EWP Talks on Ethics: What Is Real Flourishing?

Reprinted from the Oikonomia Network.

Our collection of EWP Talks on Ethics will help your students explore the way we strive to live as followers of Jesus, and what we hope for – and will work for – when it comes to economic systems and practices. Perhaps the toughest part, these talks will help convey why we want what we do in those areas. Real human flourishing is productive but also relational, intrinsically good and responsive to human needs, setting high standards but working to repair what is broken rather than destroy it.

EWP Talks are short, accessible, engaging and rich presentations by leading theological educators, suitable for classroom and local church use. These videos help people develop a Christian vision for flourishing communities.

Each EWP Talk is about 15-20 minutes long, so they’re easy to use. But the conversations they’ll catalyze in your classroom, church or group will be much longer.

This semester, consider assigning your students a talk from our video library!

Because all fields in theological education speak into ethics and human flourishing, talks from this list have an especially wide range of relevance – theology, biblical studies, pastoral leadership, cultural studies and more have to think about these critical questions. (And, of course, in addition to our Ethics playlist, we also have collections of talks on TheologyNew TestamentOld TestamentCultureSpiritual FormationPastoral Leadership and History.)

Here’s a closer look at some of the talks in our Ethics collection:

Andy Crouch | A Pruned Life: Isaiah’s Posterity Gospel

Drawing on Isaiah 5, Andy Crouch speaks about the challenge of separating real flourishing from mere material prosperity in the midst of economic growth and technological innovation. In a world of instant gratification, what is of lasting importance?

Consider assigning in: Culture, Ethics, Spiritual Formation, Old Testament

Joshua Jipp | Jesus the Economic Teacher

In this highly personal talk, Joshua Jipp of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School shares stories of his grandfather on the Iowa farm where he grew up. Grandpa Wayne had absorbed key economic teachings from Jesus, prioritizing contentment, productivity and community.

Consider assigning in: New Testament, Ethics

Christopher Brooks | Rethinking Urban Poverty: Context, Data and Collaboration

Christopher Brooks of Moody Theological Seminary, merging theology with his pastoral experience in Detroit, argues that poverty need not be permanent; the truth of the gospel and the imperatives of discipleship demand constructive solutions to poverty.

Consider assigning in: Pastoral Leadership, Ethics, Culture

Keith Reeves | Family and Opportunity in the Law and the Prophets

Keith Reeves of Azusa-Pacific University describes the connection between the household, family structure, land ownership and economic opportunity in the Old Testament law and prophets, and how these connections apply today.

Consider assigning in: Old Testament, Ethics, History

Chris Armstrong | “Vocation? Whatever!” From Work/Life Balance to a Seamless Life

Chris Armstrong of Wheaton College evokes key moments from church history, and from his personal history of struggle with attitudes about rest, home and work, to offer a compelling vision for why a theology of vocation must be central to the life of faith.

Consider assigning in: Ethics, Spiritual Formation, History

Rachael & Jacob Denhollander | Justice and Vocation: A Conversation with Rachael and Jacob Denhollander

Why has the church uncovered more sexual abuse and exploitation in its ranks than almost any other institution in our society? Why is it so difficult for the church – of all institutions! – to respond to abuse with justice and mercy? And what does justice have to do with vocation? In this powerful video, Rachael and Jacob Denhollander speak theologically and practically of the urgent call to the church today to protect the vulnerable. They discuss the atonement, eschatology, vocation and a right understanding of the role of pastoral leadership, showing that justice is woven together with everything the church is and does. Patrick Smith of Duke Divinity School moderates the discussion.

Consider assigning in: Ethics, Pastoral Leadership, Theology, Culture, Spiritual Formation

Greg Forster | Fruitful Paradoxes: Bringing Life to the World in the Modern Economy

Being the church means bringing life to the world, but how do we help our students lead churches that do that? In this stimulating talk, Oikonomia Network Director Greg Forster argues that “economic life is the most powerful way to bring life to the world,” because “the economy is where people mostly live.” Drawing on the ancient Letter to Diognetus, Forster unpacks fruitful paradoxes to help Christians think about how to bring life to the world in the modern economy.

Consider assigning in: Ethics, Pastoral Leadership, Culture, History

And Many More:

Tom Nelson | If We Would Be Faithful: Fruitfulness Matters

Jennifer Woodruff Tait, Charlie Self & Jay Moon | Dislocation and Discovery: The Industrial Revolution and the Wesleyan Movement

Anthony Bradley | Christian Personalism: How to Preach a Public Faith without Making Atheists

Jules Martinez | Reconciled to Reconcile: Making the Kingdom Visible in a Divided World

Gavin Ortlund | Worth Standing Up For: Hearing a 4th-Century Witness for Justice and the Gospel

Darrell Bock | Luke and Money: Surrendering into Stewardship

Eric Tully | Proverbs and Money: You’re Not Playing Monopoly

Bruce Fields | A Humble Dignity: Striving in His Image Is Flourishing

Lisa Slayton, Terry Timm & Deborah Gill | Staying Rooted: Discipling People in the New Economy

Jennifer Powell McNutt | A God Who Crosses the Tracks: Social Action in Reformation Theology

Chris Armstrong | God’s People, Christ’s Body, Spirit’s Temple: Being a Sacred Church

Vincent Bacote | Sending Disciples to a Pluralistic World: Imagination, Hospitality and Hope

Mark Roberts | All Good Work: Creation and Parenthood

W. Bradford Wilcox | The Ball and Chain Myth: Marriage and Sacrifice

Check out these talks and those in our other topical areas – it’s always a good time to point your students to good resources on these challenging issues!

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