Breaking out of the echo chamber

There’s been much talk in recent years of the “echo chamber” that exists on the Internet. People read writings that reflect their views rather than studying things that challenge their thinking. Conservatives read materials from conservative sites; liberals listen to liberal sources. This happens in politics, and it happens in the church.

One of the healthiest things you can do is to learn to articulate another person’s point of view, one that differs from yours. Learn why they believe what they believe. You don’t have to accept their reasoning to be able to express it.

A hot topic in churches these days is the role of women. If you take a more complementarian stance, do some reading in egalitarian literature, reading to understand, not just to refute. If you lean toward a more egalitarian view, read some from writers that see limitations on what women are to do in the church. (And if you don’t know what complementarian or egalitarian stances are, I truly envy you!)

In the same way, try to break out of your historic and geographic contexts. Read writers from other cultures and from other time periods. Spend time familiarizing yourself with classic theological writings. Explore some of the writings of Christians who live outside of Europe and North America; learn how believers in the Global South and the East view their faith.

If you are willing to explore outside of your own belief ecosystem, you will be strengthened in your understanding. You may end up in the exact same place belief-wise, but your convictions will be stronger because you have allowed them to be tested.

photo by brewbooks on Flickr

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