Beer and BarronApr 9th, 2014 | By Jeremy Tate | Category: Blog Posts, Catholic Life and Devotion
Reformed Christians have a special relationship with beer. I discovered this my junior year in college after spending my first two years at LSU exploring nearly every other Christian faith tradition on campus. The combination of rich fellowship, deep theological discussion, and high quality beer, while sitting outside on a Louisiana front porch on a humid night, always seemed like a taste of heaven. Reformed Christians understand that beer is good. Like any other inherent good it can and has been abused, but Reformed Christians are right to point out that the real problem is not beer, but the human heart. Catholics share this appreciation for good beer consumed in moderation.
(Shiner Bock – the only beer always present at our Beer and Barron meetings)
Reformed Christians also love good theology and good teaching. The giants of the Reformed faith, men like Calvin, Bucer, Hodge, and Warfield, were not just men of profound learning, but men who were also remarkably gifted teachers of the faith. The Reformed faith gave me a love for solid, biblical, and theologically rich teaching. Fr. Robert is likewise a master teacher of the faith. Since founding Word on Fire Catholic Ministries in 2000, Fr. Barron has become known worldwide as one of the most articulate and insightful teachers of the Catholic Fath. Here is an example of his teaching where he discusses the Council of Trent.
These two loves, for good teaching and good beer, which I inherited from my formation in the Reformed faith, have made me deeply appreciative of a men’s fellowship group a member of my own parish (St. Andrew by the Bay) started in the spring of 2013. Tim Feist, a graduate and former Professor of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, began Beer and Barron because he shares these loves as well.
Our group meets every other Thursday night. We begin with lighthearted discussion, followed by an opening prayer where the whole group comes together. Apart from this distinctly Catholic prayer time the group has the feel of a home group Bible study. After prayer we watch a Fr. Barron video as a group which we follow up with a time of discussion. The evening concludes with a closing prayer and usually a fridge full of leftover beer for the lucky host.
In a span of just over a year God has richly blessed the group. In addition to impressive growth in numbers, members of our parish who were formally unengaged have been drawn closer to Christ through both fellowship and the excellent teaching of Fr. Robert Barron. Other Beer and Barron chapters are in the process of being formed in Maryland and even out of the state. Just yesterday Fr. Barron’s blog, Word on Fire, posted a short article about Beer and Barron as an expression of the New Evangelization. In the post Tim Feist describes the vision for the ministry. Beer and Barron is just one example of the many exciting ways in which the vision of the New Evangelization is coming into fruition.