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Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Science, Work | 8 comments

Seven Quotes from Psychiatrist Curt Thompson on Shame

Seven Quotes from Psychiatrist Curt Thompson on Shame

Yesterday we at Denver Institute for Faith & Work had the privilege of welcoming author and psychiatrist Curt Thompson to Denver. We began with a conversation with pastors on how shame influences our brains, our vocations, and pastoral ministry; we then heard Curt speak at Colorado Community Church to 150 attendees on how to heal shame through retelling a different story about ourselves; he ended his time giving a workshop on shame for therapists in the Denver area. His combination of neuroscience, psychiatry, interpersonal biology, Christian theology and spiritual formation practices was, well, I’ve never heard anything like it… The videos of his talks will be available on our vimeo channel in about a month. Until then, here are some of my favorite quotes from his time with us. Seven Quotes from Curt Thompson on Shame 1. “Shame is directly connected to your ability to do creative, liberating work.” 2. “Shame was operative in the garden of Eden even before Eve ate the fruit; the serpent introduced it before the Fall.” 3....

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Posted by on Sep 12, 2016 in Culture, Politics, Work | 0 comments

The American Bible

The American Bible

  How do we restore civility to American public life? This will be the topic of conversation on October 13 at a lunch in Denver “Civility: Becoming People of Peace in an Age of Deep Division.” This book review, originally published on The Gospel Coalition, evaluates religion scholar Stephen Prothero’s attempt to bring civil discourse back to a raucous political culture in Washington DC by looking back at her most sacred, formative texts: what he calls, “The American Bible.”  America is not just a country; it’s a religion. The faithful sing her praises at baseball games, pay homage to her heroes in Washington, D.C., and recite her pledge of loyalty in schools. They remember the tale of her exodus from England, and fancy themselves as a chosen people. They chide themselves for the original sin of slavery, and praise redeemers like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. who shed their blood in atonement for the sins of a nation. They spread the gospel of freedom, equality, and democracy, and when doubts arise, they...

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Posted by on Sep 5, 2016 in Economy, Work | 1 comment

The Missing Piece of Colorado’s Pension Crisis: Rethinking Retirement on Labor Day

The Missing Piece of Colorado’s Pension Crisis: Rethinking Retirement on Labor Day

  Labor Day, the federal holiday dedicated to honoring the dignity of work, is a fitting time to take a fresh look at Colorado’s pension problems and offer a new perspective. This June, news outlets were in an uproar when Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) CEO Gregory Smith praised a paltry 1.5 percent return on 2015 investments as “good” news. With 500,000 Coloradans depending on PERA for their retirement, the $28 billion gap between assets and what is promised to retirees has hard-working men and women simmering. The fear and frustration is understandable. But to face this challenge, we need more than clever accounting tactics or scapegoating nervous fund managers. We need a better story about ageing, retirement, and the purpose of our work. Three simple truths can help. 1. We’re not getting any younger, but we are living longer. The Denver Office on Aging forecasts that by 2035 the number of Coloradans older than 60 will swell from one-in-six today to one-in-four. Actually, the entire developed world...

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Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 in Economy, Faith and Work Movement, Work | 0 comments

The Top 5 Struggles of Christian Business Leaders

The Top 5 Struggles of Christian Business Leaders

Behind the veneer of confidence, bold risk-taking, and decisive leadership, all of us in positions of influence struggle – especially CEOs.  Considering these challenges tend to be perennial challenges for Christian business leaders, what experiences and/or resources can pastors, para-church leaders, and other business leaders provide for the executives in their network? What still needs to be done in the faith and work movement to serve leaders in this area? Recently I grabbed the phone and called my friend Greg Leith, the CEO of Convene, a group that serves other Christian CEOs, to ask his opinion on the topic: “Greg,” I said, “Based on your experience serving Christian CEOs around the country, what do you believe are the top areas that Christian CEOs struggle with?”  “I’ll tell you,” Greg said, in a matter-of-fact tone. Turns out, they had recently just polled hundreds of CEOs connected to Convene about the tension points they feel on a daily basis. “The first one is universal and common among everyone we polled,” he said....

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Faith and Work Movement, Theology | 0 comments

A Better Starting Point for the Faith and Work Movement, Part 2

A Better Starting Point for the Faith and Work Movement, Part 2

  In my last post, I mulled over all the times I buzzed around the topic of faith and work with pastors, only to bump into the screen door of misunderstanding time and time again. Sometimes I felt like a fly; other times like a mime trying to get my message across with frantic hand gestures. Either way, I’ve concluded that the best place to start conversations around faith and work with pastors is this: Jesus’ death and resurrection begins the redemption of all of creation. This doesn’t seem all that controversial, but I do think it is unique. Many of the theological voices I respect the most in the faith and work movement start with either Genesis 1-2 or Revelation 21-22. The idea is to regain both a knowledge of God as a Creator (and our identity as sub-creators and workers) or the fact that aspects of human culture (and work) will be in the renewed heavens and earth.  What’s central, they say, is to recover the “book...

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