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Pints Templar to hold discussions at the Park Tavern

MEDICINE PARK - A group of friends will hold what they hope is the first of many non-traditional Biblical discussions Sunday in an even more non-traditional venue  the Park Tavern.

"We want to have this theological discussion group where we plan on tackling a variety of topics," said co-founder Noel Alsbrook. "Initially, we're starting off with why do bad things happen to good people?"

Alsbrook and his two friends, dubbed the Pints Templar, organized the group after a series of discussions and conversations during Alsbrook's cigar nights and other gatherings. He said someone would often pose a theological question, which would incite a friendly discussion among those in attendance. He's been asked several times in the past to organize an event, so Alsbrook finally decided the time was right. "What Would Jesus Brew?" was born.

"We want this to be an open and friendly discussion group where no one will be judged or attacked for their opinions," Alsbrook said. "The three founders are decidedly Christian, but anyone is welcome to come, no matter what their beliefs are."

The Pints Templar are already formulating discussion topics for the future, including the intersection of Christian charity and immigration. With the Syrian refugee crisis continuing across Europe, many have raised religious objections to allowing more immigrants in. One of the United States presidential candidates has made immigration one of the key aspects of his platform. Alsbrook said there is a theological discussion to be had about what many feel Christians should do in the face of such turmoil.

"There's a lot of talk about immigration and refugees," he said. "In our history, we're made up of immigrants. Do we open our borders to all or do we close our borders? What does God really say about that kind of stuff?"

Each discussion will allow plenty of time for everyone to share his or her opinion. Alsbrook, a former pastor of 20 years who earned a doctorate in theology and served as an adjunct professor at Oklahoma Baptist University, will help lead the discussions, along with his two co-founders. At the end of each session, he'll offer excerpts from the Bible that outline what God says.

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