Iron Sharpens Iron: A Clarification

Last week, I posted on ‘Why Drinking Is so Cool?’ In that post, I mentioned Jonathan Dodson’s excellent work, Fight Clubs.  In particular, I mentioned the references to alcohol there.  To me they seemed to be yet another long line of younger, more missionally-minded Christians (many of whom I admire!) making a point of mentioning drinking alcohol for no other apparent reason than to say “We’re not legalistic.  But we are cool.”

As I said there and as I said to him about that post, I want to be clear that the issue for me  isn’t inherently drinking alcohol. Rather, it’s the way it’s often portrayed in certain Christian books. Somehow alcohol becomes a standard for coolness and freedom from legalism. This is what I find confounding and irritating. It’s fine if you can drink without getting drunk.  But surely we can do better than that as a marker for legalism? I know fine Christians who are convinced for various biblical reason that drinking just isn’t a good choice for Christians in today’s alcohol-driven culture. And they are definitely not legalists in any way.

However, after communicating with Pastor Dodson in the comments on that post, it was clarified that that was not his intention in mentioning alcohol the way he did in his book.  In his words, his mention of “alcohol is [to be] redemptive, not to be cool.”  So, let me apologize for wrongly portraying him.  And again, let me make clear that my small criticism would not detract me from recommending Fight Clubs.


  1. Thanks for your humble, irenic response, Pastor John. Apology accepted warmly accepted! I’m encouraged by the tenor of your comments and your exhortation to pursue holiness over coolness.

    Enjoy grace,


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