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Both Fact and Feeling

Allowing emotion to buttress truth

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I grew up in the 50s and 60s, in what some call the "Weekly Reader generation." The Weekly Reader was a little black-and-white newspaper distributed in grade schools that kept students informed on current events. Conventional wisdom of the 50s told us that facts were going to form the future, so the magazine was filled with facts. As a generation, we tended to trust facts and mistrusted emotion, and that affected our religious views as well. Emotional religion was for the uneducated, and religious teaching focused on the factual proofs for Christianity.

I learned that as a preacher I needed to prove factually that biblical principles "worked." If the Bible commanded us to honor our father and our mother so our days on earth would be long, I validated that injunction with statistics showing that people with happy families lived longer. While feelings could be manipulated, facts were the sixteen-penny nails of our faith.

Emotional credibility

Things have changed, though. The generation behind ...

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