Tag Archives: os guinness

The Importance of Bearing Fruit at Work

Too often, we get into a fundamentally unhealthy divide in our thinking about faith and life.  We abstract our faith, putting it in the “spiritual” box, and consider our labor as separate.  It goes in the “actual real life” box.

I’m thankful for a new book called Fruit at Work: Mixing Christian Virtues with Business (Lanphier, 2012) by Chris Evans.  Evans is a talented entrepreneur who works with the cool-sounding Blackstone Entrepreneur Network.  He’s also been involved with The Trinity Forum, associated with Os Guinness and others.  I’ve enjoyed Fruit at Work, which draws off of Tim Keller and others to ground our daily labor in the gospel and in biblical virtue.

The text is readable and filled with personal reflection from Evans’s life.  Here’s an example from his chapter on humility, a quality that not every leader–or Christian leader–has an easy time embodying:

A big way that I changed is that I feel I have a capacity for gentleness that just wasn’t there before I was broken.  Having been deeply humbled, I can have compassion for others in tough situations.  While part of me still wants to feel powerful and give orders, the Christ in me cares more about the people I’m relating to than my image (136).

Read this helpful book, which will help you to approach work first from the perspective of godly virtue, rather than primarily as a means to accomplishment, achievement, or as Charlie Sheen would say, “winning.”


Filed under virtue, work

Family Policy Lecture at Family Research Council

Next Wednesday at 12:30pm, one week from today, I’ll be giving the Family Policy Lecture at the Family Research Council in Washington, D. C.  My lecture is entitled “The Sacrificial Witness of the Christian Moral Tradition” and will span history, theology, ethics and public policy.  I will engage the liberal Protestant tradition and its understanding of public square involvement in the course of the lecture.

I am honored to give this lecture, which has featured speakers like Os Guinness, Eric Metaxas, and Ross Douthat, but I am excited to speak on this topic at a thinktank that is doing a great deal to contend for the faith in the public square.

Here are the details from FRC:

The Christian influence in Western society has played a vital role in shaping our nation and the world. Many, such as the great British abolitionist William Wilberforce, have used their Christian faith to inform and drive moral policies. To divorce the Christianity of these men and women from their political action would do a disservice both to them and to history itself.

In today’s world Christianity is often seen as a religious relic of the past. Dr. Owen Strachan issues a clarion call to the next generation of Christians to realize the times demand a strong biblically-grounded, moral witness. Born out of a spirit of sacrifice and humility Christians, must speak out for godliness and righteousness in our public sphere. Dr. Strachan will explain what must be done if the great Christian witness of the past is to once again influence our culture and its government.

You can register for the live-stream here.  You are of course welcome to fly to DC to hear this lecture–consider yourself invited, in fact.  But the live-stream might just work better for some.

By the way, FRC is currently leading the charge for Dr. Angela McCaskill, who was suspended from her post at Gallaudet  University for supporting traditional marriage by signing a petition.  You can show support for McCaskill by going here.  I would encourage you to do so.

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Filed under ethics, public square

Os Guinness in Chicago, Jonathan Edwards, and Baptist21 Events

Socrates in the City is very cool.  And it’s coming to Chicago on May 6, 2010.

The program is “pre-evangelism”, aimed at cultural influencers interested in thoughtful conversation on matters of faith, the mind, and public life.  Based in New York City and led by evangelical public intellectual Eric Metaxas, the program is utterly unique and highly exciting.  It’s featured speakers like Sir John Polkinghorne, Francis Collins, Alister McGrath, and Robby George.  Basically, it rocks.

Here’s the info about the May 6th event in Chicago:

Please join host Eric Metaxas and special guest Dr. Os Guinness, author of The Call and more than twenty other books, who will speak on the topic: “Can Freedom Last Forever?: The Framers’ Forgotten Question and How We Are Doing Today”.

Date: May 6th

Wine and Cheese Reception from 6:30 pm till 7:00 pm

Speaking will begin at 7:00 pm SHARP

Dr. Guinness will sign copies of his books at 8:30 pm

Location: University Club of Chicago

(76 E. Monroe Street)

VPs accepted day of event)

Register for the event here.

So there you have it–Socrates is coming to the Windy City.


Stephen Nichols on the strange unitive power of Jonathan Edwards.  It’s pretty remarkable when you actually think about the diverse patrons of the Edwardsean mind and ministry…


Carl Trueman has the sharpest pen in evangelicalism.  In a recent essay (HT: JT) entitled “Life on the Cultic Fringe”, he takes aim at those who worry over what the world thinks about the church.  His words are strong but needed.  Read the whole piece.

Further, if the world finds me and mine ridiculous, then I can only respond by saying that I do not find the world’s views on a whole host of things particularly judicious or impressive either.  I switch on my TV each night and see politicians behaving like cheap backstreet hucksters; I see `celebrities’ living lives that would make a porn star blush and being applauded for so doing; I watch talk shows where people take seriously the soppy psychobabble of numerous numpties; I stand on the touchline at kids’ sporting events and see parents coming to blows over a refereeing decision in a game involving kids, for goodness sake; and I look at the great, self-important, self-righteous contemporary critics of the church and note the contempt they have shown in their own lives for their marriages and for those they were meant to love and honour, and even for those with whom they disagree within their own guilds. None of these things means that everything the world does and thinks is automatically wrong; but it inclines me to take the world’s wisdom with a pinch of salt and not be too worried if they find me `unloving’ or they dismiss my church when she refuses to conform to their view of reality simply because they tell me it is true. That kind of capitulation to powerful personalities and guilds is indeed where cults, on the Trueman definition, begin.

This is a helpful counter to those who suggest that the world has the right to act as some kind of imperious and abstract judge over the church.  That’s simply not the case.


Timmy Brister has video from Tony Kummer from Band of Bloggers.  The event was really fun and typically well-done.  I continue to submit that it is strange that no one live-blogged it.  It’s like going to a conference on tables without any tables…

(I’ll let you chew on that one for a while.  Deep thoughts.)


Check out upcoming Baptist21 events.  Exciting stuff…

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New 9Marks eJournal: Business for Missions

missionaryThe latest version of the 9Marks ejournal is up (PDF here).  It’s all about missions, and there is a great deal of material to work through.  I found the following article, “How to Get Businesspeople into Missions”, quite interesting.

The article first outlines how many Christians think of missions:

“Most churches already understand how they can support missions through prayer and financial support. Yet many churches overlook how members can put their business skills to work for the sake of overseas missions. Not only that, but it’s the members with real business skills who may provide the best access for Christians to obtain access to closed or restricted countries.”

It then shows how Christians of diverse backgrounds can involve themselves with missions:

“Business-as-Missions (BAM) is about creating legitimate businesses that enable church planting in areas that would otherwise be closed to evangelism.

BAM is needed today because it is increasingly difficult for church planters to live and share the gospel in many countries around the world. Think places such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and China, where governments continue to crack down on mission work. If we make it our “ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named” (Rom. 15:20), then we need to help church planters find creative means for gaining access into these countries.”

Great stuff.  Read it and learn–and then support an exceptional business-as-missions group called Access Partners.  They do terrific work out of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, wedding stout theology with passionate work.

Readers also will be interested in a great article by missions pastor and strategist Andy Johnson of Capitol Hill Baptist Church on “evangelical missionary pragmatism”, Jonathan Leeman’s insightful editor’s note on the import/export relationship in missions, and another piece by an unnamed author on rightly conceiving of contextualization.

As usual with 9Marks, there’s much more to be had here, including a review by Patrick Schreiner of a recent Os Guinness text.  Read this stuff, pass it on, discuss it with a friend, and pray for an “evangelical missions renaissance” to counter “evangelical missionary pragmatism”.

I remember thinking about such things when in Hong Kong.  Unreached cultures are wholly dependent on the teaching of missionaries and thus bear the marks–for good or ill–of the teaching they have received.  How important it is that we ground foreign converts in permanent, strong, biblically faithful things so that their faith might not quickly fade into existing culture but persist until the day of Christ.

(Photo: YWAM website)

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