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Thursday, March 04, 2010

The Once and Future Brain #4

So this week we have been looking at the way that our brains have changed due to the internet.

One of the major things that has changed is the trust that people place in what they see and hear. We are becoming more and more skeptical all the time. In a way, it's a defense mechanism. We are surrounded by advertisements all the time - if we didn't develop filters to allow us to sort out the good from the bad, we would buy everything and be broke.

We need some skepticism to survive in this brave new world, but that has a huge impact on how we can communicate the gospel. See, if we try to be the authority on the bible, people's skeptical walls will go up. They've been told by three out of four dentists to buy every kind of toothpaste ever made. Positional authority is almost meaningless in convincing people of anything. We have developed broad neural pathways of skepticism and so hearing that something is truth because an authority figure says so, will always be met with doubt.

We need to look at cultivating a relational authority with people. Basically, people trust their friends, so in order for people to trust us, we need to be their friends. We need to tear down the barrier that divides us from the people to whom we're preaching. We need to open the door into our lives and invite them in to see a gospel that isn't true because of our seminary degree, but it's true because it works for us. It works for their friends, and they trust their friends a lot more than dentists.

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