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The Latest from Christian Union

CU Today highlights stories from Christian Union's university and city ministries, news, trends, items of interest from culture, spiritual growth articles, and other types of content to inform, encourage, challenge, and inspire.
June 6, 2019
True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World; Trivial Pursuit?; Why ‘Follow Your Passions’ Is Bad Advice for Graduates; The Sexual Revolutionaries Got Sexual Satisfaction All Wrong; Revival at an Army Base and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
— Psalm 32:8

June 4, 2019
Tucker Else
Christian Union Ministry Director
University of pennsylvania

One of the most popular games of the 1980s was Trivial Pursuit, a trivia game that people found either wildly entertaining or inexpressibly dull. My family would often gather around the table and play — yes, we did have occasional Normal Rockwell moments — and while my Mom would be hoping for Entertainment or Literature categories to come up, my brothers and I would bank on Sports, and little else.


The questions were sometimes manageable, but oftentimes nearly impossible: “What was the name of the Douglas family’s dog on My Three Sons?” Which would inevitably be answered with “Chip,” as he was really the only Son (let alone dog) that could be remembered from the show.

What was always most vexing to me were the Sports questions that had absolutely nothing to do with sports: “What do Las Vegas blackjack dealers stand on?” First of all, who cares?

May 23, 2019
Vocation and the Kingdom of God; Harvard Betrays a Law Professor — and Itself; Congratulations, Graduates!; The Spirit-Filled Life; Alabama's Challenge and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
— Col 3:1-4

May 20, 2019

Forum with David Skeel

Christian Union New York was excited to hold its first Forum of the year on Monday, May 20. The night’s speaker was David Skeel, S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Drawing on his wide range of expertise, Professor Skeel spoke to the audience, not on bankruptcy law, but on an approach to apologetics fit for our postmodern era.


May 17, 2019

Giving Thanks for Extraordinary Students

Sarah Camp
Director of Marketing and Communications

In May and June, Christian Union is celebrating the cherished members of the graduating Class of 2019 at Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.

At end-of-year banquets held in their honor, students involved with Christian Union donned formal attire and enjoyed evenings of remembrance and celebration of their beloved seniors. As they dined, many seniors rose to share memories and thanksgiving for the way God has worked in their lives.

Seniors graduating from Harvard

May 9, 2019
Suffering: God's Workroom of Grace; Texts-4-Toasties at Harvard; Righteousness and Compassion; Are Christians Privileged or Persecuted?; The Growth of Christianity in Africa; You are Invited and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?
— Psalm 27:1

May 9, 2019

Breakfast with N.T. Wright

On Thursday, 9 May, Christian Union New York was delighted to host Professor N.T. Wright for a breakfast discussion on Vocation and the Kingdom of God. Drawing from his Gifford Lectures (delivered at the University of Aberdeen in 2018) and ideas penned in several of his books (primarily Surprised by Hope and Simply Christian), Professor Wright gave an insightful call to all Christians to advance the Kingdom of God through our vocations by enacting justice, creating beauty and “standing at the dangerous intersection of Heaven and Earth.”



May 7, 2019

Salon with Paul Glader

Twenty-four attendees gathered on Tuesday night to hear from Paul Glader at Christian Union New York’s latest salon. Glader, Associate Professor of Journalism, Media and Entrepreneurship at The King's College, spoke on God and the Newsroom, highlighting both the current tensions between the media and religion and the potential that exists for a mutually beneficial relationship.


May 6, 2019
CHRISTIAN UNION NEW YORK & Christian Union Washington, DC

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” - Jonah 1:1, 2

Andrej Rublev sm
"The Trinity," Andrei Rublev (1370-1430), Moscow, Russia


This passage shows God’s righteousness and compassion entwined throughout Scripture. 

  • God acknowledges Ninevah’s dignity (“that great city”) and seeks its repentance.
  • God sees Ninevah’s great evil and is angered and saddened by it.
From this passage we see that:

A. Compassion requires a recognition of who we are: both our depravity and our dignity.  Our tendency, however,

May 3, 2019

Keeping in Step with the Spirit of the Crucified Son

Nick Nowalk
Christian Union Teaching Fellow
Columbia university

How do I know when the Holy Spirit is active and present in my life? What must I do to engage in the Spirit-filled life? What sorts of criteria may I employ to recognize and discern the leading of the Spirit as I follow Jesus in faith? Such questions are no less crucial for being so prevalent among earnest Christians who desire to please the Lord and experience His grace in power.

Throughout the New Testament an unbreakable, indelible link connects the cross-shaped story of Jesus for the people of God to the empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the people of God.


April 24, 2019
"Unplanned": How Abby Johnson's Story Exposes Both Abortion and Complicit Silence; Bathed in Prayer; There’s No Place Like Heimat: How the Culture We Consume Reflects Our Desires; No Mere Superman; What It Means to Worship a Man Crucified as a Criminal and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
— Psalm 139:13-14

April 22, 2019
Geoff Sackett
Christian Union ministry director
Cornell University

When Jesus was a baby, did he soil his undergarments? As an adolescent, did he cry? When he was full-grown, was he ever angry? No disrespect is meant by these questions, but they do point out the full humanity of Jesus, without in any way reducing his full divinity. And they show that it was entirely fitting for the second person of the Trinity to enter our world as a baby, who developed physically into a mature man. Such an entrance shows us that Jesus really was “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He cried, he got dirty, and he grew, even as we do, and yet he alone did so without any moral defect: sinless and perfect was our Lord even from his birth.


Hollywood does a nice job depicting the preternatural hero. For example, in a memorable scene from The Man of Steel, Superman descends from the clouds and hovers above a gathering of mere, but powerful, mortals who are awed by his presence. The movie opens with his special birth. He is depicted throughout as apparently perfect. The messianic overtones are clear.

April 18, 2019
By Matt Allen

On Thursday 18 April, Christian Union New York invited Chuck Stetson to speak on Biblical Literacy. With George Barna’s research showing that only 7 percent of Americans have a biblical worldview (whereby the Bible is the primary resource through which one understands the world), Stetson took the evening to tell his audience what can be done to see that number increase and why this endeavor is so important.


April 17, 2019

Students Experience Personalized Prayer at Nexus 2019

Sarah Camp

In February, Christian Union hosted more than 200 undergraduates at Nexus 2019: The Christian Union Conference on Faith and Action. Students from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale converged for three days in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to meet one another, seek God together through worship and prayer, and explore how God could use their aspirations and influence for His glory and society’s good.


Through plenary speakers, breakout sessions, and small groups, the conference offered insight, inspiration, networking, and practical advice on discerning God's purpose for life, campus, and career. A variety of vocational panels were led by  Christian professionals representing a variety of fields. Another highlight of the weekend was SpokenWord. Student teams presented Scripture dynamically, interweaving dramatic, poetic presentations.

The plenary speakers anchored the conference with inspiring talks that unpacked the conference theme of being “Courageous in the Ways of the Lord”. A student from Yale explained, “The message to go forth in courage in the ways of the Lord has encouraged me to put down my fears … and step up, listening to what he calls me to do, and obeying it.”

April 10, 2019
Yale Law School Discriminates Against Students Who Won't Surrender to the Moral Revolution; Dartmouth Football Players Develop Spiritual Brotherhood; What is the Gospel?; A Book that Will Transform Your Evangelism; Medical Journal Publishes Study Showing Prayer Healed Teenager of a Chronic Illness and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
     his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
     they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
     and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
— Psalm 145:3-5

April 8, 2019
Tucker Else
Christian Union Ministry Director
University of pennsylvania

Jesus gives radical commands in the Bible, such as to “take up your own cross and follow me.”

This is a call to kill our own desires and follow him in loving others sacrificially, even to the point of death. Often-times, these commands come alongside warnings.


March 29, 2019

Salon with Caleb Brown 

by Matt Allen

Christian Union New York adopted a new format for their latest salon on March 26, 2019, when they invited guest speaker Caleb Brown to speak on the topic How (And How Not) to Watch a Movie. Rather than the usual lecture followed by Q&A format, Brown led a room of nearly thirty attendees through the pilot episode of Downton Abbey, taking regular pauses to point to the expertly crafted use of camera-angles, iconography, and audio that casual viewers (i.e. the majority of us) rarely pick up on. A short but lively discussion followed.

Partial Audio Recording


March 27, 2019
Courageous in the Ways of the Lord; He Died Early in the Smile of God; Yale Student Works to Build Pro-Life Future; How to Actually, Truly Focus on What You’re Doing; Five Signs of True Repentance ; Why Suffering? A Non-Identity Response and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. His heart was courageous in the ways of the LORD.
— 2 Chronicles 17:5-6a

March 25, 2019
James Fields
Christian Union Ministry Director
Princeton University

Notice how our story starts. 1 Chronicles 21:1-2 says: “Satan stood up against Israel and incited David to count [the people of] Israel. So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, ‘Go and count Israel from Beer-sheba to Dan and bring [a report] to me so I can know their number.'”

aspects of repentance
After God has caused David to become successful in the eyes of both his enemies as well as the nation of Israel, Satan then comes and tempts David to take ownership of something that is not rightfully his.

March 14, 2019
Fasting: Personal Torture or Connection with God?; Joy in Repentance; The Equality Act Accelerates Anti-Christian Bias; Words of Wisdom; Workism Is Making Americans Miserable; James K.A. Smith, Vince Vitale to Headline CU Cities Conference and more, in this issue of Christian Union's bi-monthly email brief.
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“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
— Joel 2:12-13

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