At Work

The Consummate Salesman for Christ: A Tribute to Hugh Whelchel (Part 2)

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Editor’s note: Read part 1 of Douglas Monroe’s tribute to Hugh Whelchel here.

Soon after getting his health diagnosis, I asked Hugh if he would become a Praxis Circle contributor and film an interview, which we accomplished on September 29, 2020 at his Leesburg home, the Golden Eagle, where I met his wife Leslie. His full interview playlist appears here.

Hugh had a keen mind and was a prolific writer. In his work, he skillfully engaged with the leaders, ancient and modern, atop the Christian theological and philosophical pyramid. This turnaround guy was not intimidated in the slightest by Ph.D. degrees or evangelical notoriety, and he could stand his ground and contribute with the best of them.

Hugh also had much to say about the worldview discipline and Christian worldview in particular. Lacking the space for it here, let’s just say we need to put our hearts and actions more into it, and fully integrate our Christian worldview with every aspect of our life and work.

He and IFWE’s work have had a significant influence on me. All of these characteristics are reflected in the outstanding work his IFWE team accomplished together during much of the 2010s. This team includes Anne Bradley, who is also now a Praxis Circle board member and contributor to our educational programming.

As with Hugh’s thoughts on worldview and its usefulness as an evangelical tool, I cannot in detail review here the amazing work the IFWE team did under his leadership, but his Praxis Circle interview can serve as an overview.

Another inclination Hugh and I shared was a growing concern about the abuse in the public square of the word capitalism. I believe it’s fair to say that we believe Christian leaders would do well to find better ways to describe the political-economic system and epoch of time the Judeo-Christian West had created and was still shaping over two thousand years later. He used the word shalom, which will be touched on in the next article. 

I am personally dedicated to this issue and have been since college in the 1970s. Several of our Praxis Circle Contributors like Hugh have expressed an interest in this same problem: Christianity is about serving Christ and about human capital, but not directly about money or machinery, as the term “capitalism” implies. Some have isolated human creativity as the primary element Western society learned to harness, primarily through Christian praxis, that distinguishes modernity.

In any case, we Christians at least need to describe the Christian world and the progress we have made in our epoch of time more clearly to distinguish it from other atheistic worldviews, such as cultural Marxism, identitarianism, and postmodernism, that have grown in popularity in America over the last thirty years and are often are quite harmful and arguably false. This is an immense problem, and more are seeing it every day.

Since Hugh’s interview, Praxis Circle has featured Hugh’s writing and interview in nineteen posts that you can review here. A sample of important IFWE books appears in the picture in front of the window looking out Hugh and Leslie’s beautiful and environmentally-friendly home. (By the way, Hugh designed and built this Jetsons-like enviro-oikos tucked away in the Leesburg countryside.)

IFWE generated a substantial library of books, pamphlets, and posts involving many esteemed scholars. Here are links to only six A+ works, a small sample, in Hugh’s honor. (Hugh was the consummate salesman for Christ, and he would not want me to stop now):

  • How Then Should We Work?: Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work, By Hugh Whelchel (2012), 123 pages
  • For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty, Edited by Anne Bradley and Art Lindsley (2014), 352 pages
  • Be Fruitful and Multiply: Why Economics Is Necessary for Making God-Pleasing Decisions, By Anne Bradley (2016), 46 pages
  • Wholehearted: A Biblical Look at the Greatest Commandment and Personal Wealth, By Scott Redd (2016), 28 pages
  • Counting the Cost: Christian Perspectives on Capitalism, Edited by Art Lindsey and Anne Bradley (2017), 369 pages
  • Set Free: Restoring Religious Freedom for All, Edited by Art Lindsey and Anne Bradley (2019), 247 pages

Editor’s note: This article was republished from Praxis Circle’s website with permission. Read the entire article here.

Further readings on At Work

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Editor’s note: Read part 1 of Douglas Monroe’s tribute to Hugh Whelchel here and part 2 here.  A Focus on…