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11 Responses to “The Wrong Winner”

  1. JN Beck says:

    Mike, I am currently working on an international project with a collection of combined left / right knowledge processors. Having extensive experience teaching analytical comprehension of how people speak and listen, this article reminded me how many people are trained and solidified in justification beliefs without perspective or understanding based on western educational values rather than free processing of information… looking forward to next week’s writings.

  2. Gerard says:

    The subject has many practical implications, some of which I will incorporate in my day today.

    Look forward to next week’s article.

  3. brody bond says:


    As beautiful (and intuitively true) as I find this, I’m having trouble reconciling “images first” with two other principles:

    1) The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, and
    2) That God *spoke* the world into existence, and that Jesus is the Word.

    Can you clear me up as where these principles don’t conflict, and may enrich each other?

  4. Mike Metzger says:

    Since we only live in a time/space universe, we’re sort of ‘trapped’ in describing God ‘s work in sequential terms. But given that limitation, God imagined you before he spoke, creating you.

    Can you help me with the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis? Call me stupid, maybe.

  5. brody bond says:

    I hear you on the time/sequence front. Nonetheless, we do see *words* being the means of creation. Additionally, our man Roy Williams would say that it is words that open the mind to new images.

    Maybe my hang up is that you correlated the left brain with Words and the right with Images. If, instead, you said the left was Logic and the right was Art, I wouldn’t be so angsty right now.

    Which brings us to Sapir-Whorf. … “language influences certain kinds of cognitive processes” and “linguistic differences to have consequences in human cognition and behavior.” (wikipedia)

    One one hand I see this compelling power of words and verbal language – even as it relates to perception of reality itself. On the other hand I see how right you are about logic hijacking our theology and culture in the Enlightenment.

    So, yes, we need images. We need frames and context. We need meaning > facts. But aren’t words how we get there?

  6. Mike Metzger says:

    Next week I’ll sight research from neuroimaging indicating that words originate in the left hemisphere and images from the right. Iain McGilchrist’s entire point is that it is only in modern Western cultures that it became a given that words precede images, or open the mind to new images.

  7. John Chaffin says:

    I am reminded of a Youtube video of a fundamentalist preacher who waxes eloquent on 1 Samuel 25:22 “So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall (KJV)” The sermon is on the one hand hilarious, on the other hand it is sad. It is on the one hand hilarious that anyone could really get that wrapped up in a phrase that is meant to illicit an emotion or image rather than give instructions on relieving oneself as the determination of true masculinity. On the other hand it is sad to think (whether or not the youtube is a spoof) that there really are people who reason that way. Perhaps we all fall into that trap at times without realizing what we have done. Maybe we do need to rethink the left and right brain issues.
    Certainly that points a little to the differences between the Hebrew and Greek mindsets. Had a Greek originally penned 1 Samuel 25:22, I don’t think we would have had the material to get such an entertaining video.

  8. Veronica Zundel says:

    This is very interesting, especially for one like myself with a son with Asperger’s and a husband who may have it too. But you could rewrite this whole article substituting ‘male’ for ‘left brain’ and ‘female’ for right brain, and it would still ring true. Is the problem as much a domination by one gender, as a domination by one hemisphere?

    This does not of course explain why churches are full of women, unless it is that men are less amenable to being dictated to by a male leader up the front. Also, my church is packed full of creative types and I know many other churches who are similar. So your hypothesis needs a little subtle tweaking…

  9. Mike Metzger says:


    I’m not familiar with any researching indicating a correlation between males and left brain preference – and right for females. The problem is, as you accurately state, domination by one hemisphere – the left. This domination is largely the result of the Enlightenment, and the Enlightenment has affected male and female equally.

    I am glad to hear that you church is creative, and of course what I write might need a little tweaking. However, the surveys seem to indicate that much of modern evangelicalism is lead-with-the-left. Your church is likely the exception to the rule – and that, of course, proves the rule.

  10. Mike Metzger says:


    In “The Master and His Emissary,” McGilchrist writes this: “It has been suggested that our concepts are determined by the language that we speak (the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis). However, this is no more than a half or quarter truth. Children certainly often get a concept first and then quickly learn the word to describe it, which is the wrong way round from the Sapir-Whorf point of view.” He later adds that the “Sapir-Whorf hypothesis has partial truth – if you don’t have the word, you are likely to lose the concept; but this research demonstrates that the concept can arise without the word, and is therefore not dependent on it. So thinking is prior to language.”

    Just thought you might appreciate this!

  11. dwightk says:

    The story of the emissary reminds me a little of David and Absalom

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