The dictionary defines a “life hack” as “a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way.”
Here’s an example of one such “life hack” (I found this by searching “life hack” in Google images):
The life hack here, apparently, is using your power drill to make scrubbing a shower much easier than it otherwise would be. The hack is a short cut. It makes this job easier and in so doing it makes life easier.
In this article, I want to share with you the ultimate “theology hack”, if you will. This hack is so good that, rightly used, it will make you a better theologian than the vast majority of ministers, pastors, theologians, and philosophers, i.e. the people who are more or less supposed to be experts in theology.
Here’s the hack:
Where your unsophisticated intuition (or reason) pronounces a doctrine to be abhorrent or absurd, it is almost certain the doctrine is false; therefore, trust your intuition and consider the doctrine false.
That’s it! Apply this one simple hack to your thinking about God and you will be a better authority on God than most of the “experts”. You will get it right on the most important questions about God, while the majority of “experts” continue to get it wrong on some, many, or even all of these questions.
Before demonstrating the hack on a few doctrines, let me clarify what I mean by “unsophisticated intuition.” What I mean is your intuition as it exists unencumbered by anything you have ever learned, whether formally or informally. And when I say anything, I mean anything. The idea is to access your intuition as it exists in its natural, uninfluenced-by-others state. Forget anything you’ve ever read: books, articles, blogs, whatever. Forget anything you’ve ever heard, sermons, lectures, songs, whatever. Forget even what your parents or grandparents taught you. Forget it all. Forget everything. When you do that, you are accessing your “unsophisticated intuition”, and you are ready to apply the hack!
Okay, so let’s see how it works by applying the hack to a few doctrines.
Let’s start with the traditional doctrine of “hell”. According to this doctrine, our Creator will torment some, many, or even most of us, his human creatures, forever. Now forget everything you have ever learned. What do you think? Abhorrent, right? Of course it is! So apply the hack! Trust your intuition!
How about the doctrine of reincarnation. According to this doctrine Fido may very well be your Great Aunt Martha. Again, forget everything you have ever learned. What do you think? Absurd, right? Yes, of course. So apply the hack! Go with your intuition!
Consider, next, the doctrine of “original guilt”. According to this Christian doctrine, human beings are born guilty of the sins of the first human being, Adam. If you forget everything you’ve ever learned, your intuition should tell you this doctrine is abhorrent. So applying the hack, you should reject the doctrine.
As a final example let’s get more controversial (for most Christians) and consider the traditional Christian doctrine that Jesus of Nazareth is both completely a man and completely God. Forgetting everything you have ever learned, any influence upon you whatsoever, what does your intuition tell you here? I trust it tells you this doctrine is absurd. It’s like saying Fido is completely a cat and completely a dog. So if we apply the hack to the doctrine, we know we should trust our intuition and reject the doctrine—regardless of how sacrosanct the doctrine may be to the majority of Christians.
So there you are. If you want to know the truth about the most important questions about God, and you want to know it with confidence, and you want to get there as quickly as possible, you now have at your disposal the ultimate “hack” to accomplish all of this.
Why does this work, by the way? It works because our intuition (or reason) is a gift from our Creator. It is a lighthouse pointing us to the truth. Think of it as God himself trying to guide you to him, to a true knowledge of him. Thus, by applying the ultimate theology hack, what you are doing is accessing the closest thing you have to an inner voice of God.