2012 in Review: Editors’ Picks by Q Ideas

At Q ideas, we are seeking to equip Christians leaders of all kinds—from innovators to scientists, to entrepreneurs, to entertainers and artists—to renew and restore culture wherever they are. In 2012, this meant exploring ideas from mental illness to gay rights and religious liberties to rediscovering the value of whimsy in business. Below are our editor’s picks for the top 10 Q Ideas articles and talks from 2012.


Mental Illness: What is the Church’s Role?
by Amy Simpson
In the wake of the horrifying Sandy Hook elementary school shootings, many were talking about mental illnesses. How can they be addressed? Why is our current system broken? Is there anything that can be done to treat them sooner—before a tragedy? These are all good questions ... and there’s another good question: Where is the Church in all this? What role should the Church play in treating and supporting those with severe mental illness? Read more…

Out of the Mouth of Babes
by Rebekah Lyons
Somewhere in the clouds over Colorado, the natives were getting restless. The 5 hour flight from New York City to Park City, Utah required musical chairs. It was Pierce’s turn to sit with me, so we decided it was time for “The Life of the Lyons’ Kids” slide show on my laptop. Hundreds of images began to roll across the screen in poetic fashion. In and out, one after another… And when I looked over, I saw a tear stream down Pierce’s cheek. When I asked what was wrong, he said simply, “You seem to have lost your joy since we were little.” Read more…

Gay Rights and Religious Liberties
by Skye Jethani
The shouting between the gay community and Christians just seems to get louder—you hear it everywhere: on cable news, talk radio, outside courthouses and in school board meetings. Still, there are many of us—both gay and straight, Christian and non-Christian, supporters of same sex marriage, and those like myself who hold to the church’s traditional definition—who do not identify with the culture war rhetoric emanating from either side. We stand on the periphery wondering: isn’t there a better way? Must we view every advancement in gay rights as a defeat for people of religious conviction, and is the presence of Christian values in the public square automatically a threat to gay rights? What is the place of religious liberty? And how do we elevate the conversation from the shouting match it has become? Read more…

Three Ways with Families
by Tim Keller
Recently, some scholars and cultural observers have decried the so-called “decline of the family.” In parts of Asia and Europe, for example, the birth-rate has fallen below replacement levels. Many blame secular society’s penchant for individualism and call for a return to the so-called “traditional” view of the family. But pastor Tim Keller says the gospel-based community practices a view of family that is contrary to both secular and traditional societies. Read more…

Constraint and Consent, Career and Motherhood
by Kate Harris
In her much-discussed article in The Atlantic, “Women Still Can’t Have it All,” Anne-Marie Slaughter handles the Motherhood vs. Career topic better than most, with a winsomeness that comes with honest and humble confessions about best-but-not-quite-perfect efforts. Still, the conclusions she suggests only perpetuate a discussion of women in terms of “work-life balance” and frankly, I am tired of that being the only framework offered to women. Read more…


For All People
with Amy Julia Becker
When given a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis, parents choose termination 92% of the time. Society’s pursuit of comfort, convenience, and so-called perfection contributes to what has been maligned as a “culture of death.” But what if the Christian community embodied a different perspective, reshaping the way many parents view these children? In this Q talk, Amy Julia Becker imagines a better future where life is not valued only for its productivity and all children are seen as a divine gift. Watch now…

Truth Can’t Be Oppressed
with Euna Lee
How far would you go to tell the world the truth? That was the question Euna Lee had to ask herself when she and a fellow journalist, Laura Ling, were detained in North Korea after they crossed the border without a visa while researching a controversial story. They remained in captivity until August of 2009 when they received a pardon from the North Korean government. Hear the story of her incredible journey as she reflects on what it means to be a truth-teller in a broken world. Watch now…

Rediscovering Whimsy
with Bob Goff
With so many global problems at which to aim our collective passions and resources, the work of restoration can become nothing more than a job. As time goes on, even good work can steal our imaginations. How can we rediscover a compulsion for finding creative, audacious ways to discover our dreams? Bob Goff, Founder of Restore International, challenges us to recover our sense of imagination and know how to unleash it in those around us. Watch now…

What Technology Wants
with Kevin Kelly
We live in an age of innovation, and a debate is raging about whether technology is improving our lives or making them worse. But Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired magazine, says we’re not asking the right questions. He believes we need to find out what technology is really after. Can technology be a force for the greater good, and if so, how do we thoughtfully engage new inventions? Kelly seeks to construct a radically fresh answer to one of culture’s nagging questions. Watch now…

Principled Pluralism
with Gideon Strauss
From debates about the hiring practices of churches to rumors of community adherence to Sharia law, Americans have long been facing questions regarding the role of various religions in public life. As our nation grows increasingly diverse, can we coexist without compromising those principles we hold dear? Gideon Strauss says the answer lies in “principled pluralism,” a paradigm that allocates enough freedom of conscience, worship and practice that all faiths can flourish rather than compete. Watch now…