Archive for June, 2021

Book Review – I Believe

June 29, 2021

I Believe: Exploring the Apostles’ Creed by Alister McGrath

The first book I finished in preparation to teach on the Apostles’ Creed is this one. Alister McGrath is a well-known theologian who comes from a different Christian tradition than mine – one of the reasons I wanted to read his take on the Apostles’ Creed. I know he and I differ on some rather fundamental issues but I was curious how he would deal with the Creed. Overall, he deals with it very, very well.

He notes early on that one’s view of the Creed is tied to one’s view of Scripture. Since the Creed simply summarizes core aspects of Biblical revelation, if one dismisses the Bible as just the work of human authors or unreliable in the process of copying and translation, one is not going to be terribly excited about the Creed, and will likely dismiss all or parts of it out of hand. However if one takes Scripture seriously, as Christians have for the past two thousand years, then the Creed will be a handy way of boiling down the core matters that define whether one is a Christian or not.

This is important.

Anyone can call themselves a Christian. But for 2000 years the basic litmus test for such an assertion is whether or not they believe everything the Creed states. Not because the Creed is inspired in any way, but because the Creed is anchored firmly in Scripture and Scripture is the defining source for Christian faith. You can call yourself a Christian all you want, but if you deny any elements of the Creed, you are dismantling a very integrated theology and world-view, one that Christians for thousands of years have insisted cannot be dismantled. It is either accepted in entirety, or it cannot stand up to sustained critical examination.

With this in mind, it’s interesting that McGrath is able to assert wholeheartedly the opening description of God the Father – Maker of Heaven and Earth. If he is an ardent supporter or defender of theistic evolution, he doesn’t go into it here. He rightly maintains that God is the creator of all things but skirts the issue of whether the Biblical description of a seven-day creation is literal or possibly metaphorical. Some might argue that such an issue is tangential and unrelated to the generic statement of God as maker of heaven and earth. However as McGrath notes elsewhere in this book, to discount the miraculous in one part of Scripture throws a wrench into maintaining support for the miraculous elsewhere. And while I don’t doubt McGrath would argue theistic evolution is not denying God’s miraculous creative role, there are many Christians (myself included) who disagree with him.

This is a good introductory exploration of the Creed. Each chapter takes up one of the twelve faith statements. McGrath first explains all of the relevant parts of the statement at hand. He then returns to address how the ideas play out today. To affirm that God is the Father is one thing, but if it is to be more than an intellectual assent, it should have some interplay with how we live our lives if we believe it to be true, and McGrath does respectable work at connecting those dots.

At just over 100 pages in length (plus a bibliography and some helpful notes for those who want to use the book for small group study) it’s not exhaustive by any means. But it’s a good reminder (perhaps to those in McGrath’s Reformed stream of Christianity) that the Creeds are very helpful and good, and should be greatly esteemed.

The Apostles’ Creed

June 28, 2021

As I continue the transition from parish ministry towards eventual deployment as a theological educator overseas, my first opportunity to interact cross-culturally will come in August. I’ve been invited to lead a winkel consisting of a dozen or more Taiwanese pastors and church workers. A winkel is a Peruvian word that translates roughly to “fish slapper”.

That’s not entirely true. It’s actual an old German word with a variety of meanings depending on syntax, but in this usage it means corner or spot and is the traditional word in Lutheran circles for a gathering of pastors. These meetings usually include prayer, study, theological conversation, worship, the Sacraments, and general fellowship. I’ve been blessed to have been a part of the same winkel group over my nearly 15 years in ministry, and it was a good experience. Ideally it should be a place to be encouraged and strengthened by people who all are called to the ministry in similar capacities.

So I’ve been invited to share the teaching portion of a cross-cultural winkel. I’ll be doing it long distance as I’m still in the US. The topic I’ve chosen is the Apostles’ Creed, and more specifically, the First Article of the Creed. As such, I’ve been doing some reading and research on the Creed, and I’ll be sharing book reviews shortly.

But first and foremost, I’m reminded in this study of the importance of what you say about the Bible. The Apostles’ Creed has been in use for probably 1600 years at the very least, and the core tenets it summarizes are well-attested to going back to apostolic times. But the Creed is only as helpful as your view of the Bible. A low view of the Bible – meaning you don’t accept it (or at least all of it) as the inspired Word of God maintained in integrity through history and directly relevant and definitive for Christian belief and practice today – will mean you probably don’t think much of the Creed, since the Creed is based entirely on Scripture. If you have a high view of Scripture, seeing it as the reliable, inspired Word of God and normative for Christian belief and practice, then what the Creed says won’t be very surprising, although there is still plenty to think about!

So before you start studying the Creed, come to some conclusions about how you think about and interact with the Bible.

Reading Ramblings – July 4, 2021

June 27, 2021

Date: Sixth Sunday after Pentecost ~ July 4, 2021

Texts: Ezekiel 2:1-5; Psalm 123; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Mark 6:1-13

Context: It remains my longstanding tradition not to preach sermons for secular holidays.  I don’t preach about dads on Father’s Day, or love on Valentine’s Day, or our nation on July 4th.  As such, I will refuse to submit the Old Testament reading or  the Gospel to the lens of nationalism.  Not just because it’s not my habit, but because it’s completely wrong.  I’m sure there are those who will use these texts to decry the other in our country, where the other could be just about anyone that disagrees with them.  It’s always a temptation to read Scripture as vindicating our personal preferences, and to force it into political condemnations or exaltations.  These temptations must be resisted.  God’s Word calls us to glorify and worship him for his mercy and grace to our sinfulness.  That sinfulness is all encompassing – no one is immune to it.  And our hope lies completely and always in God, not in the political comings and goings of the day.  This is, in part, the point of these passages (particularly the Gospel, I think).  It is those we would think would least need correction, or are closest in their understanding to God who, ironically, need God every bit as much as those we would consider far away.  These texts speak to the other, of course, but they also speak to you and me as well. 

Ezekiel 2:1-5 – This is part of Ezekiel’s call from God, which begins in Chapter 1 (and explains why Ezekiel is face down on the ground and must be invited to stand!).  People get all excited about trying to interpret Ezekiel’s vision descriptions in Chapter 1, but I suspect we’d be better off paying a bit more attention to these verses in Chapter 2.  God is sending Ezekiel to God’s own people – not to a strange group of people who don’t know God.  While the words are certainly specific and historical, they are also true in all times and all places.  The people of God are rebels, we do transgress against our God.  And tragically, we are all prone to picking and choosing what we allow the Word of God to say to us and what we ignore.  Yet God is merciful!  He continues to reach out to us through his Word, and continually offers opportunities and invitations for self-examination, repentance, and reconciliation through the death and resurrection of his Incarnate Son, Jesus the Christ.  This passage should remind us that God’s people are not just historically willful and in constant need of God’s saving Word, his people today are often in the same boat!

Psalm 123 – This is one of the Psalms of Ascent.  We presume these psalms were specifically recited by pilgrims en route to Jerusalem, and that at least some of these psalms may have had a specific point on the journey when they were recited.  This psalm emphasizes our total dependence on our God.  This is certainly an apt theme for the traveler, who is often more prone to the whims and unexpected changes of being in transit, but it is equally true for all of us at all times.  Sometimes our routines and the predictability of daily life obscure our dependence on God.  But even our ability to plan out our days and know what to expect is a gift of our Lord.  The final verse really jumps out in this respect.  Those who are at ease and proud are juxtaposed to the humble dependence of servants and maidservants in verse 2.  One wonders what the context of this psalm might be!  Is it a jab at the residents of Jerusalem who sit in wealthy arrogance and scorn the road-weary pilgrims that flood the city for the High Holy Days?  Is it the officials who no doubt must permit access and assess taxes and fees to the travelers?  Is it a more generic condemnation of those who presume their ease and power allow them to play by different rules than ordinary people?  Regardless, the proper emphasis falls at the end of verse 2 – what we wait for is God’s mercy to fall upon us, and the psalmist implies that it will indeed come to those who wait and rely upon it faithfully.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10 – This section continues Paul’s defense of his ministry and role as an apostle.  The Corinthians have apparently been impressed by other men who moved through their midst, and have begun to suspect Paul is not nearly as impressive as they first found him.  But contrary to how we might expect someone to justify themselves and assert their authority – in recitations and demonstration of power and overcoming, of good leadership principles – Paul instead enters the end of his defense not with an appeal to his power but an appeal to his weakness.  It is in his weakness that God can be seen most clearly.  Do the Corinthians find Paul unimpressive?  Perhaps they should look between and behind his alleged deficiencies to see God supporting him and enabling him to travel and preach the good news of Christ crucified and resurrected, by which the Holy Spirit draws people – like the Corinthians – from darkness to light, from death to life, from ignorance to faith.  The very reasons the Corinthians might be inclined to dismiss Paul are, by the marvelous and inscrutable plans and workings of our God, the very reason they might want to pay more attention to him!

Mark 6:1-13 – This is a fascinating passage on many levels, but one of them is less obvious than the others.  Consider how the townspeople of Nazareth describe Jesus in verse 3.  Jesus is a local boy.  He’s spent most of his life growing up in this place.  Nazareth is still a small town today, I can only imagine  how small it was in Jesus’ time!  The details of his life are well-known by everyone in the town, just as gossip travels quickly through the grapevines of a congregation.  They describe Jesus as a carpenter.  This is the only place where we get an idea of what Jesus was doing prior to his baptism and the start of his public ministry.  He was a carpenter in Nazareth.  Which means, as per the norm of his time, that his father was probably a carpenter as well.  Jewish culture was paternalistic, and sons followed in the trades of their fathers unless their fathers were wealthy enough to provide them with an alternate education and career path.  And sons were generally known by their father’s name.  Rather than last names, men would be referred to as so-and-so, the son of so-and-so.  But that’s not how they refer to Jesus here.  There is no mention of Joseph, only of Mary.  That’s a curious thing!  Joseph has apparently died by now, but his paternity  is called into questioned.    The townsfolk no doubt could easily recall that Mary became pregnant before she and Joseph completed the final stages of their betrothal.    They could be insulting Jesus by calling him illegitimate.  But their words could also reflect something Joseph himself likely maintained steadfastly until his death – that he was not Jesus’ biological father.  We also know from Matthew’s gospel (1:18-25) that Joseph had no wish to damage Mary’s reputation or expose her to possible punishment for adultery.  He trusted the angel’s words, so he certainly would not have insinuated after the fact that Mary had been unfaithful to him or with him!  He and Mary had remained faithful and pure prior to their final marriage rites, but rather Jesus was, as we confess in the creeds, conceived by the Holy Spirit.   This passage may reveal that the virgin birth was not – as many critics contend – an imagined afterthought tacked on to Jesus’ backstory in order to make him more impressive, but rather a conundrum known to the people who knew Jesus as closely as any, the people (and extended family) of Nazareth

Sacraments and Sacred Cows

June 25, 2021

First, here’s a great article to read from one of my favorite sites –

Now, first of all, this is not a weaponization of the sacrament. This is teaching the Christian church, based on the Bible (Genesis 9:5-7; Exodus 20:13). For those that question the applicability of the Genesis 9 text, consider particularly verse 7. The prohibition against the killing of human beings is framed by the original command to be fruitful and multiply.

The only reason this situation is a quandry for the Roman Catholic Church (and any other religious body that prohibits abortion) is they have been reluctant to treat this as seriously as it actually is. I’ll assume that for decades there has been the opinion within the Church that Roman Catholics involved in politics at the highest level are ultimately a good thing, even if they deny some of the Church’s core tenets. This leniency to facilitate the progress of Roman Catholic politicians up the pecking order has proven to be ineffective, at least in terms of challenging the wanton destruction of human life that is legalized abortion. Roman Catholic politicians have seemed – on the whole – more willing to sacrifice the doctrine of the Church they claim adherence to over sacred political cows.

This is not – or at least should not be – primarily about President Biden. This should be about men and women who profess faith in the doctrines and therefore good standing in the Roman Catholic Church being called to account for their support and defense of political positions that stand in complete and utter contradiction to the historic Christian faith. This is not a Roman Catholic issue, this is a Christian issue. The above verses from Genesis and Exodus make it clear human life is of paramount concern to God and therefore to his followers. This is not simply an Old Testament issue but a New Testament one as well, as our Lord makes clear in Matthew 5:21-26. That Christians (not just Roman Catholics) have understood this as protecting human life no matter how small or how aged is clear from one of our earliest surviving documents showing the teaching of the Christian church in the 1st century – the Didache. It makes clear that Christians reject not only infanticide but abortion. The killing of the newly born and the killing of the unborn – dealt with in two separate statements to show there was no confusion in their minds about what they meant, and we should have no confusion in ours.

I have nothing per se against President Biden as a person or a political figure. But if he professes to be a member in good standing of the Roman Catholic Church, he needs to recognize that his defense of or advocacy of legalized abortion is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Church body I hope he relies on to receive the Word of God and the Sacraments of God. And from 1 Corinthians on, it is clear that in response to resolute refusal to repent of open sin, the action of the Church is to say to the sinner, you are in such danger of eternal damnation that we will not pretend everything is all right. We will treat you as someone who has not received Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior, because you are refusing to follow his clear and direct teaching. The intent is not punitive but salvific. The intent is that the person refused the Sacraments would recognize their error, repent, and change their ways.

This might prove problematic to their political career, but of immense value to their eternal salvation. President Biden, in some respects, has a unique opportunity to demonstrate this. His public repentance – as sitting President and highest representative of the Democratic Party – could signal to many other men and women far lower in pecking order that what matters is faithfulness to their Lord’s directives, rather than adherence to a party doctrine.

I pray the Roman Catholic Church has the strength to follow through on the threats it has made pointlessly for decades. I pray other parts of the Christian Church would have the strength and integrity to do the same. There is nothing to be gained in delaying doing so, and only more to be lost. Not just here and now in terms of election and political influence, but eternally in terms of souls lost in sin promoted by those who claimed to be followers of Jesus.

Pool Hall – The Corner Pocket, Sioux City, IA

June 24, 2021

Located on 5th Street and Fairmount on the northeast side of Sioux City, this appears to be the main pool hall in town, at least for bar-sized (7′ x 3.5′) tables. I’ve played a lot of places but this place is unique so far in terms of what it costs.

Essentially, for every drink you buy (whether a $3 bottled water or a $5.50 Jack & Coke) you can play pool and/or darts for an hour. At no charge. I’m not sure how closely they watch the clock. I bought two drinks and played for at least two hours.

The tables appear to all be bar tables. The felt is pretty coarse – no Simonis felt here and no Diamond tables for that matter! Some were coin-op bar boxes but at least one looked like an old-school carved leg table. It was easy to find a straight cue with plenty of tip on it.

The bar stocks pretty basic stuff. I didn’t see tequila (my personal favorite) but they had Jack Daniels and other basics and bottom-shelf options. This is not the place to come for a cocktail or a top-shelf drink – come here to shoot pool or throw darts.

I played a local guy who assured me this was the only (and cheapest) place to play pool in town. At least a casual Google search showed he was right. Leagues are in town, but they don’t play out of Corner Pocket (allegedly because the league president also owns all the coin-op tables in town at the various bars, but doesn’t own the tables at Corner Pocket).

A nice place to shoot if you aren’t looking for top quality tables. Heavy country, rap, and Hispanic music on the juke box. Inexpensive but basic drinks.

Pool Halls – a Travelogue

June 24, 2021

I’ve been playing pool since I was 18 or so. I can’t remember how I got started, other than my best buddy and I discovered the game and fell in love with it. It is a love maintained for me over decades. And in the last decade, a love I have started to document. As I’ve had the opportunity or necessity to travel in the United States or around the world, I’ve begun to make a priority out of finding local places to play pool, if only briefly.

Part of how I document my travels and experiences is in acquiring t-shirts from the places I’ve played. But not everywhere I’ve played sells t-shirts. So I’m going to start documenting here. As opportunity and memory permits.

I’ll go back and fill-in through this blog as close to chronologically accurate as possible those places I remember. I’ll try to use the title Pool Hall as a way of easily searching through (for myself more so than for others), so if you’re interested you can search for that and pull up all the related entries. Maybe it will be helpful to others who love the game and are looking for places to play. More than likely, it will just be a fond way for me to remember places I’ve played.

Pool Hall – Musette Bar, Omaha, NE

June 23, 2021

As mentioned earlier, I was referred to this place by a shooter at Big John’s who said there were plenty of people here who would be interested in wagering. It’s in a trendy little district called Benson right on Maple Street and there were plenty of people out and about still. It doesn’t look like much from the outside.

Inside things are just about as low-key and undistinguished. There are six tables – good quality but I don’t remember if they were Diamonds or not. When I arrived about 10:30pm it looked like league play was wrapping up, with three tables or so still with active matches on them. It’s a cash bar only. There are dart boards and shuffleboard as well in case you get tired of pool.

Most people were headed home when I got there so I didn’t stay long. A mixture of older players as well as younger university students. I’m sure it probably got busy again a while after I left, and I assume Fridays and Saturdays are probably also busier. Definitely a good place to check out if you’re willing to back your skill with a little cash!

Pool Hall – Big John’s, Omaha, NE

June 23, 2021

I stopped by this place in between errand running. It was quiet in the middle of the day. It’s located in southwest Omaha south of the 275 between 96th Street and 108th Street on a squirrely little street called M Street. Tables are beautiful and plentiful and only a few other folks were in the place. I noticed a sign advertising in-house BCA league play on Wednesday nights. I called the number, briefly explained that I play BCA league in California and offered my services as a substitute for that evening’s matches.

I played a gangly red-headed guy who requested I call him Sparky. At that point the league operator texted me back to let me know they did need a substitute. Fantastic! For the first time since March of 2019, I might actually get to play an official league match!

I arrived back about 7:30pm. League play was already in swing and the person I was supposed to sub for showed up so they didn’t need me. I beat the league director at a couple of games, who then passed me off to another shooter. Shooter is parlance for someone with some skill at the game rather than a random person knocking balls around. He and I shot for a while and when it was clear I was above his game level he told me about a place in town to go if I wanted to wager on the games I was playing. It was a place I had driven by earlier in the day and some online searching had indicated had multiple pool tables. It was nice to get a firsthand reference, though!

Big John’s is huge. Lots of tables, both bar boxes and 8-foot tables, probably some 9-footers as well. Lots of pinball machines as well. There is plenty of additional seating near the bar and the bar is well-stocked. The pinball games offer a nice diversion if you get tired of watching or playing, and everyone I talked to here was friendly. Definitely the place to go in Omaha, unless you’re looking to play for money. In that case, you need to go to the Musette Bar, apparently.

Reading Ramblings – June 27, 2021

June 20, 2021

Date: Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, June 27th, 2021

Texts: Lamentations 3:22-33; Psalm 30; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-43

Context: The lessons for today don’t appear to work together very well.  The reading from Lamentations is a brief ray of sunlight in an otherwise very dark and sorrowful book.  The psalmist rightly directs praise to God for his past deliverances from life-threatening troubles.  St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians – which isn’t supposed to blend with the other readings – is a very direct appeal from St. Paul for the Corinthians to be generous, using as example their Macedonian neighbors who gave joyfully even out of their lack.  And the Gospel lesson shows us Jesus healing a sick woman and raising a young girl from the dead.  Overall the readings contrast the ever-present grace of God with our own sometimes stingy attitudes.  You and I may mutter and count the pennies out we donate to the less fortunate or in our tithes, but God gives richly and extravagantly.  Not once or occasionally but over and over again, supplying us with the very means by which we live every day, until we just assume it to be our right.  God’s gracious giving is very definitely a reason to give him thanks and praise, as well as a call to remind us that it is not the works of our hands, whether technological marvels, medical miracles or political promises that will save us, but only the grace of God the Father in Jesus Christ. 

Lamentations 3:22-33 – Lamentations is a short book – only five chapters.  Go ahead and read it through to better appreciate the beauty of these verses, unparalleled in the book except maybe for the final pleading verses of chapter 5.  Judah and Jerusalem have indeed lost everything, been stripped of everything and reduced to rubble.  While the author is not specified there is a long tradition that Jeremiah is the author, lamenting the destruction by Babylon in 587 BC.  The situation seems truly hopeless but there is one source of hope – God and his steadfast love.  Where man might give up on one another or himself, God never does.  God is relentless in his love, therefore his people have just cause to hope his love will restore their fortunes and undo the catastrophe their sin has brought upon themselves.  Suffering then becomes a means of hoping in God, of actively seeking and expecting his blessing and mercy rather than assuming them as our birthright.  The character of God as loving Father is unexpectedly championed in this short, bitter book which otherwise mostly reflects on the destruction sin inevitably brings.

Psalm 30 – A psalm of David, perhaps written earlier and utilized for the Temple dedication.  The psalm celebrates David’s deliverance by God’s power, and there are no shortage of events in David’s life that fit such a description.  The power of God’s work is described as nothing less than a complete turn of fortune, a metaphorical rescue from death itself.  God is also described as the source of all power.  David perhaps grew self-assured in his greatness (v.6) but a mere glance aside from God reduced him to dire conditions (v.7).  David well understands both the painful wrath of God against the sin in his life, but also the great love and mercy of God even in the midst of our sinfulness.  David’s discussion of death (sheol) should be read cautiously, not as a description of life after death in general but a description of the living death that follows life for those who refuse God’s offer of grace and forgiveness.  Contrary to the dreariness of eternal separation from God, David’s life has been restored to give God thanks and praise, just as St.  John is shown the saints doing in his Revelation.  When our Lord raises us from the dead we will indeed give God thanks and praise, but in faith we are privileged to begin singing those songs here and now!

2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15 – In his first letter to the Corinthians (16:1) Paul instructed them to set aside weekly an amount of money  that could be collected and sent to Jerusalem to assist the church there in great poverty and suffering.  He now calls the Corinthians again to this task, indicating to them that just to the north of them in Macedonia the Christian churches – though themselves quite poor! – were eager to give even out of their poverty.  His intention is not to redistribute wealth to the advantage of the Church in Jerusalem, but to ensure that as many as possible had enough.  The Church should expect that when one part suffers, the other parts will assist in bearing up their brothers and sisters.  This is one manifestation of the love we are called to show for one another (John 15:12).  To claim we love our brothers and sisters in Christ but not to take seriously how we might personally assist them in our time of need is shallow love at best.  Paul concludes with a reference to Exodus 16:18 and how God’s love for his people in providing for their needs with manna, assured that nobody hoarded and that even the poorest of them had all they needed.

Mark 5:21-43 – The scope of Jesus’ ministry is shown in Chapters 4 and 5.  He moves from Jewish lands on the western edge of the Sea of Galilee to the non-Jewish lands on the eastern side and now back again.  He calms the wind and waves in the last chapter, drives the demons out of a foreigner at the start of Chapter 5, is entreated to heal the daughter of a worthy or deserving Jew in good standing, and on the way heals the persistent condition of a woman forced out of Jewish culture and society as ritually unclean.  The power of God flows out to everyone who will receive it.  God’s giving and loving and restorative nature is beautifully illustrated here.  The afflictions of the world, whether they be of the body or the natural world around us are the result of sin.  They are the work of evil in the world.  God brings healing and restoration.  Where the kingdom of God is the power of evil in nature and in our hearts has no standing or power.  It must flee towards uncleanness (like a herd of pigs), or it must obey Jesus like the wind and waves in the last chapter, or it is banished like the woman’s condition, and even death itself is not beyond God’s authority, releasing those it claims at his command just as the dead will be freed from death when our Lord returns. 

There is no condition or situation beyond the hope or power of God.  Conversely, there is no other power in the world either personal or communal that can approach God’s power.  How often do we stake our hopes on temporal, human solutions to our problems rather than seeing God as the ultimate source of deliverance?  How often do we presume that health and wealth in this world is to what comes afterwards? 

Pool Hall – The O Lounge – Norfolk, NE

June 18, 2021

I went here with a colleague of mine who told me this was one of the few places in town with pool tables. It’s located on the north side of town off of Riverside Boulevard just south of West Benjamin Avenue. While we had intentions of visiting another place called The Mint, we didn’t get around to it. So, for Norfolk, Nebraska, the O Lounge has to represent.

It is less than a stellar representation!

In a word, don’t come here unless you’re really desperate for a game. While the bar itself wasn’t bad, the tables were atrocious, and that’s not just because of the grey felt. It’s because of the ripped, torn, and worn grey felt. The tables looked like they had been used as tee-off spots for a local golf course. Eight-foot tables but really, really worn and badly kept up. Cost was $1 per rack, on your honor (a bin under each table where you could deposit a dollar – no coin-op arrangements).

This is primarily a bar. Apparently they have league play for shuffleboard but not for pool. Some rough characters but my buddy (who is *not* rough) didn’t feel at all ill-at-ease playing there, and indicated he had been there regularly for shuffleboard. In fact, he indicated the bar had undergone a bit of a facelift at some point in the past few years that had improved the quality of clientele in direct proportion to the better indoor lighting.

Not a pool player’s place, but if you’re in Norfolk and need a pool fix, you can go here! Though I might suggest you check out The Mint or another option first!