Jim West is the famed author of the book Drinking with Calvin and Luther. I haven’t read it yet, but he has a good article at the Enjoying Beer website that I thought I would share. Church history attests to recreational alcoholic consumption by Christians. In fact, as West points out, it was a dualist/Manichaean tendency to reject alcohol as “satanic.” West provides a number of quotes from from both Luther and Calvin that make the point that drinking is not a moral issue, so long as the alcohol is not abused (i.e. drunkenness). I was surprised to see the Calvin wrote that drinking alcohol makes the Christian “feel a livelier gratitude to God.”
I have been thinking about this issue recently and hope to blog more about it as time allows. This is an important question in many ways. Should Christians abstain even if the Bible permits drinking? How do we view Christ who turned water into wine that was obviously meant for recreation? What about the psalms that speak of God giving wine to make the heart glad?
Any thoughts, or links to resources would be helpful. I am writing as one already convinced that it is good for Christians to drink, but I am more than willing to rethink the issue (as I am any issue). So, comment away!