What Do They Know? Learning From “Secular” Leaders

God is not just King over our spiritual lives. He is King of every sphere.

We’re worried that a naturalistic worldview has influenced our psychology and our politics and our music. But we’re inconsistent. We don’t have the same anxiety about the business principles that inform our leadership. How do we filter them? If we’re honest, we don’t even think about it most of the time. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not suggesting we take a defensive posture toward business principles. What I am suggesting is that we pay attention, with discernment, to everything that may help us lead.

 

Outrageous Revelation

When God speaks through his world, we call it general revelation or common grace. But “general” revelation is a pretty boring name for it, because there’s nothing general or common about how God speaks through his world. Maybe we should call it awesome revelation—or even outrageous revelation!

David sang about this truth: “The heavens declare the glory of God and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1). God speaks through the heavens above us and nature around us so that his presence is plain to us, even if we reject him (Rom. 1:19–21). God speaks through our consciences so that what God requires is written on our hearts (Rom. 2:14–15).

In fact, life in the world is intelligible to us because the Father speaks through what he has made. When Paul spoke to the Athenian philosophers, he explained it this way:

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth. . . . He himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. “For in him we live and move and have our being.” As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.” (Acts 17:24–28 NIV)

We can learn about God’s world and grow to know more about God through living in the world, because God has created a world where knowing is possible. Every insight is under God’s sovereign control—part of his incredible work of revelation. We are able to know because God has made us to know. Sometimes, a sense of wonder and curiosity about the Father’s world doesn’t mark the lives of Christians. Even if someone is thirsty for the wisdom of general revelation, they aren’t sure how to connect their curiosity with their Christianity.

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