“Power tends to corrupt,” said Lord Acton, “and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It’s a famous dictum that’s repeated in political, economic and even church contexts alike. But is it true?
When Andy Crouch decided to write a book several years ago on the topic of power, his friends tried to persuade him otherwise. “Why not write a book on authority? Or influence?” The word power, it seemed, had too many toxic connotations.
But Andy Crouch has become well-known for biting off big questions. His first book, Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Callings, sought nothing less than a complete reorientation of our view of culture. His latest book, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power, attempts to tackle no less of a minefield.
Recently Andy Crouch spoke at a luncheon sponsored by Denver Institute for Faith & Work at CableLand (we were aware that being in the former house of cable mogul Bill Daniels, a very powerful man, was a rich irony). Andy questions our typical attitudes toward power and gives us five “I”s - each from the biblical story - that give us hope that even a force as electric as power can be redeemed.
Jeff Haanen is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded Denver Institute for Faith & Work, a community of conveners, teachers and learners offering experiences and educational resources on the gospel, work, and community renewal. He is the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life and an upcoming two-book series on spiritual formation, vocation, and the working class for Intervarsity Press. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Denver and attends Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado.