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Jefferson and Wilberforce:
Leaders Who Shaped Their Times

(This is a three-part series on Jefferson and Wilberforce:
Leaders Who Shaped Their Times .  Part 1, Part 2Part 3)

In the annals of history, there are singular individuals who by superior and often unique personal qualities are able to energize many others to shape or transform their times. Often their influence seems to come from the exercise of power—military, economic, or political. Sometimes their impact comes from unique insights and galvanizing ideas that capture the imagination of large numbers of people. For people of faith, there is the added dimension of God’s activity in the world, shaping events and lives for his purposes, and raising up leaders of all stripes to positions of influence, particularly in times of crisis.

A Search for Heroes

We live in an era that many describe as unprecedented in history. Various commentators refer to it as chaotic, a time of continuous, unpredictable change—permanent white-water. Rapidly spreading technology; bewildering and deadly religious and ethnic passions; moral and cultural decline—especially in the West; a global economic, political, and media influence; and the widespread availability of stunningly lethal weapons that can be employed by a single person. This is the stuff of our everyday lives and daily headlines. In such times people often greet the day with a sigh and search for wise and good leaders who can navigate the treacherous shoals. Often there is a deep need and even a craving for past examples—heroes— who have exercised transformational moral leadership and who have changed their times to give us hope and to encourage our hearts in these difficult days. . .

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Ray Blunt

Ray Blunt, Professor, teaches philosophy and worldview at Ad Fontes Academy high school and is a Senior Fellow at The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation, and Culture. He was previously an Adjunct Professor for Leadership and Business Ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. A 1964 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he holds a master’s degree in economics and political science as well as master’s in theological studies. He is the author of numerous articles on leadership, character, vocation, and change management and two books: Crossed Lives, Crossed Purposes: Why Thomas Jefferson Failed and William Wilberforce Persisted to Lead an End to Slavery, Wipf and Stock, 2012, and “Leaders Growing Leaders” in The Jossey-Bass Reader on Nonprofit and Public Leadership, 2011.

 

COPYRIGHT: This publication is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.

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