Thursday, March 03, 2011

What Would Jesus Brew?

WWJB? It’s a legitimate question. Jesus drank with the best of them. He made choice wine from water at a wedding in Cana—and lots of it. About 150 gallons. In case you’re wondering, that’s about 800 bottles. And it was good stuff.

“You saved the best for last,” said the master of the banquet to the bridegroom. All proof that Jesus approved of earthly celebrations and drinking, despite the fact that some fundamentalists make the ludicrous claim that his wine wasn’t fermented. It was. The Greek word used is oinos, which means fermented drink derived from grapes. In fact, in the Torah, God told the Israelites to use a portion of their tithe to buy food, wine, and strong drink—whatever their appetites craved—for an annual party. Like the Cana wedding, it was a time of rejoicing, which the Psalmist echoed when he said “He makes wine that gladdens the heart of man [and woman].” The scriptures tell us the abundance of wine is a divine blessing.

Don’t get nervous, teetotalers. God does not approve of alcohol abuse. Paul told his hearers “don’t get drunk with wine” in the Greek continuous tense; meaning don’t be in the habit of overindulging. The implication is, it’s fine to tie one on with restraint once in a while, as the Israelites were encouraged to do once a year; just beware of the dangers of drunkenness, in other words, alcoholism. It will ruin your life. Today, unlike biblical times, it is complicated by the deadly combination of drinking and driving.

But what of societies where moderate imbibing is practiced responsibly? If Jesus was invited to a wedding in Belgium or Germany or the home of an American microbrewer, and his mother Mary was worried because they ran out of beer, what would he brew? You can bet your bottom dollar it wouldn’t be Bud Lite.


New Website Launched:

It's been awhile since my last post but I do have a good excuse. I've been developing, tweeking, and launching my new website at! Please check it out and give me your feed back. There's a summary of the two books I'm working on and an articles page, which includes screeds on my crazy theological ideas.

My book, Confessions of a Bible Thumper: From Evangelical to Heretic on My Quest for a Reasoned Faith recently got back from my editor, Jason Black. Jason gave me incredibly valuable feedback and advice that I trust will take the book to the next level. He also really liked it--despite the fact that he's an atheist--and told me "it's a darn good book."

The manuscript will have Jason's input incorporated later this spring. Then it will be time to market it (websites, interviews, speaking), search again for an agent, and get it in line for publication. Stay tuned for more news here and more material/articles on my website.