The Church is not always in church

Phyllis Tickle talks about going to “Beer and Bible Tuesdays” at a small neighborhood pub where about eight or nine, often more, people gather to kick around “everything from hell to salvation, Christianity to Zoroastrianism, the relative validity of experiential truth to that of empirical truth, etc., etc.”

There are usually eight or nine of us regulars around the table at Kudzu’s on Beer and Bible Tuesdays. Sometimes there are more of us than that, of course, and sometimes we are joined by an in-house “visitor” or two who hear our racket, leave their barstools to eavesdrop, and — inevitably — join us. We’ve had a preacher or two come by to try to figure out what we’re up to, and even a trained theologian or two. But by and large, we are just finding our way toward a form of being together that has no pre-existing aims and certainly no set pattern to follow or expectations to fulfill. I can say, however, that in all my years as a professional religionist, I have never heard theology more earnestly or more intelligently talked than it is at Kudzu’s.

She writes that she has spent a lot of time talking about the situation of the Church in 21st century, and knows that many people worry about it’s decline.

It would irreparably offend most of those distressed people if I were to say to them, face-to-face, that the church is not necessarily in churches anymore. In fact, church is increasingly more active and fully present in places other than sacred buildings than it is in them. But I can say so here.

I can say here what I know to be true: Christianity has never been more alive and vigorous than it is right here and right now. And Kudzu’s is but one of thousands of vibrant proofs that that is so.

Beliefnet: Beer and Bible Night at Kudzu’s (by Phyllis Tickle)

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