Who is Your Knower?

Jordan Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist and former professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, is an enigma to most Christians. Peterson, author of Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief rose to stardom after some of his interviews on YouTube went viral.1 The seemingly simple things he suggests for people to adopt to straighten out their lives are met with disdain among an entitled generation. Things like “tidying up your room” in a metaphoric sense means to develop a discipline of responsibility. It is Peterson’s championing conservative values that endear him to the faithful which simultaneously estranges him from the social progressives. His talks and books borrow copiously from a variety of religious traditions, much of it containing Biblical references. But when asked if he believed in God, much less the God of the Bible, he would take offense that anyone would ask such a private question. He is not an atheist nor a moral relativist but would go on tirades when asked that question, often resorting to Wittgensteinian2 language games.

Maps of Meaning is a dense read. Typically I would be cautious about recommending a book such as this one. However, Peterson is a must read, especially helpful to our present generation hungry for meaning. He has this idea of contrasting polarities in what he calls the three “constituent elements of experience”3: (1) the Great Mother, creative and also destructive, the unknown; (2) the Great Father, protective and also tyrannical, the known and finally the (3) Divine Son, the hero, mediator between unknown and known, the knower. These concepts make up our experience. Peterson helps us understand that life appears contradictory at times. This is very similar to Mark Noll’s idea of doubleness that one encounters in daily experience. Applied to Christianity, Noll defines doubleness as pointing to a paradox or an apparent antinomy in the most basic understanding of the Christian faith.4

Barna Reserch conducted a poll in 2018 demonstrating that 82% of those born between 1999 and 2015 (Gen Z) consider “very important” the development of a faith that lasts into their adulthood.5 This is curious given the fact that this generation happens to be the most biblically illiterate in U.S. history.6 What can be inferred here? It is that traditional ways of conducting church no longer works. It is failing to reach Gen Z while at the same time the need to find meaning and significance in life remain unmet. The courageous hero (to borrow from Peterson) in all of us must help the seeker realize that life is complex and full of antinomies. This is to be expected and we must not run away from it. We must do our part to bridge the gap between the known and the unknown.

The oldest members of Generation Z have begun to move on from college into new careers. Soon they will be parents and experience the full range of adulthood. Their search for meaning remains elusive, tucked behind church doors that appear locked from the inside. These locks may come in the form of dogmatism, legalism and hypocrisy. Whatever metaphorical form it takes, young people are not having it.

It is no wonder then that Peterson has such a struggle with the question “Do you believe in God?” while in a hopeful way holds an optimistic skepticism about Christianity. In one of his talks7 he clearly is conflicted with the idea of Christianity because if it is true, he would expect a very stark difference between good and bad people, or that there would be good people. He has a very high expectation of Christianity. Would that necessarily be a fault? Word and world are so intrinsically interconnected in Peterson’s mind that he expects Christians, if they exists at all, would behave like little Christs.8 It is hard to follow Jesus and yet regrettably the church’s constant witness of “easy believism” only results in needless disappointment for many today.

The great hope of the Gospel is that there is a Great Knower who can bridge the chasm of chaos and shalom. It is only through his power in us that we can be like Christ. It is in Christ that we have a slayer of dragons. He is not just a myth of Peterson. Rather he is, in C.S. Lewis’ words, “myth which is also fact.” This is the hope of glory.

Would-Be Clashes and Resonances: Apologetics to Gen Z

As I was scanning my notes in preparation for writing this blog post I realized the dizzying array of options available to me. I thought it was comforting and reassuring that I’d get this piece quickly written, given the wealth of source material available in Stephen R.C. Hicks’ Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault. I briefly considered writing about the self-stultifying nature of the relativistic claims of postmodernism, that if left unchallenged leads to solipsism. Would it be strange to ask that if searching for meaning is pointless on postmodernist ground, then why any such effort is expelled to convince anyone of anything to begin with? After all, “if there is no world or self to understand and get right on their terms, then what is the purpose of thought or action?”1 Then there was the option of writing about the murderous consequences resulting from the influences of the unholy trinity of Marx, Marcuse and Mao.2 Clay Jones, in his book Why Does God Allow Evil? in which he compiles a list3 of atrocities in the hundreds of millions at the hands of communist regimes includes this quote from Mao Tse-tung in one of his speeches to the politburo in 1958: “What’s so unusual about Emperor Shih Huang of the Chin Dynasty? He had buried alive 460 scholars only, but we have buried alive 46,000 scholars.”4

Any one of those options would have been interesting and perhaps deserves its own post someday. So instead of being distracted, I decided to write something pertinent to my dissertation. It may change a bit but for now I am asking the question: What are new contextualized, Gospel-centric concepts of learning and practice that Evangelical leaders and pastors can adopt to train and disciple Generation Z Christians in the United States? If we believe the polls, Gen Z Christians are leaving the church or identifying as either “none” (those who check “none” on forms asking for religious affiliation) or atheist in increasing number over the last few years. What is causing this? There are at least two reasons for this. One is that when it comes to answering “tough” questions about Christianity, God or the Bible, one in five engaged Christian parents say they do not feel prepared to help their Christian teenager with these tough questions.5 Another reason could be the fact that more than half of youth pastors self-profess their ill-preparedness when it comes to discussing science and the Bible with their youth group.6 In this social media-driven culture young people are in, it is vital for youth pastors to be trained in Christian apologetics. The study shows that teenagers are not bashful in asking the tough questions. So church leaders must acknowledge this knowledge and skill gaps in youth ministry and marshal resources such as training to help youth workers be more effective in discipling young people not only in spiritual formation, but in the life of the mind as well.

The study by Barna Research reveals a curious discrepancy between what youth pastors report about their teen’s preparedness to tackle challenging issues (e.g. moral relativism) and what engaged parents report about their teen’s preparedness to tackle the same. The difference is at least 20 percentage points in the direction of the parent’s more favorable evaluation of their adolescent child’s preparedness to deal with tough subjects. This same gap is seen in Christian teens’ self-reported confidence in their ability to support their views on a specific topic: the existence of God.7 This confidence must be buttressed by solid Christian apologetics training. We always hear about de-conversion taking place when a closely held doctrine is challenged. Richard Dawkins, perhaps the most famous atheist today, was confirmed in the Anglican church as young boy and was a believer. He started doubting his faith at 9 years old when he learned about the many religious options available growing up in England.8 He concluded that had he been born in India for example, he might have adopted its religion, thereby negating his Christianity. Could Dawkins’ faith have been nurtured had there been someone to help him through his doubts? More than likely. The answers would not have been difficult to supply.

There is hope however because according to Barna, Gen Zers for the most part still holds to traditional Christian beliefs.9

"In some ways Gen Z’s generational ethos naturally resonates with a life of Christian faith, and in others their collective worldview clashes with the Church’s traditions and beliefs. By looking squarely at both would-be clashes and resonances, those involved in making disciples among the next generation can be most effective."10

That is the key in shining the truth claims of Christianity on Gen Z, finding common ground, the looking at both “would-be clashes and resonances” that seeks to connect their innate hopes and dreams to the Gospel.

Cut Flower Christianity

The year was 2004. The Olympics were held in Athens, Greece where a total of 10,625 athletes from 201 countries competed in 301 sporting events. NASA successfully landed the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) on Mars. U.S. President George W. Bush beats John Kerry in the elections garnering him a second term. His political platform was built on keeping America safe. This resonated with people and citizens uncritically rallied around him in support of his policies. This public adulation even secured him a spot in Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 2000 and 2004, citing him as the most influential person during those two years.

The year was filled with optimism, that is until the very same things that propelled him to hero status fell into disrepute. Fair minded people began questioning the legitimacy of the Iraq war. Remember, this was premised on the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that a pre-emptive strike was justified given the eminent threat. But months of investigation on this turned out to be based on faulty information by intelligence agencies. There apparently were none. It was also the same year CBS uncovers systematic torture of Iraq prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison.

Needless to say, it was a demoralizing chapter in our nation’s history. One easily could see the writing on the wall. Out of nowhere, America found itself challenged over claims of cultural uniqueness which followed a period of self-loathing, resigned in giving up the moral high ground. World leaders such as Putin began to see the missing links in the chainmail that once served as protection against what seemed like an unassailable set of virtues which made the United States a beacon of hope for many. They began jockeying, eager to replace the U.S. as world leader.

It is in this same year that Meic Pearse, an Oxford trained historian, writes a provocative book titled Why The Rest Hates The West: Understanding the Roots of Global Rage. In it Pearse frames his curiosity by citing four distinctives1 that define the West today:

      1. Western worldview is historically unique.
      2. The West has enjoyed dominance in the last two centuries; but now is in decline.
      3. Globalization is changing the West.
      4. Ongoing cultural debate characterized by what Robert Hughes as a “sterile confrontation between the two PCs—the politically correct and the patriotically correct.”2

Nick Spencer in The Evolution of the West How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values does a masterful job at explicating the first point. Spencer borrows a lot of his ideas from Larry Siedentop, an Oxford academic, who reminds the reader that virtually every virtue (e.g., human dignity, identity, science, law, care for the poor, and other similar first order values) that is significant in contributing to human flourishing has its origins in Christianity.efn_note]Nick Spencer, The Evolution of the West: How Christianity Has Shaped Our Values [Expanded Edition], (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2018), Kindle, Loc. 225.[/efn_note]

Spencer agrees with Charles Taylor in A Secular Age when he wrote that the West has always been grounded in a theistic worldview, that a “non-belief in God was close to unthinkable for the vast majority.”3 Spencer adds:

“The past, at least in Europe, was Christian—a statement that has no hidden implications as to whether the present will be. People thought in Christian and spoke in Christian and reasoned in Christian, even as the public square became ever more plural.”4

This is no longer the case and many tout the fact that we are now living in a post-Christianity age. How has historical amnesia become the norm today? If Spencer is correct in his thesis, Christians bear the sole responsibility for Christianity’s backsliding ways. If Taylor is right, believers have continued to lose influence since the 1500s.

I had a conversation with to Os Guinness about these issues several years back. He recounted the event where he was invited to speak before the Chinese politburo about the challenges associated with the idea of modernizing without westernizing. The Chinese, to his surprise, acknowledged the rich heritage the United States possessed and duly noted that the associative link between the rise in preeminence of the West and Christianity. What they do not understand is why the United States today, in their view, is cutting themselves from their roots. Guinness says that we are like cut flowers. The West no longer draws its nourishment from the rich soil in which Christianity was planted. Just like cut flowers, everything that is true, good and beautiful will someday wilt away.

But does this have to be our lot? Is Christianity doomed to irrelevance? The quick answer to this is no. We have the book and we know the ending. The not so quick answer to this is that first we must avoid the temptation of immediatism5, the insistence of immediate action, decision and even perfection right now. Second we must engage in civil discourse about the important things in life. Taylor suggests we start with cross-pressure subjects such as agency, ethics and aesthetics. If we are successful with even the second, coming out of it unscathed, we will have accomplished much.

Finally, we cannot move forward if the saints are not praying. Prayer is the most powerful under utilized weapon Christians posses. I had the privilege of interviewing Peter Kreeft, preeminent philosophy professor at Boston College, several years ago while he was making the rounds speaking at various universities in my area. I asked him why Christianity was losing influence in the West. I’ll never forget his answer and the way he answered it. No sooner was I done asking when he blurted his answer “prayer.” Out of respect, I paused, thinking he would say more profound things. After all, he is a luminary in the philosophy world. He did not plan to until I asked if he could expound on it. In retrospect he probably thought why this was not obvious to me. Then he reminded me that we have a direct line to the omnipotent, omnipresent and omnibenevolent God of the universe and if are we not on our knees asking him for help, then nothing else will work.

Stand in the Gap

The scandal of the Evangelical mind, regrettably, is all around us. It is in popular media, social media, the public square, politics, universities and in other accessible spaces. Embarrassingly, we just cannot avoid it. To check my claim, I decided just now as I’m writing this, to turn on the radio and tune in to KKLA (99.5 FM, Los Angeles), “one of America’s most listened to Christian Talk stations.” It says so on their tagline. The mega church pastor who was speaking on the air said in one breath that “…everything you need to know is found in the Bible…” and then followed it up with the verse in Romans 12:1 “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” He implied that in order to change one’s life, a person must first be transformed by a renewed mind. 

I can give him a pass because I already know what he was trying to communicate to his radio listeners. I have no doubt that he means well and aims to glorify God in all areas of life. However, to an unbeliever’s ear, this message is strange. It might even sound downright silly. Does the Bible really tell us everything there is to know? Will it tell me how much soap to put in the washer; balance my checkbook or prepare an apple cranberry walnut salad? Of course not. But it’s a category mistake to expect the Bible to be something it was not meant to be. Believers who carelessly think this way might be in the grips of biblicism1, which holds to the claim that the Bible is the only source of knowledge. The key word here, of course, is “only.” It is so easy today for a well meaning believers to be exposed as a poor witness simply because they lack the discipline of study. 

But how did this happen when according to Mark Noll, Christians are heirs to a rich intellectual heritage found in Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Calvin, Pascal and Edwards?2 Mark Noll in Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind responds to this conundrum and says:

If what we claim about Jesus Christ is true, then evangelicals should be among the most active, most serious, and most openminded advocates of general human learning. Evangelical hesitation about scholarship in general or about pursuing learningwholeheartedly is, in other words, antithetical to the Christ-centered basis of evangelical faith.3

How did Christianity move from having the mind of Christ4 to a descent in intellectual laziness? Noll thinks the problem started when evangelicals started adopting Enlightenment ideas, specifically the didactic form imported by Scottish thinkers such as Francis Hutcheson, Thomas Reid and Adam Smith to name a few.5 In a spate of historic irony, the project failed. The very same Enlightenment concepts evangelical thinkers adopted to harmonize the Bible and nature simply could not hold up against the scrutiny of their interlocuters. This is not to say that Christians did not have any good rejoinders. But instead of doing homework, evangelicals retreated to the “fundamentals” of the faith. Regrettably, this was a euphemism for “we walk by faith, not by sight.” This eventually gave rise to new developments in theology such as the Keswick movement, Holiness, pentecostalism and the like which sought a second work of the Holy Spirit after conversion. By this time, experience and feelings became the exclusive new sources of knowledge at the expense of sound reason, the effects of which are still felt today. 

Noll was asked if had to write The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind all over again, what would change? He said that his assessment would remain unchanged but that he would change his tone. He would write with more hope and that is exactly what we find in Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind. He lists no less than ten positive signs of Evangelical advances in philosophy, science,  publications, universities (e.g., Biola and George Fox) and other areas of scholarship. 

It is high time to answer the clarion call to stand in the gap. Who knows how long the Lord will tarry? Perhaps we are, by God’s grace, given this rare opportunity to help elevate the life of the mind to newer heights in our time. As C.S. Lewis so famously said:

“To be ignorant and simple now–not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground–would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defence but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.”6

Disenchanted Church

Charles Taylor seems to stand alone in his evaluation of what is wrong in our human condition, more specifically in the West. Once cherished values, which many say are responsible for human flourishing, are no longer held. It is not difficult to point out the cause of moral decay in society: increasing divorce rates, normalization of single-parent homes, alarming rates of suicide among teens1, distrust in political leaders, sharp divisions between the left and the right, gender dysphoria, emergence of the “nones” and many more of the same. 

But if one asks leading Christian leaders (especially pastors) and thinkers today, all of them would strongly claim that a return to Judeo-Christian values is key to reversing the tide of secularism. Then and only then would we return to fullness2. Taylor however, thinks that because of the massive shifts in thought and practices which brought about the various reformations, including the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, a naive, nostalgic return to a former era is not the best way to confront  secularism of the 3rd kind3, a concept he explains and is the primary locus4 of his project in A Secular Age. 

As I am writing this, I have resisted the temptation to summarize his thoughts here. But that is seldom my aim in writing my blogs for this course to begin with. Besides, experts such as James K.A. Smith have already done a wonderful job at this. The reason for this internal angst is because the narrative Taylor and Smith weave appears so prodigious and incredibly nuanced that if I were to pick up on any point I would feel the need to support it, and then the point after that, so on and so forth. And if that happens, I would end up summarizing their ideas, which again, is something I want to avoid here. With that in mind I’m not going to start in the beginning, nor the end, but somewhere in the middle.

One of Taylor’s many theses is that the church after the Middle Ages moved from a default position of belief to unbelief. The notion that God does not exist was unthinkable during the medieval period. Atheism was inconceivable. We have become disenchanted5. The church today, whether we realize this or not, camps in this immanent frame. Our world is closed — nothing comes in or out. It is disconcerting and embarrassing to admit that believers can be naturalistic by default. It’s true. Take for instance the dearth of miracles as perceived by Christians in the West. I’m recalling a story about a Christian leader from the U.S. asking his African counterpart why miracles are not as prevalent as they are in Africa. Apparently miracles such as the dead coming back to life, amputees growing limbs and other inexplicable events are not uncommon in developing nations. The African’s response was insightful. He said people in the U.S, when they encounter an emergency, their first impulse is to dial 911. In Africa, since there is no emergency services like 911, believer’s first impulse is to pray. 

Each time I hear that story told in front of an audience the reaction that follows is one of relief, a kind of comfort and reassurance that God still perform miracles. Of course, God still performs miracles. But how have we developed a take6 on things in which apparently God no longer performs miracles? The believer’s behavior, when it comes to prayer betray their beliefs because prayers are prayed with little expectation that God hears, much less acts. 

This is one example of secularism type 3 permeating everything in the church, its teachings and practices. This kind of secularism is such a lived-in, tacit and unconscious imaginary that the uninitiated is left with little hope of reform. But the situation is not beyond hope. Taylor offers a way out, starting points to engage the secularist. First, keep the conversations going and avoid conversation-stoppers such as the ones many street evangelists employ. There is enough common ground to supply civil conversations even with those whose ideas we disagree; and we need to be proactive and intentional about this. Second, keep pressing subjects on what Taylor calls cross-pressures that appear to grasp at fullness but never settling. He identifies three: Agency, Ethics and Aesthetics7. This is similar to what sociologist Peter Berger calls prototypical human gestures. All human beings, irrespective of culture, race, gender, age, past, present and future posses qualities that make us human. Qualities such as order, play, hope, justice  and humor, according to Berger, signal transcendence. These all eventually point back to God. Lastly, we must find converts who have lived within the immanent frame, succumbed to the cross-pressures and found a way out. Converts such as the Apostle Paul, C.S. Lewis, and more recently Ravi Zacharias, to name a few, who tell a competing story. 

As promised, this is not a summary of Taylor’s ideas. Instead it’s a feeble attempt to scrape together thoughts and ideas for a possible way forward toward human flourishing. The kind of human flourishing that finds its supply in the God of the cosmos.

Goal of Leadership

This week’s reading was brutal. Our cohort had to read, not one, not two, but three books in a matter of days. They weren’t easy ones either. Absorbing the material from Simon Walker’s The Undefended Leader trilogy was like drinking from a leadership fire hydrant. This is not to say that the arduous reading was not enjoyable. In fact out of all the leadership books I’ve read, this one stands out as one I will continually refer back to and will recommend to those aspiring to be better leaders. As I write this, I’m aware this opinion may have an expiration date. With so many books on leadership, I’m beginning to be convinced the academic ideas and concepts on leadership, which is fairly new, are varied, sometimes contradictory and can get far afield from each other. 

For instance, we learn from Brene Brown1 and Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries2 that daring leadership requires empathy, that effective leadership require transparency and self-compassion. Contra Brown, Edwin Friedman’s Failure of Nerve tells us not to engage in empathy. In fact, he devotes a whole chapter decrying the potential pitfalls of this, putting it on the same level as ‘emotional coercion.’3 Then there are the joys of discovering that some of these experts agree, i.e., Kets de Vries’ ‘accepting our shadowy side’ with Simon Walker’s ‘leading out of who you are’ which aptly is the title of the first volume of his 3-part series on The Undefended Leader.

As I’m writing this, I’ve yet to decide exactly what direction to take this since there is so so much to unpack. Do I write about the need for leadership in these turbulent times? Do I pick something more aligned with my dissertation? Or do I wax about the alphabet (PSC, RSC, PSX, etc.) soup of leadership concepts Walker theorizes are the ways we understand leadership? After giving it some thought, I decided to write about what the reading has caused me to reflect  on the most — and it’s this: What is the goal of leadership?

My own understanding of the goals of leadership had always been tied directly to the organization’s mission (ideal) and vision. Purportedly we apply all our skills and resources to accomplish the mission and vision. The mission is grand, once for all, and the vision is what gets us there. While there’s a lot of wisdom in that, I felt, after reading Walker, that perhaps that view was too simplistic and runs the risk of becoming too ethereal for followers to follow. 

Having worked at Biola University for over a quarter of a century (I know, that’s a very long time), I find that most of its employees, to my dismay cannot recall, much less utter the mission statement that is frequently promoted in internal memos, missives, ads, campaigns, etc. Biola is proud of its 111 year heritage and makes every effort to let the world know that our mission statement remains unchanged since its founding. And yet I feel our staff, faculty and students do not mention it nearly enough about this being a reason for belonging to an institution as much as I do. Does this make me a leader—because I care so much about this?

Walker admonishes the leader about feeling trapped in ‘idealism.’ It’s one of the things that drives leaders. In my case, it has become foundational in all I do as a leader and has become indistinguishable from the mission. The danger in this, according to Walker is when a leader looks at the ideal and discovers that the world does not conform to it, a cognitive dissonance develops in the mind which may lead to mental and emotional stress.4

Is the goal of leadership success? Success in accomplishing projects, meeting enrollment goals, staying within budget, etc.? Sure, but these all could be attained by formulas and technique; things delegable. Walker offers something better. He writes “that the only proper goal of leadership is this: to enable people to take responsibility.”5 That’s it. 

Up until this point I had not considered some of the possible ways to frame my understanding of leadership. I had always thought leadership was based on a single dimension of skill, charisma or vision. Walker has provided a way to lay foundations to which I can build my own set of leadership concepts that work in my present context. As I’ve mentioned, there is so much to absorb in these three books that I’m glad this is the last reading of this sort for this semester because I will now have the chance to ruminate on what it means to enable people to take responsibility. 

Stay Curious

As I write this there are no less than seven stories in this morning’s paper lambasting the intemperate excesses of large companies that have resulted in large scale privacy loss, antitrust violations and billions worth of lost capital. Not surprisingly, Facebook, one of the four horsemen in Scott Galloway’s book The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is being investigated by the state of California for its mishandling of the Cambridge Analytica case which compromised data from as many as 87 million of its users. The company is also facing antitrust lawsuits in Europe over the dubious way it acquired WhatsApp in 2014.1

Then there’s SoftBank, a money machine, popular for infusing exorbitant amount of cash to help technology start-ups thrive, with literally nothing but a vision, also on front page (top half) for losing $9 billion in the last quarter.2 How did Masayoshi Son do that? He doubled down on a shaky pre IPO deal with an overpriced workspace sharing company called WeWork and a cash-strapped, ride-hailing company we all know and love, Uber (a possible contender for the Fifth Horseman)3

Scott Galloway, professor of marketing at the New York University School of Business warns us about what big companies, if left unchecked, can do to inflict harm on us, consciously or unconsciously. Take for instance our affinity towards Facebook. Are we willing to trade our privacy for fleeting connections in virtual space?4 Why do we allow these mega corporations to act with impunity? Is Google’s motto “Don’t Be Evil” sufficient to stem the inequities these businesses foster? 

I believe the real reason why we allow these companies to run unabated is our love for their products. Galloway made allusions to Google having god-like characteristics that hold a sort of religious sway over us.5 What he failed to connect is that we have actually become our own gods. This is more befitting of our times. God created us in his image. We decided to return the favor. Their products will help recreate ourselves to be better than our former selves. With the aid of AI we can gene-edit human beings into our own likeness and obtain the materials delivered to us in a week’s time—two days if you’re an Amazon Prime member. Then we snap a photo of our successes, using our iPhones of course, post it on Facebook to broadcast to the whole world that we matter. 

This is the future I’m afraid. But it doesn’t have to be. As an aside, it would not be fair to say that the Four Horsemen have not contributed anything positive toward human flourishing. The benefits of technology are obvious; and Galloway is not naive not to acknowledge that. But since we live in a fallen world, it takes more effort to prevent abuses than to unflinchingly continue toward progress. His tips for thriving in the apocalypse are worth noting. The one that stuck with me is about staying curious.6 “Curiosity is crucial to success” is the short but enduring quip from Galloway. Curiosity can take many forms. It’s true, trying to resist the avalanche of change will drown you. Galloway said “Successful people in the digital age are those who go to work every day, not dreading the next change, but asking, ‘What if we did it this way?’”7

For me that means continued learning—learning how to be a better leader to guide my organization through the challenges and threats these Four Horsemen bring about.