The Confirmation Bias of Pattern Theology

There are several different methods for interpreting scripture.

Personally, I don’t believe they are written with the modern intellectual in mind and so methods that seek to impose hard and fast rules on the Bible text seem to be doomed to fail. (I interpret the Bible to be understood as if it’s any other book, though there is complex symbology and imagery)

As are methods that preclude the vast majority of humanity, past and present, from enjoying the benefits of Jesus’ blood, simply on the basis of the logic they use to determine the laws (or lack of them) set forth for the church in the New Testament, as in inductive reasoning or ‘the scientific method’ brought to us by Mr. Bacon during the Renaissance.

Zooming out and looking at the concept from the perspective of those who would be condemned, it is easier to understand that, indeed, this method, in particular, is not consistent with Jesus at all.

No matter what “method” we use, Jesus did not come so that we could search and interpret correctly and follow all of the laws He gave, for “the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike mothers and fathers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers…” 1 Timothy 1:8-9

In other words, Jesus” did not come to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17

It has been said that “whatever you are looking for, you can find it in the Bible.”

That is, if you go to the Bible to prove yourself right, you will prove yourself right.

This paradox is no different whether you are looking for a pattern for the church to follow or for inconsistencies in the 3 gospel accounts.

Both of these have the same cause: inductive reasoning’s built in weakness – confirmation bias.

With inductive reasoning, one simply cannot find out whether something is true or false. That is not its goal.

Rather, It is either strong or weak.

And of course, my argument is the “strong” one.

Ex.

The sun has risen every day since I’ve been born.

There are no reliable records that the sun has not risen (except of course the wonder of Moses in Egypt).

Therefore, the sun will rise tomorrow.

Even though the chances of it happening actually do approach 100%, it is not 100 % and cannot be 100%.

The difference between inductive reasoning and others is that the former relies on evidence rather than facts.

A deductive example might be:

The sun rose in England today.

The sun rises earlier for us than it does for England.

Therefore the sun has already risen here.

There can be no weak or strong here.

It is either true or false.

This is why Paul warned in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 about strong delusions.

We are all subject to confirmation bias, to being overcome by what we desire to be true.

But Jesus promises He will lead us, if we follow.

The question is, which do we want more?

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