Fuller Northwest Institute Director on Pubs, Coffeehouses, and Democracy

Kiri and Jennie at Green Bean Coffee House

Matthew Kaemingk, director of Fuller’s Institute for Theology and Northwest Culture at the Fuller Northwest campus, has authored an article on “Pubs and Coffeehouses: A Drinker’s Defense of Democracy” in Capital Commentary, a publication of the Center for Public Justice. Here’s a taste of his article:

"Years ago, my church here in Seattle decided to do a rather odd thing: we established a neighborhood coffeehouse. The driving 'agenda' of 'The Green Bean' was neither evangelism nor charity. It was simply the church’s attempt to cultivate an enduring relationship with the neighborhood. We needed this space to better know and love this place.

Surrounded by the starkly secular culture of Seattle, we evangelicals have a tendency to huddle up in either cultural fear or self-righteousness. Rather than preach or patronize, the Green Bean provides our little church with an informal space to serve, listen, learn, and just relax. Reflecting on the value of the coffeehouse, my pastor joked recently that it helped socially awkward Christians 'become regular people again.' For, if our God commands us to be neighbors, this coffeehouse is the place where we can learn how."

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