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.
We’re breaking down barriers to fellowship and creating safe places for difficult conversations.

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Groundhogs, Chariots, Red Pills, and Jesus

Using Movies to Stimulate Conversations About the Big Questions of Life

 

Everyone loves a good story.  Most of us yearn for a hero.  And who doesn’t love watching a good movie?  This is why movies are a fantastic way to open up spiritual conversations with people in a fun, non-threatening, and entertaining way.  Movies entertain us at the same time as they stir emotions, raise questions, and cause us to ponder the deep things about life, God, ourselves and others.

As we think about how to actively and intentionally engage the people around us with the love and mind of Christ, sometimes it’s challenging to know even how to START a conversation! Continuing our series of “dinners with a purpose” based on John Burke’s book, “Mud and the Masterpiece:  Seeing Yourself and Others Through the Eyes of Jesus”, our guest speaker, Walter Bradley, is going to show us how to use movies to create exciting conversations about God and life with people from any background or worldview.

Christians often tell people “Jesus is the answer”, when the person may not even know what the question is!  Movies can help illuminate the big questions common to mankind in an interesting, non-threatening way and can provide perfect openings for ongoing spiritual discussions. 

Come join us September 14 at Zhi Tea Gallery in East Austin to learn how to host a movie night and to use films as a fun way to generate spiritual conversations with people.

Click here for more info and to register.

Love THAT Neighbor, Too? Building Friendships With People Who Have Different Worldviews From Our Own—Conversational Sunday No. 6

Hill County Institute is running a series of dinner parties called "Conversational Sundays".  The first one, "Looking Through Christ's Eyes" was held Sunday, March 30, at SWOOP House in Austin, Texas.  The second one was "How Should We Consider the Extraordinary People Around Us", the third was "Truth...Imagination...and Meaning", and the fourth one was "Restoring the Lost Art of Conversation".

Continuing our series of seven "dinners with a purpose" based on John Burke's book, "Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others Through the Eyes of Jesus", our sixth dinner will be about building friendships with people who have different worldviews from our own.

As we think about how to actively and intentionally engage the people around us with the love and mind of Christ, certainly there are times when we find some people challenging to love. People who are very different from us.  People we don't understand.  People we disagree with.

As Eric Bryant points out in "Not Like Me", for far too long, the world has been made aware of what we as Christians hate rather than whom we love. People are far more aware of what Christians are against than of what we support.  Rather than coming across as judgemental, homogenous, isolated, conflict-filled, and irrelevant communities, we need to show the world what Christ truly intended us to be—reflections of Him.  The top two things we're commanded to do often are obeyed only if we like the person, agree with the person, feel comfortable around the person. But Jesus' commands didn't come with any exclusion clauses.

Come join us ON AUGUST 17 in an intimate setting around the picnic table to explore what it means to love as Jesus loved, to treat the people in our lives as the extraordinary masterpieces they are.  Our guest speaker is someone who spends much of his time building relationships with Muslim neighbors.

Click here for more info and to register.

See photos from past Conversational Sundays here.

 

Dates for the remaining Conversational Sundays:

September 14:  Using Movies to Generate Discussion and Explore Truth; lead by Walter Bradley, Fellow of Hill Country Institute

Who is My Neighbor? How Can I Build a Friendship With Someone Who Has a Totally Different Worldview From Mine?

Hill County Institute is running a series of dinner parties called "Conversational Sundays".  The first one, "Looking Through Christ's Eyes" was held Sunday, March 30, at SWOOP House in Austin, Texas.  The second one was "How Should We Consider the Extraordinary People Around Us", the third was "Truth...Imagination...and Meaning", and the fourth one was "Restoring the Lost Art of Conversation".

Continuing our series of six "dinners with a purpose" based on John Burke's book, "Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others Through the Eyes of Jesus", our fifth dinner will be about building friendships with people who have different worldviews from your own.

As we think about how to actively and intentionally engage the people around us with the love and mind of Christ, certainly there are times when we find some people challenging to love. People who are very different from us.  People we don't understand.  People we disagree with.

As Eric Bryant points out in "Not Like Me", for far too long, the world has been made aware of what we as Christians hate rather than whom we love. People are far more aware of what Christians are against than of what we support.  Rather than coming across as judgemental, homogenous, isolated, conflict-filled, and irrelevant communities, we need to show the world what Christ truly intended us to be—reflections of Him.  The top two things we're commanded to do often are obeyed only if we like the person, agree with the person, feel comfortable around the person. But Jesus' commands didn't come with any exclusion clauses.

Come join us in an intimate setting around the picnic table to explore what it means to love as Jesus loved, to treat the people in our lives as the extraordinary masterpieces they are.  Our guest speaker will be Kirby Holmes from Gateway Church in Austin.

 

THE VENUE

Zhi Tea Gallery (4607 Bolm Road; Austin, TX) is a charming, cozy tea house built as a place where people can "Pause. Reflect. Connect." Serving only the highest grade, certified organic, fair trade tea, Zhi Tea artisans create specialty blends which are shipped to wholesale and retail customers in Austin and all over the nation. They have been written about in numerous publications, blogs and shows such as UT's "Taste of Austin" segment on Good Morning Texas!  Dinner will be a fun and imaginative menu accompanied by a selection of unique beverages crafted from organic, fair trade tea by Zhi Tea Gallery artisans

Click here for more info and to register.

See photos from past Conversational Sundays here.

 

Dates for the remaining Conversational Sundays:

August 17:  Seeing With New Eyes, Listening With New Ears; led by Walter Bradley, Hill Country Institute Fellow

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