Science: One More Thing You Don’t Have to Fear

I believe in God. And I believe in science. I believe what the Bible says about creation. And I believe in what science reveals about nature. Good science and good faith are consistent with each other and co-exist peacefully.

In our current cultural conundrum, we seem to be fighting over evolution and climate change the way previous eras witnessed fights over a spherical earth and an earth that orbits the sun. And we’re scared of being wrong – or at least we’re scared of the other people coming across as smarter than we are.

Ken Ham, whose evangelistic zeal I appreciate greatly, has a lot of people convinced that if you give an inch on the possibility of evolution, you’ve compromised your faith and endagered the existence of Christianity in all the earth. Bill Nye, whose command of science certainly impresses me, has a lot of people convinced that if you teach your kids about creation, you’re going to raise brainless, religious zealots. Both men and their movements are fueling unnecessary tension.

Again, this isn’t a post arguing for or against evolutionary science. Rather, it’s a post encouraging us to drop our fear. If we’re not careful, we’ll hang on tightly to error to avoid the risk of being ostracized by one side or another.

I greatly appreciated Jesse Carey’s recent article on Relevant Magazine’s blog about this. He writes,

Science, by its very definition, is based on what we can observe and what we can predict based on those observations. It’s rooted in the notion that scientific truths are provable. And the scientific method is a great way to learn about the natural world and universe. We know what science says is true, because we observed it being true. And, based on those truths, we can make predictions about how truths will repeat themselves and create theories about how they have in the past.

Religion, on the other hand, is concerned with a kind of truth that is rooted in what is unseen. Our salvation—our ability to commune with God and be in His presence—is predicated on faith. And, by it’s very nature, faith requires us to put trust in something that isn’t provable. God has chosen to remain hidden. We can’t see Him. We can’t measure Him. And, as He makes clear throughout the Bible, we can’t predict what He’s going to do. Instead, we are asked to put our faith and trust in Him no matter what happens.

You don’t have to be convinced about evolution. But you also don’t have to be threatened by it or scared of it. I especially appreciated the way Carey closed with this challenge to Christians…

We’re called to show that God exists not by proving he’s real through science, but through displaying a love that reflects His goodness. We’re called not just to “defend” truth, but we’re called to literally embody it. And we are the Body of Christ not by refuting lab results or theories that challenge our understanding of scripture, but by displaying the character and nature of Christ.

I’m not saying these issues don’t matter. I’m simply saying that the tension isn’t a threat to any faith that is real faith. We can wrestle and struggle to figure out how God brought us to our current place in history, but we can also walk with full confidence that his grand story makes sense, that his word is both trustworthy and authoritative, and that it was indeed God who crafted us in his own image.

There is absolutely nothing that science can demonstrate that threatens thes core tenets of our faith. Science – even evolutionary science – can be added to the very long list of things that cannot and do not undermine our faith in Jesus. In fact, once we approach science on friendly terms, we might just become fascinated all the more with the vastness and complexity of the universe God created.

Diversity Was God’s Idea to Begin With

Diversity and equality have been hot topics in the last decade of American life. We’re in the midst of various shifts in our culture surrounding these concepts, especially in relation to ethnicity and gender, and some of these shifts are good. When my family lived in southern California, we were ethnically not in the majority in our neighborhood, and we appreciated it greatly. Our church was home to people from dozens of ethnic backgrounds, and we loved that even more.

All of the tension between ethnicities as well as what we have termed the “battle of the sexes” is really our problem – it’s of human origin. What is of divine origin are the ideas of the beauty within diversity as well as the equality of all peoples whom God has created. Just peruse the first chapter of Genesis to see diversity on display.

Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind… God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals… So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

– Genesis 1:20, 25, 27 NLT

It was God’s intention that there be a veritable rainbow of sights to see in His wonderful creation. Did you know there are about 8.74 million species of animals and plants on earth? And inherent to the diversity with which God created all things are wrapped up two ideas we must hold in tension: unity and uniqueness. When we fail to value uniqueness, we esteem one ethnicity over another. And when we fail to value unity, we allow cultural wedges to divide us.

When it comes to the human race (there is only one “race” represented in many, many ethnicities), God made one particular distinction. We would be male, and we would be female. Gender is rooted in our pre-fall and pre-sin story. Men are men. Women are women. And there are three essential facts we often confuse and forget.

First, men and women are of equal worth and value to God. When we forget this, one gender tends to dominate the other in the culture. Second, women and men are designed to compliment each other, establishing the basis for marriage as one man and one woman in an equal partnership of mutual dependence. And finally, not all men are exactly like all other men, and not all women are exactly like other women. There is a vast diversity wired into our unique personalities and experiences.

Diversity and equality are God’s ideas. They are not the product of any particular cultural phenomenon, though we’ve certainly fought as a human race to rediscover them at various points along the way. Diversity and equality are rooted in the history of God’s handiwork and put on display for His glory. And what and awesome God He is proven to be by the canvas we see every day we spend on planet earth!

How to Start Getting Smarter

20140609-073502-27302160.jpgWant to be wiser? Fear God more. That’s where getting smarter starts. While the atheistic world asserts that more enlightened people no longer have room for claiming to know that there is a God, God’s opinion is the opposite.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

– Proverbs 9:10 ESV

Knowing more about the world begins with knowing the God who created the world. Understanding the meaning of life begins with understanding the Author of life. Some people believe that belief in God excludes the possibility of embracing all that science discovers. Others believe that scientific enlightenment eliminates the possibility that the Bible can be right about God as Creator. I believe the wisest people are those begin with God, embrace science, and embrace the tension between the two in such a way that both are affirmed.

If you really want to be smarter, start here: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…”

Who Invented Social Media? God Did.

The Creation of Adam
Michaelangelo understood the personal and relational nature of God’s initial acts of creation. photo: Wikimedia Commons

God invented social media. I know that might sound like a crazy claim, but I have a biblical basis for believing this. So I’m primarily speaking to those who believe with me that God is the creator presented to us in the biblical book of Genesis.

Social media seems like a new term. Many people are just hearing it, and many others are already tired of it. It’s a trend, a fad, something that people are jumping on quickly for reasons ranging from connecting to old friends to making millions of dollars. When I say it’s a fad, I am referring to the term”social media” not to the actual concept of it.

Let’s break it down this way. The word media really just refers to information. Facts. Things that are true, or at least things that are thought to be true. Social is a word we used to refer to interactions between human beings – otherwise known as relationships. Putting it together, social media simply refers to the sharing of information through relationships.

There was a time in history when the only way information was shared was by conversation between people. And even after information began to be written down, writings were still shared from person to person through real, human relationships. Even in the garden of Eden, god communicated directly with Adam and Eve in a family-like relationship. He told them what they needed to know (media) in a direct personal way (social). In other words, God invented social media.


Why does that matter? Why is it so important to realize God is the inventor of this newfangled fad? I believe it matters because the church has struggled to adopt social media on the grounds that it is something new, something scary. We have actually come to believe that mass, impersonal media is the best way to share the story of God with other people. We see social media as an add-on, a toy, and something for teenagers to dabble in and grandparents to see pics of their grandkids.

But social media is more. Social media is where we came from. And it’s definitely where we’re heading, quickly. It is my passionate conviction that social media (as I’ve defined it above) has always been God’s preferred method for communicating truth about Himself that has driven me not only to engage in it heavily myself, but to write a book about it. Are there cautions? Of course, as there are with any other medium of communication. But the cautions shouldn’t stop us from engaging in the conversation that is happening with or without us, all around us.

John Piper once challenged a fellow Pastor to begin using Twitter in order to “fill every space with the glory of God, including the online space.” I’m with Piper. If you’re with me, share this post somewhere or connect with me. Also consider buying my new book, Rewired, which is all about how using today’s technology can bring you back to deeper relationships, real conversations, and powerful ways to share God’s love.

If you think I’m wrong, or crazy, or right, or dumb, or anywhere in between, tell me about it in the comments!

Good Idea. Now What? Charles Lee Helps Answer This Question

Our Creator designed us to be creative. And out of our inborn creativity come forth plenty of good ideas, but an idea is only as valuable as its successful implementation. In other words, brainstorming is good, but completing ideas is even better. Charles Lee, the founder of the Ideation Consultancy and many other brilliant ideas, helps leaders cross the finish line with well-developed good ideas.

Good Idea. Now What? By Charles LeeIn his new book, Good Idea. Now What?, Charles presents a guidebook that is very thorough, but also very readable. It’s a book for leaders, for thinkers, and for creators. It’s written in such a way that the reader can join in at any point, like a reference book. But it’s also a journey that can be followed on a pathway to creative growth. Here’s what Charles has to say about the book…

Going from inspiration to execution is hard work. Many steps stand between a good idea and the hit product, profitable company, or social change you envision. Your initial “aha!” moment provides the key to begin this process, but it’s the way you make your dream happen that truly defines your success.

Good Idea. Now What? gives you the tools you need to make your inspiration a reality. This accessible go-to guide features practical advice from leading idea-makers that will help you get your vision off the ground.

Personally, I’d recommend getting copies for your church staff, your creative arts team, and if you’re in business, for your leaders. Charles has had some pretty great ideas himself. He’s the creator of grassroots efforts including JustOnethe Idea CampIdeation Conference, and the Freeze Project as well as the co-founder of JustOne. Charles regularly speaks around the country on topics such as creative process, idea-making, innovation, branding, new media, and compassionate justice. And now, you can have his wisdom in print to refer back to when you need an expert’s insight.

Get Your Copy

A New Definition of YOU

You may not remember the musical group, The Turtles, but you probably remember one of their more famous songs. Do these words ring a bell?

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice
It had to be
The only one for me is you
And you for me
So happy together

We live in a world in which there is plenty of emphasis on me… that is, on self. We talk plenty about self-image, self-respect, and self-worth. What is baffling, however, is how little we can understand about ourselves without understanding our Creator and His intentions for us, and yet how little we involve Him in defining us.

Continue reading A New Definition of YOU

Great Designers Learn from Great Design

There are titles aplenty in the design and development world. I’m not so much a developer as I am a designer, but I’m not so much a graphic designer as I am a front end website developer, so some would call me a user interface designer or web user interface designer. Or perhaps I’m an information architect or perhaps an online communication designer. But I’m not an application developer or database architect. So what exactly do I do? I design stuff, like logos and websites.

And because I’m a designer of something I need to learn from great design wherever I see it. When I’m shopping with my wife, I look at product design and product display design. When we’re driving around town, I’m noticing the nice architectural design and landscape design of properties. I notice signage, document design, presentation design, and even restaurant menu design. Even when I’m paying complete attention to my wife and friends, I’m still noticing things.

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