On Inner Compass, you'll watch refreshingly candid conversations with articulate people who have thought broadly and deeply about issues that matter. We're not interested in telling you what to think—just in helping you nourish and exercise your own conscience as you listen to how others have tuned theirs.
“Look at Me!" Narcissism or Self-Esteem?
Are teens posting risqué photos on the internet because they are starved for attention, or because they are convinced they’re HOT? Should EVERYONE on the team get a trophy? Calvin College January Series guest Jean Twenge of the San Diego State University psychology department, and author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, warns that our culture of extreme encouragement may have gone too far. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
A Bolder Approach to Education
Stories of failing schools are all too common--schools that look and feel like prisons, with teachers who fear losing their jobs if they don’t stay focused on test scores. But there are also many public schools that have learned how to help any student succeed, no matter how poor or disadvantaged. New York University urban sociologist Pedro Noguera, co-chair of the public policy group Broader Bolder Approach to Education, shares what we can learn from schools that have excelled in dire circumstances.
Healthier Healthcare Environments
When we think of the need for an improved healthcare system, often the focus is on the patients’ experience. But there can be no strength of care if the caregivers themselves are discouraged to the point of exhaustion. Bonnie Wesorick, founder of the Clinical Practice Model Resource Center in Grand Rapids, MI, describes how a healthy work culture should feel. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Arab Spring: Revolution or Reformation?
Three quarters of Muslims in the Middle East are young (18-35 years old), and today's communication technologies allow them to form a new kind of community that bridges ethnic, national, and sectarian borders. As these Muslims actively pursue democracy, the resulting changes--according to writer and religion scholar Reza Aslan, author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam--will be as monumental as the Protestant Reformation was for Christianity. Karen Saupe hosts.
Burma Bound: Story of an Activist
When Edith Mirante traveled to Thailand to study art, she found herself distracted by stories of atrocity in Burma. She became deeply involved in raising awareness about the plight of the people she met, traversing jungles and camping with soldiers to collect eyewitness accounts. Her tales come from the two travelogues she wrote about her adventures. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Bolstering Business in Haiti
Running a business in Haiti was a challenge even before the 2010 earthquake. Now afterwards, with all the aid and free products flowing into the country, the few surviving businesses have been crippled. Business mentor Ralph Edmond, owner of the Haitian pharmaceutical company Laboratoires Farmatrix, shows how supporting and strengthening businesses can make all the difference for Haiti. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Christian, Evolutionist, or Both?
Some scientific theories seem to matter a lot more to people than others. The theory of evolution has always gotten plenty of attention, especially from those who treasure the scriptural book of Genesis. Alvin Plantinga, emeriti professor from the Notre Dame philosophy department, describes some of the main controversies between of evolution, intelligent design, and creationism and whether Christians can reconcile some of these differences. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Rethinking Life After Death
Anglican bishop N. T. Wright, who has written over 50 books on understanding New Testament Scriptures and who Newsweek calls "the world's leading New Testament scholar," discusses his conclusions about what the Bible says about heaven, hell, and what he calls "life after life after death." Karen Saupe hosts.
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a remarkable young theologian and pastor in World War II Germany who joined the Resistance in several plots to assassinate Hitler. His devotional books are still best sellers today. That’s because, according to Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer was also a prophet. Author of the New York Times #1 bestseller Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, Metaxas explains that term and what it means for all of us. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
Ready for Robots?
As people have fewer phone conversations, choosing instead to use texts and on-line social networking, anthropologist Sherry Turkle has noticed something. Director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and the Self, she researches how people interact with experimental sociable robots. People are growing more receptive to robots taking the place of some human relationships as we become more accustomed to our narrowing human interactions. Hear this and other observations from her book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Karen Saupe hosts.
Exchanging Gangs For Jobs
Finding a job may not seem the highest priority for most gang members, but Father Greg Boyle learned otherwise when he befriended gang members in his parish and started the largest gang intervention program in the U.S. His book Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion describes his personal experience working with Homeboy Industries in downtown Los Angeles for over twenty years, and he shares what those experiences have taught him. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
“Organic is just the beginning: why stop there?” asks Joel Salatin, entrepreneur and owner of Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, known for its unique approach to sustainable farming. His home-made inventions rely on creative problem-solving and hi-tech materials to gain the most wholesome use of his land and livestock. Featured in Food, Inc. and Omnivore’s Dilemma, Salatin sums it up with his latest book title--Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World. Karen Saupe hosts.
The New Monasticism
A new kind of contemplative life is gaining traction among Christians who want to live simply and carefully. Sometimes called the New Monasticism, this lifestyle looks for ways to expand community into neighborhood streets & homes. Shane Claiborne, co-founder of The Simple Way community in Philadelphia, and author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, describes this mindset and how it works. Karen Saupe hosts.
Does Sexual Orientation Equal Identity?
The practice of labeling people by sexual orientation—homosexual, heterosexual, etc.—started only a century ago. At times labels can help make sense of our world, but at other times labeling individuals can be dehumanizing and can even be a form of injustice. Our sexuality need not define us, argues Jenell Williams Paris, anthropology professor at Messiah College and author of The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex is Too Important to Define Who We Are. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.
The Seven Deadly Sins
We see the “seven deadly sins” in board games and fashion magazines, but for many people, their purpose now and over the centuries has been to direct our hearts toward the things we all long for—love, integrity, and freedom. Calvin College philosopher Rebecca DeYoung, author of Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and their Remedies, considers the true definitions of these timeless pitfalls, which are not always what you’d think. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.