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The Christian Retreat from the World: Chatting with Hans Rookmaaker on the Back Porch

Posted by on May 23, 2016 in Art, Culture, Work | 0 comments

We all struggle to explain what we do. I’m no different. Actually, I have rehearsed a set of responses for when people ask the inevitable question: “What do you do for work?” “I lead an educational nonprofit in Denver.” If I can get them to bite with this amorphous answer, they’ll often ask, “Oh, really? What kind?” “I direct an organization called Denver Institute for Faith & Work. We offer educational programming on how Christianity can shape and influence a wide variety of work we do, from business to law to art to education.” At this point, they pause, tip their head sideways, and say, “Oh, how interesting.” And…I...

From Rage to Responsibility: Why Our Work Matters More Than Our Vote

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Culture, Politics, Work | 0 comments

  “Against stupidity we are defenseless.” German pastor and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer could have written this about the 2016 GOP election race. I’m like most Americans. Religious, white, middle class, and ticked off. But far from supporting either Trump or Bernie Sanders, after months of feeling outrage and then disbelief, my anger at the American political machine has subsided, and now I find myself looking for hope far outside of Washington—and much closer to home. Here’s what I mean: the past six months of political campaigning have given me emotional heartburn. The unpleasant reflux came in three phases. The first emotion was shock. When Trump calls Mexicans who cross...

The Tree of Life: The Story of 600 Grant St., Suite 722

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 in Architecture and Design, Nonprofit, Work | 0 comments

  As I awoke, I heard a voice. “In the beginning, God created the tree of life.” My guide took me to a garden, green and blooming, with four rivers running through it. And at the center, the tree of life stood tall, giving life to all of creation. A man and a woman tilled the soil, ate of its fruit, and were satisfied. “But it came to pass,” he explained, “that man and woman ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When sin entered the world, so did death.” And I saw an angel drive the man and the woman out of the garden. With...

Let There Be Light: How Karla Nugent Is Transforming the Trades

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Work | 0 comments

“Come, let me show you around.” As we rise from the conference table, Karla Nugent—cofounder of Weifield Group Contracting, a commercial electrical company in Denver—leads me into the pre-fabrication shop. Coils, wires, and electrical boxes are being assembled for installation. The only woman in the room of more than a dozen men, Nugent introduces me to employee Justin Hales. “Electrical work is art,” Hales, an electrician’s apprentice, tells me. “Two years ago, they put me on the platform at Union Station. I would lay out the floors, locate everything, like a switch or outlet on the wall. “When you turn your pipes, make them uniform—that’s art.” He pauses. “It...

The MLK Option

Posted by on Feb 28, 2016 in Culture, Politics, Work | 0 comments

  Tim Keller once said we’re now living in the autumn of Christianity’s influence in the West: the leaves are falling to the ground and winter is approaching. For many of us, the cold wind that reminds of us the coming winter storm is the loss of religious freedom so many evangelicals see in American life today. A Christian student group at Vanderbilt University loses official school recognition; Chick-Fil-A gets grilled by the Denver City Council for trying to move into theDenver International Airport; in California an Intervarsity Christian Fellowship is forced to elect non-Christian leaders. Many evangelicals feel like a cat backed into a corner. A combination of...

Banking Alone

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Economy, Work | 0 comments

  Recently I received an urgent plea from Mike, a young investment banker in New York. Mike had just graduated with his BA in financial economics from Columbia University. Having read my review of Kevin Roose’s Young Money, he knew that investment banking meant 100 hour work weeks, acidic professional environments, and often working for the kinds of banks that Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone in 2009 called, “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Mike knew he needed to prepare spiritually before jumping into a position even as a junior analyst. Before he started...