Through Our Own Lens: Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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13 Responses

  1. Corby says:

    I agree. Everyone has and needs a filter. How we use that filter is I think your point. A filter provides a mechanism to process information. I think what is missing is the ability to “pause” that filter, and learn how to use someone else’s filter, at least temporarily.

    I saw a quote around the recent climate change town hall where someone said that we need to filter every issue through climate change. That’s a pretty bold statement, especially in light of the fact that these people would also say that no one should force their views on anyone else. But I digress.

    I think part of what needs to happen is the need to split being comfortable in my own skin from my sense of being/feeling right. Too many people, Christians in this context be they liberal or conservative in whatever aspect, vest their value in being right. I believe the Bible to be the word of God -> I have this theological bent -> I hold tightly to this doctrine -> if I’m wrong there is something wrong with me.

    That’s what I think drives people who are entrenched. It’s pride and insecurity at the same time. The extreme playing-out of this is that it applies to every detail of everything, even how one lives out their lives.

    That said, I think/know most people here will still have heated discussions around topics they care about. The difference is, we need to not find our sense of self-value in the outcome. “I think I’m right, but I could be wrong. I don’t think I’m wrong, and I will live out what I think is right, but I need to be at least open to the possibility that I’m wrong.” That’s where I am at least trying to be.

  2. Josh says:

    Good observation, Duane. The Mohler kerfuffle is interesting.

  3. Michael says:


    ” I believe the Bible to be the word of God -> I have this theological bent -> I hold tightly to this doctrine -> if I’m wrong there is something wrong with me.”

    You just nailed it…

  4. Steve says:

    I think with the reaction to Mohler was less about a theological lens (fundamentalist, conservative, liberal, progressive) and more about the status in life lens (married, kids, single, etc.). It really doesn’t matter if you are a fundamentalist or a progressive, what mattered was the offense people took personally or sympathy towards others that were in the status of single, no kids, etc. I suppose the reaction was couched in theological jargon to emphasize ones own bias but I believe the root is not so much about theological lens but more about ones identify and stage in life. Mohler made the mistake to conflate status in life with ones theology or sin and this is why there is so much backlash that he rightly deserves on both sides. Kind of like James Comey former director of FBI who is despised on both the left and the right.

  5. Michael says:

    I have people” friend” me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter because they like one thing I wrote…assuming I align with their whole political and theological checklist.
    They unfriend and unfollow me soon afterwards…because I don’t fit the categories perfectly…

  6. Duane Arnold says:


    As I said, his comments were ill-advised, but then people on both sides used the remarks…

  7. Duane Arnold says:


    We live in a time in which most people (on both sides of issues) wish to present binary choices… nuance or complexity is now suspect…

  8. Michael says:


    That’s why, despite how much to sometimes gripes me, I refuse to turn this place into an echo chamber.
    We have to learn to disagree agreeably and learn from each other again…

  9. Duane Arnold says:


    Agreed. As I said, consideration of another point of view does not entail acceptance. For some, even simple consideration seems to cross some line…

  10. Steve says:

    Duane,. I think folks try to make sense of nonsensical statements and they default to what they know. The basis of language and logic uses negation or binary chooses. It’s the way computers ultimately operate with 1s and 0s and people by nature are contrary. Politicians know and exploit this all the time. This is why the general election is very close to a 50/50 mix. Your article is helpful because I think it can help people to think more critically and get out of the rut of polarization.

  11. Duane Arnold says:


    Yes, and the problem is that as people we are complex. Moreover, many of the things we confront in life are complex and do not lend themselves to simplistic solutions…

  12. Michael says:

    “For some, even simple consideration seems to cross some line…”

    One is not even allowed to think outside the proscribed box…so there is little thinking going on at all…

  13. TJB says:

    You claim to be “lean politically liberal”, just curious what your stance is on abortion? I get when people take a bleeding heart approach regarding some political issues, then there’s the problem of abortion.

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