Saturday, November 29, 2008


Contention: if we want to have reality about what we do: when it comes to 'influence': we need to diagnose what the *voices* are and act accordingly.

Eg, What matters more: a highly-researched, highly-accurate, highly-insightful theological treatise that is read by just a handful of people, or a best-selling Christian novel (eg, The Shack)? Answer: the novel will usually win hands-down. (Counter-example: when the treatise is read by people who have 'voice'.)

Some of the main voices that matter:

Friends (especially best friends)
Favourite music
Favourite news sources
Parents (at all ages)
One's pastor (or church leader)
Those one looks up to
Favourite blogs
Favourite authors
Books one gets around to reading
Favourite preachers/speakers
Online communities one is active in (big for many)
One's mentor (major, if a person has one)
Youtube videos one watches
Facebook friends
Whatever's generally cool/popular

Sub-point: we are what goes into our heads, and what we choose to do with what goes into our heads.

Sub-contention: if you could accurately diagnose the voices in someone's life, could you generally diagnose who that person *is*; what that person might think about Issue X; what that person might do in Situation X?

Post a comment or email me.

This blog post dedicated to: reality (ie, what actually happens), as opposed to what we'd like to happen.

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Additional to the below, click the following link for *non-Blogger* Comments:

Plus, 8 *Blogger* Comments:

Blogger Laurel Kriegler said...

Where are you going with this?

The list of voices - yes, I agree with that ... and also with the examples you give (eg. Novel beats Theological treatise).

However, I'd contend - if I understand where you're going - that you'd need to get to know a lot about the voices and not just 'which ones' to be able to answer the questions you're asking.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Nigel Barham said...

Laurel: in my surveys of hundreds of people over the last couple of years, I have discovered that folks generally have 'unreality' about what the voices/inputs *are*, let alone their nature. So, yes, it is also very important to study the nature/facets/implications of each voice/input, *but* to first have reality about what the voices are.

Eg, "You watch three hours of TV per day. On a good day, you spend three minutes in prayer and three minutes in the Bible. Have you identified and owned up to this input in your life that is occupying 60x your prayer life and 60x your Bible-study life? And do you expect it to result in conformation (to the world) or transformation? Let's not worry *too much* about the nature of the TV just yet; let's just identify and quantify the inputs and we'll at least be one (big) step further."

5:02 PM  
Blogger Laurel Kriegler said...

Ok. That is what I was trying to establish. So ... for NOW ... you're working on the 'what are the voices people hear' ... and later on, perhaps, you'll move to 'what are the voices SAYING that people are listening to'. Do I understand you correctly? If so ... yes - I would say by all means study what the voices are, because then you'll at least have a broad-based classification from which you can go further. Especially if people don't even KNOW what they're taking in!

Just a thought on this - and this coincides with something I was literally about to do - yesterday I read a devotional - took less than 2 minutes - and yet it knocked me off my feet for the next few hours, just digesting what it said. I was just about to discuss it on my blog now. The same could be said for your 'Busy?' posting the other day (which admittedly took a while longer to read) ...

1:38 PM  
Blogger Nigel Barham said...

Right on; the objective of my post was to help us get reality in just identifying what the voices in our lives are.

Cool re the devotional. One big advantage of 'eternal' stuff (as opposed to mind-numbing TV) is that it can go a lot further. So we at least have that to our advantage!

1:42 PM  
Blogger keith said...

Neat post. Found it through Facebook. The idea of voices, listening to those who are close to us is in line with subjective truth - not that the objective doesn't matter, but it's not usually what matters to us. Soren Kierkegaard had a lot to say about this.

We need an incredible amount of wisdom and almost inspiration when it comes to reaching creating tools designed to reach people en mass subjectively. Often it requires creative ability and a tremendous sense of what it means to be human.

I'm not sure if your 'sub-contention' follows from your 'sub-point.' The sub-point is "we are what goes into our heads, and what we choose to do with what goes into our heads." The problem with the sub-contention is that even if we know the voices that influence a person, we won't know what they choose to do with those voices. Chances are that yes, the voices will affect them, but it can be difficult to predict whether they will choose to let the effect be positive or negative in their lives, since two different people could react completely oppositely to the same voice.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Nigel Barham said...

Great thoughts. Thanks Keith.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Nigel Barham said...

P.S. Are we Facebook friends? Please add me if not. :)

5:31 PM  
Blogger keith said...

Hey Nigel, yep we're Facebook friends already. We met at Rideauview Bible Chapel. Hope you have a great Christmas!

5:50 PM  

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