I recently finished a fascinating book, The Search for God and Guinness, from Stephen Mansfield, connecting the dots between one of the largest beers in the world and the God that I happen to follow after. It was a great read and I suspect that the content would be pretty shocking to the typical person. We often hear about alcohol in a purely negative light, and obviously it gets abused, but this book sheds light into the moderation and enjoyment of one of God’s blessings in a very healthy way. It also shows the amazing connection these two seemingly opposite things have in common. Click here to read my interview with the author.
Here are some of the quotes that stood out to me that will give you a little of the flavor of the book.
“Arthur Guinness founded the first Sunday schools in Ireland, fought against dueling, and chaired the board of a hospital for the poor.”
“Henry Grattan Guinness, grandson of brewery founder Arthur Guinness, was a Christian leader of such impact that he was ranked with Dwight L. Moody and Charles Spurgeon in his day. He has been called the Billy Graham of the nineteenth century.”
“Beer is not simply a means of drunkenness nor is it merely a lubricant to grease the skids to sin. Beer, well respected and rightly consumed, can be a gift of God. It is one of his mysteries, which it was his delight to conceal and the glory of kings to search out. And men enjoy it to mark their days and celebrate their moments and stand with their brothers in the face of what life brings.”
“Many historians have noted that this positive Christian perspective on alcohol probably even encouraged brewing, because it both sanctioned a temperate love of beer and welcomed beer as an alternative to more high-alcohol drinks. This theory is supported by the fact that beer is so intertwined with the history of the Christian faith that it is tempting to believe that Christians discovered it. Perhaps in its holy and moderate use, they did.”
“Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused,” [Martin Luther] once wrote. “Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?”
“The truth is that most post-Reformation Christians believed as their first-century fathers did–that drunkenness is sin but that alcohol in moderation is one of the great gifts of God.”