Theology on Tap Podcast

God, Death, Free Will, & Eucatastrophe: Christian Themes in Lord of the Rings – Shane Van Diest

J.R.R. Tolkien is universally known for his Middle-Earth Legandarium (primarily the Lord of the Rings), and is somewhat known for his devout Catholic faith. Just how much did the latter influence the former? In this Theology on Tap presentation, Shane Van Diest will consider the Christian themes and symbolism found in Tolkien’s famous work, namely: God, creation, evil, immortality, death, sacramentality, divine providence/free will, pride, the Eucharist, and whatever Shane can jam into the allotted time.

Shane Van Diest holds an M.A. in Theology from the Augustine Institute, a B.A. in Mathematics and Biology from Carroll College, and is currently completing an M.A. in Thomistic Philosophy from Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He and his wife Marah have one daughter, Cecilia. Shane serves as the Director of the Office of Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and in the past has worked as a FOCUS missionary, a Division I college football coach, and a high school theology teacher at Duchesne HS in St. Charles. He loves good liturgy, climbing trees, and is, as one might expect, quite obsessed with J.R.R. Tolkien.

No Salvation Outside the Church – Dr. Ed Hogan

No Salvation Outside the Church – Where did that theological idea come from, and does the Church still hold it today, and if so, what does it mean?

In this talk, we’ll look at the origins of this idea in the 3rd century, and its development through three major theological phases. We’ll explore why, today, we can neither hold the idea in its plain sense nor simply abandon it without ceasing to be Christian. Underneath it all the key question will be: when we talk about salvation and Jesus, what kind of God do we think we’re dealing with?

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Liar, Lunatic, or Lord – Dr. James McCullough

“Liar, Lunatic, or Lord: C.S. Lewis and His Trilemma Argument for the Truth of Jesus”

In his approach to Christian apologetics, CS Lewis sought to confront listeners with a basic matter of decision: Who do you say Jesus Christ is?

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Women in the Church – Katie Pesha

In this talk, Katie Pesha will explore the nature, vocation, and mission of women with a closer look into Saint John Paul II’s Letter to Women, and offer insights into some of the most contested questions surrounding women’s role in the Church today.

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Hot Topics in Reproductive Ethics – Dr. Cara Buskmiller

In this talk Dr. Cara dispels some misinformation about the teachings of reproductive ethics in the church and, explains why the teachings are what they are, and points out how we can evangelize successfully about the beauty and freedom of these teachings.

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Praying Through My Priorities – Fr. Anthony Wieck, SJ

“Praying Through My Priorities: How to Experience the Joys of a Purpose Driven Life”

In this talk, Fr. Anthony Wieck offers practical wisdom for finding balance in our life, using Ignatian forms of prayer as a basis for determining and implementing Godly priorities.

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What is Suffering For?

In the history of philosophy and theology, a great deal of time and energy has been spent on the question; How can a good God permit the existence of evil and suffering?

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Love in the Waiting

Are you in a season of waiting? Lauren Scharmer shares her personal story about how she has learned to seek God during the waiting. 

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