But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Institute for Faith, Work & Economics - Apologetic Report
Thursday, 20 April 2017 19:00

Stress and Your Relationship with God

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Are you one of over 70 percent of Americans experiencing physical or psychological stress? According to this statistic, you probably are.

Googling “how to relieve stress” will return almost 70 million results, some more helpful than others. The problem is, in our “I just want to...

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 19:00

Without Luther, There Would Be No Bach

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Martin Luther never met Johann Sebastian Bach. The two Germans were born more than 200 years apart. But without Luther, there would have been no Bach.

At 48 years old, when Bach received a copy of Luther’s translation of the Bible, he made extensive notes in its margins, allowing it to shape...

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The idea of self-interest can make believers recoil because it sounds like selfishness. Self-interest is part of our design in God; greed is the result of our own selfish desires. How do you tell the difference?

Greed vs. Self-Interest

In some ways, self-interest is a more benign concept that most...

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For many of us, the week after Holy Week leaves us wondering what is next. The period of self-denial is over for those who chose to participate in Lent. The excitement of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday services is behind us. That day when we anticipate a well-versed...

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From the day our first parents walked out of the garden, estranged from God, each other and the earth itself, God has been at work redeeming the fallen creation, its people and its social systems.

–Bryant Myers, Walking With the Poor

Work–life balance is big business. A constant stream of...

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One of my favorite hymns is “Joy to the World.” We usually sing it around Christmas, but for years I have thought of it as an Easter hymn.

The first verse calls for us to have joy because the Lord has come, and calls for heaven and nature to sing. Nature is singing in anticipation of the...

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Suffering can make it difficult for some to fully experience the joy of Easter. Perhaps you can relate. In your head, you know the good news of Easter, but in your heart, you’re still hurting. Singing “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” with gusto may be too hard right now....

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I saw a great bumper sticker on my way to work that read:

Liberals confuse the state with charity. Conservatives confuse the state with security.

There is some truth to both of these statements. Regardless of our political positions, we can always be tempted to place our hope in something...

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I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my...

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We are approaching Holy Week, which begins with Palm Sunday, continues through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, and culminates in Easter Sunday. These days, and the religious events surrounding them, can easily become routine, but this week is central to our faith as believers in Jesus.

In 1...

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Ten years ago, St. Matthew’s House founders realized that if we were to achieve our mission of transforming lives, we had to first be open to transformation ourselves. Inspired by a Bible study in the book of Matthew (and specifically Matthew 25: 35-36, 40), a group of parishioners in Naples,...

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Tuesday, 04 April 2017 19:00

We’re Not Designed To Be Independent

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Near the end of the sixth day of the creation story we read, “Then God said, Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). The phrase, “Let us make man in our image” reveals a lot about our own nature and about the nature of God.

Designed in God’s...

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Monday, 03 April 2017 19:00

Is Homemaking Part of God’s Economy?

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When I was a mostly-stay-at-home mom, I really questioned my value to the machinery of our economy.

What was I contributing to the GDP? If I was not generating much dollar value in the marketplace, what value did I have to society?

I would regard my counterparts in the professional world with...

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The April edition of The Atlantic magazine featured a fascinating article, “Breaking faith: the culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.” The author Peter Beinart begins with the following:

Over the past decade, pollsters charted something...

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Thursday, 30 March 2017 19:00

What’s Love Got to Do with Economics?

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Tina Turner coined the phrase “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” in her 1984 song. This question is particularly relevant to Christians and why they should care about economics.

Time after time, the scriptures remind us that God is love. Jesus tells us in John 15: 9-17:

As the Father...

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 19:00

Rebuilding Community After College

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Making friends in college is to some degree artificial because the college environment itself is artificial and temporal: thousands of young men and women, who are more or less the same age, live in close proximity to one another as they engage in the common pursuit of getting a degree.

But life...

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Far too often Christians think, as Dr. Richard Pratt writes in Designed for Dignity,

Jesus came to forgive our sin, make our souls sparkle, to sprinkle us with peace and joy so we can sprout wings when we die, grab a harp and join the eternal choir.

Nothing could be further from the...

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The Bible is full of counterintuitive direction from God. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son. Gideon was asked to reduce his army from 32,000 to 300 right before a battle. His ways are not our ways.

As a financial counselor, I sometimes wonder what counsel I would have given to the widow...

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“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you...

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There’s something quintessentially American about the manufacturing industry. Many people from older generations possess personal ties to it in some form or fashion.

However, the nature of manufacturing has changed as demand for technology has advanced. Opinions of factory jobs are often split...

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Over the last 40 years, I have had a rather unique journey, with three distinct career paths in the fields of math education, ministry, and the military. I deeply understand what a heart-wrenching spiritual journey this can be. But I also truly know the depth of...

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“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Jeremiah 6:16)

In his new book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, Rod Dreher suggests that...

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“I feel invisible.”

“I manage a multi–million dollar portfolio at work. When I offered to help with the finances at our church, the finance committee never responded.”

“I tried to sign up for a Bible study, but the only groups for women meet on weekday mornings. I...

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Sunday, 19 March 2017 19:00

We Are Who We Spend Time With

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“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” —Prov. 11:14

In a recent blog post, I mentioned one of my favorite quotes:

You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the...

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Did you catch the video that went viral on the Internet about Andy George, a man who made a chicken sandwich from scratch? It only took him six months and $1,500 to do it.

Watching his adventures, you get a sense of how laborious this process is. It took this man across the country, from a...

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