Intuition and Theology

Recently, in a class discussion, Dr. John Stackhouse made the passing remark that intuition, thankfully, will at times trump our theological inconsistencies when it comes to behavior. For example, a theological view that life on earth is merely a matter of ‘passing on through’ would warrant a pretty dull outlook towards everyday living, as the ‘true’ nature of reality is some disembodied, non-worldly existence (something I believe the Bible does not teach). However, human intuition towards at least attempting to make the best of life often results in actions displaying an inherent worth for life on earth, despite the contrary theological ideology (i.e. Taking care of the daily needs of one’s family honors human life here on earth whether someone knows it or not).

I am not sure why, but I had never considered the issue quite like this before. I have always been intrigued with how/if our theology affects our behavior; however, the question of faulty theology and intuitive behavior adds an intriguing twist. Now, I am not sure how far we could take this, as the common-sense nature of the issue relegates it primarily to the realm of personal ethics (It’s hard to imagine some sort of ‘corporate intuition’ that influences communities, although I guess it’s not out of the realm of possibility). Also, this idea should not be confused with the notion that intuition replaces belief. This could easily lead to a personalized approach to theology that bemoans any outside influence at all, with ‘intuition’ being the sole motivator for ethics. I believe that a discerning community, therefore, is necessary in order to evaluate where our intuitive motivations improve the consistency between our theology and behavior and where they perhaps hinder it.

As a theological student who recognizes my own limits to formulating correct theology, I take solace in this tidbit of wisdom, recognizing the value that my intuitive nature as a human has in my overall outlook and actions.


Amor said...

What an intelligent and intuitive posting!

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