Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


The Beer Test

When I was in seminary and backed into a corner on a theological argument with no good defense, my preferred response was "Yeah, but my bishop can beat up your bishop."

Bishop LouttitI actually said that on more than one occasion, but as Bishop Louttit visited the seminary each year and ate lunch with me and John West in our Refectory (churchy name for cafeteria), people knew that my bishop (pictured at left) was unlikely to beat up anyone, much less someone else's bishop. He is a great man and a wonderful pastor to us pastors. I don't care that he doesn't have mad nunchuk skills or bow staff skills.

I thought of this because a blog post at Resurgence in which a pastor enamored of The Ultimate Fighter contends that he knows why men aren't so big on church:
The Ultimate FighterSo, I'll just say that while young men are watching tough men compete, the reason they don't go to most churches is because they could take the pastor and can't respect a guy in a lemon-yellow sweater, sipping decaf and talking about his feelings.
I ran across this by way of a response from from Henry's Web which said,
If you determine whether someone is worth listening to based on whether you could take him in a fight, if you despise someone because they wear a lemon-yellow sweater, sip decaf, or talk about their feelings, then you need to seriously reexamine both your intellectual and your spiritual life.
He might be right, but the point still holds. Even though I don't own a lemon yellow sweater and I wouldn't wear one if you bought it for me, I wouldn't last as long as a bull rider in the rodeo if you put me in the ring on The Ultimate Fighter. I did once show a video clip in a sermon from the movie Fight Club, but I am quite sure that's not the same thing.

What I heard at The Church Planters' Boot Camp as I was working on preparing to start King of Peace was that a founding pastor has to pass the Beer Test. Now this was said in a non-denominational, but largely evangelical church setting where drinking alcohol at all, much less for communion, is not always permitted. But the idea was that if the pastor isn't someone you would drink a beer with (or coffee or whatever) then you would probably wander on away from the church before getting connected. They said this mattered less with established church's as there are many more reasons than the pastor to join a church once well established. The claim was that in the early days of meeting in a school (or in our case a house) the pastor has to be someone you would want to spend time with even if it wasn't at church.

So I don't know if this is a more highly evolved answer, but I guess I am suggesting is that guys don't tend to look for a pastor who can blacken their eye or bloody their nose, but someone with whom they wouldn't mind drinking a beverage of choice with while watching The Ultimate Fighter. If you think, I'm right, leave a comment. If you think I'm wrong, meet me on the playground after school and we'll settle this thing there and then.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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  • At 9/18/2007 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So, this is how men choose a pastor? What's the criteria for why women choose a particular pastor and church? Also, whose zipper was unzipped on Sunday?

  • At 9/18/2007 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


  • At 9/18/2007 8:33 AM, Anonymous Henry Neufeld said…

    I kind of like the beer test, though I regard it as a bit incomplete. Your further statement specifying someone you would want to spend time with outside of church, clears that up, however, as long as we realize that there are many different ways in which people want to spend time outside of church, and various people with whom they would like to do so.

    With that proviso--good response!

  • At 9/18/2007 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe women choose a church where the Priest is someone they can talk to and feel comfortable doing so. Who genuinely cares for his flock!

  • At 9/18/2007 10:10 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    As much as I hate to admit it you may be on to something. You and I have supped many times together and I feel very comfortable having a conversation with you. We even agree to disagree when you are wrong and I am right (especially on weighty theological matters). I have often wondered at the unqualified success of King of Peace. Your personality and approachability are part of the answer.

    Did I just talk about my feelings? AAAARRRGGHHH! Time for aikido!

  • At 9/18/2007 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When I changed churches, I chose King of Peace because I knew so many wonderful and happy people who attended there. I knew that it had to have something to do with the pastor. I found it to be true!

    Funny thing: I did drink a beer with Frank and Victoria long before I ever found myself in need of changing churches! You're definitely on to something here!!!!

  • At 9/18/2007 4:09 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    I'd have a yoo-hoo with you any day!

  • At 9/18/2007 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They still make Yoo-Hoo?

  • At 9/19/2007 6:33 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Wow, I used to lov Yoo Hoo and hadn't thought of that sugery chocolate milk in years.

    As to PBR, I think it is like putting the right wine with the right food. In this case, what beer would go with The Ultimate Fighter? It seemed like a natural choice.

    But as Henry said, there are many different ways to hang out, and they certainly don't all involve malt beverages, or even distilled ones.


  • At 9/21/2007 4:47 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    Of course they still make Yoo-Hoo. Life wouldn't be the same without it. I wonder, though, if it has any milk at all in it? Next stop, google!


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