Douglas Ottati on a Christology of the Heart: Homebrewed Christianity 89

We’re closing out 2010 in a big way by continuing the Christology series with Douglas Ottati. Professor Ottati is the Craig Family Distinguished Professor in Reformed Theology and Justice Ministry at Davidson College in North Carolina. In conversation with the reformed tradition, he takes a mediating position between pure repetition and repudiation of the past that will help us all negotiate our own faith in today’s world.

Recent books include Theology for Liberal Presbyterians and Other Endangered SpeciesReforming Protestantism: Christian Commitment in Today’s World, and Hopeful Realism: Recovering the Poetry of Theology. The first volume of his systematic theology, tentatively titled A Theology for Liberal Protestants, will be available sometime next year.

We have a guest host this week for our intro…our newest deacon, St. Nick.

Music this episode is Ben Bowen King’s “Will the Circle be Unbroken” from the album, “The Shepherd’s Story,” available on iTunes.

Galileo responds to science skeptics

…As therefore, the Holy Scriptures in many places not only admit but actually require a different explanation for what seems to be the literal one, it seems to me that they ought to be reserved for the last place in mathematical discussions.  For they, like nature, owe their origin to the Divine Word; the former is inspired by the Holy Spirit, the latter as the fulfillment of the Divine commands; it was necessary, however in Holy Scripture, in order to accomodate itself to the understanding of the majority, to say many things which apparently differ from the precise meaning.  Nature, on the contrary, is inexorable and unchangeable, and cares not whether her hidden causes and modes of working are intelligible to the human understanding or not, and never deviates on that account from her prescribed laws.  It appears to me therefore that no effect of nature, which experience places before our eyes, or is the necessary conclusion derived from evidence, should be rendered doubtful by passages of Scripture which contain thousands of words admitting of various interpretations, for every sentence of Scripture is not bound by such rigid laws as is every effect of nature…. [Source]

Over the past two years, it seems Scripture is being used to determine whether climate science is adequate in Congress. We shared this testimony with you a while back, which has resurfaced because Shimkus had become a favorite for leadership in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. But it’s going to a more moderate Republican. Hopefully, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hear the words of Galileo.


Elizabeth Johnson’s Ecological Christology: Homebrewed Christianity 88

Elizabeth Johnson, Catholic feminist theologian, returns this week to talk about Christology in ways that inspire ecological concern. Three areas she sees ecology and Christology intersecting are the ministry of Jesus, the belief in the incarnation, and Christ’s death and resurrection. Great stuff.

Books by Elizabeth Johnson:

Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God
She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse
Dangerous Memories: A Mosaic of Mary in Scripture
The Church Women Want: Catholic Women in Dialogue

Also, friend of the podcast Michael Dowd stops by to tell us about an exciting series of streaming conversations in December and January, The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity. Go to for details!


A megachurch pastor comes out of the closet, scandal free

Watch live streaming video from bishopjimswilley at

This is Bishop Jim Swilley. It’s long. Watch the whole thing. My distaste of megachurches aside, in the midst of the bullycides, this is a powerful thing. What are your thoughts?

I hope we can get him on the podcast soon.

[News story]


The classic ‘Footprints in the Sand’ poem revisited

In my sermon this week, I decided to revise the famous “Footprints in the Sand” poem to reflect Matthew 6:24 about serving two masters. Here it goes:

One more set of footprints

Last night I had a dream. I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonged to me, the other to the Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was one more set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.  “Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, you would be all I needed. You’d walk with me all the way. But during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, I saw another set of footprints. I don’t understand why anyone else would come between us.”

The Lord replied, “My son, my precious child, I love you and I wish there were only two sets of footprints. During your times of suffering, when you saw three sets of footprints, it was then that you brought along your friend Mammon.”


Religious Pluralism, Nondualism, and Polydoxy with John Thatamanil: Homebrewed Christianity 86

This is just a podtastic conversation between Tripp and Dr. John Thatamanil, a discussion about how Thatamanil’s cultural background has informed his Christian theology. This podcast episode gives a glimpse of what one might come up with weaving strands of Alfred North Whitehead/process, the thought of Paul Tillich, and a bit of hindu tradition into a thoroughly Christian theology. He and Tripp explore the implications for religious pluralism, nondualism, and an emerging polydoxy stemming from his work.

Dr. Thatamanil is an assistant professor of theology at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, teaching a wide variety of courses in the areas of comparative theology, theologies of religious pluralism, Hindu-Christian dialogue, Buddhist-Christian dialogue, the theology of Paul Tillich, process theology, and Eastern Orthodox theology and spirituality.

Order a copy of Thatamanil’s The Immanent Divine: God, Creation, and the Human Predicament. An East-West Conversation.

We’re also still looking for a few more religious jokes before we offer up the finalists to the deacons to vote on for the title of 2010 Homebrewed Christianity Joke-off Champion. The prize is 4 world-class theological books, 2 premium cigars from Tripp’s humidor, some of Chad’s famous homebrewed ale, and a stack of stickers for you to spread the goodness of Homebrewed! Give us a call at 678-590-BREW to leave a message with your best religious joke.

Click the play button below for a great episode!


A Conversation with Philip Clayton: Homebrewed Christianity 85

Philip Clayton is on this episode and he and Tripp talk process, prolepsis, Jesus, his upcoming book Topsy Turvy God, the religion and science dead-end, the impact of 9/11 on theology in the 21st century, and a little process/Pannenberg. Philip Clayton is a philosopher and theologian specializing in the entire range of issues that arise at the intersection between science and religion. Most recently he’s written Transforming Christian Theology, In Quest of Freedom: The Emergence of Spirit in the Natural World, and Adventures in the Spirit: God, World, Divine Action.

Tripp blogs through Pannenberg’s 3-volume systematic theology.

We got a call this week from Don in Vancouver. Thanks for listening and giving us a shout out.

Also, do not forget you have a little bit of September left to call in with your best theological joke. Call us at 678-590-BREW and leave a message for a chance to win the:

4 theology books. We arere talking Moltmann, Pannenberg, top notch theology.
2 excellent cigars
Official Homebrewed Christianity homebrewed ale
Homebrewed Christianity stickers so you can spread the goodness

Click the Play button below and enjoy!


The Resurrection: Borg or Wright? (Audio Poll!)

Tripp had a sweet idea to let you listen to two brief soundbites from our recent interviews with Tom Wright and Marcus Borg back to back, so you can let us know with whom you agree more on the resurrection. You don’t have to fall in line completely with either to vote, but vote and qualify it in the comments.  The resurrection always raises a bunch of commitments, questions, and passions — just check Tony’s, Bruce’s, and Bob’s posts — so don’t forget these two Poll-O-pponents are friends! :)

Borg on the resurrection

Wright on the resurrection

[poll id=”2″]


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

Marcus Borg, well-known for his work with the Jesus Seminar and author of nineteen books, many of them best-sellers, including The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, co-authored by NT Wright, and three co-authored by John Dominic Crossan, The Last Week, The First Christmas, and The First PaulJesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary was a New York Times Bestseller. Many of you have also probably read or heard of Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time and Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally. You have seen him on many national news programs. Today, he’s on your favorite podcast! Or, my favorite podcast at least.

I get Dr. Borg’s thoughts on:

Anne Rice leaving Christianity (check out episode 84)

the NYC mosque

Bart Ehrman (check out episode 50)

Luke Timothy Johnson

NT Wright (check out episode 79)

John Dominic Crossan (check out episodes 8 and 34)

Then we turn to his latest book, Putting Away Childish Things: A Tale of Modern Faith. With this one, he sets out in a new direction as a fiction writer, but is up front that the novel is didactic, a teaching novel. We discuss how different the creative process is for writing fiction versus non-fiction, and how much of himself is in the main character, a religion professor who challenges her students to think critically about what they’ve been taught about Christianity. He also talks about whether he will continue writing novels.

Oh, and Tripp and I announce a sweet new contest that you’ll really dig. You can leave your comments and theological jokes on the podcast hotline at 678-590-BREW and you might just hear your message on an upcoming episode.

The ultimate Homebrewed Christianity prize pack includes:

4 or 5 theology books. We arere talking Moltmann, Pannenberg, top notch theology.
2 cigars from Tripp’s world class humidor
Official Homebrewed Christianity homebrewed ale
Homebrewed Christianity stickers so you can spread the goodness

Click the play button below and enjoy!