For my “Spirituality” email subscribers, today I’ve got a thought on how to Massively Expand Your Brain.

A long time ago, during my last Dilbert Cube job, Laura bought me some tapes by Ravi Zacharias for my birthday.

Ravi Zacharias is a philosopher and speaker who argues for the rationality of Christian faith to packed audiences in venues like the Harvard Veritas forum, the United Nations, and major universities all over the world.

I slid the first tape into the cassette deck. The gears in my head started grinding as soon as he started. He was quoting thinkers and philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, David Hume, GK Chesterton, and dozens of others.

Suddenly the greatest minds in the world were clanking swords, and iron was sharpening iron.

It made my brain hurt.

Seriously, on my first trip through that tape, I almost couldn’t drive. I could feel my neurons s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g to wrap around all this new information.

A couple months later and several passes through that tape set, I understood it. I knew their assumptions and conclusions and how they got from A to B. It added yet another layer to my ability to step back from a huge, complex problem and dissect it down to its component parts.

In a live or phone consultation, I have to do that in minutes, questioning assumptions, disassembling worldviews, taking things apart, putting them back together.

I learned to do that by asking the Big Questions.

In fact I know of no other place where that is better done, than in theology. You want people who are good at questioning assumptions and getting to the bottom of things? Get yourself a bunch of Jewish rabbis or Christian theologians and they’ll strip any engine down to its casing and cylinders.

I know of no book that articulates the messiness of life and of humanity like the Bible. Ever met a guy who said a good God would never allow an evil world to exist? That person never understood the core of Judeo-Christian thought, because the problem of evil is found on nearly every page of the Bible.

Nothing will stretch your brain like the question of “What happens when a perfect God gives human beings freedom to do what they want to do?” — or “How on earth is He gonna sort out this big giant mess?”

Ken McCarthy once pointed out that an awful lot of the world’s best marketers love Jazz improvisation. Today I’d like to point out that an awful lot of the world’s greatest thinkers studied theology. If you wanna get good at solving problems, there’s no education like the biggest problems of all.

“Now when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His miracles which He was doing. But Jesus was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man. For He Himself knew what was in man.” -John 2:23-25.

Perry Marshall

4 Comments on “The Force of the Big Questions”

  1. Also tried to access the montage and the it was no longer there or available. I’ve listened to many Ravi’s talks and always feel his wisdom and examples are enlightening. It’s a shame his own self-sabotage was occurring all the while he giving most of these great talks

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