5 in 10: Fr. Nicholas Norman-Krause

Today the Brazos Fellows enjoyed class with Fr. Nicholas Norman-Krause, who led our discussion of St. Gregory of Nazianzus’s classic work, Five Theological Orations On God & Christ. Fr. Nicholas is Associate Priest for Campus Ministry at Christ Church, a Ph.D. candidate in Theology and Ethics at Baylor University, and a moral theologian who works on Christian social ethics, political theology, and economics. He serves on the advisory board of Brazos Fellows and is a frequent teacher in our Course of Study.

I sat down with Fr. Nicholas for “Five Questions in Ten Minutes,” and we talked about political theology, what Christians today might need to hear about politics from St. Augustine, the philosopher Stanley Cavell, some new books in theology and ethics that Fr. Nicholas is excited to read, and more. Listen to our conversation here:

Here are links to some of the items we talked about:

Introducing the 2020-2021 Brazos Fellows

Updated: August 20, 2020

In just a few weeks, the 2020-2021 Brazos Fellows cohort kicks off! It’s certainly not going to be a typical year for the fellowship, given COVID-19, but the basics will stay the same: a rhythm of prayer, work, and study; learning and discerning in conversation with tutors, spiritual directors, and coaches; a rich and rigorous Course of Study; and sharing life together. As it turns out, 2020 might just be the perfect time to be part of something like Brazos Fellows. In the middle of uncertainty, division, and disruption, there’s never been a greater need for Christians to take on a Rule of Life–to embrace weekly practices and disciplines aimed at deepening our love of God and neighbor–and to commit to sharing life with others in small, in-depth communities.

And we’re especially excited to do this work with our incoming fellows. In the coming weeks we’ll be welcoming a great group of men and women to Waco, Texas. Here’s the 2020-2021 Brazos Fellows cohort:

TiffanyTiffany Owens is coming to Waco from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of The King’s College, Tiffany has a background in journalism but has been working in marketing for the past few years. She currently works in social media management for an online classical Christian school. This year, life in NYC has definitely slowed down due to COVID, so she’s been spending most of her time working, researching for various side projects, and taking long bike rides around Brooklyn. This year, she is hoping to study Critical Race Theory and its implications for politics and public life.


Arabella Bryant goes by Belle. She was raised in Central Florida with her parents, in a city called Lakeland. She recently graduated from Wheaton College where she majored in English Literature and minored in Bible/Theology and French. This year she will study the body within church history and how embodiment relates to our redemption and to eschatology. She is looking forward to how being in a space that is initially unknown can invite the fellows into new perspectives on ourselves, the world, and God.


Mitchell Elequin was raised in the hill country west of Austin, Texas. He just graduated from Baylor with a BBA, studying accounting, anthropology, and New Testament. This summer, he is developing a non-profit called Tentmakers Network and enjoying board games and disc golf with loved ones. He is looking forward to studying contemporary Christian ethics through first-century Christian wisdom, and eagerly anticipates liturgical and communal life with the Brazos Fellows cohort.

Picture1Natalie Widdows is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and she recently graduated from Baylor as a University Scholar studying Great Texts. She attended Christ Church this past year and is excited to continue being a part of the Christ Church family for this upcoming year. She is particularly excited to study church history, theology, and Holy Scripture in the context of a community centered on prayer, worship, fellowship, and love of God.


Chris Norton received his initial programming in Shreveport, Louisiana, as part of a global conspiracy to subvert your thoughts and feelings. However, an undisclosed agent hacked his software and modified him to endlessly scribble made-up stories instead. As a result, Chris was let loose to run amok in the world and currently masquerades as a writer of wacky fiction, supporting himself by creating short stories for English language learners. During his time in Waco, he’ll be looking into some questions at the intersection of writing and spiritual experience. He’s excited to ride some mountain bike trails and explore with his puppy, Naomi—all while devoting his abilities entirely to peaceful purposes.

Please join us in praying for Mitchell, Belle, Natalie, Chris, and Tiffany, as they move to Waco, get settled, and prepare to do this work of study, discernment, and prayer. We’re looking forward to what this year holds for them.

What is theology for?

“What is theology for?” This is the question that Dr. J.I. Packer asked, every time, in a ringing, clear voice at the start of systematic theology class at Regent College. And the answer we called back, every time: “Doxology!” We then stood, and sang it–The Doxology, that is. Because, for Dr. Packer, to talk about God, to talk about ideas about God, for any other reason and in any other frame was, in fact, nonsense. We studied theology to know God. We studied for, and as, worship.


Yesterday, Jim Packer went home to be with the Lord. The legacy he left behind is hard to overstate. He left a mark in 20th century evangelical theology, in the life of the Anglican church, in evangelical-Catholic relations, and in many years of teaching at Regent College. You can read about Dr. Packer’s tremendous life and career here.

One part of his legacy is that the call for worship-oriented theology–for theology aiming at doxology–lives on in a small way in the many students he taught. Our work together at Brazos fellows, when we gather in classrooms or around the dinner table, is what it is in no small part because of him. Thank you, Dr. Packer.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

5 in 10: Brendan Case

This week the Brazos Fellows resumed our community life and settled into new living arrangements (read about these changes here!). It’s truly wonderful to be together for prayer, meals, and study.

However, our guest instructors still must join us virtually, so this morning Dr. Brendan Case appeared on the screen to teach the fellows. Brendan is the Research Associate in Philosophy at Baylor’s Institute for the Studies of Religion, where he is researching the notion of accountability and its importance for our social life. This morning, the fellows talked with Brendan about ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church), tradition, authority, and various developments in 19th and 20th century theology.

Afterward, Brendan and I sat down for an episode of “Five Questions in Ten Minutes.” We talked about a number of things, including the work that opens up the literary world of the Chronicles of Narnia, the Bach composition that Brendan listens to nearly every week, and books about walking across Europe. Listen to our conversation here:

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