A trend today is holding Bible studies, outreach ministries, and theological discussions in pubs, with the accompaniment of good beer. I’ve spoken at some of those.
But talking about faith with what is sometimes called “the Lutheran beverage” is not a new phenomenon. It goes way back, according to an article in Journal Sentinel from Milwaukee (natch!), and was especially instrumental in the Reformation. (I would add to the article’s examples the importance of the White Horse Inn in Cambridge, where luminaries of the English Reformation such as Tyndale, Coverdale, Barnes, and Cranmer, met to discuss the latest writings out of Wittenberg. That English tavern is where the radio show got its name.)
Favorite takeaway from the article: Catholic countries drank wine; Reformation countries drank beer.
What do you think about this today? Should a church sponsor such events, or does it work better on the parachurch level, as informal gatherings, or when the theological discussions over a pint occur naturally among friends? Or do you think the combination of alcohol and religion is totally inappropriate? [Read more…]