Email a copy of 'Imagine That' to a friend

* Required Field

Separate multiple entries with a comma. Maximum 5 entries.

Separate multiple entries with a comma. Maximum 5 entries.

E-Mail Image Verification

Loading ... Loading ...    Send article as PDF   

10 Responses to “Imagine That”

  1. marble says:

    . . . and isn’t it telling that Sprat uses rhetoric to argue against the use of it.

  2. Gerard Weldele says:

    Merry Christmas, Mike.

    “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination (framework) of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”.

    Your commentary tied “imagination” and “framework of thoughts” together for me. This is a new way for me to think about the imagination; it is not simply impotent day dreaming.

    Your commentary also makes me think differently about the term “reframing” more as “reimagining the meaning” of something rather than “reorganizing the facts” about something.

    I am struck that “the earth being filled with violence” was proceeded from “the imagination of the thoughts of men”; imagination is powerful and changes the world for better or for worse.

    Connecting imagination and faith is delightful to meditate upon.

    It leads me to restate the gospel as “The just shall live by the righteous imagination of their thoughts”.

    Thank you for such a timely edification.

  3. Bob Moffitt says:

    Mike, an illustration: A few years ago I was sharing in a Communist country. I asked the group to imagine the coming of God’s will being done in their country. One member, a self-confessed believer, said she could not. On further discussion it truly seemed she had been so brainwashed that she couldn’t. At that time I realized how difficult if not impossible it would be to commit oneself to a proposition that you can’t imagine.

  4. Mike Metzger says:


    How true. Seeing the irony of one’s own situation – or any situation – requires a fairly wide imagination.

  5. Mark Elson says:

    Mike, how is your commentary here not saying ‘it is reasonable to think that imagination is reasonable enough to give you rational knowledge’? To me, this makes it hands-down, self evident that reason guides the imagination, helping it from becoming myth or fairy tales; This is what Bacon and Sprat were referring too because they found religion to be nothing but a myth.

    Second question:
    If your above argument is correct, imagination precedes reason what does that get you?

  6. Mike Metzger says:


    Good questions. As to your second one, when imagination precedes reason, we stand a better chance of making sense, or deriving shared meaning. Example: what do most folks imagine the word “gay” means? However, in “White Christmas,” filmed in the 1940s, when Vera Miles asks Donald O’Connor, “Don’t you find me gay…” what did most (if not all) moviegoers imagine she meant? Big difference in meaning, all due to how the word was – and is – imagined.

    As to your first question, just as the Spirit of God whispers to us from behind, so too reason guides us… but generally from behind. Imagination precedes.

  7. Mike Metzger says:

    Oops… it was Danny Kaye; not Donald O’Connor.

  8. Mark Elson says:

    You have only given reason it’s interior ability to define what is true and have avoided the exterior ability. The Spirit, I agree, whispers to us through rational measures but This also suggests that you could only be rational or privy to reason if the Holy Spirit lives within you; what then of those who don’t except Christ can they not know anything?

    The exterior ability of reason is the system of logic where by we can know something because truth after all is a proposition stating a certainty of the way something is. God’s created order put this in place by his very nature.

    In your above example is seems to me that those who would have thought “gay” suggests a certain sexual disposition derived from their current worldview. I would be interested in hearing from you sometime the difference between a worldview and imagination and their perspective roles!

  9. brody bond says:

    From another angle on this theme, Seth Godin recently wrote this. It might be a bit stronger perspective if he wrote more about enduring “oughts” and not cajoling “supposed toos.” But the point remains.

    “Am I supposed to like this?”

    If we think we are, we probably will.

    We’re more likely to laugh at the comedy club. More likely to like the food at a fancy restaurant. More likely to feel like it’s a bargain if we’re at the outlet store.

    Am I supposed to applaud now? Be happy? Hate that guy? Use a fork?

    Judgments happen long before we think they do.

    And successful marketers (and teachers and leaders) invest far more into “supposed to” than it appears.

  10. Neil Downey says:

    Great post, Mike.

    My friend was in a spiritual conversation with someone in a large communist country in East Asia. She framed the conversation in terms of imagination, asking this question: “If there was a God, what would you want Him to be like?” This initial inquiry spoke to the person’s heart issues, stirring up a felt need, and eventually led to her seeing Christianity as plausible.

Leave a Reply