Book Buzz

Or was that the delicious IPA I had before dinner? » The book is out, people are buying it, and apparently some are even reading it!

I’ve heard from readers spread out as disparately as Portland, OR and Washington DC, as well as Turkey and Guatemala.

So far only positive feedback, but some crabby, negative reviews are sure to come. That will have to be a separate post!

Here’s a taste of the great feedback coming in from readers of Pub Theology:

“I started reading your book and I can’t put it down! So refreshing! I wish I lived closer so that I could come to the pub theology meetings!”

“Finished the book. LOVED IT! Bryan, your view of the world and how it can be is refreshing!”

“Just bought mine on Kindle. I can hardly wait to read it. Your help in getting us started with our Theology Pub in Alamosa CO was very much appreciated. It’s going great. We have a good mix of Christians, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Universalists and undecided’s coming.”

“Very interested in your book. I’m doing some in-depth research into our pub discussion scene here in Portland where there is even a church meeting in a pub. Ordered one yesterday. Eagerly awaiting delivery.”

“Congrats on the new book! As an indie bookseller I’m really excited to see this is out.”

“[My son] gave me your book because I am kind of a pub theologian but with Jack Daniels. My brother and I preach to a Church that meets in our old airplane hanger and is full of broken people, including the Preachers. We make our living in the lumber business but along the way met old radicals like Will Campbell and others. Your book has some great stuff in it, good luck in DC.”

“Hi Bryan, just started your book, Pub Theology. I am a graduate of Hope College and currently serving  with my wife in Guatemala.

I stumbled across your book on Amazon by “accident”. I was searching for books on breweries to give me a foundation for my love of beer. The Guatemalan beer is just awful and a recent dream of mine has been start my own microbrewery in Guatemala (in addition to our ministry).

I have been struggling on how to combine my passion for beer with my biggest passion: Jesus. I am just embarking on this process of prayer and excited to gain your insight about finding a genuine faith at the table of conversation. I hope to gain insight and apply it not only to my life, but to our mission in Guatemala.

I have never been much of a reader, but I haven’t been able to put down your book. Can’t wait to finish it and hopefully discuss some of it with you! Thank you.”

And there are a couple reviews up on Amazon:

Moving the Church Forward July 9, 2012
By Ca
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

Three things that I love: beer, conversation, and God. For those that love all three of those things…or even just two of those things…or even just one…this book is for you. Berghoef writes honestly and candidly. He crafts stories that are humorous, engaging, and challenging. Like Berghoef, I grew up in the traditional church and was severely discontent with how the church forbid conversations about other faiths (and said you couldn’t drink beer). It will challenge readers to enter into a nonjudgemental conversation with others, where it is not necessary for you, as a Christian, to have all of the answers…in fact, you shouldn’t. There is a contagious excitement in this book and it does not let go of you from beginning to end.
Including a review from one of our own pub theologians!
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

(Full disclosure: I’m a regular attendee of the author’s Pub Theology gatherings, so you may want to take this review with a grain of salt. On the other hand, I can vouch for the accuracy and honesty of his account, so there’s that.)

“Pub Theology” makes me hopeful. It’s about sitting down with people and talking about ideas, and that’s something that few people bother to do any more. Even fewer bother to talk about ideas with people who disagree with them. In “Pub Theology” Bryan Berghoef has provided a pattern for starting (and continuing!) conversations with those who disagree with us – conversations which can move beyond argument or debate and into the realm of communication and actual understanding.

Pub Theology – the practice, and the book – is mostly about talking. Not always talking about God, but always talking within a community that respects and appreciates itself and each member. Talking in this way is a skill, and it doesn’t always come naturally. Some people have a hard time expressing their thoughts in a group, and some people have a hard time listening. But as with other skills, it’s something you can acquire. The ability to understand others and to make oneself understood even when you disagree about your fundamental values and presuppositions is a wonderful thing to have. Through the anecdotes and insights in this book, Berghoef explains how to create an nurture a community that fosters these skills in its members, and shares some ways that community has shaped his faith and ministry for the better.

I can imagine this book being frightening to some; Berghoef touches on ways in which religious traditions can make the possibility of communication with those outside the tradition seem dangerous. But even if – especially if – you are one who holds to a beloved creed or catechism, I would recommend reading and reflecting on this book. Berghoef is far from an iconoclast; he comes from a strong Dutch Reformed tradition and understands the power and importance of tradition in religion. Nevertheless, he has found that interacting with those of other faiths and of no faith has made his own faith stronger and more robust, and in “Pub Theology” he invites us all to join him. Try a sip!

If you haven’t checked out the book, pick up a copy! Don’t forget our book launch is tomorrow at Brew!

Otherwise you can pick one up online.

I am looking for more reviews, as well as a blog review or two!

Would love to hear what you think, and most importantly, for you to get involved in some good conversations wherever you are.


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