Inner Compass SEASON 9 (2008-2009 West Michigan)
#921 True Community Development


When families climb out of poverty, they often leave their old neighborhoods behind. What can help an at-risk population when it loses its stabilizing core? Today we'll hear from long-time civil rights activist and author John Perkins, who holds 9 honorary doctorates for his tremendous success building up poor communities across the country. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.

#920 Freeing Today's Slaves



Across the world, children as young as five are sold into brothels, and widows lose land and livelihood due to unenforced laws that could protect them. January Series guest and h uman rights activist Sharon Cohn Wu tells stories of International Justice Mission rescuing victims in their own countries using local courts and litigation. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.

#919 Connecting Cancer & the Environment

If a chemist could sample your body's chemistry, she would find scores of toxic chemicals picked up throughout your life, as early as in your mother's womb. Is this an unavoidable part of life on modern earth? January Series guest Sandra Steingraber is an ecologist, writer, and cancer survivor who promotes a different path. Karen Saupe hosts.

#918 Plotting Paths to Power 

Some people seem born to climb the ladder of success and power. Are leadership qualities innate, learned, bought? January Series guest Michael Lindsay of the Rice University Center on Race, Religion, & Urban Life has interviewed hundreds of prominent public leaders; he shares his notes with host Shirley Hoogstra.

#917 Are Christians Losing Touch?

There's a growing skepticism among young people toward Christianity, and Christians don't even seem to be aware of it. Public opinion pollster David Kinnaman, president of The Barna Group and author of unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity, explains what young adults are looking for and why they're not finding it at church. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.

#916 Microfinance Miracles

It may be hard to believe that $50 can lift a family out of poverty for life, but it's happening every day around the world through simple microfinance lending partnerships. Robert Rooy has not only watched it happen—he has dedicated his life to helping others watch, too, through film. Karen Saupe hosts.

#915 Presidential Character: An Ethical History

Is being a “natural politician” a mark of truth or falsehood? Better to forge ahead in the face of opposition, or to be swayed by the citizens? Presidential historian and biographer Richard Norton Smith draws on a wealth of stories to bring to light the issue of presidential character. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.


Marriage is more than a piece of paper, yet it's more difficult to buy a new car than to wed someone for life. John Witte, Jr., director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, traces the view of marriage throughout western history, suggesting ways to strengthen and enrich the institution today. Karen Saupe hosts.


Christianity was born in the Middle East, yet it's a minority religion there. Egyptian minister Victor Makari, Middle East liasion for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), relays the challenges and dreams of Christians living there and how U.S. churches can partner with them. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.


Montreat College’s Jim Southerland is an artist who developed his own version of the camera obscura, an ancient predecessor to the camera. Anyone can use it to create drawings in correct proportion. Southerland guides host Karen Saupe as she gives it a try, and describes the joys of sharing art creation with underprivileged children around the world.


Publicity abounds on the growing number of orphans overseas, but little is known about our domestic situation. Is our foster care system veiling a similar crisis? Kerry Hasenbalg, co-founder of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, brings the problems to light, offering ways to enfold orphans wherever they may live. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.


What's a 17-year-old to do after lashing out at Mom? Ask Amy. Amy Dickinson's Chicago Tribune column appears daily in more than 150 newspapers, replacing Ann Landers's long and legendary run. Dickinson gives advice about giving advice, and discusses her memoir The Mighty Queens of Freeville with host Karen Saupe.


Who is God? Do we dare answer, or does defining become confining? It's a big question of the emergent church; philosopher Peter Rollins, founder of the Ikon emergent community in Northern Ireland, offers big answers in his books How Not to Speak of God and The Fidelity of Betrayal. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.



Is racism a thing of the past or is it still with us, something many people try to will away and out of sight? Barbara Trepagnier, sociology professor at Texas State University-San Marcos, discusses the subtleties of prejudice in her book Silent Racism: How Well-Meaning White People Perpetuate the Racial Divide. Karen Saupe hosts.



Do you find yourself texting at soccer games? Do you avoid confronting an inefficient employee? Clinical psychologist and leadership consultant Henry Cloud, author of The One-Life Solution: Reclaim Your Personal Life While Achieving Greater Professional Success, examines the boundaries we cross at our own expense. Shirley Hoogstra hosts.


Buying a shirt? Basing your decision on the look and price? Shopping for clothing may feel like a straightforward venture, yet the story behind each garment is complex. Activist and entrepreneur Marta Swain, owner of a community-minded apparel store in Grand Rapids, weaves stories of sustainable farming and labor practices with advice for benefiting everyone involved in your purchase. Karen Saupe hosts.



Whose job is it to ensure justice, human rights, and care of our neighbor? How would government look if it upheld more biblical values? Steve Monsma of Calvin College's Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics helps host Shirley Hoogstra think it through with his book Healing for a Broken World: Christian Perspectives on Public Policy.



Some say the era of the American religious right is over. Which direction will evangelicals head next? Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and author of the bestseller God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets it Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get it, pinpoints a “moral center” and its corresponding political revival in America today. Karen Saupe hosts.



"Coffee, candles, and couches" is how some critics describe the style of emergent churches, which are popping up across the U.S. and Europe. As usual, popularity brings questions and concerns. Pastor Kevin DeYoung and writer Ted Kluck, from Lansing, MI, describe theirs for host Shirley Hoogstra as they discuss their book, Why We¹re Not Emergent (by Two Guys Who Should Be).



In Protestant churches, Mary the mother of God takes the stage at Christmas, only to disappear backstage for the rest of the year. Should she play a leading role year-round? Christianity Today's Timothy George, founding dean of Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, tells host Karen Saupe what evangelicals can learn from why Catholics revere Mary.



Martin Luther King, Jr. famously pronounced eleven o'clock Sunday morning as the most segregated hour in America. How can churches work to reverse this trend? Sociologist Gerardo Marti of Davidson College tells host Shirley Hoogstra about his research on what works and what doesn't.