Sharing the Shins

What do you love? What are you passionate about? Do you ever find yourself telling everybody you know about a sports team, band, or film? What is it about cultural things that make us want to bring the reality of the experience to other people?

I'll give you a double example. Years ago, a friend of mine kept badgering me to see a film called Garden State. I was not a big fan of scrubs, so I consistently refused. However, I was won over by my friend's passion about the film. When, I finally did see it, I was blown away by one line in particular.

For years now, I have been a huge fan of the Shins, an indie band from Albuquerque. Before Garden State most people had never heard of the Shins (they are on the soundtrack). So, for the most part, I was alone in my adoration for the Shins' baroque pop discography. That is, until I saw Garden State and heard the line. Check out this scene from the film to get what I am talking about.

"The song" was "New Slang" by the Shins. I almost jumped out of my seat. Somebody else loved the Shins! I don't know why that was so exciting to me other than the fact that I now realized that I was a part of something bigger.

in the film, Sam's passion for her music and for sharing it with others is beautiful and magnetic. But is it always magnetic to share your passion?

The other day, my wife was paid a visit by a local religious group that is trying to recruit people to their Easter services. More than anything, their door-to-door is annoying to most people, but aren't they sharing their passion? Why is it annoying when religious people share what they are excited about, but it is not so annoying when people share their passion about sports, music, books, television, etc. ?

Another interesting perspective on this subject comes from a committed atheist, Penn Jillete. Listen to what he has to say:

So, an atheist seems to think that if religious people believed that their faith really had eternal implications, they would be sharing it with everyone.

What do you think? Should religious people share their faith?


Who's in? Who's Out?

Last week we discussed the fear and expectation of life after death from several different perspectives. Now, we turn to a very difficult concept to grasp - who gets rewarded and who gets punished in the afterlife?

In the conversation, some of us were concerned about the idea of justice last week. While it is comforting to think of rewards and benefits in the afterlife, it is equally disturbing to think about punishment for evil in the afterlife. The traditional Christian concept of eternal punishment is full of flames and agony. Other traditions like Hinduism refer to unappealing reincarnations.

So, what does it take to get the good reward and avoid the horrible consequences? Some faiths require a person to be "good," while others require some sort of conversion experience.

What do you think? If you believe in God or a just force in the universe, how do you think the delineation is made between good and evil people? For those who do not have faith in an eternal justice, is time heading toward some balance and is that a comforting thought to you?

Hopefully you can join us at Shorts for a great conversation.


Heaven, Hell and Salvation

Last week, we discussed the various ways that faiths view the afterlife. We discussed death, hope, justice and the fear of what happens next.

We're going to continue this conversation. This Thursday, we will discuss what salvation is to various perspectives. What does it take to be a part of a faith?

If you have some thoughts on this topic, join us Thursday night at Shorts Brewing Company!


In order to live man must believe in that for which he lives.
- Huston Smith
unTapped is a conversation about faith and spirituality. There are many people frustrated by being forced to think of faith in the same old patterns, and would prefer to explore spirituality in different ways.

Anything goes here. No matter where you are or who you are, we want to hear from you. Feel free to join in the conversation!

You can also join us in person, every Thursday night at Short's Brewing Company in Downtown Bellaire, MI.