Site Methodology

One purpose of this website is to present a radically different way of living the Christian life, and is based on an different view and understanding of the way that the Holy Spirit and the believer interact that is equally radical.  This new way of living and interacting initially requires that the Christian believer accept certain propositions and assertions as being true.  These propositions and assertions indicate certain behaviors that Christians must engage in to produce the results being claimed.  This page does not outline those propositions and truths, since they are derived and presented in the Symbiotic Christianity section of this website.  Instead, this page summmarises and defends the methodologies and reasoning processes used to determine those propositions and truths.

From reading the essays, it should be obvious that this website utilizes a methodology that is somewhat at odds to the methods that Theologians, Churchmen, and religious experts have traditionally used, and currently use, to establish the truth or falsehood of religious propositions and assertions.  While no methodology is guaranteed to arrive at truth if it is not applied competently or has all the required starting materials, it is claimed that the standard theological methodology is the only legitimate methodology that can be counted upon to arrive at biblical and theological truth.  There may be, to be sure, disputes between theologians as to whether the methodology was followed competently when discussing the relative merits of various competing theological assertions and propositions, but the implied claim is that any other methodology has a high probability of producing false results, untruths, and heresies.  The justification for seminaries, schools of theology, peer reviewed articles, and the awarding of degrees is to designate those who are recognized by existing competent Theologians as being equally competent to apply the standard theological methodology.  This leads to a mindset where every theological assertion is not held to be correct unless it has the support or endorsement of at least three other theologicans or religious experts, living or dead.  I am not joking, for I have a book in my possession where this observation is made by the author just prior to dutifully providing the references that establishes the proper numerological pedigree of his claims.

Before the Renaissance, those fields of study that are now regarded as independent scientific fields were part of the standard scholastic curriculum for theologians and priests.  In that day, it was expected that a well-rounded and competent theologian be familiar with all the ways that God spoke to mankind.  Theology was regarded as the Queen of the Sciences, since both experience and scripture acknowledged that man, unaided by revelation and using only external facts and logic, could not arrive at a saving knowledge of God beyond His existence and Creatorship.

The crisis came when the field of Astronomy began to discover truths that contradicted the claims of the Ancient Greeks that were held to be correct.  The new truths were obtained by a logical process of reasoning from facts that were gathered and independently verified.  Theories were developed, predictions derived, and the results checked against the actual facts, with adjustments made based on concurrance or disagreement.  This process radically differs from one based on reasoning from the findings of past accepted authorities, with validity and reasonableness measured by the consensus of experts that is only incidentally influenced by physical realities and constraints.

The success of the new truth discovery process in the physical realm required that the field of Theology address a vital question: should it follow a similar method by gathering data regarding the spiritual state of men, examining the facts and Scriptures, proposing a theory, postulating solutions based on the theory derived from the Scriptures, apply the solution, examine the results, and adjust their interpretations of the Scriptures based on concurrance or disagreement?  Answering in the affirmative would have started Theology on a track to become the foundation of what we now call the field of Psychology.  The alternative was to stay within the tradition of Philosophy, where reasonableness, agreement, and especially mutual concurrance, would remain the criteria for judging the validity of a proposed idea, concept, teaching, or doctrine. 

It is my opinion that Theology chose the latter path, and for a very practical reason: the methodology would have forced upon them a discipline that would have obligated the theologians and the religious establishment to face the very real fact that there was a vast difference in the spiritual power and effectiveness between the Church of the first century and the Church of their day.  They would have been forced to declare whether the state of affairs then current was acceptable or not, with all the sticky implications arising from any answer they gave.  Even if the Church and the Universities admitted that there was an unacceptable decline in performance, the next question would obviously have been "So what are you going to do about it?"  Keep in mind that any answer other than "nothing" would have required that there be physically real and verifiable results, leading to the obvious conclusion that rigorous application of the method would have required that anyone who produced real and verifiable results would be declared "right", while those lacking any results would be declared "wrong".  It should be obvious to any student of history that requiring that all Papal candidates be able to miraculously cleanse lepers or heal the stick would have considerably narrowed the field of aspirants, not to mention putting a crimp in everyone's plans to use the Papal Chair as a tool of personal power and source of secular profit since real miracle workers tend to be fiendishly unmanageable.

There are some that have tried to take the path not taken, but I view the results as mixed at best.  Most elect to use science as a source of sermon homilies or as talking points to introduce theological concepts into the conversation.  Some strive to show the concurrance of scripture with Science.  Others with more knowledge tend to critically examine scientific results using the Scriptures as the microscope, in imitation of the way Critics use science as a microscope under which they place the Scriptures.  All regard Scriptures as a document that contains statements of some scientific truths that are either verified or not.

While not disputing the useful work of those taking the preceding approaches to the Bible/Science question, this site's methodology is justified based on a heterodox interpretation of Paul's description of the use of Scriptures in 2 Timothy 3:16.  There, scripture can be regarded, not only as a sourcebook of specific truths, but also as a collection of "machine" tools which, when used in accordance to the provided instructions, will produce specified results as promised.  This recognizes that Engineering uses the products of Science and produces the instruments of Science without being what is popularly regarded as "Science" ("Real" Science being what is termed "Theoretical" or "Research" Science.)  More important is the adoption of a modified version of the scientific  "research cycle", consisting of observation, hypothesizing, predicting, experimenting, observation again, and modification.  In conducting their particular version of the "research cycle", Engineers have the envious advantage (or curse) that "feedback" from their theories and creations is hard to ignore or explain away: bridges that collapse, buildings that topple, and rockets that explode do not allow much wriggle room.  This contrasts with the "research cycle" adopted by Philosophy and Theology that enablees them to evade accountability by changing the core requirements via a process of Experts expressing mutual consensus in favor of the change to the field.

An illustration of "mutual consensus" facilitating the evasion of accountability was the reaction to C.S. Lewis' proof that rationality did not follow from the materialist position.  The proof was quite solid, but mainstream philosophers evaded facing it and its logical consequences by emplying what I call "The Vogue Maneuver": Lewis' proof was phrased in terms of Logical Positivism, the philosophical school of thought that was dominant when he learned philosophy.  When he presented his proof, it was discounted because Logical Positivism had been superceded by another school of thought that, among other things, denied that "reducto ad absurdum" was not a valid method for refuting an argument, and declared that a different set of problems "were more interesting and more important".  In other words, it was discounted because it used a reasoning process and style of argument that had been declared out of fashion in the same way that the editorial staff of Vogue magazine attempts to regulate what is "stylish" and what is not during a monthly staff meeting held to arrive at a new consensus.

In making this claim, I admit that I have a bad precedent to overcome, since the most well-known misuse of this view of scriptures is popularly known as "The Prosperity Gospel".  While I know there are many who agree with me that the Prosperity Gospel is wrong in many ways, I am fairly sure that many would be startled to learn that it is a Bible/Engineering issue rather than a Bible interpretation issue.  The method that Theologians and the Clergy use to answer the Prosperity Gospel is akin to creating a firebreak, in that they deny that the promises can be claimed or that doing so is offensive to God.  Others add conditions and provisions unsupported by scripture but which are claimed to be the "cause" of the failure to obtain the promises. This is sometimes done by Prosperity Gospel preachers, but is also used by those who recognize the dire consequences of undermining the power and authority of any part of the Scriptures.  After all, they reason, if it is acceptable for God to ignore promises regarding material things, then it would be acceptable for Him to ignore promises regarding spiritual things, of which salvation and the future hope of Jesus' return are the most important.  This discounting of the material in favor of the spiritual is merely another way to avoid accountability, and happens to be severely rebuked in scriptures.  Jesus condemned those who dedicated their goods to God to evade using them to support their parents.  James condemned those who, in place of providing solid material assistance, instead uttered a verbal blessing of material comfort to the poor and destitute.  John the Apostle condemned those who claimed to love a God that could not be seen while simultaneously hating those brothers that they were seeing on a daily basis.

However, if a "theo-engineering" viewpoint is taken, it becomes obvious that a real TE (Theo Engineer) is to the typical Prosperity Gospel preacher (and his critics) what a real Medical Doctor is to a quack.  There is no need to set biblical firebreaks that "destroy the bible in order to save it", nor pile unscriptural conditions upon unfounded requirements to intimidate honest seekers with a raised bar that was designed to ensure it could not be surmounted.  What actually is required is a willingness to acknowledge and accept the existence of failure, humility to admit the shortcomings of one's theories and the intellect that produced them, persistence in one's conviction and vision of the possible, a passion for the truth, and a dogged persistent spirit of intellectual inquiry that stops at nothing to find it.  While I do not claim a complete and flawless system to obtain the promises of God, I do claim a high percentage of successfully granted requests when pursued using the intellectual structure that I spent years painstakingly developing and using.  Indeed, the original purpose of this website was to document that structure, with the site name, "Logotech", being a play on its technologically inspired roots:  "Logo" stands for the Word of God, with "Tech" derived from "technology".

The methodology used on this website is what I have come to call "theo-engineering".  Its domain is not necessarily that of Biblical interpretation, although it may be necessary to examine and analyze specific Bible passages.  Nor is the methodology's primary purpose to establish the scientific veracity of the Scripture, any concordance between the two, or postulate biblical interpretations that can be purported to be supported by science, although the findings and methods of Science may be used to establish the nature of a problem or entity under analysis.  Nor is its goal the discovery and development of some specific Biblical doctrines, although specific Biblical doctrines and passages may be invoked as source material or illuminated in the process of analysis. 

Rather, the domain of the methodology can be best illustrated via a contrast: while the goal of science is to answer the question of "How does 'it' happen and why?", the goal of engineering is to answer questions like "How do we turn a specific doctrine or teaching into a useful practice, process, or product?", "What is 'it' supposed to do?", and "'It' is broken, so how do we fix 'it'?".  Truth be told, the vast majority of benefits and goods brought to practical and popular use have been invalidly attributed to Science, when the real credit for turning the output of Science into practical products and practices, thus earning the gratitude and support of the general populace paying for the research, belongs to the engineers and inventors.  And when it comes to designing and constructing the experimental apparati scientists use to conduct their research, what they do is nearly indistinguishable from what Engineers do, with the difference being that the former usually construct one-of-a-kind devices, while the latter construct the machines required to mass-produce the devices.  Becoming a Scientist or an Engineer takes a special kind of person that is the same for both, so should be no surprise that Science and Engineering are often combined into a group of related departments at most academic institutions, as well as compete for the same pool of students. Substitute Theology for Science in the preceeding paragraph, and you get an idea of the motivation behind the employment of Engineering principles in that area of human endeavor.

I view the advent of this methodology, and this website, as a logical progression of the insight of Cameron Townsend, the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators.  While there is a lot of applied theology involved in generating a translation of the Bible in a new language, he realized that the Army of God needed their versions of SRI, Lincoln Lab, Xerox PARC, and GTRI, so he founded the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service and SIL International to tackle the various technical and academic aspects of bible translation.  I am sure there are other engineering-based organizations that are dedicated to helping advance the Kingdom of God. 

However, to adapt a saying calculated to help engineers focus their attention on the right priorities, and with all due respect, all of that work is essentially fighting the alligators.

This site is here to come up with the protocols essential to draining the swamp.

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