Sunday, March 30, 2008
On the seventh day, He rested...
Life has been awfully hectic lately, personally and at the brewery. Sometimes it's tough to balance everything and as you can see from our last post, April's schedule it's only going to get tighter. But, such is the life of we in this fast paced suburban world where we must do anything and everything and we must do it at a hectic pace. Am I yearning for the lazy days by the river in Iowa? not really. I just had a couple of minutes to sit down today, and reflect on a 5 part series (6 actually if you count the The Preface) that was blogged over at brewvana. It was titled, The Gospel According to St. Arnold and has some great and interesting thoughts about the role of beer in Christian history, monks who were brewers, society's view of drinking and the whole neo-prohibitionist thing, beer in the bible, and most importantly, how on earth could you call yourself a Christian if you drink (or, gasp, brew) alcohol? I've linked Part five, because from here you can access all parts.
I've been meaning since December of last year to at least comment on J. Wilson's insightful work on this topic. I have a lot of personal interest in this as a brewer, but also changing from a teaching career to a brewing career did not make the abstaining grandmother real proud. Wading through those thoughts and feelings have made his series quite insightful. Also, realize that his assessment is fair and balanced and not just another "crazy Christian" or equally a "crazy neo-prohibitionist" or equally a "crazy drunk" defending what some would call a huge sin. If you get the chance, please read it through and check out some of the links he references(there is a surprising amount on the ol' www about Christianity and drinking). I wanted (last year) to write a few posts that related to this, and now partly because I may never stop if I start now, but mostly because he did it justice in that series and I'll simply reiterate much of what was said, I'll just link it, tell you it is a must read, and hope that you make time.
There is so much good stuff in there for everyone. If you are a believer who has pondered the need to explain your beery habits, if you are a non-believer who wishes people would leave you alone, if you are uncertain but worried that your beery life won't fit into what "those guys over there are doing on Sunday morning", or if you are believer planted firmly in moderation and the pleasures that beer alone can bring to a balanced life- you'll find some great thoughts to ponder. Look, what I can tell you here is, I brew and I drink (no surprise there). But I also went to church today and I am leaving in a few hours to meet up with a group from church that meets together every other Sunday night-and believe it or not, we've drank beer together. God is more concerned with relationships of the heart and the relationships we have with each other than what we choose to drink (caveat: on matters of moderation, responsibility, and abuse of your wife and/or family I will not delve into- I think it's quite clear that if drinking leads you to other problems, then that should be addressed first) . But, if it takes meeting over a beer, or a couple of guys homebrewing in the garage, or hanging with friends at a beer festival to build strong meaningful relationships, I have a feeling that the beer becomes of secondary importance. I have a feeling that some of the regular readers (or first timers stumbling to our blog) might be wondering why I am veering down this side road and you might even look at me differently next time you are in the pub. I'm not real worried about that, but if my thoughts, and more importantly J.'s, struck a chord and you want to discuss this more over a pint, just buy me one and we'll talk.