Ideas & Media

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At the Marketplace Institute (MI), we believe it is critical for Christians to learn from and be challenged by both culture and the church. This dialogue is one of many factors that help us discern the movement of the Holy Spirit in and through the church in the world, and to then engage in what the Spirit is already doing.


Guide to Using Our Ideas & Media

The MI Approach to Ideas & Media

All around the world, there are people wrestling with the questions of our age. We want to draw on this endeavour and participate in it. Our position within Regent College gives us access to some of the world’s leading theological thinkers in the areas of history, theology, biblical studies, philosophy, arts, science, etc. But we recognize that a well-framed, interdisciplinary argument does not shy away from drawing upon multiple sources of truth in its search for answers to the problems that we face. And so rather than presenting our own work alone, we point you to a variety of sources, articles, and media we have identified as particularly relevant and valuable.

Our Methodology

We often use three considerations when we engage with each piece of content.

The teleological consideration asks “What vision for society is being assumed?” The vision that one has for society plays a major role in determining the type of policies and approaches that are devised because it illustrates what is most valued in society and what ultimate realities are being pursued. For example, if one looks at Christian tradition, the vision would suggest the value and pursuit of right relationships—with fellow humans, with creation, with ourselves, and ultimately with God.

The anthropological consideration asks “What assumptions are made about the human person?” The human person might be assumed to have inherent value in his or her own right, or to have value conditioned upon certain traits or behaviours. Each person might also be assumed to make moral choices at will or to be bound by predisposed inclinations or behaviours. In Christian tradition, human depravity is acknowledged alongside the inherent value and goodness of each person. Christianity also assumes that humanity is most fully exemplified in the person of Christ.

The epistemological consideration asks “On what basis do we know something?" This includes follow-up questions about methodology such as "What steps have been taken to reach conclusions?” In a research study, for instance, it’s worth asking what the sample population was, what questions were asked, and even the order in which those questions were asked. While we are not suggesting that there is a single “Christian methodology,” certain methodologies are more applicable to certain types of research and influence the significance and applicability of the conclusions reached. Equally, not all ways of knowing are equally represented in research findings, so it is worth considering what types of knowledge are excluded and whether that bears any significance to the conclusions that were reached.

How Scripture Informs Our Research

As part of an evangelical graduate school, the MI is influenced by Scripture as a fundamental source of knowledge and truth. While we draw on a diversity of disciplines such as history and science, we do so with confidence that they reflect consistent truths communicated to us by the same God of the Bible.

We see Scripture providing the overarching metanarrative for humankind. Beginning with the story of creation in Genesis and ending with the consummation of history in Revelation, the Bible has been described as a six-act play in which we are currently players in the fifth act, executing our role based on what we know about the first four acts and the last act. Scripture also contains detailed instruction for our lives, both through the example of biblical characters, and in the form of wisdom about our relationships with ourselves, each other, creation, and—most importantly—God. We draw on all these facets of the Bible as a foundational resource for all our work.

The Take-Away For You

We want Christians of all vocations to be inspired by the knowledge that their faith matters to their work and their work matters to their faith. Through our website, we hope you will grasp a vision for how your faith and your work can meaningfully interact. For some of you, that may mean seeing the connections between your work and wider problems in the world. For others, that may mean realizing that biblical truths have profound implications on structures and policies just as significantly as they do on human relationships.

All of us are called as Christians to be ambassadors for Christ, working out of the embassy that is the church. To do this well requires that we know our own story—have a firm grasp on our primary citizenship—as well as have an appreciation and understanding of the culture in which we are acting as ambassadors, including its history and social particularities. Our hope is that these Ideas and Media, along with our guidance, help you begin to navigate this calling.


Faith & Work Integration Resources

The MI Approach to Faith & Work integration

We are in a time when many Christians around the world are recognizing the need to re-integrate gospel truth into all areas of public life in meaningful and creative ways. As with any period of renewed Christian engagement, there is the need for education in order to engage truthfully and humbly. The ReFrame course is our major effort to provide this education. We are currently working toward making ReFrame available globally through a DVD series. By way of introduction, below, you will find a list of resources we recommend for integrating Christian faith into the marketplace well.

Books

A Fresh Vision for Christians in Culture

  • Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture by Lesslie Newbigin 
  • The Gospel in a Pluralist Society by Lesslie Newbigin 
  • The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative by J.H. Christopher Wright
  • After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters by N.T. Wright
  • The Way of the (Modern) World: Or, Why It’s Tempting to Live as If God Doesn’t Exist by Craig M. Gay

A Fresh Vision for Work

  • Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy Keller
  • God at Work: The History and Promise of the Faith at Work Movement by David Miller
  • God in Work: Discovering the Divine Pattern for Work in the New Millenium by Christian Schumacher
  • The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work, and Ministry in Biblical Perspective by R. Paul Stevens
  • Doing God’s Business: Meaning and Motivation for the Marketplace by R. Paul Stevens
  • Taking Your Soul to Work: Overcoming the Nine Deadly Sins of the Workplace by R. Paul Stevens & Alvin Ung
  • Why Business Matters to God by Jeff Van Duzer
  • Work in the Spirit: Towards a Theology of Work by Miroslav Volf

Articles


Media

Why Work Matters by Tim Keller



Why Business Matters to God by Jeff Van Duzer



Public Sphere: Is It Purely Secular? by James K.A. Smith



Lecture on After You Believe by N.T. Wright




Organizations

In our years contributing to the dialogue between the Christian faith and the public square, we have come across many other organizations similarly committed to re-integrating the Christian faith into various professional areas. The following is a short list that represents just a few of the many organizations (thankfully!) serving the Church in this way, many with whom we have had the privilege of working.

Asia

Australasia

Europe

North America

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