Acton Institute Powerblog

Join us for the launch of Acton on Tap

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Those of you within striking distance of West Michigan won’t want to miss the inaugural Acton on Tap, a casual and fun night out on Feb. 25 to discuss important and timely ideas with friends. And then there’s the beer!

The topic for the evening will be “The End of Liberty” and will draw on Lord Acton’s claims about the relationship between politics and liberty. Discussion leader Jordan Ballor, associate editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality, will start it off by briefly discussing how politics and liberty relate to human beings’ greatest ends.

Here’s some Food for Thought from Lord Acton: Liberty and good government do not exclude each other, and there are excellent reasons why they should go together. Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end.

Where: Derby Station (formerly Graydon’s Crossing). 2237 Wealthy St. SE, East Grand Rapids 49506. (Thursday special: $2.50 pints). No admission fee or registration required.

When: Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:00 p.m. (casual start). 6:30 p.m.: Jordan speaks!

About Jordan Ballor:

Jordan J. Ballor is a Ph.D. candidate in historical theology at Calvin Theological Seminary and a Doktorand in Reformation history at the University of Zurich.

He graduated in 2004 with a Master of Theology (Th.M.) in systematic theology from Calvin, with a thesis entitled, “Barth, Brunner, and Natural Theology in Bonhoeffer’s Middle Period (1931-1939).” His previous degrees include a Master of Theological Studies (2004-Calvin Theological Seminary) and a Bachelor of Arts in English (2000-Michigan State University/Honors College).

Jordan serves as associate editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality. He has authored articles in academic publications such as The Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, and Journal of Scholarly Publishing, and has written popular pieces for newspapers including the Detroit News, Orange County Register, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In 2006, Jordan was profiled in the book, The Relevant Nation: 50 Activists, Artists And Innovators Who Are Changing The World Through Faith. His scholarly interests include Reformation studies, church-state relations, theological anthropology, social ethics, theology and economics, and research methodology. Jordan is a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC).

John Couretas John Couretas is Director of Communications, responsible for print and online communications at the Acton Institute. He has more than 20 years of experience in news and publishing fields. He has worked as a staff writer on newspapers and magazines, covering business and government. John holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Humanities from Michigan State University and a Master of Science Degree in Journalism from Northwestern University.


  • Guys, while I certainly have nothing against beer, and more than likely Jesus drank alcoholic wine and beer, the very idea of going to a bar and drinking beer (or any alcohol) is anathema to most evangelical Protestants of the fundamentalist persuasion. This is exactly why you won’t have a lot of these folks signing up with ecumenical movements such as the Acton Institute or the Manhattan Declaration.

  • I do get such great joy hearing suggestions for connecting with evangelicals from non-evangelicals. More please.

    Not every event, progam, lecture, or publication is going to appeal to everyone, certainly. And as for the alcohol, that seems to be something much more accidental rather than essential as regards fundamentalist non-participation in ecumenical activity.

  • John Couretas

    Paul: I wouldn’t know if having a beer would put “most evangelical Protestants” in the mood for anathema. I would, however, point out that because Acton is firmly on the side of liberty, there will be no compulsion to drink at this event. There may even be Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics who have given up beer for Lent. They are welcome, too.

  • John,

    Being a recovering alcoholic, I wouldn’t drink at all; but if I were in the area, then I would stop in on the meeting. Fortunately, however, there is a great distance between the cold western Michigan area and North Carolina where I live. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against Michigan; I am simply thrankful that I am again spared the worst of winter cold this year.

    As for the alcohol, most denominations like the Assemblies of God (AG), the Church of God (COG), Pentecostal Holiness, Nazarene, etc., would simply not participate with the Acton Institute because of its position on alcohol. I have heard many Pentecostal and similar ministers decry alcohol as evil. Sad – they limit themselves, and it isn’t alcohol that’s evil – it’s the disease of alcoholism.

    Oh well – just a thought. I doubt you’ll get many participating Pentecostals, but I could be wrong. There is some change going on in the AG and COG. I doubt the Pentecostal Holiness will ever change.

    Hmmmm….33,000 denominations and counting. :-(

  • Love both the idea and the venue. Derby Station was one of my very favorite W MI spots–and just moments away from church.

  • John Couretas

    Paul: We got nine inches of snow last night. You don’t know what you’re missing :)

  • David

    Beer + Ballor = Brilliant.

    For the record, “No animal ever invented anything as bad as drunkenness – or as good as drink.” -G.K. Chesterton

  • David, you crack me up! I needed a good laugh!

  • We have become so PC! have a beer if you wish, we are all adults. Acton is not a college frat party. Some will have a beer, some won’t, never saw anyone get “tight” at an acton event yet.

    Great group, great program, even better people. I just wish I lived closer (not in the winter though) so I could join you more often. Maybe my next business will allow me to get a summer home up there.

    See you in June!

  • George Connolly

    As an Irish Catholic, I’ll drink to that (and just about anything). I love the Chesterton quote. I’ll return the favor with my favorite quote which I find applicable generally and to the case at hand. “There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats grape-nuts on principle.” It is from Heretics in the chapter entitled, “Of Sandals and Simplicity.” A worthy read and re-read.