While much progress has been made toward poverty alleviation, many well-intentioned efforts have led Christians to actions that are not only ineffective, but leave the most vulnerable in a worse situation than before. Economist Dr. Anne Bradley and theologian Dr. Art Lindsley, both of the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, discussed the question, "is there a better way?" Bradley and Lindsley are the editors of the recently released book, For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty, in which they are joined by 13 other economists, theologians, and practitioners to present the case for why markets and trade are the world's best hope for alleviating poverty.
2014 Past Lectures
Friday, July 25, 2014
Elaine Petty asks: Science, medicine and biotechnology today enable us to cure more disease, have children of our choice at any age and live longer, more productive lives than ever before. But at what cost? Should we do everything that we are able to do? Whose life do we consider morally valuable and worthy of saving and whose is expendable for the sake of others? How do these advances impact our connection to others? What does it mean to be human?
As we face the medical possibilities that are emerging, we are entering uncharted territory affecting the very basis of our humanity. Science is rapidly moving forward and many want few restrictions placed on where it might take us. The “right” questions must be asked, discussed and answered from a biblical perspective to provide a framework for the moral reasoning necessary to provide ethical answers.
This is not the time to withdraw from the public forum because of the complexity of the issues, but to participate in robust, thoughtful discussions.
May 30, 2014 Dr. Michael Lindsay
Dr. Lindsay will discuss seven unique approaches to power that he has encountered among the 550 individuals that he interviewed. He will use the stories of leaders such as Colin Powell, Joel McHale, and Henry Cisneros to challenge the audience in how they view and interact with power.
May 16, 2014 Gabe Neville
Mr. Neville will tell the cautionary tale of South Carolina's Henry Laurens, an American Revolutionary leader who shared the convictions but not the determination of William Wilberforce. In his effort to end the slave trade, Wilberforce became a shining example of how Christians should engage in the public square. Laurens, sadly, gave up the fight-with tragic results.
Mr. Neville has worked for Congressman Pitts as chief of staff, communications director, district aide, and campaign manager. He previously worked as an aide to Pennsylvania State Representative Raymond Bunt (R, Montgomery County) and as editor of The Zephyr, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
He leads the House Faith and Law reading group and attends Fairfax Community Church. He is a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College.
He has written, often on historical topics, for the Philadelphia Inquirer, National Review Online, the New York Times, and the Journal of the Lancaster County Historical Society. He is currently writing a history of the 8th Virginia Regiment, which was recruited and led by Peter Muhlenberg during the Revolutionary War.
May 2, 2014 Cherie Harder
Cherie Harder will respond to the proposition that Christians may be becoming a moral minority: Is that true and if so, what is our response? Are we a prophetic voice that can still lead?
April 3, 2014 Dr. Stephen Meyer
Dr. Meyer will be presenting on intelligent design and the origins of the universe. A deep and thorough understanding of science is a doorway into the mind of a Creator who has encoded an information system into all living things.
March 18, 2014 Max Finberg
What are our Biblical responsibilities to our brothers and sisters, especially those who are not like us? From Cain to Christ, God is clear that we have a responsibility to help the "other." President Obama understood this principle when he recently launched an initiative for young men of color of the same name. Come join a discussion about what it means to be our brother's and sister's keeper in the current context.
Max Finberg has dedicated his career to serving others, especially hungry people. He has a wide range of experience in the government, non-profit, and political arenas. He currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and coordinates two Secretarial initiatives: StrikeForce, USDA's initiative for rural growth and opportunity, and Cultural Transformation, focused on creating a 21st Century workforce that is diverse and inclusive. USDA administers programs that benefit one in five Americans with nutrition assistance, contribute to rural development, promote environmental stewardship and feed hungry people around the world.
He recently finished assignments at the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, as a Senior Policy Advisor within President Obama's Domestic Policy Council, as well as Acting Director of USDA's Office of Tribal Relations, working with American Indians. In May 2009, he was appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to direct USDA's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The Center builds partnerships between USDA and faith-based and secular organizations to better serve individuals, families and communities.
Previously, he was the first director of the Alliance to End Hunger, a non-profit organization that engages diverse institutions in building the public will to end hunger, both in the United States and worldwide. The Alliance connects U.S. businesses, religious bodies, charities, and foundations to change the politics of hunger.
Prior to joining the Alliance, Mr. Finberg served Ambassador and former Representative Tony Hall (D-OH) for 12 years in a variety of capacities. He was special assistant to the ambassador at the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy. Mr. Finberg was also a senior legislative assistant covering domestic hunger and poverty issues for Representative Hall. He worked on the successful passage of The Hunger Relief Act and the Community Solutions Act with a variety of anti-poverty and faith-based organizations.
March 7, 2014 Art Lindsley
Should Christians serve others while also looking out for themselves? Is capitalism greed? It turns out that C.S. Lewis wrote a great deal about selfishness, greed, and self-interest, and his insights can help answer these questions. Rev. Dr. Art Lindsley looks through the lens of Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia and his other writings to explore how Lewis distinguishes selfishness, greed, and self-interest, ultimately addressing the charge that "capitalism is greed" with clarity.
February 21, 2014 Jim Tonkowich
From the earliest years after the death and resurrection of Christ, the affirmation "Jesus is Lord," that is, Jesus is King, has been the fundamental Christian confession of faith. But is he King? And if he is, what difference does it make in the corridors of power and in everyday living?
January 31, 2014 Tom Farr
A comprehensive report just out from the non-partisan Pew Research Center confirms findings from its previous reports: Almost three-quarters of the world's population live in countries where religious freedom is severely restricted. These consistent findings raise significant moral, humanitarian, and national security issues for the United States. For more than 15 years, the US has had a statutory requirement to advance religious freedom in its foreign policy. Unfortunately, America's IRF policy has accomplished precious little under three administrations. Farr will discuss the high stakes in religious persecution, the reasons for US failures, and how we might succeed should we choose to do so.