The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking Companion
Yes! This book actually exists! Forgive me if you knew this already but I just found out recently, and immediately wondered how I had never heard about it and wondered how I could get a copy. The getting of a copy turns out to be easy thanks to Amazon, where you can get a nice paperback copy of this book for $11.95 at the time of my writing this.
As for having not heard of the book for so long, I still have no idea how I missed it. I can only surmise that the book just never got the publicity it deserved. But now, having obtained a copy I wanted to let you all know what I have learned about it. So here goes…
About the Book:
The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking Companion was published in 2013, and was written by two guys in Michigan. Quick shout out to the cigar culture in the mitten state. These two authors are Ted Kluck and Zach Bartels. Ted Kluck is the author of over 10 books ranging in subject-mater from the emergent church to Mike Tyson. Zach Bortels on the other hand, is a pastor of a Baptist Church in Lansing, Michigan.
The book that came out of a collaboration between these two men could best be described as a hilarious amalgamation of bits left behind when cigar culture and Christianity had a head on collision. The more serious spirit behind the book is captured beautifully by the subtitle printed on the front cover. Which reads: “A Celebration of Smoking Cigars & Pipes to the Glory of God”.
If you are looking for a book with a detailed narrative or a complete systematic history, this is not the book for you. However, if you want a lot of fast-paced, funny articles, loaded with fun facts, then you are in the right place. The Christian Gentleman’s Smoking companion has a lot of content that is only a page long and there are no parts of the book that are more than about 5 pages in length.
There is a lot in this small book and I will go through some of the things I liked best and worst below. However, here is some more notable bits of content:
- Are Cigars and Pipes Sinful (A short essay)
- What to Look for in a Cigar Lounge (7 points)
- Examples of Cigars in Pop Culture
- The Daily Telegraph Scandal (C.H. Spurgeon’s cigar controversy)
- 20 Ways to Smoke Cigars to the Glory of God
Things I Liked:
- Cigar Brands and What They Say About You (a funny profile of people who smoke cigars like Cohiba, Swisher Sweets, Davidoff, and Garcia y Vega)
- Every Cigar Smokers Essential Guide to Living with His Wife.
- Cigars in Ministry Timeline (A look at the evolution of smoking in the career of a typical vocational minister)
- Smoking Spiritualized (this is a great classic poem that we have covered here in the past. For a look at our article click HERE.)
- Suggested Hate Mail Templates (In the appendix the authors write their own stereotypical hate mail responses to the book)
- Cigar and Pipe Hall of Fame (spaced throughout the book there are one page bios of famous men who made their hall of fame, often with great cigar or pipe quotes included. Here is the full list of those that appear: Steve Brown, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ralph Erskine, C.H. Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, Pious X, J.R.R. Tolkien, Karl Barth, J. Gresham Machen, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Colson, Father Damien, Jared C. Wilson, and Johann Sebastian Bach.)
Thing’s I Didn’t Like:
- Great Moments in Literature and Film if a Main Character Was Replaced by Cigar Aficionado’s James Suckling (This is a very creative bit where the guys rewrite famous lines with a cigar aficionado’s attitude and subject-mater. My problem with it is it just goes on too long, reappearing in the book multiple times.)
- Basic cigar education on things like the construction and use of cutters (I did like that this was valued, but I think it was mis-calculated. I know they did not have the space to go into much detail, but for this books general audience I think the explanations were too basic, to the point where their value was lost.)
The Best Part:
In my humble opinion there are two parts worth their weight in gold.
The first is the quote from C.S. Lewis that appears on his Cigar and Pipe Hall of Fame page. Here is this utterly fantastic quote: “the pipe gives the wise man time to think and the fool something to stick in his mouth.” You can’t tell me C.S. Lewis was not a genius!
The second was written by the authors directly and it is just too perfectly in line with ChristianCigarSmoker.com to not mention. It appears in the “Cigar Brands and What They Say About You” article. One of the sections is for those that smoke Acid cigars. I can’t resist including that sections here:
Please take a moment to complete the following quiz.
a.) Own a pair of leather pants, unironically?
b.) Own a purple shirt that is also shiny?
c.) Zoom down the high-way on what is known in the motorcycle community as a “crotch-rocket”?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you probably smoke Acid cigars. Acid is the brand that Bobby Brown and Keith Sweat would have smoked in 1988, were they (the cigars) around in 1988.
In short, I love this book for what it is, and what it is, is the best cigar bathroom reading in history! If you think that sounds insulting you are misunderstanding me. This book is intended to be picked up and put down in short snippets. It does an excellent job in being entertaining, educating, providing interesting facts, and being an all-around great conversation starter. I give a hearty endorsement to this one. I will also give it a ChristianCigarSmoker.com rating of a 4.0.
Article by: Pastor Smokey [aka. Doug Goodman]