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Cultural Engagement


July 20, 2021

A Victory for Religious Freedom at the University of Iowa

Court Rules in Favor of Campus Ministry

When the University of Iowa deregistered a number of campus ministries, citing discrimination for requiring their members to be Christian, the ministries fought back. This past week, a federal appeals court upheld a previous ruling in 2019 stating that the university cannot selectively deregister student organizations. The lawsuit, originally filed by InterVarsity, is an important victory for religious freedom in the university setting.


Another Christian student organization at the University of Iowa, Business Leaders in Christ, faced the same deregistration after they required that leaders in the organization uphold a biblical and traditional sexual ethic. In their case, a student with same-sex attraction who was pursuing a leadership position was barred from leadership due to the organization’s values. 


university of iowa 1808151 1920University of Iowa image by David Mark from PixabayThe court’s ruling cited that the university had engaged in “viewpoint discrimination” by “selectively enforcing” their policies regarding equal opportunity and access to participation based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, or religion. The university, for example, permits sororities, fraternities, and certain sports groups on campus to exclusively admit men or women. Another group on campus required that members sign a “gay-affirming statement of Christian faith.” While these organizations were never targeted or deregistered based on their requirements for participation or membership, these Christian ministries were. 


Discrimination against Christian organizations and Christian beliefs happens across the country on a regular basis. Though many organizations do not have the resources to file a lawsuit against a university, this victory represents an important stake in the ground for religious freedom in the university setting.


Christian Union has faced push-back from universities in several instances but is committed to pursuing religious freedom for students and faculty. When these challenges have come, the opportunity to teach the word of God, mentor students, and model godly leadership are more important than ever. Christian Union aims to equip young minds to think critically about their faith and engage in the public sphere in every setting so that the gospel might go forth and Christians might be free to worship the living God.


Read the full article here.

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July 12, 2021

How COVID-19 Reshaped Campus Ministry

Helping Students Face Anxiety, Depression, and Loneliness

As students prepare for their first fall semester on campus after over a year and a half of virtual learning it almost feels like life is returning to normal. But as dorm rooms, cafeterias, and classrooms fill up again, many students are still feeling empty as they battle the anxiety, depression, and loneliness churned up from the trauma and isolation of the pandemic. 

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July 6, 2021

How Christians Can Gain Trust in a Suspicious Culture 

Learning to Engage for the Sake of Mission   

Christian leaders falling from grace has become a routine headline over the past few years. Our leaders have been caught in abuse, scandals, addiction, or lavish spending of church funds, leaving a trail of wreckage in the congregations they led, but also a bad impression on a watching world. It appears that Christians, who declare love and grace and humility with their lips, are often living a life that is out of sync with their declared good news. The word for this is hypocrisy, and it’s hurting the church more than ever.

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June 29, 2021

Repent America!

Revival, Reformation Are Preceded by a Return to God 

By Chuck Hetzler

“We need to admit that there’s a problem,” said Matt Bennett as he addressed the need for widespread repentance to Christian Union Cornerstone Partners in a Zoom meeting, Monday evening, June 7, 2021.

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June 9, 2021

Organizational Excellence and Transformative Leaders

“Christian Union Has Been Such a Blessing”

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

 

When Dr. Ben Pascut prepared to teach a workshop on organizational excellence for CU Lux at Yale University, he did not have to look very far for subject matter—it is one of Christian Union’s core values.

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May 20, 2021

Spiritual Warfare and the Film ‘Chicago: America’s Hidden War’

Christian Union Associate Produces Timely Documentary

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

Once a month, Christian Union New York convenes local pastors for an intense, fourteen-hour time of prayer, fasting, Bible reading, and seeking the Lord. Christian Union Founder and CEO Matt Bennett leads the meetings, along with Dimas Salaberrios, a Christian Union ministry associate and a bold Christian leader in New York City.

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May 17, 2021

Astronaut Monastery

Christian Union Alumnus Founds NYC Design Studio

By Anne Kerhoulas, Staff Writer

Strategy is the name of the game for Cody Min, the founder of Astronaut Monastery, a creative studio operating out of New York City. 

With the tagline of “Making work that thinks and thinking that works,” Min, the company’s head of new business and strategy, has created a sleek and successful firm serving clients like Hyundai, the popstar Kesha, Cole Haan, Rowing Blazers, Disney-ABC, Samsung, and Uniqlo. Min’s creative work today is deeply rooted in his faith, which was cultivated through the ministry of CU Martus (formerly called Penn Faith and Action or PennFA).

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May 2, 2021

John Piper’s Son Becomes a Critic of Christianity on TikTok

"Ex-vangelicalism" is Why Christian Union is So Valuable on Influential Campuses

AB PiperAbraham Piper, the son of best-selling author and theologian John Piper, has recently risen to TikTok fame by posting content about walking away from the Christian faith. Piper creates minute-long videos critiquing everything from the idea of a literal hell to why certain Bible stories are ridiculous to why life has no ultimate meaning. Calling himself an ex-vangelical, Piper has found a fast audience of like-minded former believers who have been hurt by the church, cannot agree with conservative theology surrounding sexual ethics, or simply never got on board with their parents’ faith. 

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April 22, 2021

The Gathering Storm

Albert Mohler Discusses Morality and the Implications of a Biblical Worldview

Albert Mohler’s most recent book, The Gathering Storm, delves into the secularization of America over the past century and the implications unfolding for the church today. Though American evangelicalism is used to having a role of cultural influence in our nation, that influence is rapidly declining and being sidelined. Where the church once held the position of establishing morality for our country and much of the world, secularism has slowly antiquated theism as a whole. In order for a new moral system to be put in place, the old system must be dismantled. 

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April 20, 2021

Life Outside the Comfort Zone

Vergerio ’22 Will Serve Internship with Samaritan’s Purse

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

In her sophomore year at Brown, Gabrielle Vergerio ’22 stepped out in faith and attended a Christian Union Libertas event, despite not knowing anyone in the ministry.

“On a whim, I decided to venture out to one of the meetings,” she said. “I was immediately met with such warm and sincere welcomes. CU Libertas at Brown was really my first home on campus.”

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April 15, 2021

Why Work is Necessary

HLS Alumnus Discusses the Implications of Genesis 2:5

By Paul Michalski

“When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground. (Genesis 2:5)”

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April 14, 2021

Hoop Dreams Deferred

Hudson ’23 Rebounds from Disappointment of Canceled Season

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

Paul Hudson, a 6-foot-5 forward, averaged four minutes of playing time per game during his freshman year on the Dartmouth basketball team. A highly-touted recruit out of Charlotte (N.C.) Christian School, Hudson ’23 expected to play a bigger role for the Big Green this year. However, like all Ivy League sports teams, the Dartmouth basketball 2020-21 season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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April 9, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Revisiting Nexus 2019

CU Conference Inspired Students to Put Faith into Action

by catherine elvy, staff writer

 

The devotion and courage of King Jehoshaphat was remarkable. Although he had his flaws, the ancient leader worshipped God, readily obeyed spiritual commands, and boldly compelled the nation of Judah to seek the Lord.

Such practices dovetail with some of the key missions of Christian Union, a leadership development organization that encourages college students to honor the Lord, step out in faith, and change the world.

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April 5, 2021

Academic Alliance Seeks to Protect Free Speech

Princeton University Professors Among Founding Members

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor

Princeton University Professors Robert P. George and Keith Whittington are among the founding members of the recently-formed Academic Freedom Alliance. The organization, which seeks to defend freedom of speech on college campuses, includes over two-hundred scholars, representing a spectrum of academic disciplines and political perspectives.

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March 30, 2021

The Importance of the Interconnected Family

David Brooks Makes a Compelling Case  

In this deep dive into family life over the past century, David Brooks argues that families—both adults and children—thrive when they are deeply interconnected to either extended family or forged families like neighbors or church communities. Brooks explains how our nation's current battle against loneliness, overwork, economic struggles, and even mental illness can all be traced back to the disintegration of family and living in a support system. 

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March 25, 2021

Abortion and the Bible

Determining the Value of Every Life  

“For decades, now our culture has been asking a question: what, or who, determines the value of human life?” This short video from The Village Church explores the topic of abortion, how our culture conceives of human life, how political preferences shape it, and, ultimately, what God says about it.

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March 23, 2021

When Amazon Erased My Book

Princeton Alumnus Is Concerned by Decision 

Ryan T. Anderson knew his book would be controversial in some circles. When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Momentprovided a robust scientific, philosophical, medical, and legal examination of our nation’s rapidly changing understanding of transgenderism as soon as it was released a little over three years ago. A Princeton alumnus ('04) and speaker for Christian Union events, Anderson earned his Ph.D. in political philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. 

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March 19, 2021

Has Religious Freedom Had Its Day?

Cultural Changes Are Reshaping the Landscape 

Religious freedom is an expectation and reality in our country, but with radical legislative changes and a major shift in the cultural understanding of identity, religious freedom may be evaporating before our eyes. In this article from Gospel Coalition Australia, Akos Balogh examines the cultural changes that are quickly reshaping the freedom of the church in the west. 

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March 17, 2021

Mental Health and Faith

CU Ministry Fellow at Stanford Helps Shed Light on Crisis

By Kelly Parks, Staff Writer

Anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation are some of the mental health challenges that can plague college students during their academic careers. The stress of COVID-19 and growing academic pressures have left some students more depressed and anxious than ever before. As of today, one out of every four college students in the United States has contemplated ending their life.

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March 16, 2021

Throwback Thursday: A City and Campus Aflame

1820 Revival Transformed Providence, Brown University

By Tom Campisi, Managing Editor 

This academic year will mark the 200th anniversary of a revival that forever changed the religious landscape of Providence, Rhode Island, and left a profound impact on the students at Brown University.

“The Hand of God was visible everywhere,” wrote author Mark S. Schantz, describing the city’s 1820 revival.

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