God reveals himself to us through nature and our conscience, but his detailed disclosure is presented in the Bible.
The Bible is a collection of letters, laws, sermons, history, poetry, prayers, praise, practical sayings, and prophecies.
It encompasses a variety of literary forms ranging from prosaic narratives and dramatic imagery to statutory commandments and song lyrics.
Its figurative language includes hyperbole, irony, similes, metaphors, analogies, ellipses, euphemisms, symbolisms, parallelisms, and anthropomorphisms.
Its timeframe extends from creation to the advent of eternity. Some texts simultaneously reference multiple time periods.
Through this melange, God reveals who he is, who we are, how the world got messed up, and what he has done to fix everything.
Due to the literary structure of Scripture, however, many of us fail to comprehend the full extent of God’s written revelation.
This conundrum raises two common questions.
Why is the Bible, in aggregate, so complex? Why did God not inspire his scribes to write a simple handbook that everyone could easily understand?
God supervised the writing and compilation of Bible with our minds in mind.
God is easy to comprehend in many ways.
He is always good. His ideas and methods are always superior to ours. His love for us is unfailing and unconditional.
But in other ways God is complex.
He is triune. He is self-existent. He is self-sufficient. He is infinite. He is transcendent. He exists outside the realms of time and space.
At creation, God designed an executive function into our brains called cognitive flexibility. This feature helps us walk in harmony with him.
Cognitive flexibility allows us to master complex subjects by studying them from different perspectives at various times in dissimilar contexts for distinct purposes.
It enables us to integrate the knowledge we previously acquired in unrelated contexts and apply it in new situations.
It enables us to comprehend the nuances of perplexing circumstances, evaluate the merits of conflicting evidence, and arrive at correct conclusions.
What does cognitive flexibility have to do with the structure of Scripture and our relationship with God?
In terms of our relationship with God, cognitive flexibility enables us to continue to view God as he has revealed himself in nature and in Scripture when distress could
Distress distorts our perception of God, much like the peephole in a door warps our view of the person standing on the other side. Faith corrects our vision.
Faith bridges the gap between what God has revealed about himself, through nature and in the Bible, and what we could infer about him from our afflictions.
God’s promise of aid, not our adverse circumstances, evidences his true character. We reconcile our suffering with his goodness by choosing to believe its six implicit truths.
Amid affliction, cognitive flexibility enables us to balance our lives and maintain our faith.
This is what the Bible does. It describes God’s interface with humanity across millennia from the perspectives of multiple authors.
These writers describe their encounters with God in a variety of circumstances and detail what they learned through these experiences.
They also chronicle the experiences and insights of others who walked in harmony with God and of those who defied him.
Thus, the literary complexity of Scripture taps into our cognitive flexibility, which helps us understand the complexity of God.
It requires us to exercise our cognitive flexibility to understand Scripture because he hims .
Through their testimonies we learn that God is always good, he is always good, his ideas and methods are always superior to ours, and his love for us is indeed unfailing and unconditional.
In still other ways, God is inscrutable. We do not know why he created the world. We do not know why he allows evil to persist. His everyday activities often baffle us.
God designed our brains to trust him. He wanted the Bible to engage our minds in a manner that strengthened our faith.
Therefore, he inspired its authors and compilers to produce a book that tapped into our cognitive flexibility.
Thus, cognitive flexibility is a component of faith.
It allows us to utilize the knowledge about God that we previously acquired during distress to new adversities. It enables us to trust him amid affliction.
Cognitive Flexibility And The Bible
He promeso that we would trust him.
Cognitive flexibility is the key to mastering complex knowledge.
Cognitive flexibility is an executive brain function that enables us to adapt our thinking to different circumstances.
It enables us to apply the knowledge we acquired in one context to the problems we encounter in a new situation.
through literary forms found in the Bible, God teaches us these lessons..
This gives us the confidence to
God reveals the existence, attributes, and works of God; the nature of his relationship with the world; the creation of the universe; the corruption of man and the earth; the meaning and purpose of life; and the ultimate destiny of humanity.
For example, elementary teachers might devise math problems that incorporate historical timelines. They may assign art projects with science themes.
Cognitive flexibility gives us the capacity to analyze discrete situations from multiple perspectives. It allows us to objectively evaluate the merits of conflicting alternatives.
It allows us to transition into new situations. It enables us to apply the learning we acquire in one context to solve problems in another context.
Cognitive flexibility impacts our faith in God.
Cognitive Flexibility And Faith
Faith in God requires us to reconcile our suffering with his goodness.
We choose to walk in harmony with God because we believe in his goodness. As long as life remains pleasant we have no reason to question this belief.
But then we encounter a period of intense suffering. To maintain our faith, we must adapt our thinking about God to new circumstances.
We must believe, as God does, that our suffering is a manifestation of the sin that infects the world, not an indication that he is untrustworthy.
Thus, this new perspective
Do we continue to believe that he is good? Or do we infer from our distress that he is weak, mean, aloof, or non-existent?
We can believe either what he has revealed about himself through nature and in the Bible or what we might infer about him from our adversities.
The resolution of this dilemma is
God blesses us according to his will, not our righteousness. Temporal abundance does not signal his approval of our godliness. Affliction does not indicate his disapproval.
However, our persistent unrighteousness may
We can conclude that he must not exist because if he were real, he would make life better.
We can believe, despite our distress, that God exists, he is good, and he is trustworthy.
- God loves us because of who he is, not because of who we are. We cannot earn his favor.
- God bestows blessings according to his will, not based on our current righteousness. Temporal abundance is not an indicator of his approval. Suffering is not an indicator of his disapproval.
- God extends his offer of salvation to everyone, regardless of our past sinfulness or present unrighteousness.
- God’s atonement for our sins—past, present, and future—is exhaustive and irrevocable. His forgiveness always exceeds our sinfulness.
- God never withdraws his promise of heaven after our spiritual rebirth, no matter how much, how often, or how long we subsequently disobey him.
- Our present suffering is not God’s penalty for our sins. It is a consequence of the sinfulness that infects the world and indwells us.
- God’s punishment for sin commences in the next life, not while we are alive on earth. Only unbelievers incur this penalty.
However, our suffering and sinfulness tell us just the opposite.
The Bible defines faith as believing in that which cannot be seen or clearly understood.
Amid affliction, we exhibit faith when we believe in God and all his fullness—that which we cannot see—even though we have misgivings about him.
Cognitive Flexibility And Character
Higher levels of cognitive flexibility are associated with many desirable personal traits and social skills, including creativity, discernment, discipline, tolerance, forgiveness, problem-solving, and empathy.
We exhibit faith when we trust in the wisdom and logic of his grand plan—that which we cannot understand clearly—even though we dislike its details.
Trusting God amid affliction is easy when our ordeals are brief, infrequent, and mild, and our sense of fairness is never violated.
Trusting him when our suffering is severe, continuous, or unfair can be problematic. These conditions require us to exercise faith.
Walking in harmony with God requires a certain amount of cognitive flexibility.
The Final Author
The apostle John would have been the logical author of this epilogue.
He was the only Bible writer who conceivably had access to all sixty-six books. He wrote the last book, Revelation, after all the other authors had died.
Exercising faith means choosing to believe what God has revealed about himself, through nature and in the Bible, rather than inferring from our afflictions that he is mean, aloof, powerless, or non-existent.
By faith, we walk in harmony with God during distress under the assumption that he is always good, his ideas and methods are always superior to ours, and his love for us is indeed unfailing and unconditional.
By faith, we presume that he will fulfill his promise of aid.
Our brains have an important skill called cognitive flexibility
Nature evidences the existence of God. Scripture tells us that he is good, his ways are superior to ours, and his love for us is unfailing.
However, suffering raises doubts about these essential truths. It causes us to question his existence, character, compassion, and competence.
This learning process takes advantage of our cognitive flexibility, which is the capacity to adapt our thinking to changing circumstances.
Strengthening our faith includes improving our cognitive flexibility. Facets of God’s excellence.
Ability to stay positive.
Cognitive flexibility enhances our ability to evaluate people, places, events, and circumstances from other viewpoints.
It enables us to objectively determine the merits of multiple options.
Cognitive flexibility enables us to apply the knowledge and skills that we acquired in one setting to successfully navigate the difficulties we encounter in a different setting.
“individuals alter their perceptions surrounding the traumatic event” and to “better tolerate mystery and paradox.”
Cognitive rigidity is the antithesis of cognitive flexibility. This is the inability to adapt our thinking and behavior in response to change. Cognitive
Bible structure not absolutely necessary. The Holy Spirit illuminates. Would illuminate a handbook. Dreams. Visions. But the Bible was designed to accommodate our minds.
God wants our faith to be steadfast. He ultimately wants us to love and trust unconditionally, in every situation, good and bad.
This means that we have to think about him the same way in different contexts. He wants us to think revel in his excelence in good times and bad.
Teh ability to do this is called cognitive flexibility.
Cognitive flexibility theory posits that presenting the same material at different times in different contexts for different purposes from different perspectives is the best way for learners to acquire and master complex knowledge.
Elementary teachers who implement this theory in their classrooms might develop math problems that incorporate historical timelines. They may assign art projects with science themes. They may use puns and riddles to teach the meanings of words in context.
Cognitive flexibility helps us manage change more effectively. It teaches us to apply learning from one area to solve problems in another context.
acquisition (mastery of complexity in understanding and preparation for transfer).
God inspired the Bible writers and guided its compilers to produce a book that . It is the most effective way for us to attain advanced knowledge of any subject.
Cognitive flexibility enables us to manage change more effectively. It and make transitions easily, can shift between subjects and tasks in stride, and may have success in tasks that require them to apply learning in one arena to problem solving in another context.
Bring terminology or strategies used in one discipline over to solve problems in another discipline.
School teacher that want to promote cognitive flexibility in their students might devise math problems that incorporate historical timelines. They may assign art project with science themes. reate a science-themed artwork. use puns and riddles when teaching new words that show different contexts and meanings;
Students who can manage the cognitive control needed to understand and use various con
apply skills or concepts learned in one setting to the solving of a new problem in a different setting
is essential for attaining the goals of advanced knowledge acquisition
While you don’t see the term “flexible thinking” in the Bible, the idea of flexibility is easy to see in the pages of Scripture. When the apostle Paul lists the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, those traits include patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control — traits that work together for a calm, positive and flexible response to life’s challenges. Likewise, in Ephesians 4:31-32, Paul exhorts us to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger — and instead, treat each other with kindness and compassion. And in Philippians 2:3-4, we’re encouraged to humbly consider others as better than ourselves, to look out not only for our own interests, but also for the interests of others.
These choices — to act in a way that is gentle, kind, self-controlled, compassionate and considerate of others — require the ability to put things into perspective, look at situations from another point of view, and consider and evaluate various options. In addition to the willing submission of one’s life and will to God, they require the skill of cognitive flexibility, a trait that God wants to grow in each one of us.
God created our minds to support our faith. Could this be God’s bodily gift when it feels like our world is falling apart?
McCann, a professor at the University of Washington, and Webb, a professor at Seattle Pacific University, looked at how human cognitive flexibility interacts with our faith. Cognitive flexibility, “the ability to adapt behaviors in response to changes in the environment,” is a critical part of the brain’s executive function and is often noted for its role in childhood development. We use cognitive flexibility to learn as children, to switch tasks as adults, and in daily tasks in everything from sorting laundry to multitasking at work.
Unsurprisingly, they found that the more someone had experienced trauma, the more likely they were to struggle with God. This is backed by previous research demonstrating that trauma can strengthen some people’s faith while weakening others.
However, they also found that those with higher cognitive flexibility struggle with God “to a lesser extent.” Those with high and medium cognitive flexibility also “endure more with God as traumatic symptoms increase” in comparison to those with low cognitive flexibility.
In other words, higher cognitive flexibility is linked to enduring in faith despite trauma. McCann and Webb note that this may be because cognitive flexibility helps “individuals alter their perceptions surrounding the traumatic event” and to “better tolerate mystery and paradox.”
If there is a book of the Bible that embraces mystery and paradox in a suffering world, it is the Book of Job. We are told in the very first verse that Job was God-fearing and blameless. Yet, then we see God allowing Satan to rain destruction on Job’s life, family, and health. Job and his friends are forced to grapple with what it all means. McCann and Webb refer to this paradox in their research as “why a God they perceive to be all-loving, all-wise, and all-powerful would allow negative life events to occur.”
Cognitive constructivist learning: based on Cognitive Flexibility Theory focusing on the nature of learning in complex and ill-structured domains. By cognitive flexibility, one is able “to spontaneously restructure one’s knowledge, in many ways, in adaptive response to radically changing situational demands…This is a function of both the way knowledge is represented (e.g., along multiple rather single conceptual dimensions) and the processes that operate on those mental representations (e.g., processes of schema assembly rather than intact schema retrieval).” (Spiro & Jehng, 1990, p. 165)
The central claim of Cognitive Flexibility Theory is that revisiting the same material, at different times, in rearranged contexts, for different purposes, and from different conceptual perspectives is essential for attaining the goals of advanced knowledge acquisition (mastery of complexity in understanding and preparation for transfer). Thus, instructional emphasis is placed upon the presentation of information from multiple perspectives and use of many case studies that present diverse examples. The theory advocates the properties of hypertext systems which facilitate flexible restructuring of instructional presentation sequences, multiple data codings, and multiple linkages among content elements.
Specification of Theory
(a) Goals and preconditions
To provide flexible instruction appropriate for developing cognitive flexibility.
1) Learning activities must provide multiple representations of content.
2) Instructional materials should avoid oversimplifying the content domain and support context-dependent knowledge.
3) Instruction should be case-based and emphasize knowledge construction, not transmission of information.
4) Knowledge sources should be highly interconnected rather than compartmentalized.
(c) Condition of learning
Hypertext environments for promoting cognitive flexibility in ill-structured domains.
(d) Required media
Interactive technology media such as videodisc and hypertext
(e) Role of facilitator
To provide multiple representations of situated content knowledge
(f) Instructional strategies
1) Provide multiple approaches that range from multiple organizational schemes for presenting subject matter to multiple representations of knowledge
2) Rearrangement of the presentation sequence of content in order to produce different understandings when that content is “re-read”: Provide students with the option of reading an expert commentary on the special shade of meaning associated with the conceptual theme after the scene is viewed.
3) Provide cross-references as commentaries
(g) Assessment method
Assess case-based knowledge construction
Cognitive flexibility is the ability to appropriately adjust one’s behavior according to a changing environment [1, 2](See Glossary). Cognitive flexibility enables an individual to work efficiently to disengage from a previous task, reconfigure a new response set, and implement this new response set to the task at hand. Greater cognitive flexibility is associated with favorable outcomes throughout the lifespan such as better reading abilities in childhood , higher resilience to negative life events and stress in adulthood , higher levels of creativity in adulthood , and better quality of life in older individuals
Characteristics of someone with strong cognitive shifting may be the following:
Good mental shifting allows you to.
Resilience in the face of difficulty. Creativity. Discernment. Wisdom. Tolerance. Forgiveness. Compromise. Plan. Disclipline. Problem solve. Empapthy. Social skills. Understand other viewpoints. Value other opinions.
Cognitive flexibility helps tolerate changes that may occur when problem solving or carrying out a task. It allows you to create alternative solutions.
People with good cognitive shifting are easily able to transition from one activity to another and know how to carry themselves properly in every situation.
They can capture various dimensions of reality, see from different points of view, and recognize hidden relationships, which allows them to easily find different solutions to the same problem.
People with mental flexibility can better tolerate errors and changes, are able to think about a situation from another person’s point of view, and are easily able to find compromises.
Cognitive shifting and mental flexibility are two of the basic superior cognitive functions in metacognition, and make up part of our Executive Functions. Executive functions are a crucial part of success and proper development both at school and in daily life. It allows you to make goals, plan, and carry out the plan, supervise your own actions, and correct your behavior depending on the results.
Cognitive flexibility is related to fluid intelligence, fluid reasoning, and the ability to problem solve easily and efficiently.
Proper mental shifting and cognitive flexibility allow you to think about other ideas, values, and ways of thinking, which will help understand other people’s points of view and value other’s opinions. This is why mental flexibility is strongly related to empathy and social interaction.
In a related question, why did God not give us enough details to answer all our questions. Faith. The just shall live by faith. Salvation is based on trust. Less information teaches us to trust. Builds trust.