As A Man Thinks
Author: Pastor Robin Fish
Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.
Modern psychology is finally getting around to the discovery that a person’s presuppositions and prejudices will influence what and how he perceives and understands. We say “finally” because the Bible reflected that thought thousands of years ago. Modern science is reeling under the effects of this human phenomenon. Some scientists are awakening to the fact that men will see things in a way they have predetermined, and will refuse to “see” those events or truths which do not fit into their pre-determined network of acceptable ideas. In this study we will examine the Scriptural teachings concerning man’s nature, particularly as it relates to his inability to be truly objective.
1.Begin by reading Proverbs 23:7a. What does it say about human nature?
Now read the context for the verse. It warns against judging by appearances, or taking the words of men too literally. Can this verse be applied to the problems we see in science today – especially with so-called objectivity?
2.The idea that what a person thinks, and the way he thinks, determines what that person will be or do is not unique to this one passage, but it is most clearly stated here. Most of the Biblical discussion of a man’s thinking has to do with his relationship to God, rather than objectivity in science. But we can apply one to the other rather easily, particularly when we note that evolution is designed for flight from God. Science, in other words, is twisted out of shape by the anti-God predisposition of some men.
3.Actually, the predisposition against God is universal, by human nature. Read Romans 8:7. This is the state of the mind of man toward God, until the Spirit of God works on it. Notice in the context what great effect the Spirit can produce!
Quickly turn to I Corinthians 2:14. Note that “natural man” refers to the same condition of man as Romans 8:7. Note how thoroughly this “natural predisposition” of man colors man’s thinking and inhibits his ability to see or understand. The things of the Spirit of God are what to the natural man?
Note why man cannot understand those things. Discuss: How does this natural predisposition in man play into the creation/evolution controversy?
What hope does verse 15 hold out?
4.In modern times we speak about thinking as flowing from the brain. Some societies have believed that man thought with his liver or kidneys. Many believe today that thinking is a function of the spirit in connection with the body – or of the spirit alone. What do you suppose the Scriptures focused on to describe the inner man, the seat of the personality?
Check Matthew 9:4. Where does Jesus say that thinking was occurring?
If we look at what Scripture says about the very personal thoughts of a man, what must we look for, then?
What does Peter call this, I Peter 3:4?
5.What sad truth does Romans 1:21 reveal about the thinking of man?
Notice the cause and effect relationship. Can we relate this to evolution? How?
Notice that verse 20 tells us that God has been clearly seen in creation. We are not dealing with that which cannot be seen, or is difficult to discern, but with that which is nearly inescapable. The occasional evolutionist will be forthright enough to admit this to be the truth. Note the results of this darkening in verse 22. Discuss: How do these passages relate to the present origins controversy?
6.So we look into the heart of man. Look at Hebrews 3:10. Where does the error of man’s life come from? How likely is man to err?
Naturally, men don’t think that they have erred. They want to call evolution (for example) hard science. But look at James 1:26. The discussion of controlling the tongue is not our interest here, but the comment about the heart. What does James tell us it is possible to do with our own hearts?
7.Once man has been darkened, and has begun to even deceive himself, then he speaks and acts what is within him. Look at Matthew 12:34. A man cannot but deceive and ignore facts outwardly if he has already done so inwardly to himself. This is the principle of human behavior (sin), Matthew 15:17-19.
It can be no other way, according to Luke 6:45. What hope does Luke suggest to you?
8.Turn to Ephesians 4:18. Notice the other words connected with the darkened understanding. The most significant phrase, “excluded from the life of God,” is probably least easily understood when one addresses science, unless we remember that man is a unity, and one twisted aspect comes to affect the whole. It is the most significant because it leads us to the solution to the problem of this twisted thinking.
9.Read 2 Corinthians 5:17. What is the answer to the natural predisposition of man?
Can this affect the ability to think clearly? Connect this passage to I Corinthians 2:14 and see what difference it makes.
Discuss: Will conversion utterly transform a person’s thinking overnight? Note, the question is not “can it?” but “will it?”.
Are there examples of unregenerate thinking among believers today?
10.What does I Corinthians 13:11 suggest about human thought processes?
Do you think that maturing and growing in thinking ability is limited to any time of a person’s life? Here we are given the truth that man can mature and develop in the way he thinks and perceives.
11.Philippians 2:5-11 sets a goal for our thinking. What is it?
Is this goal purely spiritual?
What real-life effects might this goal tend to produce in those who pursue it?
How do verses 10 and 11 particularly apply to creationism?
12. Is there a norm or measuring stick for right thinking?
What does Paul suggest in I Corinthians 14:37?
Formulate a rule or statement that would apply the principle Paul applies in this verse to human thinking.
Discuss: Should we be astonished to find that preconceived notions have restricted and warped science?
As a man thinks, so is he. It applies to science, too. Discuss creationism in the light of the Great Commission and this study.
Close with a prayer for guidance by the Holy Spirit and growth in our thinking toward the goal of Jesus’ example.
1986 Bible Science Newsletter.
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