Image

Acton Notes - September / October 2009

Acton Partners with Stewardship Council

The Acton Institute and the Stewardship Council have cemented a permanent relationship to bring the timely message of Biblical stewardship to Christians all over the world. This fall will see the release of what has to be considered one of the most formative Christian publications, Zondervan’s NIV Stewardship Bible, which was developed from years of hard work by the Acton Institute and Stewardship Council, will be sold by some of the largest retailers in the world, and will be available at retail outlets and beyond this fall. The NIV Stewardship Bible is endorsed by such figures as talk radio ministry giant Dave Ramsey.

The Stewardship Council’s offices will also be permanently housed at the Acton Institute offices in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Stewardship Council will work with Acton to collaborate on new resources aimed at stewardship education. Stewardship Council executive director Brett A. Elder offered his thoughts on the meaning of the partnership:

Recent years have seen a growing concern about the moral and economic climate of our country and the world. Stewardship is suddenly of great concern in our personal lives, our corporate dealings, and our national concerns. Effective stewardship must go beyond good intentions. It must be rooted in Biblical principles; a core commitment of both Acton and the Stewardship Council. Together, we develop tools that encourage Christians to explore God’s intended design for our stewardship, so the Christian community can lead and guide the pursuit of effective stewardship in all arenas of life.

Acton and the Stewardship Council have already produced other quality curriculum like the Effective Stewardship DVD curriculum. Perhaps the most positive aspect of this partnership and the curriculum and other materials that come out of it is that Acton will reach a whole new audience. Zondervan can distribute Acton’s work and products in a way that would have been unimaginable before.

Acton Summer Interns Shine

The 2009 summer Acton interns greatly contributed to this year’s programs, publications, and events. A few of the benefits of interning at Acton are the unique experience that comes from serving at events like Acton University, and also actively participating in the educational sessions. The summer interns for 2009 represented many diverse individuals and schools from across this great nation.

The Acton Institute was very fortunate to have interns with such a deep level of talent and the ability to make an impact in not only organization and event planning, but also Acton content. “Many of the interns were able to provide extremely valuable content and analysis for the Powerblog, commentary, and other publications,” said associate editor Ray Nothstine. One example was Harvard undergraduate Matt Cavedon, who provided thoughtful and thorough analysis on Pope Benedict’s XVI encyclical Caritas in Veritate.

Michigan State student Louis Glinzak helped Acton stay on top of all the new media outreach efforts. Acton now has over 500 followers on the social networking and micro-blogging site Twitter and over 1,300 fans on Facebook.

In discussing her summer experience, fellow Michigan State student Casey McCorry noted:

Acton has made me eager to approach the closed minds of the world, equipped with my newfound knowledge and skills. I am eager to see the work my fellow, brilliant interns will do. What a blessing this summer has been, an opportunity to meet integrity, fortitude, and ambition at its finest.

Video Shorts Engage Viewers

The Acton Institute and Coldwater Media have partnered to produce some high quality video shorts on a number of important topics. Acton Media will harness the success of the video shorts to add increased awareness and exposure for the upcoming poverty initiative documentary. “These shorts are important to engage ideas through different mechanisms,” says Acton programs and media director Michael Miller.

The first Acton media short, “The Problem with Socialized Government Healthcare,” is about to pass the 14,000 mark for total views on video sharing site YouTube. The health care short was picked up by notable political sites such as Hotair.com.

Another short, which examines the role government played in the financial crisis, is titled “Government-Managed Capitalism: A Love Story.” The title plays off the new documentary released by Michael Moore blaming the free market for the financial crisis. Reflecting on the theme of the short, Michael Miller talked about the problem of government and bureaucratic capitalism in his piece “Davos Capitalism: Adam Smith’s Nightmare”:

Had markets been allowed to operate freely, they would have reacted to and reflected reality; instead, government policy shielded companies and individuals from the consequences of our actions, and in so doing perpetuated an adolescent, me-first society.

Acton and You

Radio Free Acton is back just in time for fall at the Acton Institute. A special discussion on health care kicked off the Radio Free Acton programming. Host Marc Vander Maas interviewed two experts, Dr. Donald P. Condit and Dr. Kevin Schmiesing. Dr. Condit is an orthopedic surgeon in Grand Rapids and Dr. Schmiesing is a research fellow at the Acton Institute.

The two-part health care interview discussed the importance of expanding access to the uninsured as well as problems with more government expansion and other issues related to a third-party payer system. Both guests called for reform over the current system, but warned about the path that leads to greater government involvement. “One of the major problems associated with government care is a restriction on options, which includes people with a religious conscience, like Christians. We need to make sure no matter what reform occurs going forward, that people of faith can receive or practice medicine that aligns with their faith,” said Dr. Schmiesing. The two guests also called for reform that would allow for individuals and families to receive the same tax credit businesses receive. The Acton Institute has provided a significant amount of excellent health care analysis at a time when it has been especially timely. You can find more info on upcoming Radio Free Acton content by visiting our website.