Sunday, August 27, 2017

August, 2017 - Theology Nerd Beer Camp

When the end of December comes around this year and I start to reflect on my journeys in 2017, it will be fairly easy for me to pinpoint my weirdest vacation this year. Possibly ever. Theology Nerd Beer Camp, at Platt Park Church in Denver Colorado.

 I really enjoyed filling out that vacation slip a few months back. "Wait. You're going where?"

"Theology Beer Camp."

"For real?"

"Oh yes."

"I know what those words mean ... individually ... but what?"

And that conversation has been repeated frequently since then with mild variations. To explain - the guys behind the Homebrewed Christianity podcast put on an event where they did a live podcast, met fans of the show, fans of theology, fans of beer, or of some combination of those things. I consume both theology and beer at amateur levels and I listen to a lot of podcasts, though I haven't listened to this one. I think I will though.

Panel at Theology Nerd Beer Camp. From left to right, Ryan Miller, Tripp Fuller, Peter Rollins, Dan ?

The podcast hosts, Tripp Fuller (2nd from left) and Peter Rollins (standing) subscribe to different theological schools. Without diving too deep into each theology, Fuller espoused Process Theology, while Rollins advocated Pyro Theology, unless I misheard, which is possible. Rollins is Irish and I was inebriated. By the end of the weekend, I decided that I didn't agree with either, but leaned towards Fuller's ideas more than Rollins', but I bought two of Rollins' books and none of Fuller's. It was a confusing affair, but I met a number of ministers and (past and present) missionaries who seemed to be in need of the fellowship from ... not precisely like-minded believers, but believers who were also seeking something more.

"Biggest sexiest bartender in Denver"

I needed that weekend. As I said, I didn't agree with either speaker's theology - both seemed to be based more on the works of 19th century German philosophers than on scripture - but gaining even a dim understanding of their worldviews was soothing to my soul.

Over the past few years my faith has been shifting away from the modern American interpretation of "Evangelical" to something more conscientious of my cultural biases, and more aware of issues of social justice. As I study church history, I think I fit in near where Evangelical was in the 60s and 70s, trying to occupy a middle ground between liberal theology and fundamentalists. Today Evangelicalism has moved so far into the Fundamentalist camp that the terms are virtually synonymous. I think the event I attended was much closer to the Liberal theology camp than I fit, but they were more welcoming of my fumbling faith than the Evangelicals are these day. I'm not sure there is a great fit for me somewhere in the vacated middle, but I do see a lot of other people feeling similarly displaced out there. Maybe we'll start to find each other.

Philosopher Trading/Collector Cards. These were hidden about the church for us to find.

More Denver trip photos to come.

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