December 2015 In Review

Written by David on January 4, 2016

December has been an eventful month. I started working at Facebook. I read about 75% of a book called The Language of God by Francis Collins on the harmony between religion and science (and his assessments of atheistic evolution, theistic evolution, Intelligent Design, and Creationism as a pretty accomplished geneticist). I had some great times during my church’s Friday night Christmas party and subsequent Sunday morning Christmas service. And I spent the last week back in Tulsa for Christmas break being around family, eating, working on a React Native app, running (though my knee is starting to have some issues), and planning for the next year. Now, I’m writing from Menlo Park, California, where I’ll be staying for the next two weeks for training. To summarize my mood the last month, I am starting to feel more excited again.

In terms of starting employment at Facebook, I’ve really been enjoying it. I’ve been learning a ton just by listening to those around me, and I’ve been impressed at the scale of the work I’ve already been able to do. It’s been refreshing to see Facebook prioritize a culture of efficiency and risk even when it conflicts with how I understand businesses to have traditionally been run. This sort of rapid experimentation/iteration and admission/ownership of mistakes has already been a helpful way to rethink the processes in my own life, how I spend time or address issues in marriage or pursue goals.

Facebook actually doesn’t do team selection until the end of “bootcamp,” so I’m actually not going to have a team until maybe the end of January.

As for reading The Language of God, it’s sparked my interest in apologetics again, which has been pretty genuinely enjoyable, as well as useful for conversations with my coworkers. I had stayed away from really fleshing out my opinion on things like the Big Bang Theory and evolution in the past, but after reading and watching some videos from a Christian apologetics conference this past month, I think I now have a far more informed opinion, though I am still fleshing things out. At the end of the day, I still don’t think it matters in a primary salvific sense, but I have also met people for whom the relationship between Christianity and science was a pretty large stumbling block, so I think this is rather helpful. A lot of this reading/studying has also led me to think that atheism requires a great deal of faith and that the concepts of evolution or the multiverse do not escape the necessity of some Uncaused First Cause or Unmoved First Mover. I used to think that evolution mandated atheism, but I don’t think that is the case anymore. I had tried to read William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith about a year and a half ago about the argument that the beginning of the universe requires a cause, but I did not really understood it until this past month.

I enjoyed the past week and a half off to slow down a bit and enjoy more leisurely reading and programming. I finished Luke and John and memorized a little less than a third of Romans 11. I had a really great conversation with one of my old college roommates Paul and ate probably too much food with family (including Cane’s, Sonic, and Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ). Suzi and I spent two nights at Kaffe Bona, talking and reading and thinking about 2016 and how we can implement disciplines for the end of running harder after God/pursuing obedience and faithfulness to Him. This includes more direct spiritual practices like being in the Bible, prayer, and community, and less direct practices like eating healthy, exercising, and staying on top of household chores. I’m hoping and praying we will do what we can by God’s grace to draw near to Him and not miss out on what He’s doing around us in our church, workplaces, and city.