Keynote Speaker: John Stonestreet
This week, we're going to highlight our two national speakers attending Think Well this summer: John Stonestreet (our keynote) and Trillia Newbell. First up is Mr. Stonestreet!
John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center and co-host of BreakPoint. A writer, speaker, cultural commentator, husband, father, and Colorado resident, John is taking time out of his busy schedule JUST for us! How in the world did we manage to squeeze ourselves into his calendar, you may ask? Well, he and CrossLife Pastor Todd Cothran (and their families) have been friends since their days working together at Summit Ministries (Think Well, in case you don't already know, is patterned after Summit's student conferences, but adapted for the local level and compacted into one week instead of two). John is enthusiastic about Think Well, and we are enthusiastic about him coming!
There is much we could say about Mr. Stonestreet, like the fact that he has a deep passion to illuminate a biblical worldview for today’s culture ... and is an author of multiple books (A Practical Guide to Culture with Brett Kunkle, Restoring All Things with Warren Cole Smith, and Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage with Sean McDowell, to name a few). You can read his full bio here.
In the rest of this post, though, I want to introduce you to some of John's thoughts on worldview and why he and his colleagues do what they do. The excerpts below are part of a longer post just published today by Breakpoint (read OR listen to the entire thing here).
"Some are saying that Christians have lost the culture. But what if it was never a war to win, instead it was a calling to embrace?
"If there is an overarching theme for BreakPoint—starting with Chuck Colson and now with Eric [Metaxas, fellow co-host] and me—it’s culture. Specifically, how Christians can understand it, engage it, confront it, even restore it—through the clarity of a Christian worldview.
"As Brett Kunkle and I explain in our book, A Practical Guide to Culture, what we mean by culture is not some mysterious thing cloistered in art museums. No, culture is the sum of everything we as human beings create, write, say, do, and think—the marks we leave on our world.
"In that sense, 'engaging the culture' isn’t really optional. It’s human. It’s as much a part of being alive as breathing is. We don’t decide whether we’ll engage the culture. Just how. ...
"... [M]inistries like Colson Center and programs like BreakPoint ... offer an antidote to the toxic assumption that Christianity is just something you do on Sunday in the pews; that Christianity is personal and private. No way. Christianity is personal, but it’s not private. Every square inch of human existence belongs to Christ.
"Now don’t get me wrong. I’m under no illusion that things are going great in the culture. No, Christians are facing incredible challenges around the world. And in Western culture, it’s all but lost any sort of privileged position it once had.
"But here’s the kicker: at the Colson Center, we don’t teach worldview or champion the idea that Christians should 'engage culture' because it 'works.' It’s not a strategy, folks. We do it because we’re redeemed human beings, and because redemption is in line with, not opposed to, our created purpose.
"Christians shouldn’t make art, write literature, compose music, build businesses or any of these things to win a kind of war against secularism. We do these things because they’re part of what it means to be truly human. And that’s what Jesus saved us to be—fully human worshipers of God with all of our lives."
John Stonestreet at Think Well
Students AND parents will have an opportunity to hear John Stonestreet at Think Well! Below are the days and times when he'll be speaking (titles and times are subject to change; check our Schedule page for the most accurate info). The location of these talks, as well as all Think Well events, is CrossLife Community Church.
Sunday, June 24, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: A kick-off session will be held for parents and students, and is also open to the public as space allows.
Monday, June 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Monday is John Stonestreet day for the students. He will set the stage for the week with five one-hour sessions (listed below), plus an extended Q&A session at the end of the day. A TV screen in the fellowship hall will live-stream the five main talks so that parents and others can come and listen in.
*Is Your Worldview Really Biblical? (9 a.m.)
*Imago Dei: The Christian Vision of Humanity (10:10 a.m.)
*Christianity and Culture: Being In but Not Of (11:15 a.m.)
*Virtue: Living What We Say We Believe (1 p.m.)
*Why a Good God Allows Suffering & Evil (2:05 p.m.)
*Q&A with Students (3:05 p.m.)