One might ask why I bother, if I'm indeed persuaded (as I am) that the Bible allows the moderate use of alcohol as a beverage, dealing with books like those of David Brumbelow. The reason is simple; it goes well beyond whether one person does, or does not, enjoy wine. Rather, if I should teach someone that when the Bible says "wine", it does not in fact mean "wine", or worse yet to adopt an hermeneutic of "it means grape juice when it's good, alcoholic wine when it's bad", what I've just done is to teach him to ignore the Scriptures when it's inconvenient to him.
In other words, I've taught him to abandon the historic doctrines of the authority of Scripture and Sola Scriptura. So to achieve conformity with Victorian/Edwardian culture, the whole of our faith is thrown out. It's not the only time the Victorians used the social gospel to (inadvertently or intentionally) attack faith--theological liberalism came out of this as well, of course--but it is a case that we ought to remember. When we try to add things to Scripture, even with the best intentions, we inevitably go wrong.
Really, if the Prohibitionists believe "oinos" or "yayin" are mis-translated, they need to propose a better translation, not tell believers to ignore the one they've got. But that said, they've got their work cut out for them, as the context in which these words are used makes the definition pretty clear.
The death of Billy Graham shows the methods of the spiritual and the unspiritual. - Overnight, we lost one of the great evangelists of my grandparent’s generation. Billy Graham was born at the end of the first war: my parents were born dur...
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