How it Started

The Ezra Institute was founded in 2009 by Joe Boot as an evangelical think-tank and worldview training organization, after years of travelling globally in the work of Christian apologetics and undertaking significant research in the areas of cultural and mission theology and philosophy. It was during this period that Joe also planted Westminster Chapel in downtown Toronto.

“For the Word of the living God has come with its revealing light into our life, and all human life¬†whether men are aware of it or not, is some kind of response to that Word.”

– H. Evan Runner

Crisis Response

Observing that opposition and objection against the Christian faith were increasingly being framed in cultural, civilizational and political terms, the Ezra Institute was envisioned as a biblical response to what Joe understood to be a deep crisis in Western culture that had decisively impacted the church; a crisis rooted in the widespread loss of a comprehensive gospel, a distinctly scriptural worldview, and ultimately a failure to recognize the religious root of all human life and thought – from education and law, to politics, medicine, art and science. He believed such a loss required the constructive recovery of a full-orbed gospel and cultural apologetic capable of confronting systematic unbelief with systematic belief in every sphere of life.

Grassroots Reformation

Consequently, from its founding, the Ezra Institute has understood Christ-centred cultural reformation, beginning with God’s own people, as an urgent necessity because the organs and institutions of Western cultural life have been thoroughly saturated by humanistic and increasingly pagan assumptions. These varied religious presuppositions have steadily brought about efforts to redefine the norms of our cultural institutions, unleashing real evils and enchaining Western society in a radical opposition to Christ and the freedom and hope brought by the gospel.

For the Church

Our story must include the difficult assertion that the Christian church herself has not escaped the influence of resurgent humanism and paganism in our secularized society and has often been complicit in advancing, by silence or surrender, slavery to sin – enabling unrighteous laws, corrupted education, sinful political practices, evil social behaviour, debased art and a moribund cultural direction to persist.

The theologically compromised urge to synthesize Christianity with other worldviews has led to a pervasive privatization and truncation of the gospel so that the witness of the church to the world-renewing reign of Christ and His kingdom has been largely eclipsed. The result has been a radical de-Christianization of culture and the predictable decline of our civilization. This has brought the Western world to a widely acknowledged point of existential confusion, spiritual rootlessness and socio-political inanity.

The Journey Thus Far

Beginning with a website, a print journal entitled Jubilee and a speaking ministry, the Ezra Institute has responded positively to this crisis as a moment of wonderful opportunity for the gospel in our generation. Making steady progress with growing inroads in many English-speaking nations and an expanding team of Fellows, the Ezra Institute has taken significant strides forward in developing our own residential training programs. The work of developing digital and print resources in Christian worldview, cultural apologetics and Christian philosophy has led to an increasingly global impact.

The Next Chapter

The Ezra Institute is excited to be expanding its reach across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. With Joe Boot continuing to guide us as President, and Nate Wright stepping into the role of Canadian Director, we’re more dedicated than ever to promoting and defending a Christian worldview. Our mission is growing, and so is our community. We’re committed to equipping believers to engage culture with the truth of the gospel, making a meaningful impact in each of these three countries we serve.