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Posted by on Oct 29, 2019 in Culture, Theology, Work | 8 comments

What’s Really Happening to American Christianity?

What’s Really Happening to American Christianity?

The Pew Research Center recently published an alarming report: “In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” Since 2009, the religiously unaffiliated have risen from 17% of the population to 26% in 2018/19.  And today only 65% of Americans identify as Christians, down from 77% only a decade ago. The report points out that there’s a generational dynamic at work as well. A full 8 in 10 members of the Silent Generation are Christians, as are 3/4 baby boomers. Yet today, less than half of Millennials call themselves Christians, and 4/10 are religious “nones.”  That is, when asked about their religious affiliation, they respond “nothing in particular.” There are now 30 million more “nones” in America than there were just a decade ago. Sobering stuff. Whether it be church attendance or looking at the religious preferences of Whites, Blacks or Hispanics, the decline of Christian belief in the past generation of Americans seems to be picking up steam. Some push back on this thesis. Glenn Stanton, a conservative...

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Posted by on Sep 2, 2019 in Architecture and Design, Art, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Education, Faith and Work Movement, Finance, Nonprofit, Science, Technology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Faith and Work Bible Study

Faith and Work Bible Study

Friends, a happy Labor Day to you! To celebrate your work, I wanted to give you a gift: a free Bible study on Faith and Work. The study is structured around people’s stories. In a series of articles, I highlighted the way people are living out their faith in the workplace. Each study has a brief story Bible study participants can read at home. After each article, and before the study, we encourage you to Pause and Reflect on what the story might be telling you about God’s call for your own work. The Bible study is structured around six sections: Introduce, Discuss, Explore, Apply, Closing Thoughts, and Prayer. It also has additional Resources. Here are the weekly topics for “His Story, Our Stories: Encountering God Through Our Work”: (1) “Light for Electricians,” (Creation) (2) “Investments for the Kingdom” (Calling) (3) “Showing Hospitality to Strangers and Spring Breakers” (Fall) (4) “Productivity and Grace: Management and Labor at a Denver Manufacturer,” (Witness at Work) (5) “A Well-Designed Journal Can Change...

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Posted by on Apr 4, 2019 in business, Culture, Economy, Theology, Work, World | 0 comments

Dreading Monday (Comment Magazine)

Dreading Monday (Comment Magazine)

The spiritual crisis underneath our jobs. Reviewing:  Working The New Press, 2004. 640pp.  Bullshit Jobs: A Theory Simon & Schuster, 2018. 368pp. The Job: Work and Its Future in a Time of Radical Change Currency, 2018. 416pp. “I had no concept of the horrible dread I would feel getting up in the morning to spend all day sitting in an office trying to waste time.” Rachel grew up in a poor family yet graduated from a prestigious British university with a physics degree. Yet soon after graduation, student debt forced her to take a job as a “catastrophe risk analyst” at a big insurance company. Rachel recalls the day she hit an existential tipping point at her new job: The final straw came after months of complaining, when I met my friend Mindy for a drink after a week of peak bullshit. I had just been asked to color coordinate a mind map to show, “the nice-to-haves, must-haves, and would-like-to-have-in-the-futures.” (No, I have no ideas what that means, either.) She ranted at...

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Posted by on Apr 3, 2019 in Culture, Work | 0 comments

Why We Should Redeem Retirement (ERLC)

Why We Should Redeem Retirement (ERLC)

“What am I going to do with my retirement?”  The anxious question came from Anne Bell, a recently retired researcher at the University of Northern Colorado. As a staff volunteer for the 5280 Fellowship, a young leaders program in Denver, Anne decided to give her first year of retirement to young professionals struggling with questions about calling. Bright and soft-spoken, wearing dark-rimmed glasses and carrying her teacher’s bag, today Anne came to the office with her own questions about calling.  As our staff team discussed our weekly reading, Anne looked out on the snow-capped mountains from our seventh-story office. “What do you think, Anne?” I asked. She paused. Her voice began to quiver. “I just don’t know what I’m called to,” she confessed. “I need to know what’s next.” The world is undergoing a massive demographic shift. Nearly 80 million Baby Boomers will retire in the next 20 years, at a rateof nearly 10,000 per day. By 2035, Americans of retirement age will exceed the number of people under age 18...

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Posted by on Mar 24, 2019 in Culture, Theology | 1 comment

Subversion

Subversion

These three paragraphs, penned in 1991 by Lesslie Newbigin, changed my life as soon as I read them. Part of a larger treatment of “the gospel as public truth,” I repeat them here so I don’t forget the central why behind my seemingly endless (and multiplying) labors at Denver Institute. And I post them for you, my fellow “undercover agents,” so that we might both know that we are not alone. First, while the Church as a corporate society cannot identify itself with particular political programs, it must be the responsibility of the Church to equip its members for active and informed participation in public life in such a way that the Christian faith shapes that participation. Public life is the area where the principalities and powers operate. There are structures and forces which have a transpersonal character. The person who operates within them is not free to act as if he or she was a free individual. There is some freedom, but it is limited by the structure...

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Posted by on Sep 27, 2018 in Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Faith and Work Movement, vocation, Work | 5 comments

“God of the Second Shift: The Missing Majority in the Faith and Work Conversation” (Christianity Today Cover Story)

“God of the Second Shift: The Missing Majority in the Faith and Work Conversation” (Christianity Today Cover Story)

By Jeff Haanen The following is the cover story for the October 2018 print issue of Christianity Today. To access the full article for free, click the “friends and family” link below. Also, if you’re not a subscriber, please consider subscribing to Christianity Today to support their work. Here’s an excerpt of the story. Our group was white, college-educated, and passionate about helping people find meaning in their careers. We looked at Josué “Mambo” De León, pastor of a bilingual working-class congregation called Westside Church Internacional, eager to hear his thoughts on a recent “faith and work” conference.  “For us, work isn’t about thriving,” Mambo said. “It’s about surviving.”  Between bites of salad, it slowly became clear who the man in a red baseball cap, World Cup T-shirt, and jeans really was: an emissary from another world.  “You start with the premise that you have a job and that you feel a lack of purpose,” he said. “But that doesn’t resonate with us. How are you supposed to find purpose...

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