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Drinking With Calvin and Luther!: A History of Alcohol in the Church
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Drinking With Calvin and Luther!: A History of Alcohol in the Church

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  106 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Oakdown
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Geoff Paulson
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
A colossal disappointment.

First, just to get it out of the way real quick, in light of recent events the forward by Sproul Jr. has certainly not aged well, though that is a case of hindsight being 20/20. You don't know in 2003 what will happen in 2016. If the book is ever republished I hope the forward is removed or a new one is penned.

The book is billed as "A history of alcohol in the church" but it is less history than pop-history, and less pop-history than a collection of apocryphal stories,
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
So many great examples and quotes, from the Pilgrims' panic ("we've run out of beer! Bring back the makings from England!!") to their appreciation for rum, to Calvin and Luther's insistence that God gave the joy of alcohol while the Devil leads toward drunkenness. I sure hope that the author is making grand royalties, because he's earned it. It's not all historical research - some of it is the equivalent of 'three theology students at a bar' - and the style is homespun articulate goodness. Prais ...more
Jun 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Do you have any idea of just how much alcohol the pilgrims coming from England brought with them? This book will answer that question and give you much more regarding alcohol, the Scriptures, God, and christians. The author is pastor of a Reformed Church (go figure :+) and has written several articles for Table Talk. A word of caution is due, if you do not enjoy sarcasm, as he tends to be sarcastic in many places. Overall excellent read, if one is not familiar with this topic.
H Phillips
Mar 29, 2018 rated it liked it
He makes his point and I agree with him, but the long, long string of anecdotes citing the drinking of wine and beer by various figures from the Bible, pre/post Reformation, etc. got a little onerous. Scripture references were helpful in his argument.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of Christians--both Catholic and Protestant--believe that total abstention from alcohol is necessary for salvation. I never understood that, because of all the references to wine and other "strong drink" in the Bible, but I never thought to undertake a thorough examination of the issue. But Jim West, a pastor at Covenant Reformed Church in California and graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary, did; and the result is this revised and expanded edition of his original "underground" book. ...more
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Biblical Christians tend to overcorrect. We see the significant destruction abuse of alcohol has wrought, and we want to ban it all. But to do that is to cast aside a good gift of God. Its like forbidding all eating just because so many abuse food and overeat. The Bible is clear -- drunkenness and/or addiction: bad, drinking (in moderation): good.

Rev. Jim West makes an airtight case that the Reformers had a far different view than post-Temperance Movement pietists. And he does it with sly humor
May 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: faith, history
A somewhat flippant book with lots of jokes and historically suspect funny stories. The author does have some good points and fun stories but if you are looking for something with a serious intellectual/historical bent this may be disappointing.

Chapter 7 was on scripture and drinking and contained a good section on translation and how different translations have translated the same word differently in different places in the bible to make use of fermented beverages seem more negative than the o
Scarlett Sims
Jun 24, 2009 rated it liked it
I liked this book but I didn't love it. I think it is important for there to be books like this written about what the Christian, or at least reformed, position on drinking is. I wish he author had included more in the "historical" section of the book because he states at the beginning that temperance is a largely recent invention, but in the history section he really doesn't go beyond the 1700s. One thing I did like was his assumption that using wine in a Protestant service would not be abnorma ...more
Sean Higgins
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: print, food
West wets the whistle with fun and history in his guide to the God-given goodness of beer and wine.

I read an article by West titled "The Christology of Wine" quite a while ago on (the now defunct theological website) not realizing until buying this book that the article was adapted from chapter 6. The Lord began to convict me back then that I had an unbiblical attitude toward wine. A lot has changed since then and now my heart is much more glad.
Gave it to my dad - haven't gotten it back yet. :) I really enjoyed the third or so that I did read, though. It was different than what I'm used to hearing (more the very hesitant "an occassional glass of wine is okay), though true to what I understand from Scripture, so I appreciated the new perspective.
Josh Crews
Aug 18, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: christian, lovers of beer or wine
Wonderful book, using many anecdotes from the Reformers and their attitudes toward drink, that is persuasive at making you praise God who created wine and beer. After reading this book, I smile at Jesus, the king of the wine makers, when I have a glass of wine. When God made the grape, it was good. Very good.
Tyler Recker
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Generally enjoyed and liked the book. Appreciated the history portions, although it seemed a tad disorganized and disjointed. Would have liked a few footnotes for some of his historical research. Beer grading section is definitely outdated (as the book admits).

Again though, overall, I enjoyed it.
Scott Cox
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, non-fiction
This is an excellent pamphlet defending the Biblical use of alcohol, albeit in moderation. There is a fun section in the back entitled "Rating Favorite Beers," many of the descriptions also include a taste of Pastor Jim West's well-developed sense of humor.
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
A great book filled to the brim with trivia, history, humor, and a biblical background. I have left with a better appreciation and respect for the gift of wine and beer. A responsibility to be respected and enjoyed. Cheers!:)
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really did enjoy this, mainly historical, discussion of drinking. It was cheerful and hearty and full of Reformation tales.
Mar 13, 2009 added it
Intoxicating research.
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Fun and informative!
Aug 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This book is full of fun and interesting material, but it was also obnoxious in places. And the beer guide at the back is lacking. All to say I wanted to rate it higher.
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it

I laughed out loud throughout this book. A fun read that gives a concise history of Protestants use of alcohol. A good book, though the beer guide in the back is lacking.
Mark Stolz
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
A wonderful coverage of drinking in the church through history. With the anti-alcohol movement being so relatively young, this is a good reminder that temperance must be tempered with grace.
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Entertaining and informative. The thesis is to drink moderately is to be enlightened in gods word. Intoxication however is to be condemned by sin.
Bob Ladwig
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, a nice bird's eye history of drinking in Protestant history. Well written, researched, and humorous.
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Decent overall though the beer guide at the end is very weak. This is basically a novelty book.
Douglas Wilson
Mar 10, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
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Nov 26, 2013
Byron Smith
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Sep 17, 2011
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Dec 09, 2013
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Jan 25, 2014
rated it it was ok
Nov 20, 2012
rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2015
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