The God of Innovation: Toward a Theology of Innovation


I’m not trying to break your Weirdness Meter with this post. I promise.

But when you see the title of this post, your gut reaction may be, “What the heck does God have to do with innovation?!” I get it. And before a couple years ago, I think I would likely have shouted that question the loudest. But then something happened in my journey to better understand innovation. I started wondering where innovation came from in the first place. What’s the genesis of innovation?

Before long, my theological training started to mingle with my business leadership training. And it has created a most unusual concoction. So let me level with you…

I’m a “Jesus person.” I try not to say “Christian” because that’s a word that has become hijacked by our culture to mean all kinds of things that I don’t think really represent or reflect Jesus’ life and teachings. So perhaps “Jesus-follower” is the best label for me. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who loved us enough to come and rescue us from our brokenness and restore us to relationship with Himself through His loving sacrifice on a wooden, Roman cross. I’ve trusted Jesus’ finished work on the cross as a fully effective payment for all my own junk and brokenness and really do believe that the rumors of His Resurrection are really true—and, therefore, that He not only destroyed my sin but also my death. Jesus is alive and well and actually invites us into His new work of restoring the world to Himself.

One my favorite statements of Jesus out of the Scriptures comes from Revelation 21:5 where He shouts, “Behold! I am making all things new!” Now, if God is the Creator of everything we see, and if He tells us that He’s still all about bringing newness to life, doesn’t that make God the Chief Innovator? And if He’s the infinitely creative Creator and Chief Innovator, then shouldn’t there be tons of evidence all around us of His work and, now that we know what lengths He went through to be in relationship with us again, doesn’t it mean that He might even want to guide and empower our innovative efforts?

Those questions compelled me to go on a journey of searching the Scriptures and our world for evidence of God as innovator. And I’m still on it. And my mind keeps getting progressively blown.

So before we go further down this road of exploring a theology of innovation—and for all the research I’ve done on this, it seems like terra nova, let me ask you a few quest-creating questions:

  1. Have you ever thought about God as an innovator? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think God’s innovative work stops at creating and hanging planets out in space? Or do you think His innovative work actually comes close—to a personal, heart level in your own life?
  3. If God is the Chief Innovator, and we’re created in His image—meaning, among many other things, that we ought to follow in His innovational footsteps—does that mean (brace yourself) that it’s a sin for His followers not to innovate? (cringe)
  4. What should be our highest motivation for innovation? Is it to not sin or something higher (or should we say deeper)?
  5. When you consider human history, when was God at His innovational best? Why? (Creating the Universe, Creating Humanity, the Scriptures, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, Our Justification, Our Sanctification, Our Glorification, the New Heavens and New Earth…)


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