Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Illusion & Temptation - The McGurk Effect

Is seeing believing? Is it an advantage? Why did Jesus say to the crowd seeking to fill their bellies, "You have seen me and yet do not believe," and to Thomas, "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed"?

It seems easy enough to differentiate what we see from what we hear.
The McGurk Effect is a linguistics phenomenon from articulatory phonetics
that shows how visual input overrides other sensory information.
"Our sense of vision takes over... allowing us to maintain a coherent view of the world."

To live by faith and not by sight?

At evening service last night, Scott preached on the temptation of Jesus and highlighted the nature of temptation. The Tempter frames the dialogue in such a paradigm that makes you believe the best option is to give in -- it appears that your options are narrower than they are (Scott Strickman). As though you could freely choose and rightly choose before being chosen, any more than a tiger would opt for a bowl of porridge over a hunk of meat (Kathy Keller).

Following John the Baptizer's announcement that the Kingdom was at hand because its King had arrived, was a crucial time to undermine the word of God. He countered the voice from heaven saying "This is My Son..." with earthly reason "If you are really the son..." and with visual temptations of visible kingdoms. The Tempter speaks again and again his same refrain, "Did God actually say...?" And sinners choose again and again what they see, what is delightful to the eyes.

God dignifies us with our true identity.

This season in my temptation to despair, the Lord repeatedly draws near to dignify me with my true identity. Even when my own rebellion has laid me low, He says, "You are My people, I am your God." You are not a reject or damaged goods, that's not your identity, you're a child of God, a daughter of the King--so be that, in faith (Michael Hwang).

And believe in the words of your Maker, though now you know in part. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory (1 Peter 1.8). Soon you shall see Him face to face.

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