culture

5 Things I Learned at the 2016 Intersect Conference

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On April 19, professors, pastors, entrepreneurs, thought-leaders and students gathered from all across the country to further the conversation about faith and culture at the 2016 Intersect Conference.

Here are 5 things I learned.

1. God designed you to be a culture-maker.

Bruce Ashford kicked off the conference with a big-picture look at faith and culture. He started at the very beginning — by emphasizing that God designed us to create culture. “Inherent to who we are as humans is that we take God’s world and do something with it,” he said.

2. Want to learn how to connect faith and work? Look at this gentle janitor.

In the most moving moments of the conference, Benjamin Quinn and Walter Strickland talked about the example of Eugene Smith — a 90-year-old employee at Southeastern Seminary who serves by taking out the trash. “This is who I want to be when I grow up,” Quinn said.

3. Be generous.

Brent Aucoin offered a survey of how Christians have understood economics over the years. And while you can find church fathers with all kinds of opinions, Aucoin noted that “the overall consensus is that Christians can have private property, but they shouldn’t view it as exclusively theirs.” In other words, we don’t have to live in communes, but we should give be generous.

4. What’s the relationship between material and spiritual wealth? It’s complicated.

Does being godly mean you’ll be rich or poor? According to David Jones, that question misses the point. God doesn’t care about whether you’re rich or poor, Jones asserted, but he does care what you do with it.

5. The conversation about faith and culture is just beginning.

As I returned home after the conference, I reflected back on all that I’d seen and heard about faith, culture, work and economics. And while I was impressed with the talks, the crowd and the sense of community, this was my biggest takeaway: These conversations are just beginning. Each of the pastors and thought-leaders will take these ideas — and this passion for faith and culture —  back to their local churches and communities. And together, we’ll help people re-connect faith with the rest of their lives.

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Nathaniel Williams

Editor and Content Manager for the CFC

Nathaniel Williams (M.Div, Southeastern Seminary) oversees the website, podcast and social media for the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, and he serves as the pastor of Cedar Rock First Baptist Church. His work has appeared at Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Fathom Mag, the ERLC and BRNow.org. He and his family live in rural North Carolina.

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