Learn The Power of Biblical Imagination
Listen to the interview with Kenneth:
The phrase “Biblical Imagination” might not just be absent from your vocabulary, but completely absent from your knowledge for the majority of your life. For me, that is the case, up until watching Kenneth Padgett’s interview with Taylor McMahon.
It is a term not easily defined and a quick search of Merriam-Webster yields no results, forcing us to create our own definition by piecing together the two words. Imagination is defined as “The act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before perceived in reality.” Biblical is defined as, “Of, relating to, or being in accord with the Bible.” Framing these two together gives us a general idea of the term.
If we were trying to define it, “Biblical Imagination” might go something like this: The act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before perceived in reality, guided, or framed by the teachings in Scripture. This probably is not a perfect definition, but it gets the point across.
When we think of imagination we immediately think of a kid playing with toy soldiers, acting out how they perceive the battle would go, or a young student lost in thought at what it would be like to attend Hogwarts. The truth is, as Padgett discusses in the interview, our imagination is not limited to just these events or just childhood. Our lives are built upon imagination.
If you are racking your brain on an upcoming meeting, playing out the scenarios, that is using your imagination. If you are second-guessing a decision you made, you are likely using your imagination to figure out what could have been had you made a different decision. Where you focus your time, thoughts and energy determine a lot of things in your life. Your principles, your actions, and yes, your imagination.
Check out this clip below:
What is shaping your imagination? It is a five-word question that provokes deep thought and reflection. Maybe this is a point where you realize that maybe your priorities have been misaligned. I am happy to admit I fall in that category.
As Padgett mentions in his interview, oftentimes Biblical Imagination can run in conflict with our culture, which makes it that much more important. What is true, the real truth does not change based on social media. It does not change based on what your favorite politician said in a speech last week.
Check out this clip below:
If imagination is guiding our thoughts, it is guiding our actions and our decision-making. As Christians, if we truly want to live a Christian life, allowing God to influence our imagination is a vital component. We cannot do one without the other, the two are mutually exclusive.
How do I nurture or create a Biblical Imagination? Bringing God into your daily life. Attending church, reading your Bible, and praying. Making Jesus the center will gradually transform your thoughts, minds, and actions.
That is why this phrase you probably have never heard of is so important. For some of us, it is just a natural part of our daily lives. We have been doing it without thinking. For others of us, we’ve been missing the mark and this presents an opportunity to potentially get us back on track.
Whether you are the former or the latter, understanding what Biblical Imagination is and why it is relevant, will allow you to be intentional about incorporating both in your own life and in your household where it can have far-reaching, life-long, positive impacts.
Blake is a CoFounder of Hope Mindfulness & Prayer.