LIFELONG LEARNING from McKenzie Study Center


Resources concerning human beings in society, their history and current struggles.


  • “The Word of God” in Our Time by Charley Dewberry. Defends the Bible as the “Word of God.” (7/18; posted 2/19)
  • In a Mirror Dimly by Chris Alderman. Discusses the role of the Romantics in intellectual history. (3/18; posted 2/19)
  • Miracles by Chris Swanson. Looks at a historical argument against miracles to explore some non-analytical factors that direct people’s thinking about miracles. (5/17; posted 2/19)
  • The Greek Polis and American Individualism by Chris Swanson. Compares the ancient Greek and modern American views on personal freedom. (12/16; posted 1/18)
  • The Bible, America, and Political Systems by Jack Crabtree. Lays out biblical truths that must be taken into account by the Christian believer who wants to construct a political theory and to engage in politics in a manner consistent with the biblical worldview. (PDF) (8/09; posted 5/15)
  • Is It Time To Redefine Evil? by Charley Dewberry. Interacts with Andrew Delbanco's book, "The Death of Satan: How Americans Have Lost the Sense of Evil." (11/14; posted 4/15)
  • Return to Rome by Tim McIntosh. Notes similarities between modern America and first-century Rome where the Christian movement thrived. (11/13; posted 4/15)
  • Four Dangerous Ideas by Chris Swanson. Discusses social and cultural beliefs that have become so ingrained in our cultural psyche that we cannot see them for what they are. (6/14; posted 6/14)
  • When the Plot Is Lost: How Shakespeare, Descartes, and the Author of Kings Navigated Cultural Crises by Tim McIntosh. Argues that narrative—story-telling—is necessary to give meaning to an information-glutted age. (11/12; posted 3/13)
  • God Give Me Courage to Be a Nut by Jack Crabtree. Compares the “herd” mentality with that of an authentic follower of Jesus. (07/12; posted 3/13)
  • Why Do We Listen to Whom We Listen? by Jack Crabtree. Challenges the way most modern Americans judge the value and worth of a person. (06/12; posted 3/13)
  • Is Jesus’ Resurrection a Historical Fact? by David Crabtree. Discusses the biblical account of Jesus’ resurrection in light of archeology and the nature of "proof." (05/12; posted 3/13)
  • Adam Smith was no Laissez-Faire Ideologue! by Charley Dewberry. Challenges the common belief that Adam Smith, the pioneer of political economy, was a free-market ideologue. (04/12; posted 3/13)
  • Rehabbing Rhetoric by Tim McIntosh. Argues for the restoration of classic rhetoric to revitalize the fruitfulness of public debate. (11/11; posted 3/13)
  • History Lesson by David Crabtree. Describes how historical assessments can differ so dramatically. (1/11; posted 6/11)
  • Equality of Dignity and Fortune by Earle Craig. Explains why a Gutenberg liberal arts education is a good choice for students interested in science. (9/10; posted 2/11)
  • Disconnected Consequences by Chris Swanson. Discusses the separation between social actions and the consequences of those actions. (6/10; posted 2/11)
  • The Critical Zone: Speculations on a Conceptual Space for Postmodern Seekers by R. Wesley Hurd. Discusses the plight of those who seek truth. (5/10; posted 2/11)
  • Analysis and Meaning by Chris Swanson. Describes how historical assessments can differ so dramatically. (10/08; posted 1/10)
  • Is the Gospel Just Another Ancient Myth? René Girard on Desire and the Uniqueness of the Gospels by Tim McIntosh. Presents historian/philosopher René Girard’s observations about human beings' "mimetic desire" that leads to finding scapegoats. (4/09; posted 1/10)
  • Coping with Culture by David Crabtree. Discusses how a Christian can relate to culture without compromising himself. (9/02; posted 10/02)
  • Osama & Me by Ron Julian. Responds to society's growing intolerance to the truth claims of Christianity. (4/02; posted 4/02)
  • To Live is Christ by Jack Crabtree. Reconsiders the 1960s generation as an unlikely role-model. (11/98; posted 2/01)
  • The Camera Lies by David Crabtree. Examines the problem of knowing the truth about our leaders in a media culture. (9/98; posted 2/01)
  • Culture by R. Wesley Hurd. Explores the challenges and opportunities of living in a particular culture. (1/99; posted 2/01)
  • Preparing for Y2K by David Crabtree. Assessed the real dangers of the Y2K problem. (3/01; posted 2/01)
  • The Importance of History by David Crabtree. Discusses the nature of history and the proneness to revisionism in the writing of history. (11/93; posted 2/01)
  • At the Feet of the State by David Crabtree. Describes the shift of our government from protector to social engineer. (3/91; posted 2/01)

Audio Series

Audio series with talks related to Society.

  • If you use iTunes to manage your audio/video files, you can download many of these files at our iTunes U site.
  • Many of the MSC audio files below were first recorded at Reformation Fellowship, where some of the MSC staff teach.

  • Christianity in America. Gutenberg tutor Tim McIntosh explores the history of Christianity in the United States, including some of the most influential personalities in the American church. (This is a McKenzie Study Center series. MSC is an institute of Gutenberg College.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Church History (2007). Gutenberg College provost Peter Wierenga explores the history of the Christian church in order to better understand the roots of the modern church and the modern world. This series was presented as a McKenzie Study Center evening class in Spring 2007. MSC is an institute of Gutenberg College. (There is no recording for session 8.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Church History (2009). Talks by Peter Wierenga on Church history, given at Reformation Fellowship. This course explores the history of the Christian church in order to better understand the roots of the modern church and the modern world. (Also on iTunes)
  • Democracy: A User's Manual (Summer Institute 2010). We all love America's Founding Fathers, but what did they really say? Does their plan still work? Gutenberg tutors and SI 2010 participants explored through discussion of assigned readings and these lectures the history and future of American democracy. [Works discussed at the Gutenberg College 2010 Summer Institute: The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky); The Federalist Papers (James Madison); Individualism and Economic Order (F. A. Hayek); Democracy in America (Alexis de Tocqueville); The Political Illusion (Jacques Ellul).] (Also on iTunes)
  • Freedom of Thought: Hollow Slogan or Purposeful Practice? (Oktoberfuss 2008). Freedom of thought has been a long cherished tradition in Western society, especially within the academic and scientific communities. Is it still? At Gutenberg College's 2008 Oktoberfuss Conference, Gutenberg tutors survey various arenas where freedom of thought ought to be esteemed and treasured. (Also on iTunes)
  • Meaning and Flourishing in a Secular Age (Summer Institute 2017). Why do we suffer? How can we flourish? We humans have always asked such questions. In times past, our culture embraced (or tolerated) a Christian worldview that provided a foundation for answering those questions: meaning and purpose derive from our transcendent Creator. Today, however, we live in a thoroughly secular era, and answers are hard to come by. How did our culture end up here? How can a person of faith pursue a transcendent vision of life in such a culture? Gutenberg's 2017 Summer Institute explored such questions. (Also on iTunes)
  • Paychecks, Politics & Paradigms (Summer Institute 2009). Economics is not just about dollar signs and balance sheets. It's about what we value. Gutenberg College's 2009 Summer Institute asked questions like these: What was ancient Israel's economy? What did Karl Marx really say? What was Adam Smith's "invisible hand"? Who is today's most influential economist? Lectures and small groups discussed a biblical approach to our economic and political world. (Video recordings of these talks are available at iTunesU.) (Also on iTunes)
  • Postmodernism, Reason, and the Church (Summer Institute 2003). Postmodernists say there is no single view of truth, that we cannot trust reason and rationality. How then does contemporary postmodern culture affect our understanding of what the Bible is and how it speaks to us today? How can we know--with confidence--whether or not it is even possible to understand the Bible's message? The 2003 Summer Institute addressed these issues through discussion of assigned readings and these lectures. (Also on iTunes)
  • Reading Minds: Dialogues Between Two Generations (Oktoberfuss 2007). How does the older generation speak to the new? And the new to the Old? How do two generations communicate ideas and beliefs about truth with each other. At the 2007 Oktoberfuss Conference, Gutenberg tutors and students explore the complex and vital topic of communication between generations today. (Also on iTunes)

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