If you haven’t noticed, there’s been a recent name change for the blog. No, it’s not because of the rambunctious and rowdy nature of the blog, obviously. No, I don’t plan on serving drinks. Rather, it is a tribute to an ancient and treasured heritage. I won’t get into a long explanation of all that’s involved in that rich heritage now, but below you’ll find a (somewhat deficient, but for now adequate) explanation of the name choice.
Throughout history, taverns have been a hub for discussion and debate over the latest ideas sweeping the land… The local tavern was the focal point—the very heart—of the local community. Not only a place for friends to commiserate or celebrate, the tavern would become the venue where theologians would expound and reflect on their studies, protestant dissenters would take their stand on the absolute authority of God’s Word, and patriots would plan their resistance of tyranny.
A few examples of some of the most notable of such taverns include:
• The White Horse Inn — Not long after Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg, a small band of English scholars, including William Tyndale, Hugh Latimer, Thomas Cranmer, and others, began to meet regularly in a Cambridge tavern called the White Horse Inn, to discuss the German Reformer’s writings. This explanation from Dr. Michael Horton really captures the spirit behind the name change:
“These meetings were not simply informal discussions over ale, for the White Horse Inn, by its frequent and regular open discussions on the key issues of Protestant theology, soon became the kindling fire for the larger English Reformation as a whole… As it turned out, most of the men who originally met at the White Horse Inn were martyred in later years, and as one writer put it, these men ‘would offer their lives to procure the truths of faith that they rallied for over pints of ale in that Cambridge pub…’ The White Horse Inn meetings helped to forge in these men an unwavering faith in the pure, unadulterated gospel of free grace in Christ, and it is our prayer that God would once again pour out his Spirit, granting to his Church a modern Reformation.”
• The Crown and Anchor Tavern — A large public house in London where dissenters (both political and protestant) would often assemble from the mid-1700s to early 1800s. The protestant dissenters also held a conference here where they drafted a resolution in opposition to the state church, taking a stand on the autonomy of the local church, the authority of Scripture, and the sole headship of Christ.
• The Green Dragon Tavern — A popular tavern in Boston that became known as the “headquarters of the American Revolution.” It was from this tavern that, among other events, the Sons of Liberty planned the Boston Tea Party, and Paul Revere was sent out on his famous “midnight ride.”
• The Eagle and Child — A cozy tavern in Oxford where the Inklings (an informal theological and literary discussion group led by J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and others) would meet every Tuesday morning for study and discussion.
Hoping to honor the tradition… Welcome to the Tavern!