Your Coffee May Be Heretical

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When my Theology 2 students take midterms in a couple of weeks they will struggle with remembering and describing the various Christological heresies that plagued the early Church. They would do well to check out Andrew Stephen Damick’s post, “Coffeedoxy and Heterodoxy” at his website. He warns that “your local coffeehouse may be a hotbed of heresy.” Damick has posted a syllabus of coffee errors designed to protect the unwary from aberrant brews. With tongue planted firmly in cheek he declares:

  • Decaf is Docetic because it only appears to be coffee.
  • Instant is Apollinarian because it’s had its soul removed and replaced.
  • Frappuccinos are essentially a form of Monophysitism, having their coffee nature swallowed up in milkshake.
  • Chicory is Arian, not truly coffee at all but a separate creation.
  • Irish coffee is Nestorian, being two natures conjoined solely by good will.

The list goes on. I always suspected that Fair Trade Coffee was Donatist, but who knew that the overuse of sugar was Pelagian? I don’t know if Damick intended for his blog to operate as a teaching tool, but I think it serves as a great (and funny) way to help remember the different early heresies. Even if you’re not studying for an exam you’ll enjoy his post, which can be found here.

This blog is cross-posted at

I’m a Twentysomething

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Jamie Cullum is one of my favorite musicians. He sings and plays jazz piano with a lighted-hearted, likable style. If you’ve never heard him, his Twentysomething album is a great place to start. In it, Cullum covers everyone from Cole Porter to Jimi Hendrix. But it’s an original track written by Cullum–”I’m a Twentysomething”–that perceptively expresses the quandary in which so many young people find themselves.Twentysomething

The song reveals the thoughts of a young man fresh out of college and his contemplations about what he should do with his life.

Maybe I’ll go traveling for a year
Finding myself, or start a career
Could work for the poor, though I’m hungry for fame
We all seem so different but we’re just the same

With a reference to his student loans, Cullum makes a wry observation about what his degree has done for his employment prospects:

I’m an expert on Shakespeare and that’s a h— of a lot,

but the world doesn’t need scholars as much as I thought.

I suspect that more than one recent college graduate can relate.

Then Cullum confesses that he doesn’t have a clue about how to proceed:

Who knows the answers? Who do you trust?

I can’t even separate love from lust.

He observes how so many cope with the grind of the workweek. He hopes for something different but fears a similar fate:

But don’t make me live for Friday nights
Drinking eight pints and getting in fights

Cullum mulls over love, marriage, career–and concludes none of these things can truly satisfy:

There surely must be more

Love ain’t the answer, nor is work
The truth eludes me so much it hurts

“I’m a Twentysomething” is a witty and catchy tune that expresses the dilemma of the human condition, particularly the condition of postmodern, western young people. The truth that he laments as “eluding” him is, of course, the Truth.

We know the truth and can answer Jamie’s questions.  So when the twenty-somethings in our lives question what life is all about, let’s be ready with a winsome presentation of the Gospel.

This blog is cross posted at




The Child of a Storm

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Tonight (Sept 16, 2014) Dr. Gerald Smith presents the Drummond-Bush lecture for the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture. The event will be held at the Wake Forest Baptist Church, which is located on the campus of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The title of his lecture is “‘The Child of a Storm:’ The Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Dr. Smith is the Martin Luther King scholar-in-residence at the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Gerald Smith

Dr. Gerald Smith

Dr. Smith’s Tuesday night lecture is part of a two-day reflection on the role that people of faith played in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10 am in Binkley Chapel, Dr. Danny Akin will lead a panel discussion in a special “Casual Conversations” chapel. Dr. Smith will be joined by civil rights historians Dr. David Roach (of Baptist Press) and Dr. Brent Aucoin (of Southeastern Seminary). Rounding out the panel will be Mr. Clarence Henderson, who in 1960 participated in the sit-in of the whites-only Woolworth diner in Greensboro, NC. (NPR has an excellent article about importance of the sit-in and Clarence Henderson’s role can be found here: “The Woolworth Sit-In That Launched a Movement”). Make plans to join us!