MINNEAPOLIS, MN - John Piper, renowned pastor, theologian, author, and conference speaker, can now add another title to his business card: artisan pipe craftsman.
Thursday afternoon, from the Desiring God headquarters, Piper announced the grand opening of Piper's Pipes - a boutique tobacco-pipe company specializing in small-batch pieces made from locally-sourced, environmentally-sustainable woods.
For many young Christian men, smoking pipes has become a rite of passage. Few acts declare "I'm over 18 and free from my parents' oppressive legalism" like puffing on an old-timey pipe in decidedly-Tolkienesque fashion.
The Reformed theology championed by Piper has seen a surge of interest from young adults in the past decade, which has coincided nicely with a growth in pipe-smoking among the same demographic.
"I know providence when I see it," Piper declared. "I saw my opportunity, and I took it."
Jay Scarborough, one of the many Piper fans in attendance for the announcement, was overcome with joy at the news. "This is a game-changer," he told reporters on the scene. "This is going to take fellowship with my brothers and sisters in Christ to the next level".
The first series of Piper's Pipes is reportedly inspired by famous Christian smokers such as Spurgeon, Lewis, Chesterton, and Barth. Dubbed the Toking Theologians Collection, these pipes will be a throwback to the days before Surgeon General Warnings and modern oncology.