Friday, January 28, 2011

Other Christians who smoke

Previously, I posted a photo of popular Christian authors who enjoyed smoking. Here is an article that highlights more of such personalities (H/T: Sivin):

[Dietrich] Bonhoeffer often re­inforces his gratitude with superlatives and exclamation points. "Maria's and Mother's cigarettes were magnificent," he writes. "I thank Anna very much for the cigarettes." And: "I thank you very much for everything, also for the cigars and cigarettes from your trip!" He praises a Wolf cigar for its "magical fragrance" and on another occasion declares, "I've lit the big cigar and am enjoying it immensely—thanks very much!" When his dear friend Eber­hard Bethge delivers a cigar sent by Karl Barth, Bon­hoeffer finds it so fine that he staggers at its "truly im­probable reality."

Bonhoeffer's nicotine en­comia brought to mind other theological figures who smoked. C. S. Lewis incessantly smoked cigarettes and a pipe. J. R. R. Tolkien appeared almost elf­ish in the author photo for The Hobbit, grinning and grip­ping a pipe. Barth, too, liked a pipe but sometimes smoked cigars. Other confirmed smokers in­clude Paul Tillich, Rein­hold Niebuhr, James Gustaf­son and Richard John Neu­haus. [...]

Enthusiastic smokers can also be found in the ranks of conservative evangelicals. The British Baptist C. H. Spur­geon believed cigar drafts prepared his throat for preaching. Chal­lenged on this practice, Spur­geon replied that he would continue unashamedly to "smoke to the glory of God."

During his student days at Princeton, J. Gresham Machen remarked that cigar smoking was "my idea of delight" and wrote to his mother, "When I think what a wonderful aid tobacco is to friendship and Christian patience I have sometimes regretted that I never began to smoke." [...]

[Eminent Christian ethicist at Princeton University] Paul Ramsey appeared on the cover of the Methodist magazine the Christian Advo­cate [...] with a pipe in hand [...].


Jason said...

What will you say to a youth who is smoking? :)

(yeap, we met today)

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Jason,

Was great to meet you!

I would say, "Hey, that's illegal!"


Jason said...

LOL. nice one. but the over 18s will not buy that. I was asked on this topic by a youth leader from another church on one occasion and though he went through the normal stuff of "your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit" or "anything that is addictive/bondage is not good", he came to realise that such basis eventually doesn't hold. (cos we eat junk food and facebook/blog seems addictive enough for some)

1 Cor 10:31 seems to be the best way to persuade even though for some folks, it is subjective (or they want a black and white answer - "thou shall not smoke")

Sze Zeng said...

Oh I see. You must had a tough time talking to that person.

Personally, smoking doesn't bother me too much. If those who are above 18 want to smoke, please go ahead. But don't you ever blow your second-hand smoke to my face! :)