticism. They tend not to allow for any interpretation or reading of a verse except the one they advocate. They also avoid direct points and try to change subjects when the subject becomes uncomfortable. Those who are high in stability are willing to list out various understandings of texts and be able to identify the most probable interpretation along with other acceptable interpretations.

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
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