unTapped Topic: Spooky Spirituality

This a redux conversation, but it seemed appropriate since this Sunday is Halloween.

Ghosts, witches, superheroes, and characters of all types will be showing up
at your door asking for candy. It is all in good fun, but it brings up a serious question: is this world ever interrupted by another? Is there a real basis for the idea that spirits and beings have real interactions with people in this life?

Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever heard of a dead relative returning to visit a person? If you do, you are certainly not alone.
  • One of the most popular programs on cable television these days is a program called "Ghosthunters."
  • According to a Gallup poll, Americans are very open to the existence of ghosts with over a third of Americans stating they believe in "spirits of dead people" that return. Almost half of the population believe in some form of ESP. 55% of Americans believe that people can be possessed by the devil or evil spirits.

This week for unTapped we will discuss anomalous paranormal/spiritual experiences. How do such things fit with your experience, your faith, and your perspective of the world?


unTapped Topic: Toward a Theology of Food

Does God care what we had for dinner last night?

Every major religion in the world has dietary restrictions. Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and even some Christians have restrictions on food and drink. But does God really care?

How much of a role does your spirituality play in your dietary choices? Do you make ethical decisions about food - where it comes from, who it affects, what scripture(s) says about it?

Join us at Shorts this Thursday night for a conversation about food and faith. We meet at 7pm. Pull up a chair, grab some food and a drink (if you're allowed!), and join our discussion.

OPtional Cheat Video:
Our topic this week comes from Rev. Andrew Pomerville's sermon series on food within the context of church. You can get an interesting Christian perspective here:

10-10-10 Rev. Andrew Pomerville from Church in the Hills Bellaire,Mi. on Vimeo.


unTapped Topic: ET, UFOs, and Theology

Lately there has been a lot of extra-terrestrials in the news.

Last month, astronomers announced that they had 'spotted' a planet 20 light years away from Earth that appeared to have many of the characteristics of a life-sustaining planet. The name of the planet is Gilese 581g. This is the first Earth-like planet found in another solar system that could have the conditions necessary for life as we know it.

Also last month, a group of seven retired air force officers held a press conference and claimed that during their time of service, they witnessed Unidentified Flying Objects disabling nuclear missiles. Of late, UFO's have even been sighted at O'Hare airport.

Reputable research has always found that close encounters are usually experiences best left to science fiction, conspiracy theorists, and cuckoos. But, the strange subject does bring up interesting faith questions. Seton Hall Professor David Opderbeck wonders how theology and faith changes if we indeed discover life outside of Earth. Opderbeck writes:

Such discoveries have the potential to upset Christian theology. We assume that the Biblical picture places humanity at the pinnacle of creation. Psalm 8, for example, affirms the exalted place of human beings in the order of creation. Notice, however, that even in Psalm 8, there are “heavenly beings” that occupy an order higher than humanity.

Where are we at in the universe? Are we alone? Are we the ultimate being or are there higher life forms out there? What does your faith say about all this and how could new discoveries affect your faith?

Join us for an out of this world conversation Thursday night at Short's Brewing, 7pm!


unTapped Topic: The Measure of a Person

This month, a film called The Social Network was released in theaters. The film follows the rise of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg as he ascends the financial and social ladder.

In an interesting review, "Snobby Film Guy" Chris Monks notes that the real theme of the film is the definition of a man. Monks writes the following:

Every human feels the need to be defined; by somethng they did or something that transcends themselves. They want to be liked, wanted, needed, loved, and appreciated...in other words they feel the need to be important.

Humans feel the need to be immortalized. But, "What defines a man?"

You may think this is too deep for The Social Network but just watch the first scene and you'll know it's not. Zuckerberg tells his girlfriend that he wants to be a part of a group at Harvard because "It's elite. And fun. And it leads to a better life." He wanted the notoriety and the "better life" and arguably he got that in the end but still wasn't happy.

You can read the whole review by clicking here.

The singer Rich Mullins once wrote from a very different perspective. He regularly eschewed wealth, fame, and status in preference for service, poverty and obscurity. He wrote about the memory that he would leave behind:

If my life is motivated by an ambition to leave a legacy, what I would probably leave is a legacy of ambition. But, if my life is motivated by the power of God's spirit in me and the awareness of the indwelling Christ, if I allow His presence to guide my motives, that's the only time I think we really leave a great legacy

Thus, our question for unTapped: what defines our lives? What makes us who we are? If we accomplish our greatest ambitions how are we different than those who have none? Are we defined by our ambitions at all? What sort of legacy will we leave behind us?

Join us at Shorts Thursday night, 7pm for a discussion of ambition and definition!


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.