Faith & Culture

Conferences and seminars to bring together thought leaders, pastors and other christian leaders, as well as interested lay people to interact on topics related to faith lived out in our current culture.


The Death of Humanity and the Case for Life

[2017, Austin, TX]
Speaker: Dr. Richard Weikart
The long-held belief in the intrinsic value of human life is dying as the influence of our Christian cultural heritage is being eclipsed by the rising tide of secularism. In this presentation, Professor Weikart drew from his book of the same title to trace the rise of secular philosophies that have promoted the idea that humans are merely the chance outcome of impersonal forces and thus have no intrinsic purpose or value . . . These ideas have infiltrated our popular culture and our legal, educational, and legislature systems to the point where they devalue individual human life and deny objective morality.

This event was cosponsored with The Lakeway Church of Austin.

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Celebrating the Way of St. Patrick

[2017, Fredericksburg, TX]
This event was held at the beautiful home of Dan and Judith Heinze, La Hacienda Te Damos Gracis, just down the road from the Enchanted Rock State natural Area. We looked at Patrick's model of reaching beyond the church with courage and a culturally sensitive message.

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.


Flourish—Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Power

[2015, Austin, TX]
Speaker: Andy Crouch

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?

In this presentation, Andy Crouch helped us think about what it really means for humans to flourish, both as individuals as well as societies, and what the implications are for our own lives.


Explore Truth Summit with Os Guinness

[2015, Austin, TX]
Speaker: Os Guinness

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 took place over three days with a series of five events in multiple venues. Os Guinness presented several talks on topics related to current issues of our culture and society and how Christians should think about and respond to them


Conversations on Faith: Uncovering God’s Masterpiece in Ourselves and in Others

[2014, Camp Allen Conference Center, Navasota, TX]
Speaker: Dr. Eric Bryant, Dr. Darci Hill, and Dr. Susan Quiring

Set in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas, this event was a weekend of reflection, engagement, discovery and renewal. The speakers helped us explore how to see ourselves and others as the masterpieces God made us to be. Topics included:

* Engaging the people in our spheres with more "Christ-likeness" and less "Pharisee-likeness"
* Touching the longings of the human heart by using the beauty and power of story to convey Truth
* Recovering the lost art of conversation*Listening - the skill that communicates interest and honor
* Language—the God-given link between us. How do we converse with the diverse people who cross our paths every day?

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Groundhogs, Chariots, Red Pills and Jesus—Using Movie to Stimulate Conversations About the Big Questions of Life

[2014, Zhi Tea House, Austin, TX]
Speaker: Walter Bradley

This was the seventh of 7 events we called “Conversational Sundays”, or “Family Dinner Conversations” based on the book "Mud and the Masterpiece" by John Burke, Pastor of Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. Walter Bradley lead a discussion of how we can use film to initiate fun, non-threatening conversations about the big questions of life.


Love THAT Neighbor, too? Building Friendships with People who Have Different Worldviews From Our Own

[2014, Zhea Tea House, Austin, TX]
Speaker: Dave M.

This was the sixth of a series of seven "family dinner conversations" based on the book "Mud and the Masterpiece" by John Burke, Pastor of Gateway Church in Austin, Texas. Our guest speaker was a friend of HCI who has spent many years living amongst Muslim neighbors in North Africa. He lead us in a discussion of how we love our neighbor even if they have a different worldview from that of our own.


Who is My Neighbor?

[2014, Zhea Tea House, Austin, TX]
Speaker: Kirby Holmes

In this casual dinner at an East Austin Tea House, we explored what it means to love as Jesus loved, to treat people the people in our lives as the extraordinary masterpieces they are, even if they come from a different worldview from our own.

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From Abolitionism to Environmentalism: The Power of the Gospel in Cultural Transformation



How Children Raise Parents: Dan Allender on Parenting

Speaker: Dan Allender


Law and Clergy Conference



Renovaré International Conference



Finding God at Harvard & Texas

Speaker: Kelly Monroe Kullberg


Ron Jensen Leadership Presentation


Presented in conjunction with Austin Christian Executives and Peter Strople


The Hill Country Renovaré Conference

[2006, First Evangelical Free Church, Austin, TX]


Christian Scholar’s Forum

[2006 - 2008, The University of Texas at Austin]

Ethics in a Post Enron Age

[2004, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX]
Speakers: Bishop Gregory Aymond, Dallas Willard, Peter Kreeft, Jay Budziszewski, Frederica Mathewes-Green. and UT’s Dean Powers