Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Like Beer

Especially Guinness - both the draft and extra stout varieties. After seeing this video, I have even more reason to love this particular brew of the beverage Benjamin Franklin described as evidence of God's love for us.

Apparently, Arthur Guinness was a Christian, particularly influenced by John Wesley to use his status for good. I'll have to grab a copy of Stephen Mansfield's new book next time we're in Barnes and Noble.

I first saw the link to this video at Justin Taylor's blog, where he followed up some predictably silly comments from the Teetotaller crowd with an excellent post about Christian alcohol consumption. I have some sympathy for the position of total abstinence, being a recovering baptist, but have no use for those who try to claim that you can't be a Christian and drink the odd adult beverage. It's just not a position that can be supported by anyone who holds to Sola Scriptura.

He quotes D.A. Carson:
Paul refuses to circumcise Titus, even when it was demanded by many in the Jerusalem crowd, not because it didn’t matter to them, but because it mattered so much that if he acquiesced, he would have been giving the impression that faith in Jesus is not enough for salvation: one has to become a Jew first, before one can become a Christian. That would jeopardize the exclusive sufficiency of Jesus.

To create a contemporary analogy: If I’m called to preach the gospel among a lot of people who are cultural teetotallers, I’ll give up alcohol for the sake of the gospel. But if they start saying, “You cannot be a Christian and drink alcohol,” I’ll reply, “Pass the port” or “I’ll think I’ll have a glass of Beaujolais with my meal.” Paul is flexible and therefore prepared to circumcise Timothy when the exclusive sufficiency of Christ is not at stake and when a little cultural accommodation will advance the gospel; he is rigidly inflexible and therefore refuses to circumcise Titus when people are saying that Gentiles must be circumcised and become Jews to accept the Jewish Messiah.

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