New Winery: Courses, Forums and Workshops
New Wine offers courses that take a dialogical approach to subject matter. Our courses include video content and written resources, with facilitation and moderation. We are interested in orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy: the pursuit of right teaching on subjects, right practice, and right passion. In addition to right belief—credo, we believe in having credible conversations on vital subjects. We want to grow in living into our faith in these arenas in emotionally intelligent and healthy ways.
New Wine has course offerings in the following areas:
Conspiracy Theories, QAnon, and Evangelicals
Human beings have been interested in a variety of conspiracy theories for many years. Sometimes they prove to be true, but much of the time they are based on fanciful ideas that appeal to us for a number of psychological, social, and theological reasons. One of the more popular conspiracy theories among White evangelicals over the last few years was QAnon, an internet-based phenomenon that involved cryptic political messages, often connected to President Trump, and which alleged that a group of secret Satanic pedophiles was connected to the Democratic party and other societal elites. Given the prevalence of conspiracy theories we need to understand what they are, why we often find them so appealing, and the serious political, social, and religious impact they can have. As a part of this process of understanding, we also need to reflect self-critically on how we can more effectively navigate the emotional and rational elements of evaluating conspiracy theories and dialoging with those who hold them.
Fence Posts and Front Porches: Good News and Good Neighbors in a Multifaith World
Conservative Christians have tended to have negative perceptions of those in other religions, and as a result, apologetic refutation has been the go-to approach in response. This is much like the place of fence-building around our houses. In this metaphor, fences provide identity markers and protective boundaries between us and our neighbors, especially those we find threatening. But houses also have front porches. There we sit and meet with neighbors, engaging in conversation over differences as well as similarities. This course will explore new possibilities for Evangelicals in multifaith engagement. It includes a two-part structure, with the first part examining various elements that contribute to our attitudes and theologies of multifaith opposition. The second half of the course builds upon this foundation with a consideration of neighborly and hospitable forms of multifaith engagement in case studies with Latter-day Saint, Muslim, Buddhist, and Pagan neighbors. Students will come away with the realization that Evangelicals can be faithful to their religious convictions and work through them, even while living out their faith in neighborly and hospitable ways without compromise.
Making Life-Giving Connections in Times of Crisis
The coronavirus has brought much devastation here and abroad. It also provides us opportunities from which to learn from one another’s experiences on how to survive and thrive in extreme situations. This course will provide a variety of ways in which we can grow in our faith and understanding to make various practical connections for fostering life in times of crisis. We will engage leaders from different vocations who will assist us in building bridges to life rather than roadblocks that lead to death in such areas as faith and science, medicine, psychology, compassionate pastoral care, concern for those most at risk, good business practices and strategies, and futuristic thinking.
The Race Course: Setting the Pace for the Long-Haul
The killing of George Floyd has led to an outcry for racial equity and justice in our society. Some people wish the racial tensions involving mass protests would go away so that we can return to life as normal and peaceful coexistence. But was life ever truly peaceful for the African American community? Were the racial tensions always there, just waiting to surface in such dramatic fashion? Others hope that the racial tensions don’t subside so that we can effect long-range change that dismantles every racialized sector of society, including church existence, policing, the prison system, politics, health care, education, and employment. But can the protests sustain momentum in a strategic manner? This course introduces some of the most pressing issues facing the church and community at large pertaining to race. We will engage leaders from different vocations in the attempt to set the pace with wisdom so that we run well the marathon race, not stopping after fifty yards as if the race were only the length of a short sprint.
Christian Nationalism and Evangelicals
Christian nationalism has been one of the most influential elements shaping evangelical political views, impacting not only things like views on school prayer, but also negative attitudes towards immigrants and Muslims, and the suppression of religious freedom for minority religions. This course will explore various facets of Christian nationalism, including how it has influenced a large segment of White evangelicalism. The various session topics have been selected with an eye toward understanding the phenomenon from recent academic studies, and looking at specific aspects of it that help explain aspects of how it has affected the evangelical community. By way of a study of this subject matter and critical self-reflection, the result will be a greater awareness and understanding of what Christian nationalism is and how it has shaped American evangelicals.
Plans are also beginning to take shape for crafting courses in Beatitudes, Not Platitudes: Jesus’ Invitation to the Good Life; Faith and Science; New Wine and the Marketplace; and Trinitarian Theology of Cultural Engagement.