Martin Luther often invited friends and guests to his home to enjoy food and a good beer. The conversations around the table would be so engaging that his students recorded many of them. These conversations go everywhere, and yet somehow Jesus always shows up.

If you are ready to relax, have a pint, and speak easy about the big topics, wherever it may lead, then come join us for pub theology on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month at 6:30 pm. We are currently meeting at Southern Brewing and Winemaking on Nebraska Avenue, which is just south of Osborne. Please follow our Facebook page for weekly updates. Our topics vary and have often included current events, social justice, philosophy, and science. People of all religious backgrounds or no religious background at all are welcome to join the conversation. Invite a friend; all are welcome!

Here’s our current schedule of topics. Your feedback is always welcome; you can email me at gmorgan@stpaultampa.org.

 

13 July 2018 Should an open society tolerate the intolerant?
27 July 2018 What does a Christian view of natural evolution look like?
10 August 2018 Should judges rule according to the original intent of the constitution, or according to the golden rule?
24 August 2018 Does God suffer?
14 September 2018 Can gradual changes fix the climate crisis, or do we need something more drastic?

 

For our next pub theology on the 27th, the topic is on theology and evolution. Many Christians have no trouble accepting the overwhelming scientific consensus about the evolutionary history of life over the course of several billion years. Yet many Christians still seem to have trouble understanding how that connects with the testimony to God the Creator in Genesis and in other parts of the Bible. The following three minute video by BioLogos is a simple introduction to this topic. BioLogos is an organization founded by Francis Collins, who was one of the early leaders of the Human Genome Project. By the way, if you want to brush up on your science literacy, PBS Digital Studies is a great way to do that. Check out PBS Space Time for all things physics and astronomy, and PBS Eons for topics in the geologic and evolutionary history of the Earth. Now here’s BioLogos:

Here are a couple examples of how Dietrich Bonhoeffer dealt with these questions in his lectures on Genesis in the early 1930s.

“When the Bible speaks of six days of creation, the term ‘day’ may well have been meant in the sense of a day of morning and evening. Even so, however, it did not mean such days as periods of time that one could just count up; instead what is being thought of is the power of the day, which alone makes the physical day what it is: the natural dialectic of creation. Where the Bible speaks of the ‘day,’ it is not at all the physical problem that it is discussing. Whether the creation occurred in rhythms of millions of years or in single days, this does no damage to biblical thinking. We have no reason to assert the latter or to doubt the former; the question as such does not concern us. That the biblical author, to the extent that the author’s word is a human word, was bound by the author’s own time, knowledge, and limits is as little disputed as the fact that through this word God, and God alone, tells us about God’s creation. God’s daily works are the rhythms in which the creation rests” (DBWE 3:49).

In another place, Bonhoeffer argued, “The human being whom God has created in God’s image—that is, in freedom—is the human being who is taken from earth. Even Darwin and Feuerbach could not use stronger language than is used here” (DBWE 3:76).

 

Wow, you must be interested in this stuff if you scrolled all the way down here. If so, then check out Castle Church Brewing Community in Orlando, an authorized worshiping community of the ELCA with a brand new location opening soon. Turns out we’re not the only ones doing ministry with a beer in hand! I just hope Aaron doesn’t mind that we borrowed his awesome bottle cap! Once their new location is open, stay tuned for pub theology on tour, where we’ll take a little road trip to Orlando.

 

 

The citations above are from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Creation and Fall: A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1–3, ed. Martin Rüter, Ilse Tödt, and John W. de Gruchy, trans. Douglas Stephen Bax, vol. 3, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).