The Black Swan: Can a Christian believe in randomness?


I have just finished Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book, The Black Swan. It was, ironically, given the name of the publishing company, published by Random House back in 2007. The Black Swan is about improbable, unexpected events which have a high impact. Even more importantly, Taleb wants the reader to be aware of our inability to predict these events. Indeed, we all stomp around behaving as though we just know that our home won’t catch on fire tomorrow. We also behave like we know that a plane won’t crash into the building we work in while we’re working in it. And yet we don’t know. We cannot know.

This is not a book review, but more of a Christian reflection on the ideas in the book. The kind of events Taleb has in mind are massive stock market crashes (e.g. 1929, 1987, and 2008), terrorist attacks on Australian soil, or the rise of Christianity. High impact, unpredictable, and improbable. That’s the trio of features. Continue reading The Black Swan: Can a Christian believe in randomness?

6 Ways to Know God’s Will in Your Life

How do we discover the specific will of God in our lives? Here are some practical suggestion adapted and extracted from an article by Emery Nester in his Book C: Beginning Your Ministry.

It is important that all these factors work together and that none be used in isolation.

  • Consider what you think you would like to do. This could involve teaching, witnessing, or perhaps doing some physical activity on behalf of the church. We might refer to this as an inward impulse. Caution: This is not valid in every case, however. Jonah is an example listening to a  wrong inner impulse. His inward impulse was to flee. (Jonah 1:3) Continue reading 6 Ways to Know God’s Will in Your Life