34th Annual Fall Lecture Series
Twice yearly, Green Lake Church broadens its outlook by inviting guest speakers on topics of current interest. Each series comprises four sessions, a vegetarian potluck lunch, and a reception following the last meeting.

Fall 2013 Lecture Series
“The Morality of Sacrifice”
October 18-19
For our 34th Annual Fall Lecture Series, Alister Hunt, PhD, will present three lectures on the concept of sacrifice. A brief outline of the presentations follows, including a few thought stimulating quotes from various viewpoints on the role of sacrifice.

Friday night, October 18: The Morality of Sacrifice

“I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.”

Mother Theresa

“A sacrifice is the surrender of a value. Full sacrifice is full surrender of all values. … If you pursue a course of action that does not taint your life by any joy, that brings you no value in matter, no value in spirit, no gain, no profit, no reward—if you achieve this state of total zero, you have achieved the ideal of moral perfection.”

Ayn Rand

“If I owe Smith ten dollars and God forgives me, that doesn’t pay Smith.”

Robert G. Ingersoll

Is Christianity a religion founded on the concept of sacrifice?

Are Christians called to sacrifice?

And, didn’t God sacrifice when he gave his Son to redeem us?

If sacrifice is rational, then is it selfish?

We examine the centrality of sacrifice to Christianity, and examine the articulate observations of those who view Christianity as immoral because it is founded on sacrifice. In short, we define the issue with which we will grapple this weekend—the Morality of Sacrifice.


Sabbath Morning Sermon, October 19: The Economics of Sacrifice

“If you choose to do something, then you shouldn’t say it’s a sacrifice, because nobody forced you to do it.”

Aung San Suu Kyi

“I am the good shepherd; … I lay down my life for the sheep. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.”

Jesus Christ

“He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which he cannot lose.”

Matthew Henry

“God nowhere tells us to give up things for the sake of giving them up. He tells us to give them up for the sake of the only thing worth having– viz., life with Himself. It is a question of loosening the bonds that hinder the life…”

Oswald Chambers

Christianity is founded on sacrifice, but, surprisingly, ‘sacrifice’ is seldom defined within Christianity. Others define it as “passing up something of greater value in return for something of lesser value.”  And many in Christianity have used this definition as a means of controlling others. Is this what we are called to do – pass up something of greater value in exchange for something of lesser value?

In this session, we will use an economic framework to define ‘sacrifice’ in a manner that is Biblically supported and rational. In the process, we will understand that the “win-win” principle is inherent to freedom, God’s character, and Christian life.


Sabbath Afternoon, October 19: The Theology of Sacrifice

“The Christians say, that among the ancient Jews, if you committed a crime you had to kill a sheep. Now they say ‘charge it.’ ‘Put it on the slate.’ The Savior will pay it. In this way, rascality is sold on credit, and the credit system in morals, as in business, breeds extravagance.”

Robert G. Ingersoll

David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!” So the three mighty warriors broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he poured it out before the Lord.

2 Samuel 23

“ I delight not in the blood of bullocks.”

God

We examine the theological implications of sacrifice. For example, if sacrifice is rational, then is it selfish? More importantly, if God’s salvific sacrifice was ultimately in God’s best interest, then is God selfish? Are we repeating the implicit allegations of Satan that God is incapable of selfless action? More generally, is ‘rational sacrifice’ selfish? If God’s Kingdom is established on the principle of voluntary transaction such that both parties are better off, then is Christianity’s call on our life limited to the pursuit of rational self-interest?

Time will be set aside for small-group participation and discussion.


About the Speaker

Alister Hunt and his wife, Angela, were born and grew up in New Zealand. His first degree was in Computer Science and Physics, with another degree in Accounting and Finance.

After advisory practice with Price Waterhouse, he worked for a year as Assistant Treasurer of the Rwanda Union Mission, developing systems for our church institutions in Central Africa, the year before the civil war began.

On returning to New Zealand, he studied for a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance, then joined the University of Auckland faculty. His research on restructuring of the electricity industry resulted in a coauthored book, The Power to Manage. During this time, Angela practiced law and was admitted to the New Zealand Bar.

In 1991, they came to Seattle so he could study at the University of Washington. When he finished his studies, the family returned to New Zealand where he rejoined the faculty at the University of Auckland. After receiving the New Zealand equivalent of tenure, he spent a sabbatical at the University of Arizona. During sabbatical, he joined Arthur Andersen’s Global Research and Innovation, a group that examined the best of academia and practice and developed new products and thinking for the world firm. It took the family to Boston, where they lived for eight years.

Currently, he is principal of a small economic consulting firm, Finology, the applied science of financial economics. His practice bridges the gap between academia and practice. He supports complex litigation as an expert witness. He also partners with specialist academics to address unique business problems where research provides practical insights.

Fond recollections of the Pacific Northwest led the family to settle on the north rim of the White River, a mile from Auburn Academy, where the two younger daughters attend.


Friday, October 18, 2013
6:30p Soup Supper
7:30p “The Morality of Sacrifice”

Sabbath, October 19, 2013
9:30a A Conversation with Alister Hunt
11:00a “The Economics of Sacrifice”
12:30p Potluck Lunch
2:00p “The Theology of Sacrifice”

Alister Hunt, PhD, 34th Annual Fall Lecture Series Speaker
Alister Hunt , PhD
Alister Hunt, PhD
presents “The Morality of Sacrifice”

“The Morality of Sacrifice”
October 18, 2013 Friday 7:30 PM

Alister Hunt, PhD