Scientists seek to quantify everything—even the ineffable. And so the human search for meaning recently took a physical turn as Columbia and Yale University researchers isolated the place in our brains that processes spiritual experiences. In a new study, published in Cerebral Cortex (paywall) on May 29, neuroscientists explain how they generated “personally relevant” spiritual experiences in a diverse group of subjects and scanned their brains while these experiences were happening. The results indicate that there is a “neurobiological home” for spirituality. When we feel a sense of connection with something greater than the self—whether transcendence involves communion with God, nature, or humanity—a certain part of the brain appears to activate. (READ MORE)
Liberty University students and faculty have been working on a feature-length film that will be shown in over 1,000 theaters across the country. The film is called “The Trump Prophecy” and explores how one man’s prophecy and a prayer movement apparently helped to elect President Trump. The Christian Post reports that about 56 Liberty students and faculty members have been working on the project. The film tells the story of how retired Florida firefighter Mark Taylor reportedly saw a vision from God in April 2011 in which God told him that Donald Trump would be president one day. Taylor’s story had previously been told in the bestselling book The Trump Prophecies: The Astonishing True Story of the Man Who Saw Tomorrow… and What He Says Is Coming Next.(READ MORE)
Tragically, there have been more school shootings in America. Our prayers are with the survivors and with the families of the victims. Reports even indicate that one coach in the Parkland, Florida shooting used his own body to shield others. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than that he lay down his life for his friends.” Many people are clamoring for gun control as if that would solve the problem. Of course, there used to be guns at school—long before there were school shootings. Rev. Paul Blair, a Baptist minister in Oklahoma of the organization Reclaiming America for Christ, wrote an article recently talking about guns in his own public school background. (READ MORE)
Just how important is serendipity to science? Scientists debating with policymakers have long relied on anecdotal evidence. Studies rarely try to quantify how much scientific progress was truly serendipitous, how much that cost or the circumstances in which it emerged. Serendipity can take on many forms, and its unwieldy web of cause and effect is difficult to constrain. Data are not available to track it in any meaningful way. Instead, academic research has focused on serendipity in science as a philosophical concept. The European Research Council aims to change that. It has given biochemist-turned-social-scientist Ohid Yaqub a sizeable €1.4-million (US$1.7-million) grant to gather evidence on the role of serendipity in science. Yaqub argues that he has found a way to do so. (READ MORE)
Benek is a Presbyterian pastor in southern Florida and the founding chair of the Christian Transhumanist Association. He stressed in the interview that the healthiest way of interacting with this subject theologically is to take what we know about theology and begin to converse about what is helpful, recognizing that AI can be used for evil or good much in the same way nuclear physics can be utilized to either make murderous weaponry or to provide a clean energy source. “Christ started a redemptive process that we are called to participate in, to actually help in the redemption — Christ has already secured the victory — but as co-creators, like as with a parent and a child, to co-create alongside God. So there is no reason to think that God wouldn’t empower us to create AI and create very powerful AI to help in those redemptive purposes,” Benek said (IMPORTANT NOTE—SkyWatch TV will broadcast a month-long Special Investigative Report in March on major developments in human enhancement THE CHURCH MUST FORCE ITSELF TO UNDERSTAND).(READ MORE)
ORLANDO, Fla.—President Donald Trump was swarmed by international media, dignitaries and fans upon his arrival at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, over the weekend. And when one delegate asked the president to sign a copy of the new, best-selling book “God and Donald Trump” by Stephen E. Strang, Trump not only obliged but held up the book for all to see.
The image and video was tweeted and re-tweeted, and showed that Trump engages with people and is a major player on the world’s economic stage.
Strang, founder of Charisma House, which published the book, said the attention for the book was unexpected but appreciated.
“All of us at Charisma are thrilled and thankful for the attention the president brought to “God and Donald Trump” Strang said. “But the bigger picture is that President Trump continues to embrace his evangelical supporters and remains on board with the issues that are important to the faithful. This is in addition to being a respected influencer on the economic stage for his extensive and successful business background. Those who are realistic about the progress of this country will not deny Donald Trump’s hand in furthering the issues that are important to Christians, such as the protection of religious liberties and the defense of life. Real and tangible evidence of a growing economy under this president’s leadership is seen every day in the financial headlines as well.”
According to the Washington Post, which made mention of the presence of the book at the forum, Trump is the first U.S. president to attend the World Economic Forum since Bill Clinton in 2000.
Politico extensively covered “God and Donald Trump” after its headline-making appearance in Davos, noting that Strang met with Trump briefly on the campaign for the biography and attempts to explain evangelical fervor for Trump.
Strang is an award-winning journalist and successful businessman who began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. He later founded a Christian publishing house and media company while interviewing and writing about nearly every Christian leader in the country over the past four decades.
WATCH SKYWATCH INTERVIEWS WITH STEVE STRANG HERE AND HERE