Saturday, December 5, 2009

God & Guinness -book review

I took this picture in the Miami airport as I was reading this on the plane to and from Haiti

The whole title is: The Search for God and Guinness, a biography of the beer that changed the word.

I was going to write a review but when I was tracking down the publishers website promo I found this wonderful video by the author. Click on it below & then I'll provide just a few comments.I'll admit that when I got this book, I expected it to be novel or unique, but I found it so much more than that. It has substance; historical, applicable and even theological.

And there are gems like this account of the first encounter the Pilgrims had with an Indian on March 16, 1621:

"The man (Indian) neared, paused, and then shouted 'Welcome!' in clear perfect English. And then, more astonishing still, he asked--again, flawlessly in the Pilgrim's own tongue--if they had some beer." pg 4

Or this from the great father of our faith, Martin Luther, a man who considered beer one of the gifts of this life from God:

"Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?" pg 29

This isn't not the stuffy story of the Guinness family full of all kind of rabbit trails. It is the story of their beer and their God--both of which went hand in hand. It's the story of a family that felt that employing people and having money meant responsibility--and they responded in kind, driven by their faith. They profoundly changed their world for the betterment of all.

The Guinesses rubbed shoulders with faith luminaries: John Wesley, DL Moody and Charles Spurgeon, just to name a few.

And even if you're not-so-much into God, but you appreciate Guinness or a good brew, this book is very much for you. Lots of applicable information and wisdom regardless of your faith. This is not a "bait and switch" book written by a Christian to hook pagan beer lovers ;-)

The authour did a great job of distilling the life of the Guinnesses into four points. This won't spoil the end, as Mansfield fleshes out these points in a way that is well worth reading for yourself.

1) Discern the ways of God for your life and business.
2.) Think in terms of generations yet to come.
3.) Whatever you do, do at least one thing very well.
4.) Master the facts before you act

For those who may think more conservatively and might tend to put this book in the camp of "liberal folly;" this same author penned The Faith of George W. Bush in 2003. (And for the more liberal-minded, don't let that deter you from this read ;-)

Highly recommend this to lovers of beer, Christ followers and the like. Great interesting read!