Doctrine Matters

Too often people say something silly like, “It doesn’t matter what you believe all that matters is a relationship with Jesus.”  Do you know what that is? That is shallow theology and poor advice. It doesn’t help anyone get anywhere and certainly not to heaven. Do you know why? Because if you don’t have a solid doctrine of the Person of Christ, you can have a relationship with anyone–even some imaginary being who looks, thinks, acts like you and even more remarkably, shares your value system. How convenient.

Consider this:

  1. The Mormon believers have a relationship with Jesus but what they believe about him is radically different from Biblical Christianity.
  2. The (non-Messianic) Jews have a relationship with Jesus but what they believe about him is radically different from Biblical Christianity.
  3. The Muslim believers have a relationship with Jesus but what they believe about him is radically different from Biblical Christianity.

So yes, Doctrine matters.

And Victoria Osteen, in what can only be described as a heretical act of “encouragement” shows us why it is so important. And Bill Cosby says what everyone who has read the Bible thinks.

Want to know what I’m talking about? Check out this video. 


Al Mohler has written a very good piece on what this shows about America and how fundamentally flawed the Prosperity Gospel is.

What is up with these prices?

My wife and I want to be smart with our money. So we have a financial plan. You could say it gives us some peace of mind. Our 10 year plan (9 years to go!) is this:

  1. Pay off all student loans.
  2. Build our savings
  3. Buy a vacation/retirement home down south

To keep on track, we have fun money that we can spend on whatever we want every month. Our fund money is necessarily limited to $40/month.

So what the heck is up with these hop prices? How am I supposed to brew beer when it costs almost 4 bucks to get 1oz of centennial hops? I’m trying to get all of the ingredients to make my grapefruit IPA and even with a sale, I could only buy the fermentables and then boom! I’m out of fun money. No hops purchased. I felt a bit like Ron Burgundy.

escalated quickly


Aurochs Brewing

I’m not sure if this qualifies as product placement but it certainly is an endorsement. I have been waiting some time for this news but Aurochs Brewing Company is officially open!

Aurochs, for those unaware, is a new ALL gluten free brewing company in Pittsburgh. These guys both are celiac so they understand what it means to be gluten free and they both have a passion for good beer. I had a chance to sample some of their product a while back and it was great.

Here is their official announcement:

As of 4:00pm today, August 7th, Aurochs Brewing Co. will be officially open for business!

Moving forward, our hours of operations will be Thursdays & Fridays 4:00-8:00pm and Saturdays Noon-6:00pm. We will host tastings and growler salesduring that time.

We are located at 8321 Ohio River Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15202 (turn on to Walliston Ave to enter our parking lot).

Our significantly abridged plan from now through the end of the year includes a slight increase in capacity over the next few months, which will allow us to sell growlers from the brewery, a secondary location and service a handful of customers who will work with us to maintain the quality and purity (or gluten-freeness) of our beer.

In 2015 we will aim to make a significant jump in production capacity.

We want to be transparent with our friends, neighbors and customers in regards to growler sales and tastings as we deal with the enviable problem of high demand exceeding our limited supply.

As we grow as a brewery, so too will our capacity, but that will take time, money and resources. We hope to that you will continue with your support, enthusiasm and patience as we experience these growing pains.

Please know that we put our beer and our customers first every day.

Also, know that if you have ideas and suggestions or want to share criticism with us about our product or the way we run operate the brewery, we are always accessible (ok, sometimes it might take us a week or two, or six, to respond but we are always listening).

So if you are in the Western PA area or passing through…check them out!

Books and more books (2014)

Vanity of vanities I am vain! And one area where I am vain is I like to keep a running tab of books that I have read. So I think I may have this post here for myself (and for anyone else interested in what I’m reading) and update it as I complete a book.


The Heart of a Servant Leader by C. John Miller

Who’s Your Father? by Robert Bernicker

Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen

The Presbyterian Conflict by Edwin Rian

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor by D.A. Carson

The Theology of the Westminster Standards by John Fesko (on-going)

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart (on-going–did not end up finishing this as I think it would be better to buy and read as needed).

Exponential: How to Accomplish the Jesus Mission (had to return to the library before I could finish it.)

Communicating for Change by Andy Stanley

How to Communicate: Mastering the Art of Active Listening


The Wind-Up Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey

Trading in Danger, Marque and Reprisal and Engaging the Enemy, Command Decision all by Elizabeth Moon

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Emissaries From the Dead by Adam Troy-Castro (On-going)


Abide in Christ by Andrew Murray

A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson

Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman

Death by Living by N.D. Wilson

All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon

The Mortification of Sin by John Owen (on-going)

Preaching In Hitler’s Shadow: Sermons of Resistance in the Third Reich ed. by Dean Stroud


Every now and then, I’ll say to Mrs. Wine, “Gin was, is and always will be my first love.” So imagine my joy when I read this: “The earliest precursor to Gin … seems to be Belgian theologian Thomas van Cantimpre… ”

Ha! Let’s hear it for the God squad! This excerpt is from the book, “The Drunken Botanist.” Review forthcoming.