Trinitarian thinking...

Recently I read "The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking" and while I am still processing the book there is something that keeps coming to my mind - a need for trinitarian thinking.

In the book, Martin argues the need for integrative thinking (that is the ability to hold diametrically opposite ideas in one's mind at the same time) and this is very valuable. In religious terms I would say it is important for people (and very difficult for us) to be able to think in paradoxes. Jesus says the first will be last and the last will be first. Faith as a mustard seed can move mountains. Loose your life to gain it, gain your life by loosing your life. Paradox.

However valuable integrative/paradox thinking is, it seems to be only one leg of the tripod of thinking needed for Christians.

The other two legs being, Creative and Critical.

My wife is a very good critical thinker. She can look at a project and break it up into chunks in order to examine it very critically. She asks wonderful questions which make others see the project in a new light and she is able to tweak things in the project which many have missed. She has a very critical eye in the arts, child raising, and theology. The problem is, she is not that great at creating projects.

I find myself able to create projects. I love to try to design and create a large picture or vision which others can buy into and get excited about. I find myself shy of the details and not very interested in the minutia which would bring the project to life. I am not able to ask questions to the project in a way that critically examines the purpose of the project. I am not able to critically express my thoughts and when I hit a wall of critical thinkers, I tend to revert to shouting them out of the conversation. I can create ideas, but I am not that great at executing the details.

This is why I love to talk with Estee. She teaches me critical thinking skills all the time. She gives me books to read and angles to address in what I am thinking that I never thought of before. At the same time, I never loose my creative thinking skills in a conversation with her. I think when she talks with me, we are integrating our two thought processes together in ways which we could not do on our own because (in our own minds) they are diametrically opposite ways of thinking.

It is my prayer that we all continue to strive for trinitarian thinking. Creative, Critical, and Integrative.

When we get stuck on just one thought process we are not really embracing paradox. And if we cannot embrace paradox, we will never be able to understand Jesus.