Making a difference. Leaving a legacy. Moving from success to significance. Few recurring themes in modern Western society are more powerful than the contemporary search for purpose and fulfillment. Our primary trouble is that, as modern people, we have too much to live with and too little to live for. Most of us in fact live, in the midst of material plenty, in spiritual poverty.
This curriculum explores this powerful human desire for purpose and significance. In the process, the readings examine the opportunities, challenges, and seasons of life that provide the backdrop of our individual life journeys in this world. At once inspiring and incisive, Entrepreneurs of Life will challenge each of us in setting our priorities and assessing our progress.
Part One of the readings introduces the Jewish and Christian view of purpose through calling, which can provide the “ultimate why” for human motivation. This view is contrasted with its two most powerful rivals in history—the Eastern answer and the Western secularist answer.
Part Two examines the lives of two great heroes who demonstrate how individuals can truly make a difference and change their times. The lives of both William Wilberforce and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn are examined in this section.
Part Three explores some of the tests and trials of living life as an entrepreneurial calling, as a conflict-filled quest. Included are such stirring stories as Beethoven battling with deafness and Magellan succumbing to hubris after his epic round-the-world journey.
Part Four begins with Tolstoy’s much-loved story of “Two Old Men,” which brings us to appraise our character and priorities in life.
Part Five raises the issue of “finishing well” in life’s journey. For followers of the call, life is an entrepreneurial venture to the end and the challenge is plain: to finish strong and well.
Edited by Os Guinness with Ginger Koloszyc; Study Guide by Karen Lee-Thorp. NavPress 2001, ISBN 1576831639
Steering Through Chaos brings back the classical tradition of the virtues and vices to modern discussions of ethics. In an age that whitewashes evil and ridicules “sin,” this tradition suggests that before asking “What sort of action should I take?” the proper question is “What sort of person should I be?”
The readings in this curriculum reintroduce the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, lust, and gluttony) and contrast them with their opposites, the beatitudes of Jesus. Using sources ranging from the Bible and Aristotle to the New York Times, the texts raise questions about the consequences of the deadly sins for a generation that has come to minimize any notion of sin. The vices and virtues, they suggest, offer us a true moral compass by which we can steer through the chaos of modern society.
The goal of the readings is to help us recover a more realistic view of the human inclination to evil—both as individuals and in societies—which is the urgent precursor to the necessity and wonder of redemption.
Edited by Os Guinness with Virginia Mooney; Study Guide by Karen Lee-Thorp. NavPress 2000, ISBN 1576831582. Reprint edition, The Trinity Forum, 2007. Pagination and contents unchanged
It might be said that never in the entire field of human need has so much been asked so often of so few. And at a time when more and more is being asked of the willing volunteer and the generous giver, public debate is strong on the nuts and bolts of philanthropy—especially taxes and laws—but weak on this unique Western tradition’s roots and great ideals, especially the decisive contribution of faith.
The readings in Doing Well and Doing Good are rich in insight and application and help us explore the questions that surround giving today.
What is the meaning of money? Of giving? Of voluntary associations? Of doing well and doing good? What are the most effective ways of giving that are not damaging to one’s heirs and cannot be sidetracked by foundation professionals after one’s death? The readings address these and similar topics. The curriculum also touches on many of the big questions in public life today—government downsizing, the renewal of voluntarism in a free society, the importance of “social capital” and “social entrepreneurialism,” and so on.
Doing Well and Doing Good is designed for those thinking through the issues of giving in their own lives as well as for those wishing to contribute constructively to today’s great debates on the issue.
Edited by Os Guinness with Ginger Koloszyc; Study Guide by Karen Lee-Thorp. NavPress 2001, ISBN 1576831612