If everything you know about Christian living came from blogs and websites in the young-and-restless district of the Reformed community, you might have the impression that beer is the principal symbol of Christian liberty.
For some who self-identify as “Young, Restless, and Reformed,” it seems beer is a more popular topic for study and discussion than the doctrine of predestination. They devote whole websites to the celebration of brewed beverages. They earnestly assure one another “that most good theological discussion has historically been done in pubs and drinking places.” They therefore love to meet for “open dialog on faith and culture” wherever beer is served—or better yet, right at the brewery. The connoisseurs among them serve their own brands and even offer lessons in how to make home brew.It’s clear that beer-loving passion is a prominent badge of identity for many in the YRR movement. Apparentlybeer is also an essential element in the missional strategy. Mixing booze with ministry is often touted as anecessary means of penetrating western youth culture, and conversely, abstinence is deemed a “sin” to be repented of.
After all, in a culture where cool is everything, what could be a better lubricant for one’s testimony than a frosty pint?
Of course, beer is by no means the only token of cultural savvy frequently associated with young-and-restless religion. All kinds of activities deemed vices by mothers everywhere have been adopted as badges of Calvinist identity and thus “redeemed”: tobacco, tattoos, gambling, mixed martial arts, profane language, and lots of explicit talk about sex.