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Why it’s important to keep your Taco Bell down

People simply aren’t digesting what they’re hearing, if they’re listening at all.

If listening’s the process by which we digest, or how information takes some root inside of a self, then I think listening’s not our biggest worry today, but digesting is. It’s as if we all have severely sensitive stomachs and all information being transmitted takes the form of Taco Bell meat. As soon as the Taco Bell hits my digestive system, it not only disagrees, it rebels. Why don’t we digest very well? Why does it matter?

Expertise is everywhere; therefore, it’s infinitely more difficult to distinguish between good expertise and bad expertise. This scares me because I believe what A.W. Tozer writes in The Knowledge of the Holy: “Every man lives by faith, the nonbeliever as well as the saint; the one by faith in natural laws and the other by faith in God. Every man throughout his life constantly accepts without understanding” (25). I dare you to chew on Tozer’s words long enough to digest them. Is that true of your experience? I know it’s true of mine. Another reason this scares me is because of the fundamental attribution error which Mark Sherman writes means that “when we see someone doing something, we tend to think it relates to their personality rather than the situation the person might be in.”[1] The opposite is also true; when we’re late for a meeting, we tend to blame it on the traffic or having to pack our lunch, external factors, than considering that we might just not be a terribly punctual person.

One temptation we should all give into is the Temptations’ song “Ain’t too proud to beg.” Humans are too proud to “beg” these days. (Side point: as much as I think Americans are living in an age unlike any other, I don’t think we’re somehow more sinful. Our sin just takes different forms today than in years past.) I think our expectations are way out-of-wack. Things we think we should know or be able to do today are not what our parents thought they should know or be able to do. For example, Tom Nichols’ says “Today, the narcissistic and faux-egalitarian American likely doesn’t know her doctor personally, and has no fear of contradicting a medical professional by resorting to the Internet or to a Facebook page full of people just as untrained in medicine as everyone else.” [2] Think before uttering the words “Well, I think you should…” and ask yourself if you’re speaking out of line. I’m a huge advocate for brainstorming more; throwing ideas you’ve got no attachment to or very little understanding of. However, the next time your doctor gives you a diagnosis, your pastor points out something in your life, or your boss tells you to do something, listen. They might just know more than you on that topic.

David Brooks’ paints a very clear and very sad picture of reality of what the Bobos, his term for America’s upper class of the early 2000s, hope for and how that hope will take form. Heaven for the Bobos is devoid of any spiritual depth, but full of disjointed niceties. “…it’s hard to imagine what will happen to us Bobos when the world finally comes to an end. It’s hard to imagine some fiery Last Judgement, some awful moment when God of the Educated Class separates the saved—those who bundled their newspapers for the recycling bin—from the damned, those who did not…Bobo morality doesn’t seem compatible with something as final and complete as heaven either. Maybe instead of a Last Judgement, there will just be a Last Discussion” (250). That alone makes me glad that the God of Jesus Christ is a just one that demands perfection. It makes me even gladder that Jesus is our perfection. My hope is that we’ll learn to digest our Taco Bell better, to save room for those sweet savory cinnamon delights, the good stuff.

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/real-men-dont-write-blogs/201406/why-we-dont-give-each-other-break

[2] https://www.cardus.ca/comment/article/5027/the-death-of-expertise-as-a-decline-of-trust/

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Houston Clark

part-philosopher, full-bibliophile, this child of God grew up in the PCA not knowing he believed in predestination until his ``liberal`` Episcopal next-door neighbor told him that's what ``PCA-ers`` believe. The only thing he wears at all times is his thoughts/feelings about everything (and maybe his Chris Paul socks). He's as curious as Curious George and loves getting things done (see David Allen's book with same title).

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