[due to new baby and COVID-19, only taking invitations for the fall or later]
Oct 9: Big Rapids, MI—St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
Invite me to speak!
I’ve spoken at bookstores, conferences, and Theology on Taps around the country (and, counting Ireland and Sydney, the world!). If you’d like me to come to speak at your event, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m glad to speak on a number of topics including:
Arriving at Amen and developing prayer habits
In Arriving at Amen, I explain how I found my way into Catholic prayer (with a lot of help from math, musical theatre, machine learning, and other odd interests of mine). I’ll discuss some of the analogies I relied upon to find my way into prayer, in the hopes that your group will wind up with a renewed sense of the beauty of Catholic prayer (along with Tam Lin, topology, or whatever else guided me). I’ll also discuss ways to schedule prayer or address anxiety about praying badly — I’ve frequently been stymied in my prayer life by logistical hurdles before I could even get up to the dark night of the soul.
Building the Benedict Option and Creating Christian Community
Drawing on my book, Building the Benedict Option: A Guide to Gathering Two or Three Together in His Name, I’ll talk about strategies to deepen your ties to other Christians over the next two weeks to two months. The talk includes space for attendees to talk to each other using prompts like “What traditions of prayer from my family can be extended to my friends?” I also can speak on this topic as part of a longer workshop, which I have done at Princeton and other campuses.
Having Better Arguments
How can you rig your fights so that you, your opponent (or both!) can notice if you’re wrong quickly, admit defeat cheerfully, and keep pursuing truth together? I’ll share strategies I’ve used to have productive arguments, even on hot-button issues. I tend to marshal everything from Ideological Turing Tests, prayer, Dungeons and Dragons skills, and fresh-baked cookies to make it as easy as possible to conduct disagreements in a spirit of love and honest curiosity.
My Conversion Story
How does an argumentative atheist wind up Catholic? By being too stubborn to walk away from a fight, even as it got clearer and clearer that I was going to lose. My road to Rome went along the scenic route, with detours into deontology and stoicism, as I kept poking at the question of how morality worked and wound up being forced to declare my loyalty to mercy over justice.