Author: DwightClough

What the creation evolution debate teaches us about ourselves

I’m going to try to discuss this without triggering you. I don’t know if I will be successful.

Let me start with a joke: A creationist, an evolutionist, and God walk into a bar. Which one of them was around when the universe started?

Okay, maybe that’s not a joke. But there is a point to that question, and maybe you can pick up on what that point is.

Creationism vs. evolution is characterized as a conflict between Bible thumpers and scientists. On one hand, we have those who believe that the earth is 6,000 years old with God creating Adam and Eve and all the different types of plants and animals at the beginning. On the other hand, we have those who believe the universe is 14 billion years old, that matter, energy, life, and humanity came about through naturalistic processes and God was not involved.

But that oversimplifies reality. This conflict is a kaleidoscope of ideas encompassing science, philosophy, and theology. Many different models have been put forth to try to make sense of science, philosophy, and theology. Young earth creationists believe the earth is six to ten thousand years old, that the universe was created with apparent age. Others hold to the gap theory: God created the universe in the distant past; a disaster occurred between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, and the six days of creation that followed was actually God “terraforming” earth—and that happened about six thousand years ago. There’s the day-age theory: each of the six days of creation was not a literal day, but an age of uncertain length. Some have used Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to argue that the earth is simultaneously thousands and billions of years old, depending on your frame of reference. Some believe in theistic evolution—that God oversaw the evolutionary process as His method of creation. And some, of course, believe that God was not involved.

Which one is true?

I don’t know. Like the two of the three in the bar, I wasn’t there. Are any of them true? Or is there another explanation that we haven’t thought of that more accurately tells us what really happened? Again I don’t know.

Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in God. I believe in the Bible. I believe the Genesis account is true, but I’m not 100% sure how it should be understood.

And the purpose of this post is not to try to settle that question. Instead, I want to talk about what this conversation says about us as human beings, what it says about our culture.

Are you familiar with the idea of positioning? Positioning is a marketing term. It means controlling how other people think about you, your ideas, your products, your business. Positioning is what allows one person to charge $50,000 for a coaching session while another person—dispensing the exact same advice—has trouble collecting $5.

Elections are all about positioning. Political parties and candidates work very hard to position themselves in your mind as capable, caring, competent, and so on, while trying to position their opponents as dangerous and/or bumbling idiots.

The naturalistic evolution folks have done an incredible job with positioning. They’ve managed to position themselves as “science” and therefore factual, reliable, true—and to position creationism as “religion” and therefore a myth, a fantasy, a feel good story that has nothing to do with reality.

This is why evolution is taught in public schools and creationism is not. One is “science.” The other is “religion.”

The idea is that you can hold to this schizophrenic worldview that evolution is true on a scientific level and creation is true on a religious level.


A while back I looked up “creationism” on Wikipedia. The first line? “Creationism is a pseudoscience.” In other words, it’s a false science. It’s a myth. It’s a fairy tale. It’s what intellectually inferior people believe.

Stop. Pause. “Pseudoscience”—what is that? It’s name calling. It’s not an argument. It’s not a proof. It’s not a carefully thought out premise with evidence behind it. It’s just name calling.

And name calling is not science. It’s positioning.

You may or may not be aware of this: There are scientists who are young earth creationists. There are scientists who are old earth creationists. And yes, they’ve looked at the science, and yes, they have scientific reasons for believing what they believe.

There are scientific arguments for creationism, but those arguments are systematically withheld from you. They’re not allowed to be taught in public schools because—remember—evolution is science, and creation is religion.

Why are these arguments and ideas—why is this science not allowed at the table?

Because those who control the narrative don’t want it there. Why don’t they want it there? Two reasons: (1) The most frightening thing for an unbeliever is the idea that he or she will stand before God at life’s end and need to explain to Him why they lived their life the way they did. While it may be an unconscious priority, it is, I think, the #1 priority in their lives—removing God from the universe. Naturalistic evolution is a tool for removing a troublesome God. (2) Their power and influence rides on their narrative. If their narrative fails, their power and influence dies. And humans, above almost anything else, love to cling to power.

This is the point you must understand. Controlling the narrative controls the positioning. It keeps people in power who want to stay in power.

Of course, this applies to much more than creation and evolution.

We are supposed to live in a nation with a First Amendment right to freedom of speech. But we don’t have freedom of speech. Certain ideas are restricted, not allowed, prohibited by those who hold power and influence.

For example, a close relative suffered a stroke. His doctor hinted that a much touted medical procedure may have caused that stroke.

Why can’t I tell you what that procedure was?

Because I don’t have freedom of speech. Neither do you.

In our culture we talk about DEI—diversity, equity, and inclusion. You may have your own thoughts about that. But let me say this: Here’s where we DON’T have DEI: in the world of ideas. Certain ideas are dismissed, marginalized, ridiculed, and banned.


Because they’re wrong? No, not necessarily. Instead, because they don’t match the narrative that those in power want to preserve.

Can I shake you awake?

Do you have any idea how dangerous this is? Controlling how people think is the essence of totalitarianism. It leads to—and already has led to—the criminalization of political dissent. It will destroy our nation if we don’t find the courage to stop it.

Minority ideas must have a place at the table. They must be openly discussed so that we all can look at them and see if they have any merit. And we all need to teach ourselves to think so we aren’t conned by whoever comes along that’s good at positioning.

How has the church responded to all this?

I’ve seen two responses, and I’m not excited about either one.

First, some Christians have become combative. They know that they know that they know that the earth was created 4,004 BC and so on, and their approach is: It’s my way or the highway.

In my view, that’s arrogance, just like claiming that God had nothing to do with creation is arrogance. We are, after all, human beings. And human beings don’t know very much.

Second, and in some ways more disturbing, the church has retreated, surrendered. Today’s church is almost exclusively focused on seekers and spiritual infants, and, out of fear, there are certain topics—like this one—that are not discussed because the thinking is: Let’s just get them to Christ. Let’s get their ticket to heaven settled. We can deal with these other issues later.

But later never comes.

So yeah, I don’t think creationism vs. evolution is really about religion vs. science. I think it’s about arrogance, control, positioning, marketing, fear, and clinging to a narrative we desperately hope is right.


This is a little different than my normal post, but it has been swimming around in my mind, and I felt like God wanted me to share it.

Much love from my home to yours!


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God is love

If someone were to describe you in a single word, what word would they use?

Exciting? Mysterious? Determined? Relaxed? Or some other word?

It’s hard to sum up a human being in a single word, and it’s even harder to sum up God in a single word. But the early Christian leader, the apostle John found that word, and he shares it in his first letter. Here’s what he writes: “…God is love.” 1 John 4:8

God may be many things—Creator, all powerful, all knowing, eternal, holy, and the list goes on—but the one attribute that eclipses them all is love.

What is love?

Love places high value on another being—not for selfish gain—but for their lasting benefit.

In humanity, we see broken forms of love. A husband “loves” a wife until she no longer makes him feel good, then he abandons her like a broken toy. A parent “loves” a child until that child makes life choices that disappoint. A friend “loves” another friend until that friend votes for the wrong candidate. And so on.

God’s love is not broken. It doesn’t waver, it doesn’t falter. It remains.

God’s love is wise. A loving parent doesn’t allow a little child to eat a whole bucket of candy. In the same way, God doesn’t always let us get our own way because He knows best. He understands things our small minds and small hearts cannot yet comprehend.

God’s love is empathetic. When you hurt, God hurts. When you’re happy, God is happy with you. He feels your pain. He’s cheering you on.

God’s love is protective. God sees and knows better than we do all the things that threaten our fragile existence. He works to protect us from anything that could do eternal damage to us, as well as most things that can do temporary damage.

God’s love is healing. Living in a broken world, all of us sustain injury to our bodies and souls. God cares about those hurts, and He heals. Some of that healing happens in this life; the rest in the next.
God’s love is open handed. Love isn’t love if the other person isn’t free to walk away. God will always love us, but He won’t make us love Him in return. That’s up to us. We can stay in a loving relationship with God, or we can turn around and walk away.

God’s love is forgiving. Yeah, we mess up, and God understands that. But He’s ready to give us a fresh start. We fall down, but He helps us up, dusts us off, and gets us back into the game.

God’s love is embracing. God wants to be with you. He likes hanging out with you. He likes being your friend. He likes you. He likes entering your world. (Are you letting Him in?)

God’s love is eternal. This life is too small to contain the love God has for you and for me. So God designed a much bigger life—eternal life—so that He has room to show us all the different ways He loves us. The apostle Paul writes, “That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’” 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT (quoting Isaiah 64:4)

Here’s the video version of this post on YouTube!

Have a super week!


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Our connection to Jesus

The apostle John is clear: “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:12 NIV

But what does it mean to have the Son?

Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23 NASB

Clearly, our link to Jesus needs to be a whole lot stronger than, “Oh, yeah, one day I prayed a prayer. Something about Jesus coming into my life. Thought I was good with that.”

So what does it mean to have the Son? What do you think?

The best I can make out, it means we invite Jesus in and allow Him to be who He wants to be, and to do what He wants to do. We open the door to Him, and we keep it open. He will find other doors in our lives that need to be opened, and we open those as well.

It isn’t a performance. We don’t do tricks for Him to make Him happy. We’re not saved by our “good works.” But we are saved by His good work in us. His good work transforms us and makes us citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.

I go into this question in my latest YouTube video “002 Am I okay with God.” The title has a number in it because it’s part of a YouTube playlist—Your Guide to Following Jesus.

In other news, I’m writing a novel. If you want to follow it, here’s the YouTube playlist. If I can get my laptop fixed, I plan to post chapter 2 sometime on Wednesday.

Much love from my home to yours!


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What’s the first thing you need to know?

So… I have a question.

What’s the first thing a person needs to know in order to follow Jesus? I mean to successfully follow Jesus. Not pray a prayer and go off and do your own thing, but to develop a meaningful, sustainable Christian faith.

I’m reading a book that laments how unsuccessful evangelistic campaigns have been. The author cites (among other things), a study where 30,000 decisions were made for Christ. Six months later, researchers could only find 30 people who had continued on in the faith. That’s a 99.9% failure rate! Only 1/10th of 1% continued on in the faith.

What gives?

What do you think we’re doing wrong?

I’ve given this a lot of thought over the years, and I have some ideas, but I’d love to hear yours as well.

In response to miserable statistics like these, I’m working on a series of videos and pdfs I’m calling Your Guide to Following Jesus.

Here’s the first video: “001 How to Test Drive the Christian Faith

Also, over the weekend, I spoke at my home church on true grace vs. false grace. All I have right now is a Facebook link. Let me know if you’d like me to post on YouTube as well. (My Internet is really slow, so posting a long video takes 8-10 hours to upload.)

Anyway, I’d love to hear from you…

Have a super week!


PS. If you’re subscribed to my YouTube channel, I think I’ll have a little surprise for you in the next several days. My wife keeps encouraging me to do something, and maybe I’ll just follow her advice.

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I didn’t believe him at the time, but now I do…

About 35 years ago, a pastor friend of mine said to me, “How you think about God changes everything.”

I didn’t really believe him at the time. But now I do.

How we think about God—at a deep level—changes how we experience life, and it changes all the choices that we make. It determines whether we make God the center of our lives or whether we make Him a hobby or throw Him out altogether.

We live in a messed up, broken world. And why is it broken? Because ever since the serpent whispered, “Did God really say…?” our thinking about God has been broken.

Those of us who call ourselves Christian are not immune from wrong ideas about God. I’ve seen some pretty strange ideas of God come from churches including:
* God is my drinking buddy
* God is the mascot for my political party (both parties)
* God is a monster

No, they didn’t use those words, but I can read between the lines. And, yes, I’ve held bad ideas about God (and probably still do). I used to see God as aloof, remote, uncaring, disgusted with me.

In my latest book, How to Fix Everything, the first chapter is How to fix God.

Does God need fixing?

Of course not. But our idea of God needs fixing, and it is the starting place to fix everything else in our lives.

If things aren’t right in our lives and we’re wondering where to start to fix the problem, we start here: fix our idea of God.

I posted a two-minute video with some added thoughts.

Be encouraged!


PS. I’m really excited about a new project I’m working on. I’m planning a step-by-step Christian discipleship program (video + pdf) that will be helpful for new and experienced Christians. If that sounds interesting, or if you have any ideas about what you’d like to see in something like that, ping me back and let me know. 🙂

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Exactly how are we saved by grace?

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

We’re saved by grace. But how?

Here’s what I thought in the past: Our ticket to heaven was canceled because we sinned. But Jesus died for our sins. So we could accept the free gift of eternal life from Him, and our ticket to heaven would be restored.

But then I started reading and rereading the Bible, and I ran into verse after verse that made me uncomfortable. Faith without works is dead. (James 2) If we live the wrong way, we won’t see heaven. (Galatians 5) Not everyone who calls Jesus “Lord” gets into heaven. (Matthew 7) And so on.

It took me a long time to puzzle this out, but it finally makes sense to me now.

Grace fixes things. It fixes everything. It’s like the repair technician from heaven that fixes everything that has gone wrong in our lives. It fixes our identity. It fixes the damage we’ve sustained in a broken world. It fixes our tendency to sin. It fixes our inability to live up to heaven’s standards. It fixes everything.

And if grace isn’t fixing things in our lives, it may be time to ask if we have the real thing.

I take a deep dive into this in my new video: How grace fixes everything



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How to fix everything with the presence of Jesus

Four decades ago, my life was a mess. We had money problems, marriage issues, mental health stress. I desperately wanted help, but instead of getting help at church, I was being threatened with excommunication.


I went to Christians to try to get answers, but the only answers they had were: pray about it and try harder.

This sent me on an odyssey of discovery where I needed to dig in with God and find the answers nobody else seemed to have. And the path was not easy. It took me through bankruptcy, hunger, homelessness, rejection, cancer, and more, but along the way, God was kind to me, and He showed up, and showed me how to go beyond platitudes and get the answers from Him that work in real life.

About a year and half ago, God spoke to me and asked me to put those answers in a book. “I want you to write a book,” He said, “a book on how to fix everything.”

So here it is. Brand new. Just hit Amazon yesterday. Here’s the link…

A few people read it and said nice things. Here’s what my friend Steve Roller said:

Life hack: Open to any random page in How to Fix Everything. Read it. Do what it says. Next day, do the same. Or read the entire book in one sitting and soak it in. I have never seen a book so profound and so simple at the same time. It won’t solve the world’s problems (but it might be a start). It will solve yours. Do yourself a favor and get it today.

And listen, can you do me a favor, please? If you do get the book and you do like it, would you please consider leaving a review on Amazon. Your review—much more than anything I can do—helps get this book into the hands of people who can benefit from it.

Many thanks!


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How to fix a broken childhood

All of us have moments in the past that can create pain in the present. That’s just part of living in a broken world.

But when the past starts intruding on the present, how do we fix that? How do you take that to Jesus so He can repair the damage?

Let me give you a simple approach, followed by a recommendation. Here’s the approach:

1. Jesus, this is what happened…

2. This is where it leaves me… (This is how I’m feeling…)

3. This is what feels true… (If my feelings could talk, this is what they would say…)

4. What do you want me to know?

Take your time with each one of those four items, and give God time to speak to you.

We can’t rewrite the past, but Jesus can rewrite the impact the past has on us. Jesus can erase shame, fear, invalidation, and all kinds of negative feelings and replace them with His peace.

The key?

Getting His perspective on those false messages inside that cause us pain. You can have that perspective; all you need to do is ask.

The recommendation:

Having said that, I’ve given you a ten-second introduction to a process that can take hundreds of hours to master. If you get stuck, there are good people out there who can help. Message me, and I’ll put you in touch.

Be encouraged!


PS. This is one of many topics covered in my soon-to-be-released (Lord willing) book, How to Fix Everything.

PPS. Here’s a five-minute video with more information.

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How to fix unanswered prayer

I suspect we’ve all been there. We’ve asked God for something—something we really need, something we really want. And we didn’t get the answer we were hoping for—at least not in the time frame that made sense to us.

How do you fix unanswered prayer?

I first want to acknowledge that this is a very painful topic for some people, and maybe for all of us in certain seasons in our lives. It hurts when we don’t get what we want. I’ve prayed for healing for family members and friends, for example, but the healing I prayed for didn’t take place.

If that’s you, I’m asking God to meet with you soon, perhaps today, to bring comfort, wisdom, encouragement, whatever you need.

I also want to say that my wife objects to the title of this post. “God always answers prayer,” she says.

And she’s right, of course. But there are things we can do so that our hearts and minds are lining up with God’s heart and mind, and we can position ourselves to receive from God.

I can think of more than a dozen things we can (and should) do. But rather than list and explain them all here (that would probably take 20+ pages), let me direct you to two resources I hope you’ll find helpful:

#1 Here’s a video “How to fix unanswered prayer.” Yes, it’s long, but I hopefully it will answer a whole pile of questions.

#2 Here’s a printable checklist you can use to help you pray and get the answers you’re hoping for.

Hope all of this is helpful and encouraging to you!

Many blessings!


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How to read the ENTIRE Bible—made easy

If you’re interested in reading the entire Bible, there’s an easy way and there’s a hard way to do it.

Here’s the hard way: Pick up an old King James Bible, start on page 1, and try to plow all the way through to Revelation. Most (95%) people who do that get bogged down, discouraged, and quit.

Here are some hacks to make it easier:

#1 Stories are easier. About 1/3 of the Bible is story. Story is easier to read than legal code, song lyrics, essays, genealogies, and the other kinds of literature that make up the rest of the Bible. Start with story. Once you understand the story line of the Bible, you have a place in your mind to put all the other pieces. You want a reading plan that gives you story first.

#2 Short is easier. The Bible is made up of 66 books. Some books are long. Some are short. It’s easier to tackle shorter books first.

#3 You need some basic information. When you understand, for example, that in the Old Testament the people of God were a nation—the nation of Israel, while in the New Testament the people of God are believers from all nations, your reading will make a lot more sense. I’ve identified 12 paradigm shifts from the Old Testament to the New Testament—if you know this information, it makes understanding the Bible much easier.

#4 One bite at a time. You know what I’m going to say, right? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Same way with the Bible. You can’t read it all at once, but you will eventually read it all if you take advantage of the moment, and read a little bit now.

#5 Read it in a different order. Start with the New Testament. Start with the Gospels (the story of Jesus)—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Start with Mark. It’s the shortest. And you can finish Mark in less than a week. Easy. Easy peasy.

I have a whole Bible reading plan which I will be happy to give you (see below). Here’s what it includes:

#1 You’ll finish the entire Bible in a little less than a year.
#2 You’ll be able to measure your progress daily and know how much of the entire Bible you’ve completed.
#3 We start with easy.
#4 I give you background information you need before we get into more challenging passages.
#5 There’s room for you to journal as you read.
#6 Use any translation.

Speaking of translations, if you’re new to the Bible, let me recommend the New Living Translation (NLT), or the New Century Version (NCV), or The Message (MSG). If you’re a more experienced reader, then the New International Version (NIV) is nice for everyday reading. The King James Version (KJV) is an elegant translation, but there’s a bit of a learning curve. I like the New American Standard Bible (NASB) or the Jubilee Bible (JUB) for study, although others like the ESV or the RSV.

One bonus hack: Audio helps. You can play the audio instead of or along with your daily reading. I have the Bible on audio on my phone. I turn it on as I’m getting ready to fall asleep at night, and I play it all night long. I often wake up in the middle of the night, so I get several chapters of the Bible into my head as I’m falling back asleep. This has allowed me to effortlessly go through the entire Bible many, many times.

Here’s a video with more information (join me on another walk 🙂 )

Bible Made Easy reading plan, free download here

Printed book on Amazon here

Be encouraged!


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