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rious terms for noting the Lord’s presence; they   mediary  of  our  own  reflections”;  he  suggests
             are usually associated with sensory perception,   we  communicate  with  God  using  our  bodies,
             such as sight, sound and taste (e.g., Job 13:1; Ps   emotions, mind, imagination and intuition. He
             34:8; Avrahami, 2012). In the New Testament,      appears to minimize but does not exclude rea-
             the  Greek  word  translated  as  discernment  is   son. Rose Mary Dougherty (2009, pp. 5-10) si-
             diakrisis, meaning to separate, sort out, or di-  milarly talks about “nudges of the heart” or and
             stinguish (Kittel et al, 1964, 3:949,469). It ap-  “awareness of inner stirrings without analysis”,
             pears that both sensory perception, or perhaps    but also gives practical advice for decision ma-
             intuition,  and  rationality  are  needed  for  dis-  king. Mary Margaret Funk (2013, p. 5) believes
             cernment.  However,  as  mentioned  above,  I     that the “logical mind usually misses the sym-
             suspect  that  rationality  has  traditionally  been   bolic voice heard by intuitive senses”, and also
             overvalued in both psychology and theology.       describes “tools” for the journey, such as asking
             As an aside, current research in cognitive psy-   for confirming signs. She encourages the prac-
             chology points to the importance that intuiti-    tice of spiritual disciplines and suggests “living
             on  plays  in  our  daily  lives  (e.g.,  Kahnemann,   from the mind that is descended into the heart”
             2011). Automatic thinking, though not without     (p. 58); an interesting image for melding intui-
             its biases and errors, enables us to function well   tion and reason.
             in the world, learn with ease, and make emer-     Evangelical  Christian  authors  also  note  the
             gency decisions. Rational thinking is also indis-  importance  of  both  rational  and  non-rational
             pensable, but also prone to errors. Overall we    faculties.  Gordon  Smith  (2003,  p.  53)  defines
             need  both  fast  and  slow  cognitive  processing   discernment as “a way of knowing and seeing
             but need to be aware of which we are using. This   that is experienced as a profound interplay of
             topic is beyond the scope of this paper but has   intellect and emotion.” He refers to the “inner
             fascinating  implications  for  spiritual  discern-  witness of the Spirit” (p. 10) and a “direct im-
             ment with respect to the balance between intui-   pression  on  our  inner  consciousness”  (p.  16),
             tion and reason.                                  but also claims that discernment is intentional,
             In contrast to the modern emphasis on ratio-      and suggests understanding the issues, and fra-
             nality,  contemplatives  and  mystics  commonly   ming them in terms of yes/no choices. Smith
             describe  intuitive  spiritual  experiences.  Juli-  encourages  humility,  self-knowledge,  aware-
             an  of  Norwich  (1998),  for  example,  describes   ness of context, discipline, and Bible study. Dal-
             thoughts which occurred suddenly and spon-        las Willard (2012) similarly appears to endorse
             taneously.  In  contemporary  Roman  Catholic     both intuitive and rational factors in discern-
             writings, intuition continues to be emphasized,   ment; he notes that impressions sometimes just
             although usually with concomitant recognition     feel right, and relates sensing God’s presence to
             of the role of rationality. Nouwen (2013, p. 182)   our intuitive ability to know when someone is
             defines discernment as intuitive and percepti-    staring at us. But he insists that we should be
             ve; he posits that “somewhere in the right side   guided  by  “reasonable,  intelligible  communi-
             of our brains, or perhaps deep within what we     cation, not by blind impulse, force or sensation
             call the human soul, there is a spiritual organ   alone” (p. 69). Evan B. Howard (2000) suggests
             that can be trained to hear the beat, step to the   paying attention to “intuition and imagination
             music, and read the signs…”. Note that he in-     (both affectively-rich operations)” to help reve-
             fers that spiritual intuition can be learned. El-  al aspects of divine communication. He refers
             sewhere he looks at outcomes: “There is no cle-   to  cognitive  biases  and  faulty  heuristics,  and
             arer way to discern the presence of God’s Spirit   notes that judgments based on feeling are fal-
             than to identity the moments of unification, he-  lible.  Narrow  intellectual  paradigms  can  also
             aling, restoration, and reconciliation” (Nouwen,   hinder discernment (such as assuming all sick-
             1992). This fits well with the roles of the Spirit   ness is due to sin). He suggests that cognitive
             discussed above. Keating (2011, p. 15) refers to   biases can be transcended through active, pray-
             prayer “in which the inspiration of the Spirit is   erful participation in a living church.
             given directly to our spirits without the inter-  Most  Christian  authors  wisely  devote  more

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