Thursday, December 09, 2010

God is Jealous

 Is this bad new or good news?

This often confounding question is explored in the excellent podcast series called Groupthink Rescue. This is the 5th episode, but after listening you'll want to go back and listen to them all.

What is Groupthink Rescue? From the Facebook page (where you can also engage in discussions about each episode):

Groupthink Rescue is a weekly podcast that invites people away from common misconceptions and toward the true gospel of Jesus.

Groupthink is a type of thought within a deeply cohesive in-group whose members try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas.

Our hope is to rescue people from these misconceptions about Christianity, about Jesus, about the Bible, and about church. And our hope is to point people to the true Word of God and to the true Gospel of Jesus.
It's a perfect theological snack to get you through the week.


Anna said...

I hear the tagline and I think "Gee, I should give up "my" group's GroupThink in order to join yours? Pass." Everyone has their own ideas about what the truth is, yes? To accuse anyone who doesn't see it your way of being subject to "groupthink" just seems... insulting? ad hominem? (Which is not to say that they might not still be right about whatever it is they say... just a minor point that bugged me.)

DK said...

Haha, totally fair. The thought crossed my mind as well. But if we are working towards Truth, I think that is hope that we can sort out some of the false groupthinks, no? I think the podcast clearly has an audience that is the evangelical church, so it's groupthinks that those in the evangelical church share. The tagline is not accusing outside groups of being guilty of groupthink, it's accusing it's own group of being guilty of groupthink. Does that make it a little bit easier to digest? Haha

DK said...
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Karina said...

Fair point, Anna. I think of that each time I say it. It can sound pretty arrogant to say that I am going to rescue everyone else from their groupthink.
David's comment pretty much nailed it, though. And my hope is not to point people toward my specific take, but to point us away from cultural norms and to Jesus' gospel. And I am hoping to do it specifically with people who are a part of the evangelical community. It is meant largely as a self-critique.
Anyway, your feedback is, and will be, welcome!

Anna said...

Here's the thing. Sometimes what a group thinks is right. Sometimes cultural norms are in line with Jesus' gospel. So when you are talking about cases where that is *not* the case, you need to keep in the back of your mind those times when it *is*. And (preferably), let that affect your tone and phrasing.

So instead of saying something like "We invite people away from common misconceptions towards the true gospel of Jesus" - which makes it sound like "you folks" don't have the true gospel, only "we" do - maybe say something like... "We're here to talk about a variety of problematic ways of thinking that we've often run into before, particularly those that involve sacrificing the right thing in order to fit better into a group, in the hope of helping those struggling with these issues to better live out the gospel of Jesus." That makes it more clear that your intended audience is not everyone in the whole universe, and moves away from the implication that your intended audience doesn't have the true gospel *at all*.

One of my rules of thumb when I'm writing and talking to people is to express things in terms of my personal experiences, whenever possible, instead of in broad, lecturing, "people should do X" terms. This makes it more clear to people that (1) my convictions are not some theoretical abstraction, but have a basis in real life, and (2) my convictions may or may not be relevant to their own circumstances.

I don't know if that helps, but those are my thoughts.

DK said...

I really appreciate that insight! I think it is a great reminder, especially for me on this blog, as I have a very broad audience including people from all different contexts. So if I am clear in what group something is directed at, someone from a different group is more likely to even benefit from it instead of be put off/offended by it.