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Posted by on Sep 4, 2021 in Finance, vocation, Work | 0 comments

Why Every Faith-Driven Investment Firm Needs to Hire a Theologian

Why Every Faith-Driven Investment Firm Needs to Hire a Theologian

Recently I got a prospectus from a faith-motivated advisory firm that outlines what they invest in as Christians. On one level, the responses were predictable. They don’t invest in alcohol, cannabis, pornography, or weapons. And they do invest in companies that have ethical leadership, policies that value employees, and a “positive societal impact.” But after reading the prospectus, I had to pause and say to myself: this is really, complex stuff. On one level, investing is quite straightforward: capital should be used to bring about returns. Yet, what is positive societal impact? What companies are “ethical” and which aren’t?  Aren’t all companies – like people, a mix of good and bad, moral and immoral? How do you even think through ethics? And which societal impacts are primary, and which are secondary? Why? I’m not trying to be esoteric. Here’s an example for you for you make an investment decision, shared with me by a dear friend and leader in the faith-based investing space. Example 1: Building materials company The...

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Posted by on Jun 17, 2021 in business, Theology, vocation, Work | 0 comments

The Pearl of Vocation: Why I Bring My Whole Self to Work, Including My Faith

The Pearl of Vocation: Why I Bring My Whole Self to Work, Including My Faith

When I was in elementary school, my mother took my older sister and I to Lake Itasca State Park for summer vacation, located in the cool northern woods of Minnesota. A life-long teacher, she would glory in making the outdoor visit into a lesson: spotting the diving loons in search of breakfast, explaining the history of old-growth red pines towering over the landscape, and proudly declaring that we were looking at the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. My sister and I, however, were more concerned with the number of times we could skip a rock across the glassy surface and the tiny creatures we discovered on the lakeshore. Barefoot and with a cool breeze in my curly blond hair, I would spend afternoons hunting for tadpoles or grabbing tiny oysters to crack them open, in search of treasure. Though I never did find a pearl in those oysters, the shell’s rainbow iridescence, shimmering in the sunlight, hinted at a joy embedded deeply within creation. Three decades later, with...

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Posted by on Mar 7, 2021 in retirement | 0 comments

“An Uncommon Guide to Retirement” Webinar for Fuller Seminary

“An Uncommon Guide to Retirement” Webinar for Fuller Seminary

Recently I got good news from my publisher: An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life surpassed 10,000 copies sold. So I recently re-read portions of the book, and after a 18 months since release (I know, I’m biased), I think the book really does offer a clear, compelling vision for retirement in a faithful, practical, and story-driven way. My friend Mark Roberts at Fuller Seminary’s Depree Center recently interviewed me about the book. Above is our interview. Enjoy. If you’d like more information about the book, or a sample chapter or a free discussion guide, can you visit...

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Posted by on Feb 21, 2021 in Work | 0 comments

Responding to the Changing World of Work (Part 2)

Responding to the Changing World of Work (Part 2)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble,” writes the author of Psalm 46. “Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging…. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts…. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” The changes to the world of work since the pandemic began feel like this psalm: waters roar, mountains quake, nations are in uproar, and my daily work rhythms just got blown up.   Yet in this cultural context of change, Christians bring a unique perspective: the unchanging reality of God. If you’re a secular person, focused just on the individual and your ability to control your own destiny, the storyline is actually chaos. Each day is a grasping attempt to bring security and stability in a world being tossed by the fierce winds of an economic, social, and cultural storm. In contrast, the Christian can breathe. “The Lord...

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Posted by on Jan 21, 2021 in Politics, Work | 0 comments

Faith & Immigration (Op-Ed for the Boulder Weekly)

Faith & Immigration (Op-Ed for the Boulder Weekly)

by Jeff Haanen Scrolling through my Facebook feed, last week I noticed a rare delight: Edith Franco was beaming. Recently graduated with a masters degree, she posed in black cap and gown in front of the Texas State University sign smiling ear to ear.  Almost a decade ago I was her youth pastor at a small church in Brighton. Optimistic, kind and bright, Edith was the first to volunteer, the last to complain and she ran circles around her AP classes in high school. As I wondered where the time had went, I also worried for her: What will an undocumented immigrant do with all that potential?  This week I was one of 180 entities and individuals representing business, law enforcement and faith communities to urge the new Biden administration to reform our nation’s outdated and broken immigration system.  I come to this debate not as a business leader, clamoring for an updated immigration system that meets employment needs of our modern economy, nor as a police officer, wanting...

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