Sunday, January 31, 2010
Review: The Search for God and Guinness
As soon as this book popped up for review on Thomas Nelson's blogger book review site (now booksneeze.com), I knew I had to read it.
A book about alcohol (even beer) and spirituality was too intriguing to pass up.
I have long known that my views on alcohol consumption differ from most of those of my Protestant friends. Perhaps that's why I'm so drawn to the Catholic church (among other reasons!)...they have no issue with drinking in moderation!
Plus, because of my ancestry I'm interested in all things Irish.
So I ordered this book and it did not disappoint.
The Search for God and Guinness begins with the history of beer and weaves in the story of the Guinness brand in particular with the amazing members of the family who created it. From the very first Guinness, the family has been involved in spiritual formation, unification of Catholic and Protestants in Ireland of all places, and humanitarian efforts. Members of the family that were not involved in the company have been clergymen, members of government, and highly respected members of society. However, the book mainly focused on the family members who became the acting head of the Guinness brand and how their spiritual journey corresponded with their passion for their life's work.
I was especially intrigued by the story of one of the descendants who upon receiving his wedding gift of 5 million pounds, took his new bride and went to live in the slums in order to best serve the people there. Amazing.
Guinness is one of the more recognizable brands around the world, and there is a reason for that. I'm not going to share much more of the story, because I truly feel it's a read that will be more fascinating if you discover the little treasures for yourself.
The book stressed that for those members of the family who took on the company, beer making was their passion. And that's something we can all learn from. In the eyes of this particular reader, though the point was never stressed in the book, I truly think that the author was trying to convey that there really IS no separation between the sacred and the secular. So many of us try to create a chasm between the two...but it is God who gives us our passions, talents and gifts, and I think He blesses us when we choose to live out those passions.
To give a fair and honest review, although I was fascinated by this book, I couldn't read it in one sitting. The names, dates, and details sort of swirl around in my mind so that I would have to take a bit of a break (of a few days normally) between stretches of reading. However, it is a wonderful read and I highly, highly recommend it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com http://BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”