Psychology Meets Religion, Part 3

Psychologists have often treated mental processes — attention, memory, and decision making — as divorced from the body. As if the mind was processing information in a mental vacuum undisturbed by the other forms of input that are constantly fed to our brain (e.g., heartbeat, fatigue, internal temperature, hunger, thirst).

However, recent theories in embodied cognition are challenging that idea by showing how our body can color our cognitive processing.

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Psychology Meets Religion (Part 2)

Which would you rather have: Greater self control or higher intelligence?

There are obvious advantages to choosing intelligence. You would have an enhanced ability to apply your knowledge towards solving novel problems, be able to integrate multiple pieces of information and see clarity and order where others saw chaos. If you worked hard enough, you would definitely be able to secure a nice job for yourself and make good money.

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Psychology Meets Religion (Part 1)

As a student of psychology, I encounter many research studies that can speak on matters of faith and personhood. If the Bible teaches us about who man inherently is, then I have believed that even secular science should confirm this as faith and science can’t conflict (though faith and scientist can). And indeed, in many studies I have come across, this is exactly what I have found. There are quite a few psychology studies that confirm the Bible’s teaching on who man is, what motivates man, and what ultimately makes him happy.

One line of research that has recently gotten a lot of attention deals with what are called “lay theories of intelligence.” This is not a theory on what intelligence is as much as a theory about what people think intelligence is and how it shapes their behavior.

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Do Dogs Go To Heaven?

A while back, I was in a long car ride with some UBF friends. As I lay back and try to make the best of the situation, I asked a younger friend of mine in a half joking manner, “Do dogs go to heaven?” His response was, “Hmm, I am not sure. Never really thought about it.” I joked back, “Maybe they go to some kind of dog heaven or maybe something like limbo or purgatory.” He responded, “Yeah maybe, never really thought about purgatory.” As the trip went on, and I started asking more serious questions, I realized that many of the younger UBF members do not hold to an authoritative system of doctrine on many issues. As my friend put it, “That stuff is just not important to people at UBF. We are all about missionary work.”

Of course, many of the students I have spoken to believe the straightforward doctrine that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that we are saved by placing our faith in him. But if I probe a little further, I have noticed a very common response from younger UBF members: “That stuff isn’t important to us.” Here I am talking about nontrivial questions such as, “Can we lose our salvation? Is there such a thing as purgatory? What happens to people who die but never know Jesus — will they be saved?”

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