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Posted by on May 13, 2015 in Culture | 2 comments

Greatness and Grace

Greatness and Grace

Today Christianity Today published my interview with New York Times Columnist David Brooks on his incredible new book The Road to Character. Here it is in its entirety: David Brooks: We Need to Start Talking about Sin and Righteousness Again   The New York Times columnist asks what it takes to build character in a ‘Big Me’ culture. Interview by Jeff Haanen / posted May 13, 2015   Several years ago, David Brooks hit a wall. Although his résumé sparkled—a columnist for The New York Times, a political commentator for PBS and NPR, and the author of best-selling books like Bobos in Paradise—his inner life felt impoverished. Brooks’s quest to fill that hollowness culminated in his latest book, The Road to Character (Random House). He pairs sketches of historical figures like Augustine and Dwight Eisenhower with analysis of our culture’s retreat from biblical notions of sin and righteousness. Jeff Haanen, executive director of Denver Institute for Faith & Work, spoke with Brooks, a cultural Jew, about recovering the classical quest for virtuous living—and great men and women who...

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Posted by on Apr 23, 2015 in Art, Culture | 0 comments

The Calling of Jayber Crow

The Calling of Jayber Crow

“It seems to me,” David Buschart told us over one dollar beers at Old Mill, “that the idea of calling depends on the doctrine of God’s providence.” The four of us had invited David, a theologian from the seminary, to help us make sense of Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic. Of course, the book was just an excuse for four guys in our twenties to get together, look smart, and talk about our lives, wives, and jobs. And by choosing Old Mill’s cheapest possible beer, we confessed to the world we were both woefully ignorant of the what a beer should be—and we were utterly broke. That night I was intent on trying to figure out my winding, seemingly aimless, career path. I got my master’s degree, now had a job in a completely unrelated field, and could barely support my wife and newborn daughter. In my head, the script was never supposed to work out like this. And so when the local wiseman tells me the key to understanding...

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Posted by on Nov 7, 2014 in Culture, Work | 0 comments

The World’s Best Outreach Strategy

The World’s Best Outreach Strategy

  How are we going to reach out to our culture? It’s a common question in church world. Do we have a fall festival? Sponsor a 5k? Chili cook off? Day of service at the homeless shelter? Mission trip? The idea seems to be this: We’re here…in church. They’re out there…in culture. We need to “reach out” to them. Hence, the myriad of “outreach” ministries in most American churches. But the truth is that won’t don’t need to “reach out” to culture at all. We are already “out” there every single day.It’s called work! And not only are we – the laity – inculture, but we actually create culture every day. A few weeks ago, I saw this firsthand. My first meeting for the day was at a Starbucks in downtown Denver. I met with Eric, who shared with me his  story. For his first job after college, he climbed cell phone towers. After more than a few frozen climbs in the air, he decided he needed a change. He thought for a...

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Posted by on Aug 10, 2014 in Culture, Politics | 0 comments

Interview with Michael Lindsay

Interview with Michael Lindsay

  As I sat down for lunch at The Broadmoor, a historic, five-star resort in Colorado Springs, it quickly became clear I was among the elite. White linen table clothes, waiters in black ties, and a view of the rolling green golf course nestled at the foot of the Rockies. I was glad, then, when Michael Lindsay, the President of Gordon College, joined me. His wide smile, gracious disposition and articulate brilliance exuded confidence and calmed my middle class nerves. He had been among the powerful before. In 2008, Lindsay published his Pulitzer-nominated Faith in the Halls of Power, an unprecedented look at influential evangelicals from Washington DC to Wall Street. His latest book, View from the Top (Wiley, 2014), is the result of a 10 year study of “Platinum Leaders,” 550 elite politicians, CEOs and nonprofit executives who hold many of the most significant positions of leadership in the world. Over lunch we had the chance to discuss the White House Fellows, a liberal arts view of life,...

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Posted by on Sep 25, 2013 in Culture | 2 comments

Three Lessons for Evangelical Leaders

Three Lessons for Evangelical Leaders

Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics won Christianity Today’s 2013 “Best Book of the Year” award in “Christianity and Culture” for a reason. Check out this stunning quote, pasted on the back of the Fall 2013 Issue of Comment Magazine: “This turn boded ill for Evangelicalism’s long-term future, because although the ‘para’ groups were immensely successful at religious mobilization, they weren’t as effective at sustaining commitment across a life span or across generations. “They were institutions for an anti-institutional faith, you might say, which meant that they were organized around personalities and causes and rarely created the sense of comprehensive, intergenerational community…You couldn’t spend your whole life in Campus Crusade for Christ, or raise your daughters as a Promise Keeper, or count on groups like the Moral Majority of the Christian Coalition to sustain your belief system beyond the next election cycle. “For that kind of staying power, you needed a confessional tradition, a church, an institution capable of outlasting its charismatic founders.” As...

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