Eps 112: Quakerism, embodied spirituality, and Theo-poetics; guest: Callid Keefe-Perry

Eps 112: Quakerism, embodied spirituality, and Theo-poetics; guest: Callid Keefe-Perry

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Callid Keefe-Perry

Callid is a husband, father, and a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). He worships at Fresh Pond Monthly Meeting of New England Yearly Meeting and travels in the Ministry within and beyond the Friends’ denomination. Currently he is working toward his PhD in Theological Studies at Boston University’s School of Theology, where he focuses on Practical Theology and Religious Education. Broadly his work is at the intersection of imaginative and creative practices and their connection to pedagogy and spiritual formation.

Feature image of fish is in the public domain and called “Chase Still Life with Fish 1” from “Ergs Art Gallery. Visit www.ergsart.com

Callid’s book we discuss his Primer of Theopoetics
“A Way to Water”


You can get all the links related to Callid and everything mentioned  in the episode (even the bird paintings!) by accessing the special
Show Notes for a nominal contribution.

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The conversation moves into Theopoetics at about minute 20.

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Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

Episode 13 – “We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology” guest Doug Jackson

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Shownotes for Episode 13  Wine lovers have God to thank + guest Doug Jackson

First, I want to feature the book Doug and I wrote …

entitled Dog in the Gap because of a C.S. Lewis quote “Man and his dog close a gap in the universe”.


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Thank you! Enjoy the show!

With love,



Who do we have to thank for wine?

God and the Church, actually.

Wine lovers in Western civilization have the Church in Europe (and the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire–which was neither holy nor Roman ) to thank for the large-scale production, the prevalence and the excellence of wine!


Because liturgy involving wine for communion was central to Christian religious practice. Wine was ingested as the saving holy blood of Christ (and bread as the holy body of Christ), usually each and every day. The sacraments of Communion served as saving grace afforded to the Church.

As Roman Empire became officially a Christian Empire (circa 313 CE) many vineyards had to be planted, properly cultivated, and harvested. Grapes had to be made into a lot of to support the daily practice of communion throughout the Empire.

Communion served as wine was the norm among Christians world-wide until recently–in the era of pasteurization. To keep juice from grapes in a state were they would not ferment meant it had to be sufficiently boiled so the natural yeast would die. 

Vehemently opposed to alcohol, Thomas Bramwell Welch, a physician, dentist, and Methodist pastor from Vineyard, New Jersey, figured out the process in 1869 with Concord grapes. Most churches did not accept the switch as proper and stayed with wine.

The juice later became more popular during Victorian era because of prominent values of abstinence. A shift then began in the U.S. that made grape juice the main communion beverage (at least among certain Protestants sects).

Several hundred vineyards operating in Europe today can trace their history to monastic origins.

In the 9th-15th centuries almost 1,000 monasteries dotted Europe. They were centers of education, stability, and technical innovation. Monks and nuns could read and write–this was quite uncommon then.

Monasteries cared for the sick, helped the poor, created places of education, and invented Universities. They could not fund all this through donations. Surplus wine was sold to finance ministry work (and also beer, fruit brandies, and cheese, among many other things..even prayers and Salvation ..which–in hindsight–appears to have been a mistake ) .

So, basically, thank God (and many monks) for wine!


Sparking your muse

 Enjoy the fantastic chat with Doug Jackson!


Douglas Jackson, D.Min.
Director of the Logsdon Seminary Graduate Program

Doug Jackson came to SCS in 2006, after serving as pastor of Second Baptist Church, Corpus Christi, since 1993. In addition to teaching courses, Dr. Jackson functions as a liaison between Logsdon Seminary and local churches in Corpus Christi. His areas of specialization include spiritual formation and pastoral ministry. Dr. Jackson has published and presented several articles and essays in religious and literary venues, including articles and lectures on the life and writings of C.S. Lewis.
• D.Min. – Truett Seminary (2006)
• M.Div. – Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1985)
• B.A. – English Literature, Grand Canyon College (1982)

His blog is here.


Interview / chat notes:


MIN 8:00
on Doug preparing for a his Fall class.

A resource he is using by NT Wright – “The new perspective on Paul”
The covenant people God has saved.

Reformers and the necessary correction in contemporary times.

Confronting individualism
and thoughts on human flourishing.

on the idea of being “spiritual but not religious”

on his work about CS Lewis

Mere Christianity

The importance of imagination for understanding that isn’t covered by rationalism.

on his Oxford lecture
Owen Barfield an influential life-long friend of CS Lewis

Another lecture on Walter Miller – A Canticle for Leibowitz
Apologetic self-proclaimed validity on the rational scheme of knowing.

“Scholarship is about knowing more and more about less and less so that eventually you know everything about nothing.”

James Sire

Malcolm Guite https://www.facebook.com/malcolm.guite
Chaplain of Gerton college and Cambridge
“Faith Hope and Poetry”

He covers the imagination as a way of knowing (an epistemology).

Holly Ordway
Houston Baptist University
“Not God’s Type”

Her 2-track movement toward conversion

Brainpickings.com Maria Popova (an admitted secular atheist on a continual spiritual search)

on Spiritual atheism

….if we come up with a system that covers everything (Christians and Atheists alike)…

“Humans are sensitive and emotionally vulnerable to a wasteful degree evolutionarily speaking…highly valuing the arts.” (Lisa)

Christ in the Desert Benedictine Monk and Abbot
Philip Lawrence, New Mexico
…slipping in and out of atheism….

HG Wells, and the fundamentalist reaction to him and others of his ilk.

on how science and religious circles have had an absolute unwillingness to be in one another presence and (have not wanted) to admit any weaknesses and (instead) just shout louder.


“The best apologetics can do is make Christianity credible and I don’t think it can make it inevitable.”


22:30 “Any belief in any ideal is still a leap of faith for anyone… like Justice, Love, Hope…” (Lisa)

on How people appeal to a standard outside themselves. (CS Lewis)

Theories of “survival behavior value” for Morality and Justice kicks the can. or it lands on simple absurdity and meaninglessness where suicide becomes a valid option.


Doug answering the question….”Is fundamentalism evolving”?

Richard Foster’s classic over 50 years old “Celebration of Discipline”

A story of a crucial pivot point for Doug.

How the psalmists had to cry out to God when the answers didn’t suffice any longer. For us, this is a return more than a departure.”

“I have gained the gift of being able to respect other traditions and admire things they bring us, but I talk to people across that spectrum that have that experience.”


“We go from trusting our denominational address or theology address to trusting Christ but it doesn’t mean an abandonment of it. Choosing a room in the same house to live in.”

Spiritual disciplines most meaningful to him:
On solitude and privacy (the difference). Henri Nouwen explains the difference.
 Henri Nouwen explains in “Out of Solitude” 

Doug: Solitude is for battle. Privacy is to be alone.

Demons come in our solitude (Desert Fathers). The outcome is awareness and purification.

Wanting “the listening heart” (what Solomon really asked God for).
on the importance of listening to God…

My Stockholm syndrome at parties. (Lisa)


“(My) Inability to be with people was driven by a failure to have a real self.”

“you are nearer to me than my own self.” Augustine

Doug realized:

“My real Self can’t be with people because it’s threatened by them, because they’re going to colonize my Self and going to make me into something I’m not. As opposed to having a real Self that can listen because God is protecting that Self.”

Father Francis Kelly Nemeck wrote
The way of Spiritual Direction (his director)
…Doug and I discuss Detachment and Holy Indifference…

St John of the Cross
(Exploring the spiritually obscured times and darker emotions.)

“the nada” (God is “no thing” the silence before God

…on staying in the problems and not panicking.

…on the crucial lesson from his mom that revealed his theology

(unknowing) Apophetic theology

“John of the Cross didn’t want that we should abandon the metaphors but move through them.”


“We cannot encapsulate God in our Theology.”

(which is terrifying but life-giving)

Further exploration in a future episode of John of the Cross with Doug coming soon!


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Watch for new episodes each Hump Day (Wednesday).

Jump In! (Road Trip)

Tomorrow marks my first day of teaching a 12 week stint on Spiritual Formation. I’m relating the journey of faith with and toward God to a scenic road trip, like Route 66.

Early on, Route 66 was well-traveled as people moved westward for a better life. Decades later, it became a common vacation expedition for families in the 1950s and 60s. What is it now? It’s not any of that.

The huge Interstate Highway system made traveling West smooth, faster, and more direct. Many of the towns with roadside attractions, and the windy roads from Chicago to Santa Monica were all but abandon. Some sections remain, and for the nostalgic traveler or the lovers of adventure on open the road, no other route is more alluring than, the Mother Road–the famous Route 66. It’s the stuff of legends.

For those of you who can’t come on join us, in person, here’s a “postcard” from the first leg of the trip.

Before we set off on a genuine road trip, we usually get an idea of where we’re going, and who we’re going with. We might venture off the map, and we’ll certainly have unexpected happenings along the way. We can become anxious over what lies ahead, out of view; or we can keep optimistic, knowing that we trust our companions. We can adventure on, tackling whatever obstacles we need to. The truth is, our the destination shouldn’t overshadow our view or enjoyment of the journey. The journey is part of how we are trained for our destination. SO, here we go.

Here are 8 ways we learn during the Christian journey. Maybe you can think of some more.

  • Through the Holy Spirit
  • Through Scripture
  • In community
  • Spiritual guides/teachers
  • Through Sacraments
  • Through devotional practices
  • Through Christian History/Tradition

Which ones have helped you the most? Which ones have you left out the most? Thank you for sharing your ideas on this topic. Hop in, let’s go!

Next week’s lesson: God’s Grand Story

So, You wanna ditch your church? Top 5 Mistakes

Alphonse Mucha's work here reminds me of Redeemed Humanity, the Bride of God's Only Son

Sometimes going to church doesn’t seem worth it. For heaven’s sake, wouldn’t it be better to just have breakfast with some family or friends, and forego irritating people, scheduling problems, overblown or petty dramas de jour, personality conflicts, politics, dodgy doctrinal positioning, and the rest of machine the local church can be? Is the Cracker Barrel growing a bit more more alluring each Sunday morning?

Seems like a no brainer, right?
If this is kind of thing is happening for you, in your local church, maybe church shopping is around the bend? Well, wait just a minute. Here are 5 Mistakes you can make (or have made) regarding your local church.

1. Making theological judgements for what are personal preferences.
2. Mistaking the “local church” for The Bride of Christ.
3. Misunderstanding the idea of “community.”
4. Implementing a consumer approach with the spiritual and transcendent.
5. Overlooking what is happening in the sacraments.

Being from a more independent faith tradition, I grew up with the sense that church, in the local setting, was mainly about worship and fellowship. Well, it is, but not in the small sense I understood it to be. Now a bigger view of Church guides my life, and my relationship with my God and Savior.

Simply put: Church is hardly about “the local church” or about any human individual.

Jesus saved humankind through his Bride the Church. That means our preferences have very little to do with what God is doing, and the workings of Church.

The Church is something universal, invisible AND visible, international, and local. It is bound by culture and history, and yet handily transcends them both. It may exist in a location temporarily, but exists eternally in every location. Yes, it’s bigger, in every way than you think, or have the ability to imagine.

We apprend it in such tiny ways at times…
Perhaps, we get caught up or annoyed by such things a personalities, worship styles, programs, or issues related to our doctrinal formulations, opinion, or personal preference.

We may go “church shopping” and miss the point completely.

How correct to say, “Church is not about me.”
It’s about WE.

In the sacraments, the community of God (Trinity) intertwines with the community of man (humanity). We receive divine grace. God is with us. God is with his Bride, the Church. Locally the church celebrates what the collection of Christians, past, present, and future is enacting, together.

Each Sunday, worldwide, Christ’s Bride gathers, and meets together. The church is with “him”, as it has done from the beginning.

Even as the earth spins, the variances in time zones cause prayer without ceasing, and the fellowship and communion of the saints occur, globally.

And with Christ, Father, and Spirit, we celebrate the reality of koinwnia (koinonia) with the Divine.  Thomas Aquinas wrote, “the Eucharist is the sacrament of the unity of the Church, which results from the fact that many are one in Christ.”[7] (Eucharist means thanksgiving.) Koinwnia is what Christ exercised divinely with humanity, by grace, through his work in his ministry, on the cross, and in his resurrection. It is how we commune with each other, and worship God in Spirit and Truth.

Through a local church body, we live out, and enact the Gospel and participate the actual in-breaking of the Kingdom of God here on earth. The local church is people, and people are flawed. What God has done, is doing, and will continue to do, is not.

This whole concept is all summed up nicely in the Apostles Creed, in which followers of Christ unite in spirit and truth. Many of us may not know the creeds, or declare them together with other Christians. But, this particular creed, well-established in the 300s A.D. (C.E.), and is the/a manifesto (see ref. link) of the Bride. It is a speak-act and agreement of followers of the divine Father, Son, and Spirit, for a way of living and being; and understanding the world.

To take this creed fully to heart will expand your idea of church, unify you with Christians of the last 2,000+ years, and may even help you forebear with the frailties of  local church you attend, here and now.

From the Book of Common Prayer –

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The holy Catholick Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.

Your comments are welcome.

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