Another Way to Tell the Difference between the Young Restless and Old Reformed

A CNN story reports on the inroads that beer is making among evangelicals:

● “Beer, Bible and Brotherhood,” an Oxford, Connecticut, group launched by the Rev. John Donnelly of Christ Church Quaker Farms, which studies Rick Warren’s “40 Days in the Word,” while quaffing Sam Adams brews.

● “What Would Jesus Brew?” Valley Church in Allendale, Michigan, sponsors gatherings for craft beer enthusiasts, designed to “reach out to people in a loving, grace-filled way that meets people where they are and as they are.”

And all this is on top of the dozens of Catholic “theology on tap” events taking place at taverns across the country.

In the Protestant world, the trend toward tolerance of alcohol reaches beyond churches into conservative college campuses as well.

Last August, Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute — which just last year lifted a ban on long hair for men and nose stud earrings for women — dropped its ban on alcohol and tobacco consumption for its faculty and staff.

In September, Southern California’s Biola University — founded as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles in 1908 — lifted its ban on alcohol and tobacco for of-age graduate students, noting that the changes “shift the responsibility of conduct from the institution to the individual.”

But John MacArthur, the watchdog of Calvinism-lite, worries about the effects of beer on the YRR crowd:

In 2011, well-known pastor John MacArthur minced no words in chastising the “Young, Restless, Reformed” movement of young Calvinists for their fondness of beer.

“Cultivating an appetite for beer,” wrote MacArthur, “is not merely bad missional strategy and a bad testimony; it is fraught with deadly spiritual dangers.”

What would MacArthur do with the Nicotine Theological Journal (the next issue of which is just around the corner)?

One of the striking features of OPC and PCA General Assemblies — in this era when the fundamentalists did win the smoking wars — is the number of presbyters who light up all manner of tobacco products and seem to know that fellowship increases with the amount of second-hand smoke.

That is a reason why I will take the Young Restless as more seriously Calvinistic (pardon the adverb) when they add nicotine to hops.


60 thoughts on “Another Way to Tell the Difference between the Young Restless and Old Reformed

  1. MacArthur needs a chill pill (or maybe just a beer).

    I’ll take the Young Restless crowd even more seriously when they stop being so conscious about their booze and smokes. “Beer, Bible and Brotherhood” how about “Bible Study” full stop.


  2. Our licentiate recounts to me (as I jealously listen) what a 500 bottle of scotch tastes like, introduced to him while at seminary.. I can only counter with tanqueray no. 10 gin Martini per my presby pastor at his house, on my b-day #21.

    I even got the latest moderator of the OPC General Assembly saying at bible study two days agos with me, that a Presbytery wide golf tournament could be a good idea. He said lets do that right before Presbytery, to help keep the gears of the sausage grinder of that body well oiled in advance of the meeting of said bishops.

    I know not how to end this combox, other than to apologize, and say,this presbyerianism is a riot for Baptist raised boys. Giddy up.


  3. A better question; “What would MacArthur do with the ‘Colorado’ edition of NTJ? And; how will we ever figure out what the particular ‘spiritual dangers’ are of imbibing Mary Jane? Does anybody have access to Edward’s Del Taco ruminations?


  4. d4v34x,

    E-cigs are gigantically cheesy. They will end up in the dustbin, where dwell the mullet and the MC Hammer parachute pants from the early 90’s. In a few years, we will look back on them and wince and then laugh at our silly fads.

    Here’s a fun smoke: “Robert Burns Black Watch.” It’s not the best cigar out there, but it comes in a great aluminum tube of which any Scots Presbyterian would feel proud to partake.

    Live large, my friend! SDG.


  5. Muddy Gravel- Hahaha. Good one!

    Too much lip synchin’ goin’ on! We need more “blood earnestness” to our singing. Otherwise, you aren’t a Christian. Instead, you’re an antinomian (based on my conflated definition which allows me to include anyone I don’t like or anyone my friends don’t like).


  6. D.G. – Nicotine Theological Journal (the next issue of which is just around the corner)?

    Erik – Sweet. Have you posted any more old ones recently? I suppose I could just look.


  7. So my choices are 1) rank inauthenticity (i.e. being nicotine free), 2) mullet-order cheesiness, or 3) risking cancer. Great.

    Of course, it’s all moot since I attend a(n un-Reformed) Baptist church.


  8. D4,

    You sunk my battleship


    Ahem, sorry. If its any consolation, it was my older brother, who retained his Baptist upbringing who, when expressing exasperation over my constant pleas for him to consider the riches of the reformed tradition, could find but one means of escape. He would tell me, Andrew, how’s your golf game again? In shame, my head sinks down at this retort, for I am but a padawan in the matters of golf,for all my talk.

    Take what you learn here to your church, D4. Machen didn’t want everyone to join the church he founded. We want others to be missionaries in their own fallible churches. We know too well what it means to be in a fallible church.

    Just ‘cuz there’s work to do, doesn’t mean we can’t take a smoke break on occasion, no?


  9. My previous stab at a comment apparently didn’t make it through moderation. I’ll try again without linking

    See also the 2013-03-18 WSJ article “Some Church Folk Ask: ‘What Would Jesus Brew?'” Available online. Mentions my buddy Mike Hess and New Life PCA (La Mesa), but not Hoagies & Stogies.


  10. Have you read Jim West’s “Drinking with Calvin and Luther” ? Great book. Maybe there should be a sequel, Smoking with Spurgeon, to make the Baptists feel better.


  11. Looks good, Aimee, new one for (all about) me. Thanks for sharing.

    My penny jar fund may be reserved for whomever writes Golfing with John Knox. My bookshelf only has one if that kind by Dr. Scott Peck (golf and the spirit or something). I have other books leaving that one far behind, for now.



  12. Aimee, I had forgotten about West’s book. It’s now hard to acquire.

    Of course, I don’t do anything to make Baptists feel better (except my parents now deceased). I thought it was impossible to make Baptists feel better.

    Oh wait. Jello salad.


  13. Well, just imagine how wonderful their Sunday afternoons could be if we spiked their jello salad?

    I ordered it on Amazon as a gift for a friend, and the spine was all busted up in the email. I mentioned that in a review I did for it on my blog (Well Drunk), and the publisher, Oakdown, got wind of it and sent me a few extra copies, along with a note and some other books. Good folks.


  14. >Well, just imagine how wonderful their Sunday afternoons could be if we spiked their jello salad?

    Back-to-back (second service starting at 1 or 2 after the potluck) Sundays would be torture.


  15. “Muddy lives the West book.”

    Not as smart as Dr. Hart but deep in free I art.

    When it comes to freedom, I’ll have a double.


  16. Chorts, Ms. Byrd has some nunchakus that’ll fix Erik’s wagon. That’s pretty much what it takes to be safe around here.


  17. Erik, approaching Aimee; ‘how youz doin’. Shhhhh, youz aints gotz to say nuttin’, I can read it in youz eye, bof ’em. ‘

    I keed, I keed. Not really. Run Aimee.


  18. Aimee,

    Pay them no mind. You’re totally safe here. Now about your street address, phone number, internet passwords, and astrological sign…

    Susan & Katy, if you’re reading, tune all this out.


  19. Wow, so many pleasantries going around! Am I on oldlife?

    “Don’t hide it, don’t flaunt it” is a good policy on matters of Christian liberty such as these. I agree with JM to the extent that beer shouldn’t be a hallmark of a church. What you win them with, you win them to.


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