Dealing with Pietism on a Mass Scale

Dutko and ThomaVery briefly… Things don’t always go as planned, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by nationally syndicated Christian radio talk show host, Bob Dutko, to do an interview regarding my new book about whisky. I accepted immediately. I was excited for the opportunity to talk about the volume and to promote it over the airwaves.

But the interview didn’t unfold as I’d hoped.

While sitting on the other end of the phone line listening to Mr. Dutko tee up the discussion, I began to realize that we weren’t really going to speak much about the book, but rather we were going to discuss the theological difficulties that many folks have with what some refer to as the “hook” of the volume: a Christian pastor writing about Scotch whisky. We were going to talk theology. And we did.

I prayed for the right words…and then jumped in.

Now because there was at one time a sign hanging on the front door of the Brothers of John the Steadfast site heralding “No Pietists Allowed,” and because I’ve read comments from some of the regulars suggesting that one of the authors jot something about Pietism, I was inclined to share the interview right here with the lively lot of you. Essentially, I did my best to summarize and communicate Pietism and Biblicism for the listeners, many of whom showed themselves to actually be Pietists and Biblicists in their follow up rants to the producer for allowing a heretic like me to speak. Pretty funny. Anyway…

It was an on-the-spot challenge, and yet it was a wonderful opportunity to give witness to the Holy Scriptures as the norma normans. I probably wasn’t as thorough as I could have been, but overall, I feel like it went pretty well. Oh yeah, and it was fun, too.

The interview itself is a thirty minute segment of Mr. Dutko’s show and is divided into three parts by commercial breaks. I have provided each of the three parts below.



Part One

Part Two

Part Three



Dealing with Pietism on a Mass Scale — 9 Comments

  1. The interview was good. You spoke the truth and even taught me something about whisky.

  2. Enjoyed the interview. Based on your comments I feared that it was a”gotcha” type situation. Very glad to hear he was genuinely interested in the topic, but felt the need to deal with the ‘issue’ of alcohol for his listeners’ sake. Just wish there had been more time for you to actually talk whiskey.

  3. Great job Pastor.
    Having just returned home from a short training course in the sogenannten “Bible Belt”it’s worth pointing out to pietists of the alcohol is bad stripe that there aren’t a lot of Bible verses that warn against drunkenness w/o also mentioning gluttony. Should a Christian order a slice of cheesecake when dining w/ an obese “weaker brother?” Gluttony kills a whole bunch of people every year, but how many pastors preach against its evils?
    -Matt Mills

  4. Pastors don’t need to hit “gluttony”. very often. Every genetically thin parishioner is happy to do the job for them.

    Not to mention all the media…

    (Aren’t aren’t you forgetting that alcohol is loaded with carbs and usually comes along with very fattening chips and snacks?)

  5. @Matthew Mills #3

    Good point. By the way, whisky is NOT loaded with carbs (as Helen suggested). It is a distilled spirit and has zero carbs. Even better, depending upon the particular whisky, it is low calorie as well. Beer, on the other hand, while it is a wonderful concoction, cannot boast in such things.

  6. @Pastor Chris Thoma #5

    Having enjoyed the Quarter Cask Laphroaig in a snowed-in Alaska cabin, I consider myself an ally, but I have no intention to start a beer vs. whisky fight Pastor.

    -Matt Mills

  7. Also his regional newspaper carried the story:
    “Church pastor also a talented Scotch whisky reviewer” –

    regarding Biblicists, you got to see this funny stuff: “Talking with Biblicists” short vid. from the Lutheran Satire channel –

    in ending, I will just say … Cheers, 🙂

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