Day one of Acton University is always a tiring day, for most of the participants are literally arriving from all corners of the earth and suffer some understandable jet-lag. Having risen at 4 am, myself, to begin the trek to Grand Rapids, I was tired on arrival — but that jet lag seems to surrender to adrenaline when checking in with the friendly staff, seeing familiar faces, and simply admiring how well these folks take care of their business. This year there are over 1,000 participants from nearly 70 countries.
Dinner was great. I sat next to a major CEO that I’ll leave unnamed, who lives and works in Brazil. We had a fascinating conversation about the emerging markets and economic development in Brazil. We also discussed the state of the church. To my left were a couple seminarians. One plans on moving back to Peru after his M.Div., where he’ll serve as a missionary. His parents are Evangelical Free missionaries in that country, he grew up there, found a wife there, and plans to go back and minister to the people he’s grown to love. I also had a most interesting conversation with a couple of young men from Pakistan who are working on economic development and protecting the rights of minorities. I also ran into Dr. Charlie Self from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, and we built upon our annual conversation that is now three years old. What the Assemblies of God is doing in Latin America is just incredible. Also got to visit with some other folks about their local congressman in MI, Rep. Justin Amash. Also discussed Dave Brat with an Acton staffer.
The plenary address by Fr Robert Sirico on human dignity was substantive and provided a great beginning to what will be another successful year of Acton U. Here are a few quote-worthy excerpts from his address (these are randomly assembled):
Free economy demands limitations of the state.
We are not spirits in flesh, but spirits and flesh.
We celebrate “an epiphany of diversity” in the free society.
As markets continue to spread, pastors need to be prepared to speak about the spiritual dangers of prosperity.
Natural law will always bury its undertakers.
Everything depends on the family. It is resilient and it will bury its humanophobe attackers.
© 2014, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.