- Slides: 17
TENSIONS IN JUDGMENT “DICHOTOMISTIC VS. HOLISTIC THINKING”
Our Changing Climate � US & Cultural Diversity
What Do You See? � Banana � Monkey � Dolphin � Fish � Bird � Worm � Mouse � Cheese
Terms Defined Dichotomy � is a pattern of segmental thinking; it focuses on the particulars of any problem or situation and many times reduces each to right and wrong options. Holism � is that pattern of thinking that does not separate the particulars from the whole. To him/her the big picture is bigger is more important than each part – focused on each parts relation to the whole.
Dichotomistic Thinking 1. Judgments are black and white, right/wrong specific criteria are uniformly applied in evaluation of others 2. Security comes from the feeling that one is right and fits into a particular role or category in society. 3. Information and experiences are systematically organized. Details are sorted and ordered to form a clear pattern.
Holistic Thinking 1. Judgments are open-ended. The whole person and all circumstances are taken into consideration. 2. Security comes from multiple interactions within the whole of society – one is insecure if confined to particular roles or categories. 3. Information and experiences are seemingly disorganized. Details (narrative, events, portraits) stand as independent points complete in themselves.
A Couple Examples ○ Yap History ○ An “Executive” Example: The President of Christian School & Secretary � How does each party respond? � Beginning of missions training �What were the clashes? � Me & wifey : o) �Initial issues & how they compliment…
Dual-Brain Theory � Dual Brain Theory: �The differences between dichotomistic and holistic way of thinking may originate in the distribution of thought processes in the human brain. �Paul Baken and Rosalie Cohen suggest that thought processes are distributed as follows between two brain hemispheres:
Dual-Brain Theory � Left Hemisphere: Verbal, Rational, Analytic, Digital – (U. S. , Western Countries) � Right Hemisphere: Signal-pictorial, emotional, synthetic, analogical – (Non-Western Countries) � The corpus callosum is the communication connector (tissue). � Many times the difference in thought patterns cause different and often opposing, value orientations.
What Does This Look Like? � Segmental thinkers see: �clear-cut �black-and-white issues �insist on universal application of a principle �Won’t feel secure unless their perceptions are recognized as correct �They push for quick, clear decisions � Ie. School System, Tests, Linear Ways of Structure, Power Hierarchies
What Does This Look Like? � Holistic thinkers: �See most issues as gray (open for debate) rather than black and white �Want to examine the total circumstances �Believe that each situation is unique �Are uncomfortable with standardized procedures and rigidly applied rules �Resist being pinned down to a particular position on an issue or to a particular social role. � -Ie. My high school/college experience
Developing A Biblical Perspective � The model of Jesus: The challenge facing those in missions and ministry is to learn to think in accordance with the mindset & culture of those with whom they work. � Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit
Developing A Biblical Perspective � Many times when Jesus taught, he utilized right hemisphere, pictorial, concrete, holistic, and analogical strategies rather than lefthemisphere, verbal abstract, dichotomistic and analytic thought. �Ie. Jewish Culture, Ancient World Culture � However, in Scripture God has also set clear standards, clear boundaries for relationships and clear instructions – Ie. Ten Commandments, John 14: 1 -3
Developing A Biblical Perspective � Jesus used analogies/stories in the Gospels: � Matthew 5: 13 -14 he compares the believer to salt and light. Salt without flavor and a light under a basket are worthless. �Matthew 16 Jesus uses metaphor of yeast in regard to the techniques of the Pharisees. �Gospel of John – Jesus spoke of himself as the Good Shepherd, the living water, the bread of life, and the vine. �The objects that Jesus chose as analogies were all common, everyday aspects of Jewish culture, familiar to everyone who heard his message. He also used parables, a more complex form of analogy.
Ministry & Missions Application • Power of Story in Culture � Because dichotomistic thinkers often reject the ambiguity of their holistic peers, accusing them of softness, lack of principles, and inconsistency it is important to guard against these or you may cut off those you are trying to minister with or reach. - ie. Finance/Motorcycle Issue – American & African � Because holistic thinkers will reject the rigidity of their dichotomist peers, accusing them of legalism and callous inhumanity to others it is important to guard against this or you may neglect the sincerity of heart, the guides that your dichotomistic brother/sister can offer and prematurely cut off those you seek to reach or minister too. –ie. Extreme Liberal Living, Division in Church
Ministry & Missions Application � To maintain only your perspective limits you from seeing God move and reveal more of Himself. To reject the other ways of thinking is to reject a deeper understanding of God and how He operates; it leads only to false perceptions and narrowed judgments. � This is why Christ warns us in Matthew 7: 1, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. ” Paul says that Jesus knows the hearts and Jesus alone will be the judge of men (Rom. 2: 16; 1 Cor. 4: 4 -5) and of the effectiveness of a particular ministry.
Ministry & Missions Application � One of the biggest problems in our families, churches, and missions is that we often insist that others think and judge in the same way that we do. We do not accept one another in love, but rather we try to remake those around us into our own image. This tendency is the negation of the principle of incarnation, which requires that we learn to think in the style of our neighbor. � On the field, it is very important to learn how to use story and to help believers discern clear, healthy boundaries from Scripture & the help of the Holy Spirit for their context.