Posts Tagged ‘trust’


Does America Need a Christian Democratic Party?

With all the tumult in the American political landscape recently, is the United States pump primed for a Christian Democratic party similar to those in Europe? Three scholars debate this topic based upon a scholarly symposium published in the journal “Perspectives on Political Science.” Prof. Hunter Baker (Union University), the organizer of the symposium, argues that the time is right for Christian Democracy in America. Prof. Bryan McGraw (Wheaton College) notes that while Christian Democracy (CD) was helpful in Europe for consolidating democracy during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the conditions in the U.S. are not ripe for CD. Finally, Prof. Micah Watson (Calvin College) takes a decidedly negative position towards the concept of CD. Your host, Tony, chimes in with his own thoughts at the end.

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Eleanor Power on Rituals, Community, and Signaling

Why would anyone walk across hot coals, pierce themselves with sharp objects, or engage in other costly sacrifices when their resources are meager? Using data collected from two years of fieldwork in India, Dr. Eleanor Power of the Santa Fe Institute explains how individuals signal their credibility, trustworthiness, and helpfulness in their communities via these public rituals. Elly also explains how this ritualistic behavior is perceived by others in the community and how it connects various individuals. Along the way, we also talk about possession, not in terms of ownership but wherein your body is taken over by demons or gods.

Drop us a note if you have interesting topics or people that you think would make for a great discussion!

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Martin Barrett on Sozo Friends & For-Profit Charities

Can a for-profit business that is inspired by one’s religious faith act as an effective charity? While many folks think that most charities need to be “non-profit,” Sozo Friends, created and operated by our guest Martin Barrett, introduces a new model that teams with restaurants, auto dealers, and mortgage companies to use wine, coffee, and chocolate to help a wide variety of faith-based organizations. We discuss Mr. Barrett’s history (including his time in Young Life) and how he used his love of wine and Jesus to help orphans, at-risk youth, and victims of sex trafficking.

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Torrey Olsen on Faith-Based Humanitarianism and World Vision

What is it like to be shot at and abducted while serving as a religiously-based humanitarian aid worker? Torrey Olsen, who spent 15 years in West Africa with World Vision and other organizations details his experiences and what he learned in the field. He also discusses the history and operation of World Vision, a Christian-based relief organization that operations in roughly 100 countries, including some of the most dangerous hot spots around the world. We examine various projects World Vision undertakes including an ecumenical outreach program to Muslims concerning the Ebola pandemic in Africa.

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Theodore Malloch on Spiritual Capital & Virtuous Business

The past few decades have witnessed numerous business and financial scandals that have tarnished the reputation of the free enterprise system. Dr. Theodore Malloch discusses the role that virtue should play in the corporate world and why America’s spiritual capital is essential to a free society. As a champion of business ethics that includes more than just mere compliance with legal regulations, Dr. Malloch urges us to understand how Judeo-Christian values have shaped the American economy, making it an exemplar for other nations around the world. He also discusses the “hard” and “soft” virtues that are essential for corporate executives to promote. And finally, we discuss how secularization may be leading us away from this virtuous path.

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Kevin den Dulk on Religion, Education, and Civic Engagement

With all the talk about declining levels of civic engagement in the United States, is there any evidence that religious education might play a role in promoting community involvement among youth and young adults? Prof. Kevin den Dulk discusses his research into this question and observes that some types of religious education — most notably Protestant private schooling — does tend to facilitate civic involvement in young adulthood. Kevin compares Protestants with Catholic private schools, secular parochial schools, public education and homeschoolers. Our discussion also engages the topic of whether or not civic participation is really declining in American life.

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