This piece is a repost from my Substack: The Kin-dom of God: Homebrewed Christianity’s Theology Beer Camp
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Homebrewed Christianity’s “Theology Beer Camp” was organized by Dr. Tripp Fuller and it was a full schedule of speakers, panels, karaoke, music by Trey Pearson, podcasts and beer. I was glad to speak on 2 panels, give a plenary talk, record a podcast for Rethinking Faith and film a recording for Tripp Fuller.
On Saturday morning, I was really excited to give my plenary talk on “Experiences of God” and thought it would be fun to begin by asking questions to the crowd. I asked people to raise their hands when I called out their denominations. As historian Diana Butler Bass wrote in her article, I asked if there were any,
“Presbyterians? A few hands. Episcopalians? Scattered raised hands. UCC? A couple of hands went up. Methodist? Less than a dozen. And it went on — very little in the way of traditional denominational identity — with maybe a fifth of the attendees having raised their arms while the rest sat with their hands in their laps.”
With a kind of laughing frustration, Grace finally blurted out, “Who are you people anyway?”
Not only did I not know what to expect from Homebrewed Christianity’s “Theology Beer Camp”, I also didn’t know who to expect. Tripp Fuller invited me to speak and I just said “yes”.
I soon found out that many of the attendees were ex-evangelicals. I also found out the ex-evangelicals were fun, happy, joyful and exciting people. I joked with them, laughed with them, ate with them and drank (just a tiny amount) with them. I had a fantastic time with all of them.
People get a bit confused about what the kin-dom of God is like. The kin-dom of God is not a bunch of boring theologians hanging around, but rather it is a fun, joyous, and a wonderful gathering of diverse people.
The kin-dom of God is a feast where every single person is welcomed. It doesn’t matter if we have grey hair, black hair or no hair. It doesn’t matter if we are poor, rich or middle class. It doesn’t matter if we are tall, short, small, or big. It doesn’t matter what our preference in life choices are, we are all welcome into the kin-dom of God.
The kin-dom of God isn’t a boring, strict, divisive and hostile place. Rather it is a warm, inviting, joyous, fun, and loving place. It is like a joyous uplifting party!
I think I got a taste of the kin-dom of God at Homebrewed Christianity’s “Theology Beer Camp” as we shared laughter, peace, and joy. And for that, I am truly grateful.
I hope we can all continue to spread the cheer, love and joy to the rest of the body of Christ so that we can all laugh, feast and be joyful in the kin-dom of God which is now.
[One lucky winner will win my signed copy of my book #Invisible in Homebrewed Christianity’s book giveaway.
Read Homebrewed Christianity’s Guide to the Holy Spirit which was published a few years back. Dr. Tripp Fuller is the book series editor.