Philosophical Problems with Bounded Set Thinking

Bounded Set Problems – Within the Christian far right community there is a deep seated belief in “us verses them” mentality.  This can be seen in some Charismatic Christian’s stance that if you do not speak in the tongues of the Holy Spirit then you are not really saved, in some Evangelical churches believing that Catholics aren’t saved because of their veneration of Saints and their practice of praying to Mary, and view of Sacraments like what happens to the bread and wine – transubstantiation, consubstantiation, or is it simply a memorial.

This type of Bounded Set thinking creates a situation that Paul warned us about, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought” (1 Cor. 1:10).   We should ask if we believe in the core of what Christ said means to be a Christian, Believing that Jesus was the Messiah, died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and rose again in victory.  If we believe these core principles then at least our Bounded Set has greatly expanded.

Unfortunately, what we have is great division and many very small bounded sets floating around within the Christian community.  This prevents us from dialog and working together for good and the furthering of His Kingdom.

This type of thinking also allows Christians to segment and compartmentalize sins in such a way that they say that there are certain things you can’t do in order to be a “Christian”.  We as humans like to classify sins on a scale and say that certain ones are okay for Christians to commit while others ban you from the fellowship of believers and call into question the validity of your conversion.  This is an unbiblical stance because Christ did not do this (with the exception of blaspheme against the Holy Spirit), He says all sins will be forgiven (Mark 3:28 -29).  Homosexuality (I know I brought it up) is a sin that I believe is clearly against specific Scriptures from the Old Testament to the New Testament and goes against God’s natural created order, however, this does not mean that I should classify it as a sin that relegates them to a place outside the walls of a Church.  This is a topic for another post, but I bring it up to show a problem with Bounded Set thinking – it enables practitioners of it to put homosexuals into the “them” category, and essentially wash their hands and believe they are outside of God’s grace and fellowship even if they believe in the core of Christianity.

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3 thoughts on “Philosophical Problems with Bounded Set Thinking

    • Clare,

      I agree with your statement but would like some clarification. Are you saying that Jesus is a Bounded Set Thinker? I am going to do my next post in an attempt to answer that question.

      • No.

        To me, the Broad Way is that of following the herd and conforming, and the Narrow Way is that of being entirely and uniquely onesself: which turns it opposite from the way I was taught it. But some writers, editors and redactors of the Bible were.

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