Reputation

Nothing Like a Millionaire: For What Are You Known?

By M.R. Conrad. Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

William Borden was famous.1 His parents were millionaires. They were prominent members of the Moody Church in Chicago. The newspapers of the early 1900s reported on young Borden’s activities. Every door of opportunity swung open for this privileged youth.

However, those who knew him at Yale and then at Princeton saw a very different picture. Borden worked hard and served others. He shared the gospel with the poor. One classmate wrote, “No one would have known from Borden’s life and talk that he was a millionaire … but no one could have helped knowing that he was a Christian and alive for missions.”2 That passion defined him more than the life into which he had been born.

The easy route was open, but Borden chose the hard path. In 1913 at age twenty-five, Borden sailed for Egypt. After a few months of training, he planned to head to western China to take the gospel to the Muslims. Though Borden unexpectedly died of meningitis in Cairo, he is now remembered as a missionary hero, known not for what he possessed but for what he gave up to serve Christ.3

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From WEIRD to Westboro: The Problem of Christian Reputation

"I asked these students what their classmates associate first with Christianity. I couldn’t believe their answer. But since then I’ve repeated the question with audiences around the country. And every time I hear the same thing. ... Westboro Baptist Church." - Collin Hansen

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The Attractional Quality of Beauty

By Jeffrey D. Burr

This year marked the 10th anniversary of ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize is an international art competition that takes place over 19 days every other fall. More than $500,000 in prizes are awarded. In 2018, over 1,260 works, created by artists from 41 states and 40 countries, were displayed in over 165 venues throughout the city. With over half a million visitors, it is the most attended public art event in the world.

ArtPrize was launched by Grand Rapids native and entrepreneur Rick DeVos in 2009. But no one could have anticipated the overwhelming response. Restaurants ran out of food. Hotels ran out of rooms. Brooklyn artist Ran Ortner won the public vote that year with his work titled “Open Water No. 24.” On the day of the announcement, people lined up for several city blocks to see his large-scale painting.

A Call to Beauty

The churches I have been a part of have generally not placed a high value on art or aesthetics. We are Bible people. We focus on substance, not appearances. We appeal to the mind, not the emotion. We take pride in our doctrinal orthodoxy and moral standards. And we value frugality. For many in our churches, good stewardship means spending as little as possible. These have become the marks of spiritual maturity and gospel faithfulness.

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