Rethinking Nominal Christianity: The Honest Good Life

Many students at Christian schools are apt to define themselves as “real Christians,” in contrast with all the mediocre, lukewarm, fake and nominal Christians who are “out there,” ruining it for the rest of us.
Conceiving of the world in such a way crushes the possibility of moral development. There is a better way of presenting the world, mediocrity and piety to students.

Joshua Gibbs

Joshua Gibbs is the editor of FilmFisher, a frequent contributor at the CiRCE Institute, and a teacher of great books at Veritas School in Richmond, VA. He has been labeled “insane” by two Pulitzer Prize– winning poets and once abandoned a moving vehicle for fear of his life. He married a girl he fell in love with in high school and has two daughters, both of whom have seven names.

A School for the Lord’s Service: Classical Education and the Benedict Option

Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher is a writer and journalist who focuses on Christianity and culture. He is a senior editor for The American Conservative magazine, and the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir The Li le Way of Ruthie Leming, and its sequel, How Dante Can Save Your Life. His latest book, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, contends that traditional Christians will have to become profoundly countercultural and communal for the faith to survive the coming darkness. Classical Christian education is a key part of that strategy. Rod lives with his wife, Julie, and three children in Baton Rouge, where his kids a end Sequitur Classical Academy and his wife teaches in the grammar school. The Drehers are Orthodox Christians.

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit

The “good life” is less an ideal that we think about and more a vision that we imagine, a picture we want, a reality we hunger for. Our orientation to the good life happens on the register of our loves—which is why we need to be attentive to all of the unconscious ways the habits of the heart are captivated by rival, disordered visions of the good life. This talk will explore the importance of seeing classical Christian education as a rehabituation of the heart.

Jamie Smith

James K.A. Smith is professor of Philosophy at Calvin College, where he holds the Gary & Henrie a Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview. The award-winning author of Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom, his recent books include Imagining the Kingdom (2013), Who’s Afraid of Relativism? (2014), and How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor (2014). His new book, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, was just published by Brazos. His popular writing has appeared in magazines such as Christianity Today, Books & Culture and First Things and periodicals such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Smith is also a Senior Fellow of Cardus and serves as editor of Commentmagazine. He and his wife, Deanna, have four children (all students at Calvin College!) and live in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids, MI.