Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

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

The MLK Option

The MLK Option

  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 fear and outbursts of rage (usually on our Twitter feeds and Facebook pages) often define our response. Times have changed. Christians committed to the public implications of their faith are now a minority in American life.  Today many Christians are frantically searching to find a way to live in American society without cultural power. New options are being proposed. For...

Read More

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

Banking Alone

Banking Alone

  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 his job, he wrote me in an email, “I’m taking advantage of this in-between phase to search for ways to sustain some semblance of a devotional rhythm once my time becomes exceptionally scarce in the near future.” Mike then confessed the reason for reaching out to me. With utter humility, he wrote, “I’ve been on the hunt for someone, anyone,...

Read More

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Work | 0 comments

Guest Column for the Boulder Daily Camera: “Moving west for meaningful work”

Guest Column for the Boulder Daily Camera: “Moving west for meaningful work”

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Boulder Daily Camera on January 27, 2016.  Erik Nelson, a former VP with a large financial service company, is on the hunt for meaningful work. He recently moved from Texas to Colorado to find a job in the nonprofit sector, hoping to discover a career with more than monetary benefits. But after a few months, his search became a maze. He recently asked me, “Honestly, can work be anything other than mundane, routine,  and pressure packed?” In other words, isn’t there more to life that working a 9-5—and then escaping to the mountains for the weekend? Like the 19th century gold rush, Erik is one of thousands of people are flocking to Colorado. As the economic center of the United States shiftswestward, cities like Boulder are brimming with new faces – especially millenials. We seem to be following Henry David Thoreau’s prophetic words, “Eastward I go only by force, but westward I go free. This is the prevailing tendency of my...

Read More

Posted by on Jan 21, 2016 in Culture, Politics | 2 comments

Spelunking, Cave Formations, and Culture Change

Spelunking, Cave Formations, and Culture Change

  “It’s riskier than ever,” Jill said, “to tell people you work with you’re a Christian.” Jill worked at a public policy communications firm in Denver. Having worked with people of all and no faith for over 7 years, her sentiment about being a Christian in pluralist America was one I hear often. Fear. Isolation. Better to be quiet about my faith, and not risk the professional repercussions. Clearly, for Christians in America, we’re not in Kansas anymore. For many evangelicals who sense a deep loss of cultural power over the past decade, a debate has developed about how cultures change. The need to reimagine a Christian cultural presence has become a hot topic – and so have ideas about how cultures emerge and develop.   The debate essentially boils down to two approaches: (1) Top-down elites who are in power shape culture by imposing their perspectives on society. These elites sit in positions of institutional power, sit on one another’s boards, and have disproportionate influence on culture. The...

Read More

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Work | 4 comments

Want an Affordable Home? Thank a Craftsman

Want an Affordable Home? Thank a Craftsman

  What is causing soaring home prices in Denver right now? This is the question on many would-be buyers’ minds. In June, the average home price in Denver was $366,419 — the highest in Colorado state history. The Denver City Council has spent significant time trying to find solutions to the shortage of affordable housing. (Recently, The Denver Post reported that Mayor Michael Hancock wants to raise $15 million a year to subsidize projects as part of a much larger plan.) But how did we get here? My wife and I asked our real estate agent, Trish Hopkins of RE/MAX, the same question. As we sat down to coffee, expressing our woeful prospects of ever finding a house we could afford, Hopkins said at least one problem is obvious. Inventory. She told us the average number of houses on the market for the Denver area is around 12,000 at any given time. Right now, it’s less than 3,500. With Colorado’s population boom, it just comes down to math. So...

Read More