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Unteachable Thu, Jun 30, 2005
I think there are some people who are absolutely unteachable.  They usually happen to be older.  But what's weird is that they act like they're willing to learn.  Now I'm not talking about learning engineering (something complex) or musical taste (something specific and opinion-driven).  I'm talking about Bible stuff here, but I think it can apply to other stuff as well.  For example, there's a lady in my Bible study at work.  Sometimes she asks questions:  some are well thought-out, and some are completely off-topic.  But that's not the issue.  She asks these questions and then doesn't even really listen to the answer.  I can actually see the moment in time when she stops listening.  It's like her switch was turned off.  So then she interrupts the answer and doesn't listen to what's being said.  And in the end, she repeats the question or reaffirms her feelings about the answer that she already had in her head.  My problem is this:  why does she waste the time to ask the question when she has no interest in the answer?  My answer:  she's unteachable.  It's not that she can't learn anything new.  It's that she doesn't want to.  She's turned that part of her brain off.  "No longer accepting any new information." #psychology

I'll pray for you (2) Thu, Jun 30, 2005
I've been noticing this sneaky little insult coming up among Christians.  When they see someone doing something sinful, they say, "I'll pray for you."  But it usually comes out with a tone that implies that prayer is the only thing that could possibly help the person, since they're otherwise totally helpless.  The Christian answer to this is that yes, of course prayer is the only thing that can help people; people are otherwise helpless on their own.  But that's not what I'm talking about.  This statement usually comes after they see something terrible that's out of their control and they say it sort of as an insult.  Or maybe they don't mean it that way.  But that's definitely how the receiver takes it.  I saw it at a Bible study once.  A guy was saying how he didn't really feel the need to go to church, and another person spouted out, "I'll pray for you."  That guy never came to the Bible study again.  And I saw it at the Billy Graham crusade as I was walking past the protesters holding signs that spoke out against Billy.  A guy in the crowd yelled out "I'll pray for you" as he walked by.  But he didn't mean it in a nice way.  He meant, "You're obviously wrong even though you don't realize it, so I'll pray that God will open your eyes to your error."  I'm sure the guy holding the sign wasn't too happy that somebody would be praying for him. #religion