Why BRBG?

We created this site because, well… we had to (for our own sanity).

Over the past few years, the definitions of “Real” and “Good” seem to be taking massive hits in our culture. A quick scroll through any news or social feed confirms the growing divide in our collective understanding of what’s real or good. Conspiracy theories and disinformation get released into the wild daily. Talking heads on media platforms spin the truth to fit their personal and corporate agendas. Marketing departments create a thousand reasons why the “thing we need to have” will fill the hole of meaning and significance we all are craving.

We get it. It’s difficult cutting through the noise to determine what’s real or good. It’s time-consuming listening to diverse viewpoints, some of which we don’t want to hear. It’s humbling realizing something we thought to be true, may not be.

But should we let any of these reasons stop us from trying to uncover (and take action on) what is real and good for all?

The truth will set you free, but first, it will make you miserable.

~ James Garfield, 20th President of the U.S.

Eyes that see. Ears that hear.

It’s no secret our country has A LOT of problems piling on top of each other. If there was any doubt, 2020 ripped it away like a used band-aid. The Covid 19 pandemic exposed many broken systems that have festered for some time. The growing income disparity, racial injustice, spiraling cost of our byzantine healthcare and education systems, hunger and food insecurity, are only a few consequences from our ruptured political relationships and misguided economic policies. Does it have to stay this way? That’s up to each of us.

If we cling to a tribal, scarcity mindset that benefits our crowd only, (at the expense of others), it rarely ends up well in the long term. But what if we can let go of the tribalism? What if we can cultivate an abundant mindset believing there is plenty for everybody? What if we can find ways to cooperate, collaborate, and dare we say compromise? What benefits are waiting if we seek the best for each other?

Many of us believe good can grow out of challenging seasons in our lives. The pandemic reset of 2020 seems like one of those seasons.

In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or back into safety.

~ Abraham Maslow
Sally & Rick

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding?

As a couple of post-evangelicals, trying to practice the Way of Jesus, we have come across a few ideas that may help. Some are new, some ancient and eons-tested. Most are from people much smarter than us.

Sidebar for those of you who struggle with the term “evangelical”, we feel your struggle. We wore that label in our early married life without thinking much about it. But, over time it became more difficult reconciling what we were reading in our Bible with modern American evangelism. This is why we jettisoned the term years ago. The transactional, one-dimensional, ticket-to-heaven gospel of who’s in and who’s out – along with the hyper individual focus on “me” vs “us” – just got too small.

That said, we haven’t thrown out the manger baby with the bathwater. In fact, Jesus and his mission of holistic transformation, or the renewal of all things (including ourselves), seems more compelling than ever. And his invitation to live into the challenging “Kingdom of Heaven” life NOW, forming better relationships and justice for all, is more needed than ever. 

Every last one of us has a 'kingdom' or 'queendom' – or a 'government' – a realm that is uniquely our own, where our choice determines what happens.

~ Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy)

Our worldview informs how we rule our kingdom.

Whether we are aware of it or not, each of us has a worldview. It’s the lens we look through to make sense of why we’re here and how to relate with each other on this tiny blue orb in space. This lens gets shaped by the experiences, events, and people intersecting with our lives. Most of us are walking around with an out-of-focus or smudged lens. Some of us are pinballing through our existence with a cracked or broken lens. None of us see through a perfect lens. But many of us want to see clearer, so we can better engage in this thing called abundant life.

I think I'm wrong about 30-40% of my theology. The problem is that I'm not sure which 30-40%... which keeps me humble.

~ Leonard Sweet

Below are three people who have helped us see a more expansive and beautiful worldview of the upside-down Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus announced.

Brian McLaren – contemporary Gospel

Too often I feel our contemporary gospel is: 

  • Primarily information on how to go to heaven after we die.
  • With a large footnote about increasing your personal happiness and success through God.
  • With a small footnote about character development.
  • With a smaller footnote about spiritual experience.
  • And with a teeny-tiny, itsy bitsy footnote about social and global transformation.

The gospel is not an evacuation plan for heaven.
It’s a transformation plan for the earth.

Brian McLaren

The Bible Project – Ruling

“All humans are being called to rule and participate in the human project.”

“So what does this mean, I mean, how are we all supposed to rule? The picture we get in Genesis is gardening. They rule the earth by cultivating it, by harnessing all of the earth’s raw potential, and then making something more and new out of it.”

“Ruling is really the day-to-day acts of our work and creativity? We take the world somewhere. This is humanity’s divine and sacred task.”

Rob Bell – Living between the Trees

“Is our world supposed to be like this? Or is something wrong?”

“I mean why is it that so many of us have this sense deep down that something is out of whack? I mean, we see the violence, and injustice, and disease in the world, and something within us says that this is not how things are supposed to be. I mean how is it that our world can be filled with such beauty and such order and such good and yet at the same time filled with such heartache and such pain? And how can all of these things exist side by side in the same place at the same time?”

Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.

~ Henry David Thoreau