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The CCO influenced everything | Mark's Story

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

From the beginning of my career as an attorney, I have taken seriously Paul’s charge to the Church to ‘take every thought captive to Christ. This has manifested itself in the advice I give my clients and the advocacy I undertake on their behalf.

It also has directed my avocation as a writer. Over the years, I have written many journal articles on the interface between law and religion, reaching down to the roots of legal theory and questioning the ‘pretended autonomy of theoretical thought.’ In most of these articles, I have encouraged a more nuanced discussion of controversial issues by the Christian community rather than the “winner take all” rhetoric which is all too common in modern discourse. These articles have addressed such issues as tort reform, same-sex employee benefits, government funding of faith-based organizations, and a diverse judiciary.

I started attending weekly CCO meetings my first semester at Allegheny College and participated in small-group Bible studies. I was invited by CCO group members to participate in other activities, including trips to hear Frances Schaeffer speak in Pittsburgh and weekly rants and raves on Christian philosophy delivered by Pete Steen, itinerant philosopher extraordinaire, in the campus Grille. My junior year, I became a fellowship leader and led a Bible study in which my future wife was a member. Since she took pity on me and answered my questions during awkward, prolonged silences, I decided to marry her!

Allegheny was an intellectually-charged environment. [CCO staff member] Brad Frey encouraged us to think seriously about the implications of our faith in terms of what we were learning in the classroom that day and how we would live our lives in the future.

The CCO’s ministry has influenced where we have lived, how we have educated our children, what churches we have attended, how we spend our money, who we invite into our home, what we hang on our walls, what we put on our table, and to what employment, community, and recreational activities we have given our time.

This would all have been different without CCO.

—Mark Greenlee, Allegheny College 1980 | December 14, 2009

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