Intelligent Design, Part 4

Imagination and Kingdom Truths

By Jim Allen

Intelligent Design, The Series

The Master Designer
God and DNA
The Brain
Imagination and Kingdom Truths
Body and Soul

Someone quoted Albert Einstein to have said, "Your imagination is a preview of life's coming attractions." While Mr. Einstein put an insightful spin on how to view the future, our imagination is also a review of past attractions or the ability to visualize what has gone before us. While Jesus has gone before and is our past attraction, He is also our present and future coming attraction. Jesus was the master communicator then, and today He continues to open hearts and minds everywhere.

During His ministry, Jesus spoke persuasively because He knew how to stir up the fire of imagination. The words spoken by the Savior were then and are today powerful and living because they are imaginable and meaningful. Jesus knew that before a "spiritual truth" could penetrate the soul, a "physical truth" would need to be seized by the imagination.

Scientists and researchers the world over have long debated the wonder and power of imagination. Imagination is an invisible force in the believer's life, often ignored and mistakenly mitigated by believers as a maneuver by the devil to lure souls away from God. And yet, Jesus used imagination in innumerable ways to reach the lost and commune with His father in Heaven. Jesus also used imagination to look beyond the cross to the glory and joy that would be His and ours (Hebrews 12:2). While some argue imagination is the result of a working brain and nothing more, others argue imagination is a divine touch from God. So then, the Bible is correct to say we are created in the image of God — with the ability to imagine (Genesis 1:26).

Imagine Jesus standing on a large rock, teaching a multitude of people and then turning to point at white lilies nearby swaying in the breeze. As those listening turned to see the flowers, imagine Him saying, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothed the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" (Matthew 6:28)

The words spoken by Jesus then and now are spirit and imaginable. Jesus knew His words would be effective if the parables He spoke depicted real objects and real people. This truth explains why the Bible is a treasure trove of fascinating stories about God's interaction with humankind. From Adam to Noah and from Moses to Jesus, Scripture narrates God's dealing with us in a myriad of ways that stir the imagination to ponder His unsearchable truths (Psalm 145:3).

These "biblical stories of old" are both virtuous and purposeful because they are food for the imagination to digest as we meditate on God's word (Romans 15:4). The story of Noah and the Ark is an imagination showing how we are safe in Christ, apart from God's coming judgment on the world. Of these troubles and uncertain times, we should not fear but imagine the good things of God. The apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things."

The admonition from Paul to "meditate on these good things" is a divine invitation to enter the mind of God. Imagination is an invisible attribute of the soul that tethers us to the mind of the living God through the power of the Holy Spirit. We, above all life forms, have imagination that is from God and invisible to all but God. Believers endowed with faith have the proclivity to think, imagine, and meditate on the good and holy things of God in ways that far transcend the willfully blind antagonists of Intelligent Design.

Albert Einstein's quote about human imagination is profoundly prophetic because he unknowingly spoke about the most important "coming attraction" the world would soon know. That coming attraction is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is real and imaginable and most worthy of our daily mediation (Psalm 1:2-3). Come, Lord Jesus!

Image Credit: kunjan detroja; "water lilly"; Creative Commons

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Published 8-22-12