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Jesus the Social Entrepreneur

Understanding both His Entrepreneur Mindset and Nature Miracles 

Successful entrepreneurs (such as Jesus) are characterised by a unique ‘entrepreneur mindset’. This is a human mindset that integrates intellectual, emotional, and spiritual (not religious) intelligence in seeking to deliver real added value to users. So, the question arises: was Jesus a social entrepreneur, utilising all the principles we today consider foundational to an entrepreneur mindset? To address the question, this book seeks to evaluate three areas relevant to: the formation of Jesus in 1st century CE Judea and Galilee, his period of ministry and ‘miracles’, and finally considering Jesus’ use of the creation laws of physics in selected ‘miracles’. In considering whether the concepts of Jesus and that of a social entrepreneur mindset are compatible, a relevant entrepreneurial ecosystem is applied to his life experiences. Indeed, Jesus the Man and an entrepreneur mindset are interconnected realities in fulfilling the identified opportunity to ‘change society values and behaviours through a new relationship with God’. In explaining Jesus’ behaviour to and events of the nature ‘miracles’, a conceptual bridge between the realities of science and spirit is evaluated. The hypothesis examined in each case is that ‘Jesus used His enhanced powers of human intention, interconnectedness, mindset, and close personal relationship with God the Holy Spirit to effect the observed “miracle” using the natural mechanisms of physics and science.’

Jesus the Social Entrepreneur Foreword



Prof Sir Colin Humphreys CBE, FREng, FRS

Author of

Miracles of the Exodus, Mystery of Last Supper, and Star of Bethlehem

This is a highly original and thought-provoking book. It is essentially in two parts, linked together. The first part argues that Jesus was a social entrepreneur, the second asks and answers some fundamental questions about how Jesus may have performed some key miracles, such as turning water into wine, and walking on water.

I suspect that most people have never thought of Jesus as a social entrepreneur. What does Murray Gillin mean by the term? Murray is an international expert on entrepreneurship, and he is the Professor Emeritus of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. Murray writes about Jesus not only through the lens of his experience in entrepreneurship, but also from his deep Christian faith. He notes that entrepreneurship is not just about creating start-up businesses. The focus of the first part of his book is on what he calls “social entrepreneurship”, the use of innovative ideas to fundamentally change people and society. He argues powerfully that Jesus had an entrepreneurial mindset which changed individuals and society through a new relationship with God, and which continues to change people 2000 years later. He emphasizes the importance of the Holy Spirit in this mindset. He states: “Jesus was the greatest social entrepreneur of all time.”

I suggest that looking at Jesus from this new viewpoint gives us important fresh insights into his life and work. Let me select one such insight from this book. Murray argues that Jesus, prior to his baptism, was essentially a man growing up and maturing. During this period the Bible does not record him performing any miracles. It was only after he was filled with the Spirit at his baptism, and during his subsequent desert experience, that his entrepreneurial mindset was developed, and he was energized by the Spirit to perform miracles.

The second part of the book is devoted to case studies of four “nature miracles”: the transfiguration of Jesus, turning water into wine, walking on water, and stilling the storm. There is a linking chapter between the two parts in which Murray discusses some profound questions, such as the nature of reality. He argues that there are two levels of reality: physical reality, including our five senses and, on another level, consciousness, mind, prayer, etc. Murray writes: “Clearly, man’s physical body functions together with the five senses, enables us to observe the facts and gather the data necessary for living. But there is more, much more that complements our perception and reality of what it is to be a human being (body, soul and spirit).”

Murray’s approach to nature miracles is based on the words of Augustine of Hippo: “Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.” He argues that Jesus used his enhanced powers and close personal relationship with the Holy Spirit to affect the observed nature miracles using the natural mechanisms of physics and chemistry. Murray emphasises that such a science-based explanation does not destroy the wonder and awe of the event: the wonder and awe is in the extraordinary timing.

This book asks big questions: What happens when we pray? How does God act in our world? How did Jesus perform miracles? Murray invokes cutting edge science to answer these questions. Some of his ideas are controversial, so prepare to be intellectually challenged.

Let me end by quoting from the final paragraph of this book. “In no way does the science explanation [of the nature miracles of Jesus] destroy the wonder and awe of the observed event. Indeed, the wonder and awe experienced by witnesses of the events were substantial, just as we today can stand back in awe at the wonder of created man having the capacity to deliver change through a practicing spiritual means. Of particular significance is in the timing of the event so that the ‘miraculous’ observation occurs at exactly the time and place it is required.” Most books are read and then quickly forgotten. But not this one. It is a pleasure to commend this memorable book to you.

Colin Humphreys

Professor of Materials Science, Queen Mary University of London

Distinguished Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

Fellow, Selwyn College, Cambridge

Jesus the Social Entrepreneur Reviews 

“Jesus Christ has been called a Superstar in contemporary music and on stage but never has he been called a social entrepreneur until this book Jesus the Social Entrepreneur was created by Emeritus Professor Murray Gillin.  Murray  takes a deep dive into the life of Jesus, asking the right questions, framing arguments to support the notion and exposing tensions where they exist. Using insights from research, his in-depth spiritual knowledge and academic capabilities in entrepreneurship he applies scientific rigour to come to some mind-blowing conclusions. 

Congratulations Murray on taking up the opportunity presented during the COVID pandemic under lockdown to produce a book that helps us make meaning of the world today and educates us all on how to create value for the benefit of people living in the 21st century.”

--Leanne K Raven FAICD, Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Sunshine Coast  2014-2019

‘‘As members of '‘Team Gillin'’ we add our appreciation of Murray as a wonderful teacher of '‘entrepreneurship'’. As his PhD students we were challenged by his understanding of this topic as he was at times tested by our different explorations of the topic. Together we all examined different contexts of business, industry, government and private sectors. We understand that opportunity can exist anywhere - recognise the opportunity, identify the need and turn it into an outcome valued by the user – —true innovation. This is the real entrepreneur entrepreneur-mindset that defines entrepreneurship.   Our congratulations on publishing this book, a new and different examination of Jesus as social entrepreneur - sent to deliver the innovation message demonstrated thru a life of faith, teaching and service.’’   Proud members of Team Gillin.

--Dr Lois Hazelton; Dr Frank LaPira; Dr Stephen Spring; and Dr Janusz Tanas

‘‘Written while we were all examining our contributions to science, our professions, faith and family, during the greatest pandemic of the century, Gillin provides an argument that entrepreneurial spirit and faith are compatible. After all, each entrepreneur is required like Jesus to provide a leadership team that continues work into the future, to work miracles with decision making and forecasting, and often is expected to walk on water. This book could be entitled: Jesus the Greatest Entrepreneur; and might be required beneficial reading with for with St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Francis Collins, Sir Colin Humphreys, and Dr. William Tiller. Christian colleges with business schools requiring students to examine biblical analyses related to business could also benefit from this book.

--Dr. Kathleen A. McCormick, PhD,RN,FAAN, FACMI, FHIMSS, SciMInd, LLC. Principal/Owner. USA

‘‘This book breaks new ground.   It ventures the reader into emerging understandings of entrepreneurship as a force for good in a world crying out for meaningful change. It shows the path to becoming and being an '‘innovative social entrepreneur'’.   It does so in what can only be described as a pioneering way, by integrating well percolated insights from the domains of faith, academic research, and the cutting edge of modern science. The crowning act of the book lies in using Jesus as ultimate example of the above, in a way that begs the reader to follow suit.   An innovative and ground-breaking '‘must read'’ for the thoughtful person of today desiring to make a meaningful difference for good in our world.’’

--Dr. Johan Roux, President and CEO, Tabor College, Adelaide, Australia.

“Could there be a better image of love in action than Jesus as a social entrepreneur? Jesus is the world’s greatest exemplar of love. Entrepreneurship epitomizes the importance of taking action to bring about change in society. By showing us, in this compelling and scholarly book, how love and entrepreneurial action came together in the person of Jesus, Murray Gillin has revealed the sacred heart of social entrepreneurship and why it matters in the world today.”

-- Professor Tom Lumpkin, Michael F. Price Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma, USA

“Prof. Murray Gillin has written a well-researched book full of information and insight about the social entrepreneurial mindset of Jesus. It challenges one to think afresh about Jesus in the Bible and the relevance of his life and message today. The Spirit connection that is necessary in exhibiting a true entrepreneur mindset and delivering real effective action is expounded very well in this book. Religious sceptics, biblical literalists and everyone in between will have much to think about after reading this book.” 

-- Dr Ranjit Thuraisingham, Hon. Research Fellow at University of Sydney

‘‘Jesus the Social Entrepreneur – —Understanding the Entrepreneur Mindset, is a unique, but brilliant scholarly narrative, arguing with conviction, and an engineer’’s mind, that Jesus might in fact best be described as a social entrepreneur if he lived in modern times. Anyone who has an interest in the life of Jesus as both a deity, and a man, will be intrigued as the transactional, transformational, and transcendent events and opportunities are shown through the lens of opportunity, science, and entrepreneurship.   This book will appeal to the religious enthusiast, the academic scholar, the evangelical entrepreneur, as definitely as a source for reference, reflection and a thoughtful personal response. A book for every professional’’s library.’’

--Dr. John Reynolds, President and CEO, Los Angles Pacific University, USA

“This is a fascinating book. Emeritus Professor Gillin’s unique contribution to entrepreneurship education has enabled him to achieve an incredible personal vision to apply an entrepreneurial ecosystem concept model to express a holistic view of Jesus as Social Entrepreneur. The book compels the reader’s attention by establishing evidence from the literature for both the existence of and behaviour of Jesus the man and successfully integrates ‘‘body’’, ‘‘soul’’, and ‘‘spirit.’’ The book is a must read for a broad audience, particularly scholars and students of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial mindset.”

--Professor Milé Terziovski, PhD (Melb), MBA, MEng(Hons), BEng(Hons), Dip. Mgmt., GAICD, FIML Director Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship (AGSE) Swinburne University of Technology.

‘‘It is no surprise that Murray Gillin used his stay-at-home time during Covid-19 to craft a scholarly book that is a creative blending of religion and entrepreneurship. Gillin’s insights come from his long history and leadership in entrepreneurship education and his strong Christian values and beliefs. Entrepreneurship scholars and religious believers will gain a new appreciation of Jesus as one of history’s earliest social entrepreneurs. If that is one good thing that comes out of the Covid pandemic, it is Gillin’s book.’’

--Professor Patricia McDougall-Covin, Associate Dean Emeritus, Kelly School of Business, Indiana University, USA.

“It has been my privilege, honour and pleasure to read the draft of Laurence Murray Gillin’s new book, Jesus the Social Entrepreneur. There is much meat here to feed the souls not only of entrepreneurs, but also of anyone interested in Christianity and/or personality type. I found the descriptions of Jesus’s and His disciples’’ personalities, and the scientific analysis of four of His miracles, to be among the book’s highlights. I’ve seen a number of books about Jesus’s leadership style and what we can learn from it. Professor Gillin’s book appears to be unique in its presentation of a well - supported argument that goes beyond being a powerful leader - Jesus can also teach us much as an exemplary social entrepreneur”.

--Gayle Weinraub, Certified Practitioner, MBTI (R) Personality Assessments and Truity Psychometrics LLC

Jesus the Social Entrepreneur Expert Contributors

In seeking to develop an authoritative review of Jesus as a social entrepreneur, I required to  establish for readers:  an understanding of an entrepreneur mindset; and a basis to assess a science-based explanation of the miracles.  In the true spirit of entrepreneurship, I reached out to my expert colleagues (nationally and internationally) as the ‘team’ who could  contribute to the ‘resources’ necessary to complete this book.

I gratefully acknowledge these colleagues, listed below, for having allowed me to include extensive extracts from their work in this book, so providing expert insights which  give a more comprehensive understanding into the evidence-based approach used to explore Jesus the Social Entrepreneur.

Science Contributors:

--Em Professor William Tiller, PhD (Stamford University, USA)

For over 50 years, Em Professor Bill Tiller has been pursuing serious experimental and theoretical study of the field of Psychoenergetic Science which expands experimental variables for the study of nature's many manifestations to include those associated with consciousness. He founded The Tiller Foundation in 2015; its mission is to design and conduct meaningful research in the field of Psychoenergetic Science in order to document and demonstrate ability to positively influence physical matter via conscious and focused mental intention to better address and resolve problems and difficulties present in today's world.

--Dr Ranjit Thuraisingham PhD (Cambridge UK)

The author is a theoretical chemist who holds a PhD in molecular quantum mechanics from the University of Cambridge, UK. His scientific publications are in areas related to molecular physics, acoustic scattering, molecular neuroscience and biomedical signal analysis. He is now retired but is associated with the Rehabilitation Studies Unit, University of Sydney as an honorary research fellow. He is a Christian and is engaged in trying to complement his understanding of the spiritual world with quantum physics. A published essay of the author in this area is: “A contemporary scientific reading of St Paul on human duality.”

Intuition Contributors:

--Dr Raymond Bradley PhD (Columbia University, USA and New Zealand)

Dr Ray Bradley completed post-doctoral studies in neuropsychology and cognitive science with Karl Pribram (Stanford University), has been pioneering the multi-disciplinary application of physics, information science, neuropsychology, psychophysiology, and sociology in research to understand fundamental processes of communication and group function in social collectives. His basic research at the HeartMath Institute and the Institute for Whole Science has included  intuitive perception - those perceptions that are not based on reason or logic or on memories or extrapolations from the past, but are based, instead, on accurate foreknowledge of the future.

--Em Professor John Hayes  PhD (Leeds University, UK)

Em Prof John Hayes, and in collaboration with Em Prof C W Allinson have worked on a rolling programme of research into learning/cognitive styles. Particular interests are their interaction with educational and work environments on outcomes such as performance, morale, leader member exchange and mentor-protégé relations, and correlations with variables such as national culture, intuition and entrepreneurship.

--Dr Frank LaPira PhD (Swinburne University, Australia)

Dr LaPira, after completing his studies into the relationship between non-local intuition and behaviour of serial entrepreneurs at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, continued his research at university appointments in USA, Canada and France. His research papers demonstrated the importance of non-local intuition to the decision-making ability of serial entrepreneurs. This umbilical relationship is called entrepreneur mindset.

Theological - Jesus as 'fully' Man and 'Servant' Leader:

--Professor Bruce Ware, PhD (Fuller University, USA)

Professor Ware is the T. Rupert and Lucille Coleman Professor of Christian Theology at the  Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Ware is a highly esteemed theologian and author in the evangelical world. He was previously at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he served as chairman of the Department of Biblical and Systematic Theology. Bruce has written numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books. He is the author of the acclaimed ‘The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ.’

--Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin (Ordained in Houston, Texas, USA)

Robert R. McLaughlin is the pastor of Grace Bible Church in Somerset, Massachusetts.
Grace Bible Church is a non-denominational grace ministry dedicated to teaching the Word of God from the original languages and making it available at no charge throughout the world. His study of the 12 Apostles brings life to our understanding of their personalities, their strengths, and their weaknesses. These men were human and, like us today, had failures and successes; but they also were trained by Jesu during His earthly ministry.

Personality of Jesus:

--Gayle Weinraub, MBTI(R) Certified Practitioner (Texas, USA)

Gayle is both expert and passionate about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and its ability to create acceptance of self and others through a growing awareness of gifts, talents and strengths. Using this secular and psychologically based indicator scale, Gayle assessed the human behaviour of Jesus, as provided in the Gospels. Of course it is not possible to know his behaviour for sure since we can’t ask Jesus directly, but much can be deduced from a study of his ministry.

Social Entrepreneurship:

--Dr Loris Gillin PhD (Swinburne University, Australia)

After many years leading and managing a not-for-profit Christian psychological counselling service, Dr Gillin completed her PhD on research drawn from an examination of faith-based, social entrepreneurial ventures in Australia and the UK and the factors influencing performance and long-term viability. Success was directly correlated with both recognising the need and effectively resourcing the need.

--Dr Lois Hazelton PhD (Adelaide University, Australia)

Dr Hazelton, a practicing nurse with extensive experience in Australia and USA, and, as Director and CEO of a medium sized Aged Care facility in Melbourne, revived its performance and viability by focusing on delivering resident satisfaction with the care provided. The emphasis was on “this is their home.” Subsequent research across eight purposefully selected facilities from four states demonstrated that both entrepreneurial and innovative behaviour/culture in these social organisations was initiated and developed by an entrepreneur mindset in board members and senior staff.

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