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Hill Country Institute Live: Exploring Christ and Culture
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Hill Country Institute Live: Exploring Christ and Culture

Author: Hill Country Institute

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Hosted by Larry Linenschmidt, Hill Country Institute Live is an ongoing conversation about issues of concern and interest to the Church today. We visit the life and works of giants of another day, such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and also spend time with people and ministries doing creative work to fight human trafficking, feed the poor, create quality art, be good stewards of the environment, and much more, all with the heart and mind of Christ. For more information about the events and resources Hill Country Institute provides, such as messages from our conferences on Faith & Science, Faith & Art, and impact of the work of C.S. Lewis, visit hillcountryinstitute.org
125 Episodes
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Larry and John discuss what it means to be made in the Image of God, our identity based in our relationship to Christ, and some issues of our times including sexual orientation, gender identity and racial relations. 
Larry and Jon will discuss the vocational calling of caring for creation, as well as how each of us can personally participate in this Biblical mandate. They also consider some of the environmental issues which are common to both Michigan-Au Sable’s home base-and Texas, including industrial, plastic, and air pollution, algae blooms and dead zones, and the impact of a warming earth.
Dr. Hugh Ross and Larry discuss his book, Weathering Climate Change: A Fresh Approach. The natural history of the earth shows substantial volatility in its climate. However, for the last 9,500 years, humans have benefited from climate stability and civilization has flourished. How did the activities of man slow the global cooling which would have been consistent with the cycle of the last 800,000 years and contributed to climate stability before the Industrial Revolution? How are increased emissions impacting the increase in global average temperatures we are experiencing now? What are solutions which Christians can embrace which promote free markets and create jobs? This is a theological and science discussion, not a political one.
Winter Storm Uri, Icepocalyse, the Big Freeze in February — whatever you call it, we in Austin are still trying to understand what happened and how to prepare for the future to avoid power outages. Frank McCamant returns to Hill Country Institute Live to update us on what the data has revealed, plans that are being made for the future of the electric power grid in Texas, and the impact of the bills passed by the Texas Legislature. Frank is an independent consultant who works with many participants in the market for electricity-evaluating investment opportunities, structuring joint ventures, advising on regulatory issues, and more. 
Alan Graham, Visionary, Founder, and CEO of Mobile Loaves and Fishes and Community First! Village, discusses with Larry why and how people fall into homelessness; how the community lives together with respect and dignity; the micro-enterprises which many in Community First! operate (artisans, blacksmiths, and more); Genesis Garden, where they raise organic vegetables, fruits and nuts, chickens, goats and bees; and Alan’s exciting vision for adding new phases and new housing for the homeless.
Larry interviews Winn Collier, author of A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson. Winn was one of many pastors who Pastor Peterson mentored. They had a long-term friendship and Winn was granted exclusive access to his personal papers to write the biography. Larry and Winn discuss the influences on Pastor Peterson’s life and spirituality, his personal growth and challenges, and how The Message grew out of his desire to make Galatians come alive for a Sunday school class when he was pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland.
Joe Pojman, Executive Director of the Texas Alliance for Life, updates us on pro-life legislation which is currently in process in the Texas Legislature. Joe is asking for all of us to call our State Representatives in support of the seven pro-life bills which have passed out of the Senate to the House, including Senate Bill’s 8, 9, 394, 650, 802, 1173, and 1657. For additional detail on the bills, please visit the Texas Alliance for Life website.
Is artificial intelligence a welcome addition to our advancing knowledge and capacity to improve human life or an uncontrollable force that will dominate our lives? Jay Richards, author of The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines, reviews the history of technological advances and the benefits which they offer to our lives and society, even as we deal with disruptions along the way.
How did the agricultural producers in Texas fare in Icepocalypse, now officially known as Winter Storm Uri? Will we have beef, grapefruit, and other food items from Texas in the future? How do farmers and ranchers prepare for the weather extremes we are experiencing including the ongoing drought? How much did the storm cost our agricultural community in Texas? How do the losses compare to past extreme weather events such as the drought of 2011 and Hurricane Harvey?David Anderson, Ph.D., Professor and Extension Economist in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University, chats with Larry about these issues.
When most of us went to bed on Sunday night, Feb. 14, the power was on and we enjoyed pleasant dreams. In the early morning hours on Monday, Feb. 15th, the dreams, and the power, were gone. What happened? How does the electric market work in Texas? What is ERCOT and the PUC and what do they do? Power generators, transmission companies, and distribution companies bringing power to our homes and businesses, all managed by the grid manager, ERCOT. It is an extraordinarily complex arrangement. Frank McCamant is an independent consultant who works with many participants in the electric market-evaluating investment opportunities, structuring joint ventures, advising on regulatory issues, and more. He has over 35 years’ experience as a leader in the electric power market in Texas. In this interview, we discuss how he lives his Christian faith in the workplace, the complexity of the market for electricity, what happened during the major weather event and outages, and adjustments that can be made to avoid similar problems in the future, subject to further review of what happened, of course.
John Hall, a longtime Texas leader who brings businesses, elected officials, and community leaders together to grow jobs, restore and maintain clean air and water, and take care of those who are poor and suffer most from pollution, is our featured guest on this episode of Hill Country Institute Live. We discuss the impact of John’s faith on his career, air quality issues (the five largest metropolitan areas in Texas all had over 100 days of bad air quality in 2018), the growth and potential of green energy jobs in Texas, and energy poverty in Texas-over 40% of Texas households pay over 10% of their income for energy.
In this episode, Larry and David discuss the division in our country and how Christians can work to heal our land while also advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, and other issues that are important in a Biblical worldview. We’ll consider pluralism, toleration, federalism, and humility as aspects of respectful dialogue and coexistence, and the question of how we live Micah 6:8 in our times-He has told you, O man, what is good;    and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness,     and to walk humbly with your God?David French is the senior editor of The Dispatch, a conservative website. He writes a regular column, French Press, is a columnist for Time magazine, and is a frequent guest on numerous television and other media outlets.  David served in the Iraq War and was a Major in the US Army reserve. He served as a senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, where he defended student organization’s right of free speech and free association on college campuses.
Dr. Jessica Moerman is the Senior Director for Science and Policy at the Evangelical Environmental Network. In this interview, Larry and Dr. Moerman discuss the Biblical call to care for God’s good creation, women in STEM, the ministry of EEN, environmental issues of concern, and caring for the least among us and future generations.
The natural history of the earth shows substantial volatility in its climate. For the last 9,500 years, humans have benefited from climate stability and civilization has flourished. How did the activities of man slow the global cooling which would have been consistent with the cycle of the last 800,000 years and contributed to climate stability before the Industrial Revolution began around 1750? How are increased emissions from industry, refining, oil and gas drilling, and our agriculture practices impacting the warming we are experiencing now? What are solutions which we can embrace which promote free markets and create jobs? This is a theological and science discussion, not politics. Listen as Larry and Dr. Ross discuss these questions.
Larry and Ben Lowe, Board Chair of A Rocha USA and a longtime leader in encouraging and equipping Christians in creation care discuss our Biblical calling to care for God’s good creation. They also discuss environmental concerns Millennial and Gen Z Christians have about the world they have inherited; areas of concern including pollution, food production, and overfishing; and what it means to be good stewards of creation. 
Rev Kyle is the Midwest Director of the Evangelical Environmental Network. In this interview, Larry and Rev Kyle discuss awe and worship of God as we observe and enjoy the beauty and intricacy of His creation, our Biblical calling to care for God's good creation, and why young people are so concerned about what is happening to our environement.
Pastor  Lands has been a long term, steady voice for fairness and righteousness in Austin, speaking out for equality of education and city services on the East Side of Austin and for strengthened police-community interaction from a Biblical, Christ-centered perspective. We'll be discussing character development from a Biblical perspective, education as a means for living a full and productive life, and his efforts over many years to bring fairness and equity in education and city services to the people of East Austin. We want to express our personal thanks and appreciation for his good and important work over many years.
Daniel Geraci, Founder and Executive Director of the Austin Disaster Relief Network (ADRN) was led by the Lord to start ADRN in 2009. ADRN has brought emotional, physical and spiritual relief to those devastated by fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornados.  Surviving families continue to be sponsored and lives transformed. The organization has grown to include a network of over 200 churches and thousands of trained volunteers. 
Walter was a Distinguished Professor at Baylor University after a long career at Texas A&M. Dan has many years experience as geophysicist and frequently faced the question, "You're a Christian? But I thought you were a scientist," and of course at times the order was reversed. In this lively and informative interview, we discuss a Christian view of faith and science issues.This Is Part 1 of a four-part Interview
Walter was a Distinguished Professor at Baylor University after a long career at Texas A&M. Dan has many years experience as geophysicist and frequently faced the question, "You're a Christian? But I thought you were a scientist," and of course at times the order was reversed. In this lively and informative interview, we discuss a Christian view of faith and science issues.This Is Part 4 of a four-part Interview
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