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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 Apr 25, 2016 in Culture, Politics, Work | 0 comments

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

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

  “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 border rapists, enthusiastically endorses torture, hints that Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia was assassinated, and advocates the killing of terrorist’s families, my blood boils. How could Americans be voting for this man to lead the party of Abraham Lincoln? And how could 37 % of evangelicals support him? What on earth is going on here? Second, moral outrage gave...

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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...

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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...

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Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in Art, Craftsmanship & Manual Labor, Culture, Economy, Education, Finance, Media, Nonprofit, Politics, Science, Technology, Theology, Work, World | 0 comments

Announcement: Launch of the 5280 Fellowship

Announcement: Launch of the 5280 Fellowship

Today is a big day. Today my colleagues and I at Denver Institute for Faith & Work, in partnership with Gordon College, announce the launch of the 5280 Fellowship, a 9 month experience for emerging leaders beginning in the fall of 2016. After years of planning, design and forging partnerships, each element of the program has fallen into place. And now what we are now offering is, I believe, one of the best faith-based fellowship programs in the US, and perhaps Denver’s premiere leadership experience for young professionals. I know those are big claims. But I believe the 5280 Fellowship has the potential to deeply impact Denver for generations to come. And I’m not alone. Some of Denver’s finest pastors – like Robert Gelinas (Colorado Community Church), Brad Strait (Cherry Creek Presbyterian), Rob Brendle (Denver United), Brian Brown (Park Church) and Hunter Beaumont (Fellowship Denver) – believe the Fellowship can be a life-changing experience for young professionals who want to deeply engage themes of calling, work, and culture. Young...

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Posted by on Dec 24, 2015 in Culture, Politics | 1 comment

Driving Back the Cloud of Fear: A Christmas Meditation

Driving Back the Cloud of Fear: A Christmas Meditation

  If there is anything we Americans hold in common this Christmas, it is fear. I felt it creeping up my neck four weeks ago when my dad called me on the way to work. “Did you hear about San Bernardino?” I confessed I was behind on the news. “The Islamic State is here.” That same day my wife stopped in to buy jeans at the Gap. A Muslim man was buying a jacket for his wife who was draped in an all-black hijab, showing only her eyes. My wife felt guilty for saying it, but she said what so many of us feel: “Jeff, I was a afraid.” As Christmas approaches, the thorns of fear quietly infest American soil. Yet my wife and I hold something in common with many Muslims today. They too are afraid. Since San Bernardino, many American Muslims have feared a backlash. And should they not be afraid? Donald Trump vows to expel Muslims from America, and has even hinted at creating internment camps....

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