Culture At Large

Beer, bread, chocolate - and Jesus?

Josh Larsen

I apologize in advance to those of you who don't live within driving distance of Chicago, because I'm about to literally whet your appetite for something you won't be able to attend.

On Tuesday, April 7, I'll be sitting down with TC contributor John J. Thompson to discuss his new book, Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate; Crafting a Hand-Made Faith in a Mass Market World. The best part? We'll be doing it while enjoying the craft beer at Flossmoor Station in Flossmoor, Ill. Things start at 7 p.m. Admission is free (though the beer isn't). And you're all invited.

Having already read John's book, I feel it couldn't be more TC in spirit. Partly a memoir of John's growing appreciation for all things artisanal and partly a profile of the men and women who literally get their hands dirty crafting small-batch variations of delicious stuff, the project is all about seeing God's created good in the everyday. What's more, John goes on to describe how the trend away from the mass-produced and toward the hand-crafted can also bring an authenticity to our faith. Is it possible that by being more intimately involved in cultivating the gifts God has given us, we might grow closer to Him?

I'll be asking John that question and many others in our talk. For those in attendance, we'll be opening things up for your questions as well. Filling out the evening will be live music by Tobin Bawinkel, of Flatfoot 56 and 6'10, who will also speak to the way the artisanal movement can be felt in the music industry.

If you're eager to read John's book, you can pre-order it here. To whet that appetite a bit more, here's an endorsement from C. Christopher Smith, coauthor of Slow Church and editor of The Englewood Review of Books: "In Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate, John J. Thompson serves up a delectable mix of personal story, keen observations of evangelical culture, and scriptural reflection. The result is a filling and satisfying meal for the growing number of people in our churches who are starving for something more substantial than consumer Christianity."

I hope to see some of you on the 7th!

Topics: Culture At Large, Arts & Leisure, Art, Theology & The Church, Faith, News & Politics, Social Trends, Media