• Talks

    Introduction For Dr. Os Guinness – The Gathering 2009

    Over the years I’ve noticed that people make three basic mistakes in introducing Os Guinness.  The most common is their trying so hard to sound as smart, educated, articulate, well-read, urbane, witty and provocative as Os that they badly overshoot the mark and end up sounding like their remarks were prepared by a graduate student eager to please the professor.  The second trap is spending so much time on Os’s achievements, honors, awards, publications, speeches and groundbreaking work in social thought that they use up the time that Os has to speak.  The third is they always bring up the question “So..are you the same Guinness family as Guinness beer?”…

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  • Talks

    Introduction for Tim Keller – The Gathering 2009

    Two years ago when Tim was last with us we introduced him in the context of a growing movement toward cultural, political and social engagement among young evangelicals. It was apparent then that we were entering a new phase of evangelicalism that was waiting for someone to articulate a theology that is more than proclamation but also more than well-intentioned and superficial social action. That movement toward a deep and active interest in social justice, culture, the arts and new institutions is now a groundswell. It is exciting…and it is dangerous. Without an adequate theology for grounding them and giving roots to their excitement theirenthusiasm will wither quickly. They will…

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  • Talks

    Introduction for Erwin McManus – The Gathering 2009

    In Wendell Berry’s book, Jayber Crow, he describes life in the small river town of Port William, Kentucky. That’s far removed from Erwin’s place of birth, El Salvador, or where he currently lives, Los Angeles. However, I think Wendell Berry points to something that illustrates Erwin and why he is so unique. Berry depicts the young ministers who come to town as “those who had learned to have a very high opinion of God and a very low opinion of His works – although they could tell you that the world had been made by God Himself. What they didn’t see was that it is beautiful, and that some of…

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  • Talks

    Introduction for Austin Gutwein

    Last year a friend passed along a new book announcement to me and asked me if I had ever heard of Austin or his new book – Take Your Best Shot. I had not…so I passed it along to Steve Haas at World Vision who wrote back that he knew Austin and his family and they were terrific. I passed that note along to Michael Hyatt at Nelson Publishing who passed my note along to Dan Gutwein, Austin’s father. So, after about the fourth pass of the ball I met Dan but tonight is the first time I’ve met Austin. My game is passing and his is shooting. So, I’m…

  • Talks

    Opening Talk – The Gathering 2009

    Eight years ago here at Phoenecian I made some opening remarks for the first time.  As you recall, that was September 2001 and we had just experienced the still incomprehensible attack on the twin towers, the Pentagon and the resistance of those brave passengers on Flight 93 led by Todd Beamer.  Someone told me I needed to say something at the very beginning of our time together that week-end.  Since then, I’ve made a few opening remarks every year.  This year I truly believed there was no need to do that.  Nothing was on my heart or mind.  I had nothing I felt called to say to you – until…