Media Guide: Summer & Fall 2018

Upper House July 26, 2018

Summer may be coming to a close, but there’s still plenty of time to get outside and read.  

Anticipating an exciting fall at Upper House, we’ve compiled a variety of book, video, lecture, and article suggestions that preview some of our upcoming speakers. Be on the lookout for our full fall calendar in the next few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy a sample of suggested reading and viewing to ignite your theological curiosity, touch your heart, and enrich your mind.

Faith and Science

One of Darwin’s Greatest
Supporters Was A Devout Christian

BioLogos lecture by Praveen Sethupathy

“Randomness does not imply lack of order or purpose. Instead, it can—operating under specified constraints—weave a pretty beautiful tapestry, like how evolutionary processes bring about the diversity of biological life.

One of the earliest and most enthusiastic American supporters of Darwin’s thesis was a man named Asa Gray. He was a botanist at Harvard and a devout Christian. After critical examination of the theory and extensive back-and-forth interaction with Darwin himself, he found the theory so beautiful, so compelling that he was among the first to galvanize support for Darwin’s theories here in America.”

Praveen Sethupathy shares more about Darwin, Asa Gray, and the harmonious relationship between God and science in this video from BioLogos.

Praveen Sethupathy will be at Upper House on September 10 to discuss more on faith and science, specifically genetics and gene editing. Learn more and register.

Local Culture

Ending the “Tale of Two Cities”
Isthmus article by Jenny Peek on Vanessa McDowell

Vanessa McDowell is the first Black woman to become executive director of the Madison YWCA. When she began her new role, her hope was to focus her efforts on bringing equality to Madison and empowering the populations that the YWCA serves.

Additional articles on Vanessa McDowell:

Vanessa McDowell will be at upper house on November 14 as a part of our continuing “Faith in the Heart of the City” series.

UW-Madison Church and Campus Ministry Survey
Survey conducted by Upper House

We surveyed 408 students during the Spring 2018 semester and compiled their responses to gain insight into their faith journey, church and campus ministry involvement, beliefs about the Bible, and care for cultural and theological issues.

Life in the Midwest

The Death and Life of America’s Waters
Boston Review article on the 2018 Go Big Read book by Meghan O’Gieblyn

“In the end, Egan’s book serves as a reminder that the ecological universe we inhabit is vastly connected and cannot be easily mended by humility and good intentions. If the sin of the past generations was hubris, our own vices are those that metastasize in the fine print: the loopholes we tolerate or overlook in conservation acts, the court rulings that refuse to impose a concrete deadline, the jargonish clauses in shipping contracts—and also, unavoidably, the blitheness of all of us who continue to enjoy these waters, oblivious to signs of trouble.”

Additional works by Meghan O’Gieblyn:

Meghan O’Gieblyn will be at Upper House on December 4 to discuss Midwest life and culture, especially through the lens of her new book, Interior States, to be released October, 2018.


A View From The Top
by Michael Lindsay

“In the United States, only a few thousand individuals make the decisions that influence the lives of over 300 million people.”

View from the Top explores the real lives of the elite and the social worlds they inhabit, revealing lessons about influence at the top, and the seven principles that shape those in power.

The book brings readers inside the corridors of power and relates the personal stories and powerful findings from the Platinum Study, a groundbreaking analysis of 550 elite American CEOs, senior government leaders, and nonprofit executives based on ten years of research.

Michael Lindsay will be at Upper House on November 7-8 to discuss a variety of leadership topics.

Global Leadership Summit
Leadership Training Opportunity August 9 – 10

At The Global Leadership Summit (GLS), you’ll hear from world-class faculty on topics such as:

  • How do you stay ahead of the game with no end?
  • Leading a life that matters and how great leaders intentionally build the future.
  • Customer-focused culture and the power of hospitality in restaurants, business, and life.
  • Achieving your potential and becoming the leader you were created to be.
  • Being a leader who perseveres to fight for the future of our world.
  • Giving and receiving feedback well and navigating difficult conversations on teams.

Learn more about the backgrounds and experiences of each speaker from their bios and the abstracts of their books.

GLS is August 9 – 10 at Upper House. There is still time to register for. Receive the best rate by requesting our host-site discount

Cultural Engagement

How The Human Rights Movement Failed
New York Times article by Samuel Moyn

“The human rights movement, like the world it monitors, is in crisis: After decades of gains, nearly every country seems to be backsliding. Viktor Orban in Hungary, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, and other populist leaders routinely express contempt for human rights and their defenders.

But from the biggest watchdogs to monitors at the United Nations, the human rights movement, like the rest of the global elite, seems to be drawing the wrong lessons from its difficulties.”

Continue reading about why human rights is such a vital issue in our day and age.

Additional media by Samuel Moyn:

Samuel Moyn will be at Upper House on October 18 -19 to discuss the origins of the Human Rights movement, along with its uses and abuses in various political initiatives, economic agendas, and grass roots campaigns.

Understanding Our Climate
Q Commons video by Greg Thompson

Understanding our current cultural climate may feel like an impossible quest. Yet as Christians, we are called to be the ones who understand the times and model how best to lead and offer hope. How can we make sense of the confusion and think soundly about the chaos we face culturally? Greg Thompson helps us find clarity and perspective so we are equipped to help others make sense of our unique cultural moment.

Six Practices of the Church
Podcast Series by Greg Thompson and Gabe Lyons

Many Christians struggle to know how to faithfully live, lead, and engage with our rapidly changing culture. Greg will talk about the character of our secular age and help identify challenges and opportunities for the Church to bring hope. 

Greg Thompson is tentatively scheduled to be at Upper House November 9-10 to discuss how the Church engages with secular culture, how students can cultivate a sustainable faith in college, and how we can recover the message and heart of Martin Luther King Jr. for our time. We are in the process of finalizing this event.

Spiritual Refreshment

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us
Music Video by Adoration House

Adoration House will lead worship on September 4 at our All-Campus Worship Night. Learn more and register.