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Posted by on Jan 4, 2018 in Economy, Politics, Theology | 0 comments

Loving Faithful Institutions: The Building Blocks of a Just Global Society (From Comment Magazine)

Loving Faithful Institutions: The Building Blocks of a Just Global Society (From Comment Magazine)

  Occasionally I’ll post on this blog an article I really like. And I really like this one by Dr. Jonathan Chaplin, who’s on the divinity faculty at Cambridge University. It’s about an unpopular topic that should be popular: the importance of institutions. One of my convictions at the founding of DIFW was that in order to change the conversation about faith and public life in Denver, we needed not just an event or a “network” – we needed an institution that can last for years, decades…generations. And that meant doing things like admin work, building a board, building long-term relationships, writing emails, and zillions of other unsexy tasks.   Happy reading – and I hope you’ll commit yourself to building strong, healthy institutions as well.  Postmodern Christians won’t get very far in transforming society until they learn to love institutions again. Institutions and organizations are out; networks and relationships are in—or so goes conventional “postmodern” wisdom on how to transform society, at least among those who hold out hope that societal transformation is still possible,...

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Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Nonprofit, Work | 0 comments

The Case for Giving to Denver Institute

The Case for Giving to Denver Institute

  Where does Denver Institute fit into the broader nonprofit community? Or more specifically, why financially support Denver Institute in your own giving portfolio? All executive directors of nonprofits think about year-end giving this time of year, and I’m no different. Occasionally, it can be helpful when they make their own case for support and explain where they fit into a broader nonprofit ecosystem. Most nonprofits exist to pick up the broken pieces of society. Addiction, homelessness, lack of opportunity – take your pick. When society falls apart, the nonprofit community plays a critical role in serving the poor, widow, orphan and sojourner. This is a good, biblical reason to financially support any one of a number of organizations serving the underserved. But occasionally we must ask, how did society get here in the first place? What about our leaders, our institutions, and our economy is so broken that it left out such a large percentage of our neighbors? What are the beliefs, values, and norms that have shaped...

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Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Economy, Work | 0 comments

The Healing Power of Economics (Christianity Today Book Review)

The Healing Power of Economics (Christianity Today Book Review)

  The so-called “dismal science” is a powerful tool for wealth creation, but also for healing broken communities. I open my car door, sit down, and turn the key. Carefully balancing my coffee, I put my foot on the brake, shift into reverse, and gently press the gas pedal as I pull out of my driveway on my way to work. As I head down South Broadway, I remember a quip my undergraduate economics professor once made: “The economy is like a car engine. Most of us don’t understand what’s happening under the hood. We just hit the gas and hope it works.” We seldom pause to appreciate the vast ecosystem of buying, selling, labor, and wealth creation that makes up the modern economy. Most of us take its benefits for granted. I simply expect restaurants to have food, water to flow from my faucet, and my car engine to start when I turn the key. Yet the reason we have everything from SUVs to grande peppermint mochas is...

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2017 in business, Work | 0 comments

The Four Postures Toward Faith in the Workplace

The Four Postures Toward Faith in the Workplace

By Jeff Haanen How do should I think about the role of faith in my company? How do corporations in America today handle issues surrounding spirituality in the workplace? I recently had this conversation with David Miller who leads Princeton University’s Faith at Work Initiative and is the author of God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement (Oxford University Press, 2011). He’s been asking these questions for decades and has worked with everybody from Tyson Foods to, more recently, the executive team at Citigroup. As a trained ethicist, he often is called in to field thorny moral questions among America’s corporate elite (The Banker Turned Seminarian Trying to Save Citigroup’s Soul, Wall Street Journal). But he’s also a trusted voice among Fortune 500 CEOs on the role faith should – and should not – play in the workplace. David has proposed a simple model that I find incredibly helpful, especially for leaders of publicly traded companies or companies with co-founders or investors who...

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Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Education | 0 comments

“Waiting for Superman”: Tenure, Unions and a Real Superhero

“Waiting for Superman”: Tenure, Unions and a Real Superhero

  Anybody with even a cursory interest in the 57 million children in America’s public school system should see the 2011 documentary Waiting for Superman.  Davis Guggenheim’s documentary on failing American public schools succeeds on many levels. First, it’s a helpful overview to how the school system works.  The complexities of federal, state and local power in public schools are made clear, and quirks like the tenure system in K-12 education are brought to light.  Second, it succeeds emotionally.  Following the stories of five families from low income areas, and their struggles to provide a decent education for their aspiring children, had my wife and I at the edge of our seats at the conclusion of the movie. Third, it succeeds as polemic.  The film is obviously biased against teacher’s unions and in favor of charter schools and other public school alternatives.  But it is biased with good reason.  And this is the point of this posting: introducing competition, even mild competition, to the school system will reap great benefits...

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