Darrow Miller and Friends

The POWER of Human Imagination

Human imagination is clearly implied in Gods mandate to Adam and Eve to develop the creation out of the raw materials He provided. And human imagination has been at work ever since.

the power of human imaginationNote the quotation about a bar of iron. The value of an item is not necessarily found in the item itself. For something to have value, it must first be discovered by a human. Human imagination must be applied to envision its potential.

For generations, oil existed underground, brimming with hidden potential. But only when humans discovered it did that potential begin to unfold. Someone wondered, “What is this black sticky stuff good for? Why did God put this here? What is its hidden potential? The great American scientist George Washington Carver held a peanut in his George Washington Carver demonstrated the power of human imaginationhand and asked God, what have you made the peanut for? He spent his life answering that question and ended up producing over two hundred uses for the “insignificant” peanut.

Imagination can be applied to find the purpose of a discovery. In this vein, people came to develop uses for oil: light for lamps, heat for homes, power for machinery. With oil we have flown around the world and to the moon.

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible,” (Hebrews 11:3 NIV). This text establishes that the unseen God produced the seen universe. The invisible produces the visible. The minds of individuals transform the “worthless” into the priceless.

Human imagination enables people as secondary creators working with Gods primary creation

In other words, it is not the limited physical capital in commodities, but the vast metaphysical capital in human beings, that contributes value to the world. The capital of human minds leads to discovery. Human imagination transforms rocks and flowers into colors,[1] and transforms colors into paints that are applied to canvas that produce a masterpiece. This is the capital that can transform “worthless,” insignificant sand into glass, that remarkable invention which admits light while barring weather. Sand is converted into a chip to power a computer or cell phone. Metaphysical capital is found in the human heart (moral imagination) and mind (worldview). It is the metaphysical capital of Judeo-Christian theism that provides the greatest source for transformation of raw materials, communities or nations.

“And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food,’” Genesis 1:29. The Hebrew word “behold” is meant to call attention to something. “Look at the seed!” Do you see a tiny, meaningless bit of matter? Or do you see the vast potential of the seed? What can that seed produce? Can you see the forest in the seed?

So, yes, the real value of an iron bar is found in what a human being will make of it.

However, I would like to qualify the last part of this anonymous statement: “Your own value is determined also by what you are able to make of yourself.”

At least two issues relate to one’s own worth. The first and most basic is one’s intrinsic worth. The other is one’s potential worth. What will you make of your life? What will you do with the capital God has invested in you?

Human imagination is yours to apply to the world

Our value is not found in what we do. Our value is intrinsic; we are made in the image of God . Each of us has intrinsic worth that cannot be augmented or diminished by anyone or by the state. It is built into our very nature.

And each person has been given a treasure of capital. This treasure is evidenced in our interests, skills, and God-given abilities; it abides in our minds, hearts, wills, in our ability to think analytically and creatively, and to act volitionally.

Here is a valuable lesson: our worth is intrinsic. From this truth we derive that every human has the opportunity and responsibility to use his or her metaphysical capital to create beautiful, edifying and useful things to increase the health and flourishing of our families and communities.

Will you make something of your life that will glorify God and contribute to your community? What will you do with the metaphysical capital you have been given?

Behold, the seed!

–          Darrow Miller

[1] J.R.R. Tolkien writes about human metaphysical power to distinguish colors: “The human mind, endowed with the powers of generalization and abstraction, sees not only green-grass, discriminating it from other things (and finding it fair to look upon), but sees that it is green as well as being grass. But how powerful, how stimulating to the very faculty that produced it, was the invention of the adjective … The mind that thought of light, heavy, grey, yellow, still, swift, also conceived of magic that would make heavy things light and able to fly, turn grey lead into yellow gold, and the still rock into a swift water. If it could do the one, it could do the other; it inevitably did both. When we can take green from grass, blue from heaven, and red from blood, we have already an enchanter’s power—upon one plane; and the desire to wield that power in the world external to our minds awakes … Man becomes a sub-creator. Tree and Leaf, pp. 27-28.

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).


  1. Patricia gangadean

    February 16, 2019 - 5:43 am

    Love this! Glad I found your blog. Will be sharing with my friends. It’s a real exhortation to be all that we can be for the glory of God. Inspiring!

    • admin

      February 16, 2019 - 7:04 am

      Thanks Patricia. Glad you have been encouraged. And, thanks for sharing with your friends.

  2. Eduardo A Martinez

    February 16, 2019 - 6:16 pm

    Great Darrow.