Tag: human flourishing

Seminary Spotlight: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

By Evan Lenow Reprinted from the Oikonomia Network Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is located deep in the heart of Texas in Fort Worth. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex enjoys a bustling economy and steady population growth. As a result, we have a great opportunity to address the integration of faith and work within our community. Through the work of the Land…

Book Review: Suicide of the West

Our society is sick. The United States is obviously in tumult with sharp divisions between Red and Blue with the litmus test being which political party one thinks is treasonous. Surely there is some mush in the middle, but it would be a happier world if the simplistic generalization were farther from the truth. And, though the unhappiness of our…

The Top Ten Books on Faith and Work—An Updated List for 2018

By Hugh Whelchel It’s been nearly six years since IFWE published our first “top ten” list of books on faith and work. Since then, we’ve seen additional great books published that we want to bring to your attention. We’ve updated our “top ten” list with books that powerfully and creatively explain the biblical meaning of work. They are all rooted in…

Let’s Keep Bickering: Called and Comforted

Part two of a series. Eschatological continuity emphasizes excellence in our work, setting the standard for which we strive. Eschatological discontinuity emphasizes comfort and hope when our work is painful and frustrating. In C.S. Lewis’ allegorical novel The Pilgrim’s Regress, Mr. Savage sneers at the inhabitants of Claptrap (who represent respectable, bourgeois Enlightenment society) because they spend their whole lives working and building, even…

Karam Forum Mini-Talks

Reprinted from the Oikonomia Network

Each session at Karam Forum 2018 was hosted by a leader from our community who framed the session with a 7-8 minute mini-talk. Like our Economic Wisdom Project Talks, these mini-talks are packed with catalytic insight. Check them out below and mark your calendars for Karam Forum 2019, featuring Miroslav Volf, David Miller and Mark Greene!

Vincent Bacote: “Seminaries or Cemeteries? A Mission as Big as Life Itself”

Vincent Bacote told the audience that, being in Los Angeles, they were sitting not far from the most influential seminary in the world: Hollywood. The movies win hearts and minds by showing people an imaginary world on a screen for two hours. Theology may not have big special effects budgets, but it can do something even more impressive than the movies; it can show us the real world. Bacote argued that theological education needs to recover a sense of how big the mission of theology is – a mission as big as the whole world, as big as life itself. Only then will it reverse its reputation as a storehouse of lifeless abstractions and decaying formulas.

Greg Forster: “Discovering Oikonomia: A Christian Life of the Mind”

Introducing Charlie Self, the event’s closing speaker, Greg Forster described how his conversion to the faith as an adult forced him to reevaluate what it meant to live the life of a scholar and educator. In a universe where God cares about building bridges and feeding the hungry as much as he cares about knowledge and insight, how can we have a Christian life of the mind? Forster argued that reason must have a place in the oikonomia theou, God’s plan for all things, because we use reason to discover the oikonomia theou. Everyone in the kingdom of God, in all vocations, has valuable knowledge; nonetheless there is an indispensable role for those who live the life of the mind – as Self put it, raising up poets and prophets for God’s people and world.

P.J. Hill: “Theology and Economics: Getting Past Cognitive Dissonance”

P.J. Hill shared the story of his journey as an economist who slowly discovered that moral and even theological questions were not secondary to his discipline; they were right at the heart of it. From a starting point where he struggled to connect his faith to his economic studies, producing “cognitive dissonance,” Hill eventually concluded that economic understanding had to begin with questions of justice, rights and morally ordered desires. Hill also described some insights the economic discipline provides on market economies that can inform theological evaluation of their functioning, such as the role markets play in coordinating social activity among people who don’t know each other well.

Chris Armstrong: “Flourishing: More than Souls on Sticks”

Gremlins sabotaged the audio feed at Karam Forum 2018, but this memorable mini-talk will be re-recorded and released at a future date – stay tuned!

Chris Armstrong argued that a well-rounded Christian view of human flourishing is essential to the faith in the coming generation. Too often, the church has treated people as if they were “souls on sticks” – addressing their eternal fate, but not their whole lives. Many young people leave the church today not because they think Christianity is false but because they think Christianity is irrelevant to anything they care about; our problem is not so much “intellectual atheism” as “practical atheism.” Bringing in delightful wisdom from C.S. Lewis and pointing to its origin in the earlier ages of the faith that Lewis studied, Armstrong made a case for Lewis’ maxim that “because we love something else more than this world, we love even this world better than those who know no other.”

The Best Laid Plans of Many People Gang Aft Agley This Week

This week, Acton University is taking place in Grand Rapids, MI. The Green Room’s grand plan was that I could go and blog the AU experience for you, paying special attention to sessions related to an ambitious new theology of work edited by Trey Dimsdale and R. Keith Loftin. We’d then follow up with a review of the book on…

Seeking the Kingdom of God First – A Review of “Kingdom Collaborators: Eight Signature Practices of Leaders Who Turn the World Upside Down” by Reggie McNeal

Leadership Network’s Reggie McNeal has written another crisp, insightful, and wonderfully practical book for Christians desiring to “seek first the Kingdom of God.” As is his usual pattern, the book is highly accessible and marries principles with real-life application. The book rests on McNeal’s theological conviction that “God is at work in every domain of culture.” He longs for church…

One Church’s Tool for Breaking Cycles of Poverty Through Relationships

Reprinted from Made to Flourish. Check out their resource library here. What does it take to revive a dying city? That’s the question Fairhaven Church faced in 2008, when Forbes magazine named Dayton, Ohio, as one of the fastest dying cities in America. After the article was published, we interviewed the mayors of Dayton and neighboring cities, and we discovered the greatest…