Q Conference Series: The Condition of the Evangelical Soul

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May 6, 2015 by J. Truett Glen

Gabe Lyons talks with Missouri Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson about the tension in Ferguson.

Gabe Lyons talks with Missouri Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson about the tension in Ferguson.

In my position at Bryan College I’ve been blessed over the past three years with access to communities, places, and events that I was only able to experience via books and social media during my 14 prior years. Every year for the past three years I was given the privilege of attending the Q Conference. At this point in most conversations the person I’m talking to will say, “what’s that?” The most common answer I give is, “Well, it’s kind of a TED Talk for Christians.” Apparently I’m not the only one that has made this easy comparison. Ruth Graham, of Slate Magazine, writes: “Q doesn’t actually call itself the Christian version of TED Talks, but the similarities are unavoidable.” Whether it is TEDesque or not, it has been a pleasure to attend. It calls on deep thinkers and successful practitioners to present a glimpse of their thoughts and work to an audience primarily made up of evangelicals. Not everyone in the audience is evangelical. There is certainly a share of Mainline Protestants, Roman Catholics, and adherents to Eastern Orthodox who attend the conference, and this ads to the conversant landscape. As one who teaches worldview, ethics, and philosophy classes, Q serves as an intellectual/spiritual energy drink. It’s not that I agree with every presenter, but that I’m called to think well about important ideas, and then act on them.

This April’s #QBoston was a little bit more emotionally weighty. It had presenters speak on sexuality, immigration, gender issues, race relations, and homosexuality just to name a few. This post is an introduction to a series of posts that I will be writing over the next month concerning various ideas and presenters that were featured last month at the Q Conference. I’ll target ones that I’m specifically passionate about, but if there is a session or topic that you want me to address I’d be glad to do so. In the meantime, check out their website linked above, and their YouTube page.

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