Men and Their Books: Pickwick Proselytes; Grandville, Michigan

Mixed Media

The Pickwick Proselytes are a small circle of Christian friends and colleagues who have a taste for drink and heaven. We started meeting in 2004 because we like one another, we like books, and we like beer. We meet three or four times per year.

All of our readings have a theological tone to them that extends into other areas of life: science, fiction, poetry, contemporary issues. At the end of a meeting, someone usually says, "Hey, we should read this next," and then we do.

At our first meeting of each year we read through the Annals of the Pickwick Proselytes. This grounds us in the past so that we have a better understanding of the present. Also, members are required to order IPA or darker beer. "Any member who orders a lighter beer must be sued; and if he does it again he must be killed; and if he does it again he must have his throat cut, and then have his carcass burnt up and the ashes scattered all around, and his name blotted off of the list with blood and never mentioned again by the gang, but have curse put on it and be forgot, forever" (Huck Finn).   

Because your focus is male book groups, it should be noted that one of our founding members was a woman (she still is, actually), but apparently she got so sick of us that she moved to Colorado a few years ago.

A few of the titles we have read:
“Revelation,” a short story by Flannery O’Connor
Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
Trouble by Gary Schmidt
Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith
Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
Genesis for Normal People by Peter Enns and Jared Byas

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