Pub Theology, Part III: An (Un)Safe Place

This is the third in a series on Bryan Berghoef’s new book, Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation, and God. Read the first and second post here and here. Excerpt from Chapter 6: An (Un)Safe Place Many of us who have spent some time at these pub discussions over the last several years have found that when we open ourselves [Read More…]

Arbitrarily Close to God

In 1464, not long after Easter, the secretary to Nicolas of Cusa, a Catholic cardinal, noticed a marked change in the demeanor of his superior. Cusa’s health had been fragile for a while. But now his face was beaming with joy. After being absorbed in meditation for weeks around the time of Easter, Cusa was [Read More…]

Common Sense

In 1776, Tom Paine published “Common Sense”, a widely-read pamphlet that rallied the colonists of America to declare independence from Britain. You can almost hear the penny-whistled tune of “Yankee Doodle” in the background at the mention of his name. But his role as a founder of our nation was but one of his causes. [Read More…]

Responding to 9/11: Remembering the Enemy Within

By Greg Barrett Four years ago during the homestretch of the U.S. presidential election, the Democratic and Republican nominees were asked about the existence of evil by an evangelical Christian pastor who supported the 2003 military invasion of Iraq. At his super-sized McMansion church in Orange County, Calif., Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren quizzed Sens. [Read More…]

Poetic Proverbs

When I want to get under the surface of things, I re-read the “proverbios” of the early 20th c. Spanish poet, Antonio Machado, and those of the later 20th c. Argentine poet, Antonio Porchia.  Both men lived simply, loved deeply, and are cherished still as poets in their respective homelands. I don’t know if Porchia ever read Machado.  [Read More…]

War and the Dimensions of Love: An Army Chaplain Reflects on September 11

An Army chaplain in Afghanistan discovers that it’s easier to talk about love of enemies from a distance than up close. Fortunately, God promises to stand in the void and finish all that we have not been able to do. [Read more…]

Pub Theology, Part II: A Story of Two Tables

This is the second in a series of excerpts from Bryan Berghoef’s new book, Pub Theology: Beer, Conversation, and God. Read the first post here. Continued from Chapter 4: A Story of Two Tables The question was posed: “Is it more important to do the right things, or believe the right things?” Nearly everyone at [Read More…]

A Pilgrim Christian at the Wake-Up Festival

Whenever I’m presented with an invitation to “awaken,” I typically cancel all plans and take it. This past weekend, I packed my retreat clothes and headed an hour and half northwest of Denver to attend the first-ever Wake-Up Festival in the mystical, mist-shrouded mountains of Estes Park. My journey was blessed beyond belief: a magnificent [Read More…]

Thirst for the Desert

This is no news for those who know me well: I’m a desert person. In the classic movie, “Lawrence of Arabia”, a British officer asks Lawrence, filthy after weeks riding on camels in Saudi Arabia, why he loved the desert so much. “Because it’s clean,” he answered. That makes sense to me. Wandering in the [Read More…]

Talking To Christians About Hell: It’s Not As Easy As You’d Think

Anyone who thinks filmmaking is glamorous should try making a documentary sometime. Better yet, try promoting one. For a high profile film like The Hobbit, promotion means having Peter Jackson premiere an exclusive clip to hundreds of adoring fans at Comic-Con and then flying back home to New Zealand in his private jet. For a [Read More…]

Worshipping at the Altar of Ayn Rand’s Undeserving Elite (Ryan Is No Kemp)

I have something in common with Republican vice presidential nominee Congressman Paul Ryan: We were both friends with the late Congressman Jack Kemp. Today, some Republicans are comparing Paul Ryan to Kemp. That is a slur on Kemp. As a recent, extensive portrait of Ryan in the New York Times notes, such comparisons are far [Read More…]

The Myth of the Lone Gunman

One man strides boldly forward.  His weapons are at the ready.  He’s on a mission to make things right.  He swings open the door.  His eyes glint with the fiery certainty of his convictions.  His guns blaze.  People die.  Others scream and cower.  They had it coming.  The lone gunman blows the smoke off the [Read More…]