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Local author asks, ‘What would Jesus brew?’

Michael Camp enjoys a beer at Sound Brewery in Poulsbo, which is among the stops the local author will make during upcoming events to celebrate the release of his new book,
Michael Camp enjoys a beer at Sound Brewery in Poulsbo, which is among the stops the local author will make during upcoming events to celebrate the release of his new book, 'Confessions of a Bible Thumper: My Homebrewed Quest for a Reasoned Faith.'
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Mixing the Bible and beer might seem a strange brew, but for local author Michael Camp the two form the basis of a memoir of spiritual evolution seeking to open the door of theological discussion.

A Poulsbo resident, Camp’s first book “Confessions of a Bible Thumper: My Homebrewed Quest for a Reasoned Faith” mixes the author’s faith journey with a love of craft beer in a way he believes opens discussion.

The book, set to be released next Tuesday on Amazon, follows Camp’s spiritual evolution from conservative Christianity to a more progressive viewpoint.

A former Baptist missionary and aid worker for evangelical organizations, Camp said the book uses dialogue from conversations held in pubs to offer a dissemination of theological points to chronicle the author’s journey.

In the book, Camp melds the sacred and the secular in a way that breaks down stereotypes and allows for an open dialogue on faith issues.

“People think you have to go to church to talk theology, but a pub works fine,” Camp said.

Camp said the dichotomy of beer and theology is a metaphor for freedom and in many ways of the doctrine of grace he said is outlined in the bible.

The book takes the metaphor of friends drinking in a pub discussing theology to offer sometimes contradictory viewpoints and to delve into other viewpoints concerning the inerrancy of the bible, grace versus legalism, church structure, doctrines surrounding the existence of hell and other subjects that have been topics of debate in the church for thousands of years and remain so today.

Camp said the book is not a platform from which he preaches, but is a memoir of his personal journey and a means of opening conversations involving faith.

“I try to open a dialogue and get people to think that it is okay to question and discuss these things,” he said.

The characters in the book, while representing real people Camp has had such discussions with, are also often representative of some of the differing viewpoints that often represent the emergent church and the evangelical movement as well as progressive and liberal viewpoints on the Bible and Christian theology.

The chapters involving discussion are interspersed with chapters examining doctrine and theology and the author’s own research into theological matters.

Camp will host a series of local events to celebrate and introduce the book. The first will be held 7 p.m. June 19 at the Silver City Brewery Taproom, 206 Katy Penman Ave., Bremerton. The author will also host events at 3 p.m. on July 8 at Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo and 4 p.m. on July 10 at the Der Blokken Brewery in Bremerton.

 

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