Christian Liberty, Blogs, and Beer

Posted at The Reformed Reader:

The blogosphere is filled with trends and fads – blogs have the “power” to set trends, even in Christian communities. Though this may rub a few of our readers the wrong way, one trend or fad I can’t help but notice is to include all things smoke and drink into the blog, possibly under the name Christian liberty. In the blog world of Calvinism, for example, it is trendy and fashionable to compare weak Christians to light beer and strong (manly?) Christians to stout ale. It is trendy in the blog world to trumpet fat cigars and dark beer while even mocking Christians who do not do these things or do them in “weakened” form.

A few things have to be said to this. First, Christian liberty is different than the liberty we enjoy in many Western cultures. Civil liberty means you may listen to music “x” as long as it isn’t over a certain decibel level. However, Christian liberty is quite different because 1) it puts our neighbor first and 2) because it is tempered with self-denial. Calvin explains it this way (while reflecting on Rom 14.1, 13, & 1 Cor 8.9, among other texts in his Institutes, III.10-12): ...


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