Friday, August 31, 2007

Reformation Alehouses

Whilst at the reformation museum in Geneva I discovered an ale of 'biblical' proportions (here is the website). But, the real question is, would John Calvin himself have approved? I'm not sure entirely, but here's what I discovered from Mark Driscoll's short section on 'the sin of light beer' in The Radical Reformission.

'Pastor John Calvin's annual salary package included upwards of 250 gallons of wine to be enjoyed by him and his guests.'

No surprise I guess, since the Overseer must be hospitable (1 Timothy 3:2). Driscoll continues;

'Martin Luther once wrote of the Reformation, "While I sat still and drank beer with Philip and Amsdorf, God dealt the papacy a mighty blow."'

And apparently 'when the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock, the first permanent building they erected was a brewery.'

For his own part, Pastor Mark longs 'for the return to the glory days of Christian pubs where God's men gather to drink beer and talk theology.' Evidently such pubs would serve not the watery, mass-produced, 'feminine', light beer all too common today, but what Driscoll calls the 'rich, dark, heavy, more "biblical" European beers.'


revolution said...

I could definately dig on some Calvinus grog. That sounds tasty!


ros said...

I don't disagree with your general point, but I think there may be some necessary historical contextualisation. As I understand it, in the sixteenth century there was no such thing as a 'soft drink'. There was ale, little ale, or wine. The water was generally so full of sewage as to be unfit to drink (at least in towns and cities) and milk brought into towns and cities was likely to carry disease too.

So of course Calvin drank wine and beer. There wasn't much choice.

Pete said...

You mean Calvin couldn't even have a cup of tea in the afternoon? How did he do conversational theology then?