I thought this was interesting:
Lately, I’m tempted to believe it’s because, while they’re both looking at the same Scriptures, they actually see something different. And the reason they see something different is mostly about brain chemistry.
New research reveals black and white thinkers (somebody like John Piper) may have less than average amounts of Norepinephrine, less than average amounts of Serotonin and excessive amounts of Dopamine in their brains. When I say less than average, I don’t mean to suggest inferiority. Some brains have more and some brains less of each of these chemicals, and there’s no “perfect combination.”
The specific chemical combination I just described causes the brain to see the world as a somewhat hostile place, and as such causes a person to divide people into a for and against dichotomy. When looking at a text, they look for right and wrong, true and untrue, and they don’t like ambiguity or mystery because they see vagueness as a threat. Because the world is a hostile place, they look for security in absolute answers.
Again, this is not to say this chemical combination means a person is an inferior thinker. It’s just that the combination of these three chemicals affects our personalities and makes us “who we are” in a sense. For certain, there are many realities that can be divided up into right and wrong, and there are certainly hostile people in the world, so a person with this chemical makeup may be, quite objectively, right about the reality they perceive.
Another kind of thinker who does not see the world in black and white, sees a given issue from multiple perspectives and is quite comfortable juggling multiple ideas without deciding which one is absolutely true (somebody like Brian McLaren) may have a very different chemical makeup. Serotonin is average, Norepinephrine is higher than average and Dopamine is low. This person is much more relaxed in their studies, does not see the world as a hostile place, does not associate their beliefs strongly with their egos and instead sees truth as outside themselves, as something they are discovering rather than something they already understand. They simply don’t need to explain everything. They are comfortable with five or ten possible explanations, and enjoy considering each of them. They may land, but they don’t have to.
One kind of thinker has learned, and the other kind of thinker is learning. And it’s all in their brain chemistry.
H/t Thomas Soldan.