Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why bother innovating if we serve God?

Philip had this great question to my blog post about Ancient Inspiration:

"Why do we need innovation when we have God? Surely He will pass on what he wants us to be innovative about. It is His will and all our fates are determined by Him."

Let me share with you my reply:
Dear Philip,
Great question. I don't think that human innovation and God's revelation are mutually exclusive. In fact, I would say that God created us to innovate and uses the feature in us to inspire us. Innovation is simply us using the brains and experiences God gave us in coordination with Him to bring Him glory.

Now I know that people innovate without thinking about God at all, but I think that God still gets the glory for that since He made those people too. The study of innovation from a Biblical perspective is then our opportunity to see how God moves through us to accomplish things in this earth.

What do you think of my take? How would you respond to Philip?


Lisa said...

I believe the process of innovation itself brings glory to God. As we interact with our relational God - He inspires us and we grow - and He receives the glory.

The mere act of creating is from His image - as we were created - and when we walk in step with the Creator, enjoying Him, our accomplishments are true innovation.

Howard Culbertson said...

The question reminds me of those who say preachers should not prepare their messages but should simply get up and let the Holy Spirit fill their mouths.

That may work for a few people but for most it is a disaster.

Most of us believe that the Holy Spirit can be just as active -- maybe even more so -- in the process of sermon preparation as in the act of sermon delivery. In the same way, cannot the Holy Spirit be active through us in the innovation process?

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Lisa and Howard,

Good thoughts...thanks for adding them. I love how you talked about " we were created" Lisa. That is a great example of incarnational ministry. Just as God created us and breathed life into us, He then turns around and allows us to do the same.

And thanks for talking about "process" Howard. Isn't it incredible to see how God allows human process to accomplish His will instead of just doing it himself?

Dawn said...

I also believe it's our responsibility as Christians to be the Philadelphia, non-passive Christians. Warriors, really. And how far would a warrior or any soldier get if not for innovation and creativity. We need to bring back for the Kingdom what is assumed only for the world, and innovation is the gift of an intelligent Creator. Is it not?

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Kurt said...

It's an interesting question and I agree with the comments already made...the only addition I'd have is to the point in the original question about 'god will tell us what he wants us to innovate about." As I see it, the line from the Lord's Prayer "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" is His telling us where to innovate...wherever we on this earth see His will not being done is a challenge to come up with a practical way to expand His Kingdom in that area. Actually DOING that often takes real innovation!

s white said...

Innovation is arguable a form of creation and one thing we know with absolute certainty in regards to our faith is that God is creative and Creator. Therefore innovation or creation must be an extension of this Creator through his creation. I really liked the book Culture Making by Andy Crouch which really focuses on this discussion. Great and rather meaty read.

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Dawn and s white,

Thanks for bringing creativity into the discussion. That is key!

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...


You are right. Innovation is a practical response to the mission God has us on and has given us direction in. Thanks for your thoughtful response!