Oh Taste and See that the Lord is Good: On Beer and Beatitude

This year, Brazos Fellows is partnering with Pinewood Pub on a series called “Tipsy Orthodoxy.” It’s a simple premise: in-depth theological discussion, in public, while drinking good beer. So far the series has been quite a bit of fun, with conversations on theological readings of Leviticus, Bonaventure’s arguments from ideas about God, and, most recently, our own Fr. Nicholas Krause on Augustine’s political theology.

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We’re excited to announce that the next Tipsy Orthodoxy will feature philosophy professor Tom Ward presenting “Oh Taste and See that the Lord is Good: On Beer and Beatitude.” Here’s what we’ll discuss with Dr. Ward:

‘Good’ is our most general term of approbation. But the goodness of beer is not altogether the same as the goodness of bourbon, and the goodness of neither is the same as the goodness of gin. The Tipsy Orthodox relish these varieties of goodness while recognizing the profound unity of goodness amidst its creaturely diversity. Indeed, the goodness of all good things is a sort of participation in the one Goodness which is God. Recognizing this intimate connection between each and every good thing and the Good can help us order the whole of our lives toward the beatifying love of God to which we are all called. In this talk we will explore the relations between creaturely and divine goodness, drawing on some neglected patristic and medieval resources.

If that sounds interesting, we invite you out to Pinewood on Tuesday, Feb. 18 from 7:00-8:30pm. If you can’t join, the good news is you can get a window into Dr. Ward’s work on this episode of Five Questions in Ten Minutes.

Learning Love from Leviticus

One of our goals at Brazos Fellows is to become a genuine community of study–to learn how to think with others, and particularly, to learn how to think with the Church. Last night, Brazos Fellows hosted the first of a new series, rather mischievously named “Tipsy Orthodoxy.” The goal of this series, held at Pinewood Pub, is to invite others into the kinds of conversations we have in the fellowship, to think in public about theological questions, and, while we’re at it, to drink good beer.

Our speaker last night was Dr. Rachel Toombs, who teaches at Baylor in Religion and the Interdisciplinary Core, and serves as minister at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church. Rachel spoke on “Learning Love from Leviticus: A Theological Reading of a Difficult Book,” and helped us understand how this hard-to-read book is profoundly theological. Leviticus shows shows us something about God’s relation with His people.

The Book of Leviticus, Rachel argued, echoes the first chapter of Genesis, where we see the Creator bringing order out of chaos by separating things–by putting things in their proper place. Once things are rightly ordered, God calls them “good,” and dwells at rest in the middle of His creation. This is the same concern of Leviticus: to properly separate things so as to maintain this orderly goodness so that God can dwell with His people. What looks like pointless rules or legalism, is, in fact, about what makes a rightly-ordered community, a people in which the Creator God can be present.

As you can imagine, both Rachel’s presentation and the discussion and questions that followed were very interesting. If you missed it, all the more reason to mark your calendar for the next Tipsy Orthodoxy: Tuesday, November 19, when Dr. Brendan Case will present on “Creation as Theophany.” More details on this soon.