Last week I enjoyed getting to know a fellow United Church of Christ pastor named Eric Elnes at a Colorado mountaintop retreat. On Friday Eric inconvenienced himself to get up early and drive me a couple of hours to the Denver airport to get me home. In the car we had a fascinating conversation that touched on things as diverse as video games and the possibility of post-mortem salvation.
Darkwood Brew is broadcast on-line via streaming video each week. The episodes take place in an informal studio/coffee-house setting. Each week a topic from scripture is developed that runs through the entire episode.
The teaching is in short bursts and accessible to laity, but it is by no means simplistic (Eric himself has a Ph.D. in Old Testament from Princeton Theological Seminary). Each episode is punctuated with some incredible jazz by Chuck Marohnic and his band “The Brew’s Brothers.” These are professional jazz musicians, and the music itself is worth checking out the site.
The episodes are designed so that small groups watching remotely can pause at intervals and share in the discussion.
Typically on an episode there is a live Skype visitor to weigh in on some aspect of the days theme. I saw an episode on Galatians with NT scholar Beverly Gaventa from Princeton via Skype. Good stuff.
The pacing on Darkwood Brew holds your attention and the discussions, though dealing with serious topics, are often lighthearted and full of humor. This weeks episode (May 1) deals with the “Doubting Thomas” story in John’s Gospel and features a Saturday Night Live type faux infomercial for a diatery supplement called Certitude. Very funny.
The production values of this site are very high, but in no way slick. I typically have an allergy to Christian media, but I’m telling you Eric and his team are doing an amazing piece of ministry and evangelism here.
So check out Darkwood Brew. Their motto is “You May Not Like It.” I’m guessing you will.