A Sober Assessment of Reformational Drinking
Biblically, "to offend," means to make a person sin. If we place someone in a context where he feels pressured to eat or to drink what he cannot do in faith, then we have "offended" him (Rom. 14:20, 23). But to "offend" does not mean to displease or irritate a brother.
Protestant reflection on the consumption of alcohol has undergone a dramatic transformation since the Reformation. Whether this change stems from the rise of pietism or the triumph of middle-class morality, contemporary evangelical ideas about alcohol are at odds with the views of the Protestant reformers. Attending to the reformers' ideas, then, is important not only for those who would claim to be their heirs but also for a good understanding of what the Bible teaches about alcohol.
Calvin Addresses the Old Testament
In a sermon by John Calvin on Deuteronomy 14:26, which is arguably the classic ...