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Christian Union: The Magazine

Cultural Engagement


May 23, 2022

What Is Civil Discourse and How Did We Lose it?

Scholar Clearly Defines Popular Phrase

There’s been a lot of talk about civil discourse lately—and how we’ve forgotten how to do it. In a recent conversation with Public Discourse,author Teresa Bejan notes that there is a lot of confusion about the meaning of civil discourse. Bejan is a Professor of Political Theory and a Fellow of Oriel College at the University of Oxford.

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May 17, 2022

NYU Professor: "Social Media Is Making America Stupid"

Jonathan Haidt Shares His Views on Russell Moore Show

Jonathan Haidt thinks things changed in 2014. The NYU professor, psychologist, and author recently wrote a lengthy article for The Atlantic"Social Media Is Making America Stupid." He has been trying to put his finger on what has been shifting in our culture for the past eight years. 

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May 9, 2022

Beauty, Music, and Spiritual Formation

The Call to Worship

When it comes to the arts, creativity, and beauty, most people gravitate toward different disciplines. Whether it's poetry or painting or playing guitar or cultivating a garden, each person pursues their own interests and talents. But in Scripture, everyone is commanded to sing. 

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May 9, 2022

Hope in the Face of Hopeless History

Are You a Chronological Snob?

It’s easy to look back on the generations who have gone before us and think, “I’m so glad we've figured things out.” There’s a name for this—chronological snobbery, and unfortunately, it’s a problem for Christians as well.

Today, it’s rare to spend time reading Polycarp, Augustine, or Ireneaus. We’d much rather read modern thinkers who have studied the great church fathers, chewed on their thinking, and made it palatable for our generation. But, as Brad Gray in his article for Mockingbird argues, we are losing something in translation, namely a robust theology and faith in the providence of God. 


Pile of ancient books in front of windowWhen we study the early church and the patristics who followed, we see a radical shift from studying history as a story that makes sense of what happened to the ongoing and ever-working providence of God who works all things for His glory and our good. Gray says, “An essential quality of the early church, therefore, was an abiding belief in the fact that there are two distinct threads of history that are ever and always being interwoven as our days march ever onward. There is the thread that we see, the visible, tangible thread of what’s apparent. At the same time, however, there is another unseen thread that is constantly being crisscrossed in and over our days — the invisible thread of providence that we can only believe in (2 Cor 5:7).”


Firmly resting in the providence of God can be hard these days. We are faced with enormous suffering, plagues, climate change, roiling political scenes, and unprecedented mental health crises. But as Gray argues, this is exactly why we need to immerse ourselves in a theology of glory—constantly looking and believing in the reality that God is at work, bringing glory to Himself and transforming us into His likeness. 


Christian Union seeks to instill this kind of rich theological thinking into students at some of the most prestigious universities in the country. Through rigorous Bible courses and thought-provoking leadership lecture series, Christian Union is training students to think beyond history and look for the promises of God at work in a broken world.


Read the full article here.

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May 5, 2022

‘On Our Knees’ to Overturn Landmark Roe v. Wade Case

Q and A with Eileen Bakke and Kristen Short

Editor's note: In light of the recent leak of the Supreme Court's pending and potentially monumental decision regarding Roe v. Wade,Christian Union: The Magazine is republishing this timely article (which originally ran in February, 2022). 

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May 4, 2022

Network Power: The Science of Making a Difference

How Christians Can Effect Cultural Change

By David John Seel, Jr., Ph.D.

 

Christian leaders in the marketplace and in vocational ministry are uniquely "change agents"they want to make a difference with their lives. However, almost all the models and approaches presented to them for social or cultural engagement are premised on individual action. This could be their undoing.

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May 2, 2022

The Urgency of Evangelism: Inspiration from D.L. Moody

CU Rise Campaign Is Proclaiming the Good News to Students

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

“What shall you do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

That was the question posed by preacher Dwight Lyman Moody at his Illinois Street Church in Chicago on October 8, 1871. In the sermon, he paraphrased the question asked by Pontius Pilate in the Gospel of Matthew (27:22). Moody challenged the congregation to think about it during the week and return to church the following Sunday with an answer—would they crown Christ as Lord or, like Pilate and the misguided mob of that time, deny his supremacy? However, as Moody finished his sermon, a warning bell began to ring. The Great Chicago Fire was raging. There was no next week at his church, which burned to the ground like many of the buildings in the city.

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April 28, 2022

God’s Not Dead - He’s on the Move at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown and Beyond

Christian Union Celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

 

“They say Aslan is on the move—perhaps he has already landed.” 

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April 26, 2022

Baseball Bible Course Is Off and Running at Penn

Werchan ’23 Emerges as a Leader for CU Martus 

By Tom Campisi, Staff Writer

 

Seth Werchan appreciates every moment he can play baseball this spring, whether it’s using his speed to stretch a single into a double or roaming the green grass of the outfield and camping under a fly ball.

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April 20, 2022

The Importance of Cultural Apologetics

Establishing the Christian Voice, Conscience, and Imagination

As the West grows more and more post-Christian, engaging the predominant culture with the gospel in coherent, winsome, and theologically sound discourse has never been more important. Though apologetics have long been practiced as the way to argue for the plausibility of Christianity and its tenets, cultural apologetics takes those practices a step further to apply gospel and biblical principles to our culture so that we might actually engage people who are uninterested in Christianity.

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April 19, 2022

Why I Believe in the Life-Changing Potential and Power of CU Rise

Fondly Remembering An Evangelistic Blitz from 1985

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

Christian Union is currently in the midst of an ambitious evangelistic initiative called CU Rise, which includes social media campaigns and outreaches at the nine universities where it hosts leadership development ministries. CU Rise will run for eight weeks.

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April 14, 2022

An Apologetics Toolbox 

Yale Students Find Ways to Share their Faith Despite COVID-19

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

Editor's note: This Throwback Thursday article originally appeared on our site in January of 2021 as ministries like CU Lux at Yale were adapting to the challenges and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Why do Christians believe what they believe?” It’s a question that has intrigued our world for centuries. While cultural Christianity may have sufficed as a reason for some to associate with the Church in years past, in our increasingly secular age, Christians must think more critically about what they believe, and more importantly, why they believe it.

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April 7, 2022

Philosopher: Think of Augustine as a Friend Who Has Gone Before Us

Trinity Forum Conversations Feature James K.A. Smith

Augustine is one of the giants of Christian philosophy and theology, often compared to Paul for his contribution to the faith. But in spite of his enduring impression on how we understand Scripture and ourselves, Augustine offers us an honest and unashamed look at his own life—one that is marked by the struggle of sin and a dependence upon grace. 

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April 5, 2022

The Church of England's Lack of Clarity on Same-Sex Marriage

"A Disturbing New Normal"

The Church of England is leading its people into an era of confusion, argues Mary Wren, a writer for Premier Christianity magazine. Citing the lack of clarity regarding same-sex marriage, Wren says that the Church of England is less than willing to teach its congregations what Scripture says about the topic—and this is causing division and confusion. 

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March 22, 2022

Eight Power Principles for Transformational Leaders

A Compelling Vision, Practical Goals, Competant Teams, and More

By Dr. Joseph Mattera

The following are eight of the most important leadership principles I have learned as a senior leader over the past three decades. I have found that these principles are vital to the success of any organization, whether it is faith-based or not.

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March 21, 2022

Performative Religion and Our Need to Be Liked

Converting the Church: Everything for Show

When Facebook introduced the “like” button in 2009, everything changed, according to Pastor Jon Tyson. What had been a platform to connect with friends and family became a place where individuals began to post so that they could receive approval—likes.

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March 21, 2022

Spiritual Lessons from My Dumb Phone

College Professor Shares His Journey of Enlightenment

Do you know anyone who doesn’t have a smartphone? Probably not. For the past fifteen years, smartphones have dominated the technological world, giving us everything we could possibly need in one handheld device. It’s also given us an addiction. 

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March 7, 2022

Miracles Do Not Violate the Laws of Nature

Dr. Craig Keener Makes His Case

Science and faith are always in opposition, right? It’s a basic assumption that most modern people take for granted, but is it true? Dr. Craig Keener, in this article for Christianity Today, dives into one of the most misunderstood assumptions of our time—that science and faith are contradictory.

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March 7, 2022

Are We Too Distracted for Revival?

Seeking God Is Not a Priority for Most Christians

Annie Dillard famously said, “How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives.” For most, our days are filled with common things like work and relationships; the elements of life that are necessary. But we also fill our days with shows and movies, social media, and endless hours staring at a screen. 

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March 3, 2022

Calling, Courage, and Christ

Students Challenged to Be Salt and Light at 2019 Nexus Conference

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

Editor's note: This article, which features coverage of Christian Union's Nexus Conference, originally appeared in the Spring 2019 edition of  Christian Union: The Magazine and is reprinted in conjuction with the publication's "Throwback Thursday" series.  

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