Os Guinness: A Free People's Suicide
Mike Phillip (2011)
September 12, 2012
The Fellows' first week of curriculum classes kicked off with Academy Senior Faculty member Dr. Os Guinness. In a fitting start to the new work season following the close of Labor Day, Os began his time with the Fellows by speaking to them on calling. He charged them by drawing their attention to the entrepreneurial nature of calling, noting that God rarely ever gives us guidance in regards to our calling, for guidance is always specific. Rather, He entrusts us to follow Him by faith. Our callings are rarely specific; instead, they are an active endeavor whereby we discern (through prayer, counsel from others, external events, the Word, etc.) where the Lord is leading us. We steward our gifts, our resources, and our circles of influence by submitting to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Following his lecture on calling, Os spoke to the Fellows on the "Problem of Evil," drawing on the documentary film "The Rape of Nanking" as a cultural and historical case study of the depravity of mankind. He closed his time by addressing the state of America's most "loved thing": freedom. Speaking both to the Academy's Friends community on Wednesday evening and the Fellows the following morning, Os unpacked the "Golden Triangle of Freedom" (faith requires freedom, freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith, ad infinitum). Sustainable freedom, as of founders of our nation viewed it, requires two fundamental components: structures (or a Constitution and law that orders society), and spirit, or what Tocqueville terms "the habits of the heart." Os noted that our nation's structures, while strong, have become overbearing and insufficient, overcompensating for a withering morality that ought to hold unbridled freedom in check. The result is a litigious society bent on licentiousness. In order to restore a balanced, flourishing, and free society we need to return to the wisdom of the founders, for they understood that only a virtuous, free, and religious people are capable of holding fast to a tempered freedom that counteracts the wanton decadence of unrestrained freedom.
Os Guinness, Class of 2013