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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Celebrating the Way of St. Patrick March 17-18

Mark your calendars now and start making plans to head to Fredericksburg March 17, 2017, for a special event, "Celebrating the Way of St. Patrick" in which we will look at Patrick's model of reaching beyond the church with courage and a culturally sensitive message. Shamrocks, green beer, great food, and a celebration of "Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me" - in our time. 

Patrick knew better. In a strange and beautiful turn of providence, he had spent six years among them as a captive, learned their language, and developed a heart for the Irish. Like Joseph sold into slavery to one day save Egypt and his brothers, so God sent Patrick into slavery to ready Ireland for a coming salvation.

God arrested him with severe mercy. He was kidnapped at age 16 by Irish raiders and taken back to Ireland, where he served as a slave for six years under a tribal chief, who was also a druid. While a slave in Ireland, God opened his eyes to the gospel of his childhood. It was as a captive that he came to understand the Irish Celtic people, and their language and culture, with a kind of intuitive profundity that is usually possible only, as in Patrick’s case, from the underside. When he eventually escaped from slavery, he was a changed man, now a Christian from the heart. He studied for the ministry, and led a parish in Britain for nearly 20 years.

He wanted to see the gospel penetrate deeply into the Irish culture and produce an indigenous movement. Having lived among the people and gained understanding of how they believed, what was important to them, how they lived, what their issues were, and what they cared about, he was able to show them he understood them and loved them and thus gained their trust. People knew he genuinely cared about them, so they listened to him. And they learned about the God who loves them. 

This event will be held at the beautiful home of Dan and Judith Heinze, La Hacienda Te Damos Gracias, just down the road from Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. 

Details and registration can be found here.

Austin Think Week April 2-7

Do truth and goodness really matter? And what about integrity in the workplace and beyond? Do these values matter in our culture any more? Join the conversation this April with AUSTIN THINK WEEK.

We are delighted to partner with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries to put on this series of lively lunchtime talks and engaging evening events to help provide clear opportunities to consider questions on topics such as suffering, the nature of truth, and whether science and faith are compatible.  Designed for those of all beliefs and none - and for those with intellectual objections and heartfelt concerns about the Christian worldview – this week aims to bring meaningful discussion and answers to some of the many questions that people are asking.

There are over 26 events, most of which are free of charge. With a very exciting lineup of world-class speakers and very cool venue selections, Austin Think Week will be a chance to dig in deep to critical yet often uncomfortable questions such as:

What is the place of tolerance?
Why would a loving God judge people?
What are the ways to God?
Sexuality. Where do we go from here?

And many others.

All event details and registrations (even with the free events, it helps to know how many-ish are coming) can be found at:

austinthinkweek.org

Common Descent Debate Video Now Available

If you were unable to attend the Common Descent debate at St. Edward's University on Friday, October 21, you can still watch the debate on video. Dr. Paul Nelson and Dr. Joel Velasco discussed the current status of Common Descent, the claim that all life on Earth evolved from a single organism. Velasco defended common descent; Nelson challenged it. The video is now available here.

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