It’s no secret that I enjoy smoking. I work part time at a cigar lounge just to meet people in the community. There’s a camaraderie and bond between people who share the same hobby. Smoking taught me a lot about evangelism. It taught me that it is OK to be friends with unbelievers and that sharing the Gospel can require a lot more time and effort than simply distributing a Gospel tract or preaching from a corner in the streets. Making friends with people whom I would never talk to has shown me that a lot of my theology has had to live up to the scrutiny of practice. In other words the cigar lounge has caused me to take what I believe and put it to work in real life.
Though I prefer cigars to the pipe, I recently found in my Facebook feed a short review about an upcoming e-pamphlet on the Christian view of pipe smoking. I was excited about it and contacted the author, Joffre Swait, known in most reformed circles as Joffre The Giant, to get a preview before it was released so I could review it here on Gospel Spam.
Christian Pipe Smoking: An Introduction to Holy Incense is first and foremost a very short read. You could perhaps read the entire essay before you finish a bowl of your favorite aromatic, but I have pipes with larger than normal bowls.
It uses pipe smoking as a almost poetic allegory to the Christian faith. First the pipe is an allegory for the dominion mandate being contemplative, time consuming, in which the tool (the Pipe) can be passed down for generations. Second the pipe connects us to Creation in time and space while third it connects us to God.
Christian Pipe Smoking: An Introduction to Holy Incense is not a Biblical exposition. It’s more of a creative essay on the subject. Much like Ralph Erskines poem Thus Think and Smoke Tobacco. It’s not meant to be a sermon preached from Scripture, but a demonstration of God’s general revelation experienced via an activity that all men can enjoy.
From the author:
It is but a booklet, some twenty-five pages, but each page will delight the Christian pipe smoker, enlighten his heathen fellow-enthusiast, crush the ambitions of the heathen teetotaler, and soften the heart of the Christian abstainer. All four of these good things are guaranteed to happen if you but promise to go onto your porch…with your pad or other device, light your pipe, and visit Amazon.