There are many dorm room Voltaires, many privileged rebels. But here’s the thing: there are fewer atheists in the ER. Life has a way of humbling you.
But it is not only suffering that often pries open the human heart. Whatever took place in Zuckerberg’s heart and mind, the gift of children is a little worldview in itself, albeit one that comes to you with tightly-shut little eyes and a feeble cry. Though you may reject this discovery, having a child introduces you to a world beyond yourself. Suddenly, in a vigorous and unopposable coup carried out by a 7-pound baby, you are dethroned. You no longer have control of your life; you don’t get to be served by others; you can’t claim to be the priority of those closest to you.
Center for Public Theology
Mark Zuckerberg, like Steve Jobs, falls into a Myers-Briggs personality type of INTJ. I have read much about these two men because I too fall into that personality type. INTJs are one of the most rational, analytical types. Rational types are often least likely to find religion. INTJs are, I believe, the least likely.
This is why my faith, while radical and odd to many not in my head, is very rational and intellectually-driven.
But Zuckerberg has always been an outspoken atheist. Until Christmas, when he posted that “religion is very important”. Having a child can do that to you.
We’ve been told that we’re just all flesh and blood, atoms colliding in a purposeless dance. But that’s not what you feel—in your bones, in your heart—when you look at your sleeping child. That’s not what you sense when your tiny loved one is hurt or sick. That’s not why you get out of bed in the middle of the night to calm your two-year-old experiencing night terrors. It’s not because of atoms colliding. It’s not because of chance. It’s not because of chaos theory. It’s because of love. It’s because your heart has opened to another.
There is so much immaterial. So much that cannot be understood with science. What's more, science often tries to explain the most radically unscientific concepts with theories that are just cold and illogical.
Seeing my daughter’s face for the first time over two years ago stopped time. I only know two women that have caused time to cease. When I hear beneath the sound of our television our daughter cry out “Daddy, help!” from her bedroom upstairs, I’m often on my feet before I can think.
Rationality and God aren’t opposites.
I heard a preacher over the weekend answering questions about the LGBT community and how to reach them and love them. He, himself, lives in Boystown in Chicago. When asked on how to respond to the harsh, bigotrous, anti-Christian persecution on Facebook, which comes to anyone that stands by the Gospel, he responded with a ridiculing laugh and said that we should know better than to do this on Facebook.
A man, who lives in Boystown, going where the people are and reaching out to a community in need of Jesus laughed at people that were going to and reaching out to a community in need of Jesus online. I agreed and nodded my head with most of what he said before this statement, but then this laugh stabbed through me, a backhand across the face. Where there is an open hostility towards Christianity, a people that live in mockery of God, a people seeking meaning, us Christians ought not go?
The irony apparently is lost on him.
As an introvert, the whole approaching-those-I-don’t-know thing is very difficult. Not because I’m shy— I’m not—, but because our culture is built around extroverts. To get to any sort of real conversation, one must jump through the hoops of small talk, formalities, and fakery to seem pleasant enough to be real with. Our churches, too, seem geared towards extroverts. “Turn around and introduce yourself to someone you don’t know.” “James, I don’t know you, but do you mind opening us in prayer?” “Join us Saturday for our ice cream social.” None of those seem even remotely enjoyable to me. And I’m not alone.
But where the one-on-one interaction in person is difficult, the Internet opens many of us up to be more bold, more social, more sharing. Where an extrovert shines going to Boystown, the introvert shines going on Facebook. Both locations need Jesus. Both places are hostile towards Christianity and God. Both are seeking purpose and meaning. So why is my mission field wrong?
Is Facebook stifling your prayer life? Great article from Desiring God.
For creatures like us, created to adore glory, we must find an object worthy of our worship. The cure for boredom is not diversion or distraction, but substantive enthrallment, says John Piper. We must encounter God, “to be intellectually and emotionally staggered by the infinite, everlasting, unchanging supremacy of Christ in all things.”
Which means that trying to silence our boredom with the compulsive habit of pulling the lever on the slot machine called Facebook is a habit that can be broken. But that will only happen if our compelling vision of God is grand enough to see him as beautiful and “infinitely creative,” so creative, that for those who worship him, Piper says, “there will be no boredom for the next trillion ages of millenniums.”