I got this book some time ago, Drinking with Calvin and Luther by Jim West. It is a wonderful read, full of funny and sometime downright shocking anecdotes and histories. It is a very necessary book in our day of pharisaical attitudes to alcohol running rampant through the church — churches filled with people who, if they read their bibles properly, wouldn’t accept Christ for violating their “rules” of “supercilious niceness”. This false religious nonsense is definitely something worthy of fiery apostolic rebuke… Well this book isn’t it, its more light hearted and interesting, but it wonderfully prepares one to fight against this scourge in the church.
Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Wesley, Whitefield, Knox… All drank prodigiously (well compared to me). Even Spurgeon before sadly succumbing to the ungodly temperance pressures of his day. More recently Rousas J. Rushdoony and Cornelius Van Til would discuss theology and philosophy over a beer. What a weak and foolish church we have become substituting external observances and laws for true piety and love of the Lord!
For the beer neophyte West helpfully provides an appendix rating some beers, the write-up on the poor beers is good laugh, but he highly recommends quite a few. I had noted the following to track down and sample: Guinness Extra Stout, Guinness Draught, Pilsner Urqell (Czeck), Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale (England), Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout (England), Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (US), Anchor Steam Beer (US). I want to taste some of the best so that I have a measure. I am also keen to taste some of the Belgian Abbey Ales which are similar to what the Reformers would have enjoyed…
And so, in honour of my Christian heritage, I have today found and sampled some Guinness Draught (excellent) and some Pilsner Urquell (good).