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Posted by on Aug 12, 2017 in Economy, Theology, vocation | 1 comment

The Miracle of the Reformers: Why Teaching Your Kids Hymns is Good for the Economy

The Miracle of the Reformers: Why Teaching Your Kids Hymns is Good for the Economy

  Perhaps the songs we teach our children is one the most important legacies we can leave for posterity. This morning I sat down to breakfast with my wife and four daughters. After eggs and sausage, we listened to the classic hymn “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation.” My wife educates our kids (and really our whole family), and this year we’re memorizing classic hymns, with the hunch that our ancestors have new light to shed on our 21st century lives. Amongst the sound of chattering kids and clanking forks and knives, my wife turned on the iPad at the breakfast table and flipped on the speaker. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation! All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near; Praise Him in glad adoration. Written in 1680 by Joachim Neader, a German Reformed Calvinist, I couldn’t help but notice that this song begins not only...

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Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in business, Economy, Theology, Work | 4 comments

The Quiet Unraveling of Work in America

The Quiet Unraveling of Work in America

  On July 16-19, I will be presenting a brief paper at the Christian Economic Forum in San Francisco entitled, “The Quiet Unraveling of Work in America: Three Economic Challenges and What Christian Leaders Can Do.” The CEF Leadership collated the conference papers into a book, and kindly provided a PDF of my paper for distribution. The content of the paper is below, and the PDF can be accessed by clicking the link above. The Quiet Unraveling of Work in America Three Economic Challenges and What Christian Leaders Can Do On August 1, 2007, the I35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis looked like any other bridge in America. Commuters stuck in rush hour were waiting impatiently, talking on their phones, and assuming they would get safely to their destinations. Yet at 6:05 p.m., a strange noise was heard underneath the bridge. Suddenly it collapsed, sending 111 vehicles and 18 construction workers plummeting 115 feet into the river. In total, 13 people were killed and 145 injured in an unexpected tragedy....

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Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in Faith and Work Movement, Theology, Work | 0 comments

Collective Impact: The Missing Piece of the Faith-Work Puzzle

Collective Impact: The Missing Piece of the Faith-Work Puzzle

  What will the faith and work movement look like in 2067? What are we doing today that could genuinely last for 50 years, and even reshape American culture? These are tough questions. Not only because 50 years is such a long time, but it forces us to think not only of our own organizations, but the larger networks across the US involved in this space, and the institutions that can outlast individual personalities. It also forces us to think: what, specifically, are the long-term goals shared among overlapping networks of churches, businesses, universities and nonprofits involved in spreading a Christian message about the far reaching effects of Jesus’ death and resurrection for our work, culture, economy, and world? After pondering this question, I’ve come to believe something rather disconcerting. The single biggest problem with the faith and work movement today is fragmentation and the absence of shared goals. In April of this year, Jeffrey Walker penned a provocative article for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “Solving the World’s...

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Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Theology, Work | 0 comments

Work Makes the World

Work Makes the World

  Note: The following is a speech I gave at the January 13, 2017 fundraiser “Work Makes the World.” To make a donation to Denver Institute, go to our give page. Thank you for coming tonight. Thanks for Jim Howey and Steve Hill hosting us at Blender Products, and thank you to Cañon Catering for the delightful meal. And thank you to our table sponsors. And in case I don’t get another chance: a huge thank you to Joanna Meyer, our Program Director at DIFW, for organizing this tonight. Incredible work. I’m often asked by friends and donors why I started Denver Institute for Faith & Work (DIFW) in 2013. Seems like a strange thing to do in the evenings while working a full-time job that barely paid the bills! I’d like to share with you tonight three reasons why I started DIFW back in 2013. I want to camp on the question of why because What we do is easier to explain: we’re a Denver nonprofit that provides theological education on issues...

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Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in Faith and Work Movement, Theology, Work | 2 comments

Broader, Not Deeper

Broader, Not Deeper

  What will allow more pastors to see the importance of work for their church and its mission? How might the faith and work movement help pastors and seminaries to embrace ministry models that equips men and women to serve Christ in the wide array of professions in our culture today? And why is this so difficult? Last year, I interviewed Michael Lindsay, president of Gordon College, about his new book View from the Top. One of the lasting highlights from our conversation was about his research on the White House Fellows, a leadership development experience that had shaped a significant majority of the 500+ “platinum” leaders in his study. The vast majority of these leaders had experienced a “broadening education” during their time as White House Fellows. Fellows had candid, off-the-record conversations with everybody from zoologists to members of the President’s cabinet. Through this experience, they developed a taste for seeing issues in society broadly, not only from the perspective of their own field,  but from the perspective...

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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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