"The time has come to trust God, move out, sharing and demonstrating the good news, following His call and living out our callings in every area of our lives, and then leave the outcome to Him."
So says Christian author and social critic Os Guinness in his latest book, Renaissance: The Power of the Gospel However Dark the Times. Over his career, Guinness has returned to this theme over and over, challenging Christians to hold fast to the truth of God revealed in Scripture and to faithfully witness that in the modern world.
On March 26, Guinness will be the featured speaker at "Transforming Lives in the Face of Persecution" for AMG International (Disciple's parent organization). This event at the Chattanooga Convention Center will raise ministry funds for AMG's national workers-men and women who serve in Gospel missions within their native language and culture.
Guinness' connection with global missions runs in the family. He was born in China in 1941, where both his parents and grandparents served as medical missionaries with the China Inland Mission. As a child, Os witnessed the climax of the Chinese Revolution under Mao Zedong before his family was among those expelled from the country in 1951.
Os' heritage of Christian service goes back even further. His great grandfather, Henry Grattan Guinness, was a great Protestant preacher of the Ulster revival in Ireland during the 1850s and 60s and an influential mobilizer for world missions. His great aunt, Geraldine, was also a missionary in China and the daughter-in-law of Hudson Taylor.
Of course, if the family name sounds familiar, the patriarch of this extraordinary family was Os' great-great-great-grandfather Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer, who was a faithful Christian and philanthropist. Arthur, who once heard John Wesley preach, took his message of the devoted Christian life to heart. He was instrumental in beginning Sunday school ministries in Ireland, served on hospital boards, and gave freely to those in need. Even his brewing business was touched by his desire to honor God and help others. In those days, alcohol consumption was part of everyday life because contaminated water led to many disease outbreaks, but many drank to excess with terrible consequences. Guinness began brewing beer, which with its lower alcohol concentration genuinely helped people avoid excesses of drunkenness.
Os Guinness completed his undergraduate degree at the University of London and his D. Phil. in the social sciences from Oriel College, Oxford. He has been a guest scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies and a guest scholar and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. In the late 1980s, he served as executive director of the Williamsburg Charter Foundation, a bicentennial celebration of the First Amendment, where he was the lead drafter of the Williamsburg Charter (signed by former U. S. presidents, Supreme Court justices, and Christian and civic leaders). Os also was the primary drafter of the Global Charter of Conscience in defense of religious freedom, which was published in the E.U. Parliament in 2012.
Guinness founded the Trinity Forum for educating political and cultural leaders in 1991, serving as a senior fellow there until 2004. He has written or edited more than two dozen books on the Christian life, religious freedom, and cultural engagement including The Call, Time for Truth, God in the Dark, A Free People's Suicide, The Global Public Square, and Renaissance. He has said that his lifelong passion has been to make sense of our extraordinary modern world and to stand between the worlds of scholarship and ordinary life, helping each to understand the other-particularly when advanced modern life touches on the profound issues of faith.
Before moving to the United States in 1984, Os served on staff at Francis Schaeffer's L'Abri in Switzerland and worked as a freelance reporter with the BBC. He lives with his wife, Jenny, in McLean, Virginia, and they have a son, C. J., who is a businessman in New York.
"We are so excited to host Os Guinness, and we hope many from our area will join us March 26," said Patrick Ragan, VP of Development for AMG International. "We see the Lord's hand clearly in bringing us together with Os to help support our national workers who so faithfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even in the face of great opposition."
Ragan said that AMG International's connection with Guinness is not just a partnership for this particular event, but actually based on a relationship that goes back more than five decades. At a boarding school in England, one of Guinness' classmates was a young Greek student, Evniki, who later married an aspiring young doctor from the biblical city of Thessaloniki, Demosthenes Katsarkas. In 1973, Dr. & Mrs. Katsarkas opened AMG's St. Luke's hospital in Thessaloniki, which is today among the best regarded medical facilities in Eastern Europe. Dr. Katsarkas presently serves on AMG's board of directors.
If you are in the Chattanooga area and want to attend this event with Os Guinness, please visit www.amgbanquet.org or call (423) 894-6060.
To learn more about AMG's national worker ministries around the world, discover how you can partner with us, or (if you are in the Chattanooga area) to register for this event with Os Guinness, please visit www.amginternational.org or call 1-800-251-7206.
Advancing the Ministries of the Gospel (AMG) International is a non-denominational, international missions agency based in Chattanooga, Tenn. AMG's distinctive has always been its reliance on national workers to carry the Gospel in their own cultures. Today, they operate ministries in more than 30 countries around the world through partnership with national believers.