Cultivating gracious dialogue on Christ & culture

The Hill Country Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to renewing and equipping the Body of Christ to engage culture in changing times with the love and mind of Christ.
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FLOURISH - Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Power

What does human flourishing look like? Is it possible today? If so, how? How can power be used to help others flourish? 

We all know how power can be used to tear down others. Can it be used to build up? To bring life and freedom to others? If so, how? 

What hinders human flourishing? What are the idols that we set up in our own lives and in our societies that snatch away all that is good and beautiful? 

How does power lead to injustice and yet be used to defeat injustice?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in an Evening With Andy Crouch, Sunday, June 14, at Ballet Austin.

Join us for an evening of music, art, a presentation and discussion that will help you think about what it really means for humans to flourish, both as individuals as well as societies, and what the implications are for your own life. There will be opportunity for Q&A after Andy's presentation, so come ready for an exciting evening. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015 7:00pm (Doors open at 6:00)

Ballet Austin; 501 W. 3rd St. 

Tickets:  $12.50 online (through 2pm day of the event)  /  $17.50 at the door


Andy Crouch is Executive Editor at Christianity Today. He is the author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling and Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power, as well as articles which have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and many other publications. He served as Executive Producer for the documentary films Where Faith and Culture Meet and Round Trip. Andy is a Senior Fellow of the International Justice Mission’s IJM Institute and a member of the Board of Advisors for the John Templeton Foundation.  A classically-trained musician who draws on pop, folk, rock, jazz, and gospel, he has led musical worship for congregations of 5 to 20,000. 

I am also practicing cello to wean myself from power and accomplishment, to place myself back in the posture of a learner, cultivator, and creator. To become a bit like a child. To detoxify from the too-ready recognition and privilege that accompany even the most modest forms of success, to become available again for something surprising and new. Just as children flourish by growing into adults, so adults flourish by cultivating childlikeness, avoiding the spiritual hardening of the arteries that comes with competence and experience.
― Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power     

The powerful have a hard time seeing their own power and its effects. We do not see when our exercise of power is cutting off life and possibility for others; we do not see the ways others are resisting or undermining our own power.
― Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power     

True greatness and true power is faithful all the way down, including humbly quick to admit limitedness, sin and brokenness, and to ask for forgiveness.
― Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power   

Culture-I think the best way to think of it is everything that human beings make of the world. That includes the arts—it includes movies, television and film. But it also includes buildings, and clothing and food. It’s all of human activity, trying to make something of the world—make stuff, but also makes sense of the world. It’s the human quest to make something of the world.
— Andy Crouch

Hear Andy talk about human purpose in this clip from

Os Guinness' Explore Truth Summit Talks Online

Explore Truth Summit 2015 was a huge success! Os Guinness presented in six different venues over the three days he was in Austin, and left us all challenged, inspired, and encouraged. Os is one of the most insightful, articulate speakers and thought leaders of our day. Each of his talks was packed with fascinating stories, lessons, exhortations, and wisdom. Three of the talks were recorded and are now available online:

Time for Truth—Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype and Spin.  Presented Wednesday, April 15, at The University of Texas at Austin

Renaissance—The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times. Presented Wednesday, April 15, at Hope in the City

The Global Public Square—Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity. Presented at Bethell Hall; St. David's Episcopal Church in downtown Austin.

If you missed the events, you have the opportunity to hear some of the talks Os gave. For those of you who were able to attend, these recordings provide a wonderful way to revisit the material Os presented and help you think more in depth about what he had to say.

All recordings, both video and audio, are available on this website at - Apologetics.

Explore Truth Summit 2015 with Os Guinness

April 15-17 in Austin, TX

If you're thinking about our society and the direction we're going in; if you're wondering how it's all going to work out; if you're interested in thinking about the meaning of life; if you ponder how to navigate the streams of contemporary culture . . . or, if you just enjoy hearing a well-known speaker with profound insights on current cultural and societal issues . . . then Explore Truth Summit is for you!

Co-sponsored by Hill Country Institute and Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM), Explore Truth Summit takes place over three days with a series of five events in multiple venues.  Os Guinness, author and social critic, will be the keynote speaker.

Os Guinness

Great-great grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, Os was born in China where his parents were medical missionaries during World War II and where he witnessed the climax of the Chinese revolution in 1949.  Os has written or edited more than twenty-five books including:  "The American Hour", "Time for Truth", "The Call", "Invitation to the Classics", A Case for Civility"and "A Free People's Suicide".  His latest book is "Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times".

Os has been a frequent speaker and seminar leader at political, business and other conferences in both Europe and the United States (including "TED") and has addressed audiences from the British House of Commons to the U.S. Congress to the St. Petersburg Parliament to the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences.

The Truth Summit is open to the public, and two of the events are free of charge.  Three are over lunch or dinner, so ticket purchase is required.  

Ticketed events are sold separately.

HELP US SPREAD THE WORD!  Download ready-to-print promotional materials.

Time for Truth - Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype and Spin
Wednesday, April 15  
Cost:  FREE

Renaissance - The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times
Wednesday, April 15  
Hope in the City; 4407 Monterey Oaks Blvd.
Cost:  FREE

The Journey - A Thinking Person's Quest for Meaning
Thursday, April 16  
11:30am - 1:00pm
Sullivan's Restaurant—Sully's Side Bar; 300 Colorado Street
Cost:  $25/person

The Journey - A Thinking Person's Quest for Meaning
Thursday, April 16  
6:30 - 8:30pm
County Line on the Lake; 5204 Ranch Road 2222
Cost:  $30/person

The Global Public Square—Religious Freedom and the Making of a World Safe for Diversity
Friday, April 17  
11:30am - 1:00pm
St. David's Episcopal Church—Bethell Hall; 301 E. 8th Street
Cost:  $18/person

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