Seven-word sermon

Last week, I was involved in a “preach off” at church and was asked to give a sermon in only seven words. I was given the internet and five minutes. I was allowed to share a pic and a scripture passage. This was the result.

“There is plenty if we share.”

Scripture: Acts 2:42-47

I dropped the mic and had one word left over. I was put on the spot, and would love to hear your thoughts and feedback about what you would have done. I think it should encapsulate the gospel, and I probably would have said something different if I had been given more time.

By the way, I won the preach-off contest! My victory dance could use some guidance. I decided to go with the Carlton dance from Fresh Prince.

If you could only say seven words, what sermon would you preach? You can also share a pic.

Me, after winning the preach-off and $100:

Better yet, call in your seven-word sermon to 678-590-BREW, and we’ll play it on an upcoming podcast episode.


Dr. Jones returns: Homebrewed 105

This is a fantastic episode. And you should listen to it.

What is the state of the Emergent Church? And what does David Hosselhoff have to do it with it?

How does an ecclesiologist relate to all that is going on in American Christianity?

These questions and more are addressed in this episode…like how Texas Baptists are similar to baconators. These folks are my ilk. You may have heard of Cooperative Baptists, which sounds like an oxymoron. I call the Texas variety Cantankerous Baptists. Church in the Present TenseKen Wilber & Integral Christianity…Pete Rollins‘ Apophatic stylingsNadia Bolz-WeberMark Scandrette…relationship of theology & practice…Communion…

Please call in to let us know what you think is the biggest theological issue of our day.


Don’t forget to check out the Official Homebrewed Christianity Book of Summer…Devil’s Ink. Here is the author’s interview on Homebrewed 104!


Left behind.

Welp, today is the rapture. And I got left behind. It seems all my friends did too. If we’re going to live here together, let’s try to fix this place up — shall we, roomies?

Here’s a good read from my and Tripp’s former professor, Dr. Bill Leonard.

Tomorrow I’m posting audio from my sermon entitled, “The Day After the Rapture.” Until then, are there going to be zombies, or what? This apocolypse is pretty lame.




This was my meditation for our church email this week. For Youth Sunday, I’m preaching on the Good Samaritan.

There’s a woman named Grace who lives on my street in the Tenderloin District, San Francisco. When I say she lives on my street, I mean that literally — she’s homeless. I pass her almost every day on my walk to work in the Financial District. Sometimes we exchange hellos. Sometimes I ask her how she’s doing. I call her “Neighbor.” Sometimes she lets me pray for her…right there on Ellis Street. Sometimes I let her pray for me and my church.

The parable of the Good Samaritan has taught me to expand my definition of neighbor — to slow down and chat with folks around me. And sometimes to go above and beyond expectations when someone is in need.

More often than not though, I’m too focused on my destination to pause and say hello. I fall short of the example of the Good Samaritan. We all do. But Grace is there anyway.


A beer-only fast for Lent

Short version of this post: J. Wilson undertook a 46-day beer-only fast for Jesus, followed by a bacon smoothie on Easter Sunday. Holy Doppelbock, Batman!

Over a year ago, on the podcast, I mentioned that I was brewing a delicious doppelbock — and that it was traditionally brewed and consumed by Paulaner monks at Cloister Neudeck ob der Au in Munich during Lent. Here’s a nice legend from

The longest and most taxing of these periods of culinary abstinence was, of course, Lent, the 46 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Because the monks believed that liquids not only cleansed the body but also the soul, they would make plenty of liquid instead of solid bread from their grain, and then drink it in copious quantities…the more, the holier. Because the monks were society’s role models in those religious times…as did the monks so did the common folk. The secular verson of the sacred strong bier was called a Bockbier.

The first Lenten strong beer was brewed by Paulaner monks at Cloister Neudeck ob der Au in Munich. The Paulaners had arrived in Munich from Italy in 1627. They began brewing beer for their own comsumption shortly thereafter—exactly when is not clear. Depending on which documents one can trust, the year was 1630, 1651 or 1670. The Paulaners felt, however, that such a strong brew with such delightful qualities might be just a bit too much of an indulgence for Lent. So they decided to ask the Holy Father in Rome for a special dispensation so that they could continued to brew it with a clear conscience. The Paulaners dispatched a cask of Lenten beer to Rome for the pope to try and to pass judgment. During its transport across the Alps and along the burning sun of Italy, unfortunately—or fortunately—the cask tossed and turned, and heated for several weeks—a classic condition for causing beer to turn sour and undrinkable. So when the Holy Father tasted the much-praised stuff from Munich, he found it (appropriately) disgusting. His decision: Because the brew was so vile, it was probably beneficial for the souls of the Munich monks to make and drink as much of it as they could. Therefore, he willingly gave the brewing of this new, allegedly rotten, beer style his blessing. Little did he know…!

Today, I came across a blog from J. Wilson — a homebrewer, blogger, and Christian, who decided to undertake the same “liquid bread” fast this year for Lent. Awesome. To work his way back into solid foods, he drank a bacon smoothie on Easter Sunday. Awesome. I don’t even know if he’s heard about Homebrewed Christianity, but he might have catapulted himself onto the leaderboard for Deacon of the Year. Check out the article on CNN’s Belief blog.


Craig Goodwin’s Year of Plenty: Homebrewed Christianity 99

In 2008, Pastor Craig Goodwin and his young family embarked on a year-long experiment to consume only what was local, used, homegrown, or homemade. In Year of Plenty, Goodwin shares the winsome story of how an average suburban family stumbled onto the cultural cutting edge of locavores, backyard chickens, farmers markets, simple living, and going green. More than that, it is the timely tale of Christians exploring the intersections of faith, environment, and everyday life.

I really enjoyed the interview. Order a copy to read about Craig’s inspiring year of plenty. It even has advice in the back about how to raise chickens and other practical things they learned along the way.

We thought this episode would be especially fitting this year as Earth Day and Holy Week converge.

You can read more of Craig’s take on that intersection on CNN’s Belief blog.


Did they kill him too? Powerful story from This American Life for MLK Day

I love that I’m a part of a worshiping community where the pastor’s four-year-old runs around the pulpit while she preaches. I was supposed to have a staff meeting after, but told her that we need to postpone it because I was mad at her…her sermon on justice stepped on my toes too much. I was kidding of course. But her daughter — one of the cutest little girls I’ve ever known — playing next to her while she preached, reminded me of this story from PRI’s This American Life a few year’s ago.

Bonus related video:

May King inspire all of us today.


Ten popular posts and five podcasts you might have missed in 2010

This is based on a really complex algorithm I developed based on views, shares, and comments on Homebrewed. Actually, I just compared all of these things and threw this together rather arbitrarily. Let us know if I left out one of your favorites and what you want to see more of.

Sorry, no time for commentary on each of these. All of them are well-worth checking out if you missed any. I’m off to ring in the new year on 6th Street in Austin. It was a great year and we look forward to 2011!


1. John Caputo’s Fall 2010 Classes….in audio!

2. Philip Clayton invites Daniel Dennett to a debate: Will the New Atheist Accept or Hide (again!)?

3. What is wrong with ‘Progressive Theology?’

4. A megachurch pastor comes out of the closet, scandal free

5. Stuff Liberal Christians Like: #1 Saying, “I’m Not One of Those Christians.”

6. Stuff Liberal Christians Like: #2 Coexist Stickers

7. Disagree to Agree: Philip Clayton and Daniel Dennett

8. I Survived the Christian Right: Ten Lessons I Learned on My Journey Home

9. What Would Google Do? When a theology class reads it

10. Defining the Secular: Charles Taylor (pt. 3)


1. Anne Rice on Quitting Christianity: Homebrewed Christianity 83

2. NT Wright! Homebrewed Christianity 79

3. Marcus Borg, a “Novel” Jesus Scholar: Homebrewed Christianity 84

4. The Fascinating Life and Music of Kevin Prosch: Homebrewed Christianity 77

5. The Teaching Company Legend Phillip Cary on Homebrewed Christianity!