At the Acton University conference, the Oikonomia Network held a workshop for 100 Oikonomia Fellows featuring three new Economic Wisdom Project Talks. Attendees were treated to a set of dynamic, challenging, and fruitful presentations from Chris Armstrong, Bradford Wilcox and Anthony Bradley.
Chris Armstrong, director of Opus: The Art of Work at Wheaton College, presented a theology of vocation and its meaning for the life of faith. He shared his own struggles with the relation between home life and work, and his resistance to the oft-repeated cliché that we are to seek “work-life balance.” Instead, through the theological work of Martin Luther and Gregory the Great, Armstrong articulated how Christians are not called to balance, but to a seamless life defined by love of God and neighbor.
Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and associate professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, provided a data-supported look at the current state of marriage in America. Against the the idea – particularly prevalent among young men – that marriage is an impediment to a happy and flourishing life, Wilcox laid out the social, financial, sexual, and psychological benefits of marriage. He acknowledged that marriage is a commitment that requires sacrifices, but the sacrifice leads to the flourishing of individuals and communities.
Anthony Bradley, associate professor of Religious Studies at the King’s College, gave a dynamic presentation on the history of the culture wars, its impact upon younger evangelicals and the need for a renewed Christian personalism. Instead of making political agendas synonymous with the faith, Bradley stated that Christian personalism would allow for a more faithful and healthy way of living out Christianity within the public square – a way that provides a deeper discipleship of the next generation and a deeper love of the world around us.
After hearing these presentations, attendees broke into groups and provided feedback on curricular support products that the ON is developing to help educators use these talks as classroom resources. These three new talks will be available later in the summer; keep an eye on our YouTube page. Until then, consider watching the previous four EWP Talks!