Models of masculinity

It’s an age-old question, but it’s taken the Flight of the Conchords to pose it again with aching poignancy:

What man?  Which man?  Who’s the man?

When’s a man a man?

What makes a man a man?

Am I a man?

Yes… technically I am.

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLEK0UZH4cs]

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On reflection there were two models of masculinity on show at the London Men’s Convention on Saturday.

The first was communicated in mainly non-verbal ways.  As John has put it, there was, at times, a ‘Top Gear’ spirituality (Top Gear is a popular British TV programme where middle aged men salivate over an array of sports cars).  You can guess the kinds of things – jokes about sports teams, jokes about baldness (lots of them!), jokes about scrotums.  All the usual stuff.  There was an uncomfortable insistence on making fun of the main speaker (Tim Keller) in a laddish kind of, ‘Hey, you big bald son of a gun.  Not much hair on you is there? Baldy.  You big bald son of a bald man. Ha!’  That kind of thing.   Graciously Keller did not call down bear attacks as was his right as prophet of the LORD.  Now that really would have sorted out the men from the boys.

(Just as an aside – British men, the cruelty that passes for ‘banter’ among men is quite shocking for foreigners to cope with.  On one hand I speak as someone who’s lived here half his life and, for better and for worse, speaks the lingo.  I also speak as an Australian male.  But I confess that even we hard-headed convicts gape in wonder at the incessant jibes about ‘Fatty’ and ‘Who ate all the pies?’ when the man in question is only slightly overweight.  Or ‘baldy’, when we’re really dealing with a high forehead.  Or – and I dare not even name what red-heads are called in this country.  I would try to dissuade anyone with auburn hair or lighter from stepping foot in the British Isles.  The word “Ginger” could be followed by any number of appellations, most of them four-letter.  And this kind of culture is rife in the church too.  Last night in the pub I heard two Christian men speak about another Christian friend in shockingly unChristian ways.  But it was completely in keeping with this lads culture.)

Under this first model of masculinity we’re told that we have a God given masculinity to be lived out.  Which is true.  We’re told what a huge problem it is when men aren’t real men.  Which is true.  But then it’s basically assumed that everyone knows what a real man is.

So Mark Driscoll bemoans the prevalence of ‘chickified’ men in church.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSrZVF3FEUQ]

Apparently the real men are those “watching a ball game, making money, climbing a mountain, shooting a gun, or working on their truck.”  And these are the men that are getting it done in the world.  So Driscoll wants these kind of men in the church.

Well.  Alright.  It’d be great to have them in church.  And yes, in some limited sense they’d make a welcome change from the other kind of false masculinity that abounds.  But let’s be clear – all natural masculinity is wicked.  Masculinity as it occurs in its natural state is horribly and dangerously perverted.  Whether the perversion occurs in the cowardly retreat direction or the aggressive domination direction, it’s a perversion.

The other model of masculinity came in Keller’s talk on the cross.  He took us to Gethsemane where Jesus was at His wits end, craving the support of friends, crying, sweating blood contemplating the cross.  The furnace of God’s wrath lay ahead of Him.  He begged His Father for another way.  But there was no other way to save us.  The prospect was simple: It was Him or us.  And so Jesus said ‘Father, Let it be me.’

That’s a man.

Laying down His life for others, bearing shame in their place, accepting weakness to strengthen them.  None of these things looked impressive.  He looked like a total failure, naked and choking to death on a cross.  He did not look manly.   And men from all sides told Him so.  They had all sorts of opinions about what Jesus needed to do to be a real man.  They were all wrong.  He reigned from that tree.  Here was the manliest thing ever done.

And it has nothing to do with back-slapping dudesmanship.  It’s not about being mechanical or sports-loving.  And it’s not threatened by aesthetic sensitivity or quiet thoughtfulness.  It’s defined by heart-felt, loving, sacrificial service.  It’s stepping into the roles Christ has for us and saying ‘My life for yours.  My weakness for your strength.  Father, Let it be me.’

Oh for real men!  Oh to be a real man.  But not like those ‘real men’ we’re told to be.

More posts on masculinity:

Larry Crabb on gender

Three thoughts on headship

He said – She said

Is the fruit of the Spirit too sissy for real men?

What real men look like

Spouse speak

Arian misogyny

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Posted on by Glen in Cross, evangelicalism, gender, pastoral theology

About Glen

I'm a preacher in Eastbourne, married to Emma.

0 Responses to Models of masculinity

  1. Dave K

    I’m so glad you say all this stuff Glen.

    I won’t name names either, but I have seen far too much of that bad masculinity which is sometimes just annoying (‘no, you are not defined as a man by your love of football’) and sometimes even cruel.

  2. bobby grow

    Glen,

    You preach it brother . . . and never stop!!! You’ve got me riled (does that mean I’m a man?).

    Jesus is the Man, it’s amazing that men in the church use themselves as the measure of a man; I’m sure Paul says that those who do this are straight-up fools (II Cor. 10:12). You were much nicer in your approach here Glen (I’m not sure you’re a man ;-) . . . but I know that you are saying the exact same thing as Paul.

    Like I said, you preach it brother (I’ve got your back . . . but more importantly “The Man” does)!!!

  3. Si

    “Apparently the real men are those “watching a ball game, making money, climbing a mountain, shooting a gun, or working on their truck.” And these are the men that are getting it done in the world. So Driscoll wants these kind of men in the church.”

    Driscoll seems to be, on the subject of manliness, a high school jock who despises geeks and those who don’t want to live in the Wild West where men are ‘real men’. He recently, at the end of a sermon, after challenging ‘girly men’ to not shirk responsibilities of leadership in marriage, yelled at them for not being good enough. It was effectively bullying and ‘girly men’ there would be trying to pick up that challenge (because unlike jocks they aren’t as proud) – see where it would take them, see that it isn’t godly and struggle to not chuck the baby (take the lead) out with the bathwater (being a jock, being the sole breadwinner).

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  5. aaron

    I believe Driscoll is reacting to some aspects of church culture that emasculates men. He will tell you his ultimate example of a man is Jesus.

  6. glenscriv

    Hey guys,
    judging from your comments and from private correspondence, this post has struck a chord with many. Dare we speak against the Driscoll? Dare we even go so far as to impugn the Eldredge?? Maybe we dare. I might write some more on these topics, we’ll see.

    Si – that sermon really disturbed me. The guy is screaming at men to be men. But what kind of manhood is he modelling for us to become? Going apoplectic on some generic ‘pathetic guy’ in the congregation is no way to grow up men.

    Aaron,
    Indeed Driscoll does say that Jesus is his example of manhood. But I would suggest that his notion of manhood very much shapes his view of Jesus. Driscoll’s Jesus is very much ‘a dude’. Remember this is the Driscoll who repeatedly and unrepentantly says he refuses to worship a Jesus he could beat up.

    Disturbinger and disturbinger…

    Glen

  7. Dan Hames

    I’ve e-mailed you already, Glen, but I think this is a topic ripe for discussion.

    Driscoll is a very cool person to like, and in ways that good- but I think on this he’s quite off the mark. Could we beat Jesus up? Yes. We did!

  8. Paul

    Hmm… This is my first visit here and I can’t help thinking that your portrayal of the LMC was a bit exaggerated – I for one didn’t hear any scrotum jokes!

    I think there may be some fair points made with the compereing of the event, but I definitely didn’t come away with the impression that there had been a particular push for laddishness – I was just immensely encouraged and challenged by much of the teaching and so would return to subsequent LMC’s for that very reason (and hope that others would too).

    To echo a friend – wasn’t it great to see 3000 men sit down to four good long sessions of solid bible teaching? I think that is part of the masculinity we want to see!

    As a young british guy I would concur that we need to think carefully about ‘banter’ – I believe there is a place for joking around and having fun with male friends, but we have to be careful how that manifests itself. It can be taken too far, it can be personal and degrading to the target – self-glorifying to those who deliver the jokes.

    I have to say I don’t envy the job of the compere on the day – striking the balance between being godly, fun and engaging is, I believe a hard task to master without falling into the traps of the world’s definitions of masculinity.

    Driscoll I think is responding in a very typical way to a real issue i.e. swinging too far the other way.

    I think we need to drop the world’s ideas and definitions of masculinity which are very much tied up in the activities that men are involved in and their interest (e.g. the world views a muscular rugby player as far more manly than a man who bakes cakes). The fatal error is that we tend to look at the world’s ideas and the way we think our thinking is corrupted – and work backwards.

    The biblical concept of masculinity is complex and multi-faceted, but I think we would be wise to take note of the articles point that it centres on Christ. To echo the article- We have the example of a perfect sinless man – someone who was willing to make great sacrifice and endure great suffering for His bride the church. This is a picture of a man who was ultimately strong yet ultimately tender, the ultimate leader yet not self promoting and many others attributes which I cannot express this succintly, but the point stands; this is the man who we must model ourselves on… this is a big challenge, one that we can only begin to embark on by the grace of God and through the work of the spirit.

    P

    P.S. For a very interesting collection of writings on biblical manhood and womanhood see http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/books_bbmw/bbmw.pdf – I have found chapter 1 is a particularly helpful overview of the biblical principles

  9. glenscriv

    Dan – brilliantly put!

    Paul – welcome to the blog. Glad to have you. Also glad you didn’t get the same ‘laddish’ vibe from the event. I know others have but I fully acknowledge that perceptions involve much of what we bring to the experience!

    (oh by the way there was a scrotum joke – quite a long joke actually. Remember the pun on the word ‘sternum’?)

    I fully agree we need to go back to Christ and learn again how to be human in Him! That’s just what this blog’s all about.

    God bless,
    Glen

  10. glenscriv

    oh, by the way when I said Driscoll was ‘unrepentant’ about saying he wouldn’t worship a Jesus he could beat up – that’s only as far as I know.

    Does anyone know if Driscoll has publicly retracted that teaching? It’d be nice if he did.

    Glen

  11. Dev

    I’ve heard Driscoll do the wimpy Jesus thing on another conference video – so i think he’s still sticking with it

    The ascended Christ is ascended because He is the servant King, because He is prepared to lay down His life always… He is the same yesterday, today… forever!

  12. Pingback: Three thoughts on headship « Christ the Truth

  13. codepoke

    Amen, Glen.

  14. Jeremiah

    Driscoll hasn’t retracted the joke so that has apparently given people time to suppose that the joke about how liberal theologies reimagine Jesus has transformed by dint of internet traffic into a “teaching”. At the time he first made the statement it was relatively easy for me, at least, to see that he was making a joke about how liberal theologies remake Jesus into a likeness that suits them. Paul probably has a point in suggesting that Driscoll, in reacting to what he saw was a real problem, has gone too far in the other direction.

    Now it could be argued Driscoll’s joke about a wimpy Jesus as imagined by liberal theologians might have been less than productive but it is not, strictly speaking, a teaching. If he had said he would not be able to worship the god imagined by open theists, feminists, and rationalists instead of making a joke he might have saved himself some misunderstanding. WHat Driscoll might need to retract is a desire to go for the funny when a serious discussion about major doctrinal disputes would be more beneficial. If he keeps mingling with Keller, Piper, and Mahaney he’ll get there, just probably not as fast as many people on the internet would probably like.

  15. Pingback: An interesting read… « my small corner

  16. glenscriv

    Hi Jeremiah,

    Glad to have your comment.

    I don’t have a problem with Driscoll using humour to make serious points. For the most part he does this very well and to good effect. In fact I don’t think it’s finally possible nor even desirable to draw a line between his ‘jokes’ and his ‘teaching’. And I don’t think Driscoll wants to draw those lines either. If we discounted his ‘jokes’ from his ‘teaching’ we’d be left with a half hour sermon and a half hour stand-up routine. At that point people would be right to tell him to quit the comedy and just preach. But no, the ‘jokes’ are not unnecessary add-ons. It’s all part of a theologically reasoned rhetorical style which Driscoll has biblically (and very entertainingly) defended at last year’s Desiring God conference. Excellent. I support him in this.

    But you know what it means? It means he can’t say “only joking”! And neither can any of his defenders. His ‘jokes’ cannot be divorced from his ‘teaching’ like this. And I don’t believe he’d want to anyway. So that leaves us with the question: Is this particular ‘joke’ (which is part and parcel of his ‘teaching’) theologically defensible? Can we ever say ‘I won’t worship a Christ I can beat up?’ I shuddered violently the first time I heard this from his lips. I was incensed when I heard it again. And then I heard it again. Frankly, it worries me when people aren’t that bothered by what, to me, is a horrendous mis-understanding and mis-representation of Christ.

    We will worship the sacrificial Victim into eternity. Worthy is the Lamb. Yes it was a voluntary self-willed self-sacrifice. He made Himself weak. This is true. But we must equally maintain that He made Himself weak. And this is His glory! Driscoll persistently refuses to highlight this aspect of his christology. And we have to wonder why? I have a hunch that this christology doesn’t fit his notion of masculinity. And I’m worried about which part of his theology wins out.

    One cannot criticise a ‘liberal’ theology that remakes Christ in it own image when one does the very same thing.

    Let’s not make excuses like – he’s young, he’ll learn. Driscoll knows what he is doing. He could make fun of the ’emergent Jesus’ any number of ways without making these kinds of quips. He chooses his words very carefully. And he has repeatedly chosen to say that he won’t worship a Jesus he could beat up.

    He can’t hide behind ‘only joking’. And he can’t hide behind Piper etc. Given that he’s a real man, I’m sure he won’t want to. But that just leaves him one option in my books – repent of this macho-man-christology.

    But what do I know. I’m just a blogger.

  17. Tim Cairns

    Ok so Driscoll might have overstepped the mark. But in his defence I offer a few thoughts. In your post you talk into the British culture of humour and the British culture of ladishness (if thats a word). Anyway…you are calling out the culture.

    I lived for four years on the west coast, its not called the wet coast just because the rain, believe me. The Jesus I encountered in west coast churches is a wimp. He just rolls over and lets society do beat him up again and again and again. Its a Jesus who just goes out and hugs everyone and gives everyone hugs and kisses and takes the slaps on the face – but hey thats ok. Many of the men I met on the west coast (most in fact) are girly men. They have no idea what true manhood is. That is the culture Driscoll is speaking into. I love what he has to say about manhood because having had to endure the girly Jesus of Vancouver I would listen to Driscoll and shout amen, amen, amen! A man who shares my pain and burden!

    Outside of the west coast, I can see why you take Driscoll’s remarks the way many have done on the blog. He is speaking into a society that has made Jesus a liberal pot smoking wimp. So perhaps he has gone too far. But having lived in that culture I say a hearty well done to mark Driscoll, its about time we had a Bible believing reformed voice in the west coast mire of liberal emasculation. Ok so he might have gone too far – but really having lived in that culture I know why! Believe me!

    Driscoll in many ways makes his comments in light of an unbiblical culture that he sees around him, in much the same way as you call out the lad culture of Britain

  18. Bobby Grow

    I live, and have lived on the West Coast my whole life . . . right now in Vancouver, WA. Jesus certainly wears many coats, esp. rain coats here; but to combat anecdotal christology with anecdotal christology is like having the “Christian fish swallowing the ‘Darwinian version of the Christian fish,” it’s just anecdotal — no matter what your demographic/geographic is.

    If Driscoll wants to put Jesus in His proper context, then He should let the clear themes and motifs of scripture do that . . . where His glory is tied to His death; where His strength is tied to His weakness; where His majesty is tied to His humility. This is the balance that is needed, not answering one extreme with another . . . Mark Driscoll is completely out-of-line, even in Seattle. There is no such thing as an contextualized Jesus only an contextualized humanity; which means that we need to take our cues from His life, not project our ‘insecurities’ on to Him.

  19. Nicolai

    Hey Glen, thanks for this post. I found it very interesting and agree with what you say, especially that natural manhood is fallen. But so is womanhood. So when Driscoll says that men shouldn’t try to be like women, that’s basically right. And if he says that common Christian manhood looks more like natural womanhood than natural manhood, if that is his perception then we should consider whether he’s right with his observation. I disagree with his proposed solution, though.
    Now when you say that natural manhood is fallen, that’s absolutely right. But is it fallen in the sense that it has become distorted, or fallen in the sense that it must be abandoned entirely? Cause if you go for the latter, you’re running danger of mushing manhood and womenhood together, and you’ll be criticised by Driscoll. But a Trinitarian approach might rather be to have clearly distinct roles.
    It’s not so much an issue of what we do, but a character issue. So my question is, should a Biblical man have a distincly different character from a woman?
    Cheers,
    Nicolai

  20. glenscriv

    Hi Tim and Bobby.

    I was wondering whether Bobby would respond to the west coast stuff, and he has. Thanks for both your insights on that. Even if it is just a ‘pendulum swinging’ issue (and I think there’s more going on) – the real question is what does the bible say. And if Driscoll’s a bible guy (and he is) and if he’s a man (and he is) – I reckon he can take some biblical questioning.

    Hi Nicolai,
    Great to have you on the blog. I’m loving your trinitarian approach to this question. I’m totally with you.

    Redeemed, God-intended masculinity is indeed different to redeemed, God-intended femininity. There is a concrete, non-reversible particularity to the genders that, at the same time is interdependent and mutually defined. I am a man in relation to women – a woman is a woman in relation to men. We need the other and to relate rightly to the other in order to be the particular that we’re called to be. (This is why quite often men’s groups won’t help you be a man – it takes inter-relations with women to make men men, etc).

    I believe the physical differences of men and women go all the way down, so to speak. Not to get too lewd, I’ll speak euphemisticaly. A man is to move with strength towards a woman – not as gal pal or cute little brother – but as a strong, partlicular, complementary other. He is to move into her world for union and communion and to bless her for her sake, in particular with life-giving words. She is to invite and warmly receive and nurture this movement of strength, to receive his loving initiative in submission and receive his words in faith. This, of course, is a description of husband and wife – but it’s reflected more dimly and diffusely in the rest of life.

    And one more thing – redeemed, God-given masculinity might, at times, look a lot like natural feminity. One of the most masculine things Christ did was wash His disciple’s feet. In Luke 15, the father expresses his incredible fatherness by hitching up his robes, running to his son, flinging his arms around him and kissing him. Looks feminine. It’s actually deeply masculine.

    Glen

  21. Bob Willits

    Real Men Cry by the Elms

    Real men cry to their mothers, and laugh with the others
    When all of the jokes are on them.
    They’re rough and they’re tumble, but inside, they’re humble.
    When nobody’s looking, they even get sad,

    And they’d talk all night.
    They’d even break down when you think they might.
    And when you get past our egos,
    there’s a heart that wants to be just like Jesus.

    The man of all men.
    The only One who makes hearts whole again.
    And He could’ve backed down with those people around,
    But He proved for the last time that real men die.

  22. Tim Cairns

    Hey Bobby

    I agree 100% what I was trying to do (and I did it badly as I had a 13 month old kid on my knee at the time!!) was just to give a personal experience, namely, that I have appreciated Driscoll as he really speaks into a west coast Christianity that I encountered in Vancouver. When I was there (and since) I have appreciated what he has to say as he was really speaking into what I was thinking. Although I guess I was on the edges of a particular west coast Jesus!! I agree his Jesus is a (wrong) reaction to a particular Jesus

    I don’t disagree with the premise that what he said was wrong, all I was trying to say was that he was speaking into a culture that I had witnessed, but just like scrotum jokes it doesn’t make it right! I really wanted to make the point that I like him and what he has to say, although like us all he is fallible.

    anyway Bobby having moved more central on the continent (Ontario) I do miss the west coast…..rain and all. I am actually heading back next week for a preaching conference. Never did make it to the other Vancouver!

    Tim

  23. Bobby Grow

    Tim,

    Sorry if I came off a little rambunctious, I understand what you were trying to do; and I can appreciate having a 13 month old around ;-) (well at least a few years ago now, now he’s a five year old). While I can understand ‘liking’ the passion of Driscoll, and just liking him (his personality resonates with some); I have a hard hard time stomaching much of what he says (in order to be “relevant”). Have you heard his stuff on Song of Songs lately?

    As far as his fallibility, that’s true, but I don’t think this gets him off the hook in an continuous manner. He might be young, might be maturing; but to use all of this to relativise his continual and pattern like mis-steps, in my mind, just cannot be allowed.

    Theologically I have problems with Driscoll, as far as I understand his background; which probably is the root issue for me. And I think his theological background (‘classical theism’) makes his statements about Christ, sensical.

    Anyway, my intention was not to be offensive, Tim . . . I do understand why you might like Mark. Enjoy your time at the ‘preaching conference’!

    Hi Glen :-) .

  24. Tim Cairns

    Hey Bobby – and sorry Glen for using your blog for this personal correspondance!!

    Myself and my wife watched the song of songs stuff……I have to say we loved it! sorry!!! We really appreciated what he said and it spoke into our relationship.

    Anyway I took no offence just felt I needed to do a better job at saying what I was trying to say!

    oh and Hi Glen and thanks for your blog – its great! and we will be in the London area 8th, 9th, 10th July if you guys are about!

  25. glenscriv

    Hello to you both Tim and Bobby! :)
    And Tim, yes we’d love to catch up if we can. I’m taking some time off around then which could be good or bad depending on what we do with it. But let’s try and get together definitely.

    And hello Bob – thanks so much for quoting that. I’d never heard it myself (just listening now on last.fm). Great great words. Very apt indeed.

  26. Bob Willits

    Thanks Glen. I realize song lyrics seem trite in an intelligent debate. However, the song is a great ballad and I love the juxtaposition from ‘Real Men Cry’ to ‘Real Men Die’ – a reference to Christ’s love for us and thee example of a real man.

    Oh yea, and Driscoll’s okay in my book :-)

  27. Rob Mason

    Hi Glen

    Thanks for the post, I found it interesting.
    The comments too, as presented by some of your readers, are equally intellectually stimulating.

    I wonder, does anyone consider the ‘bashing’ or critiquing of prominent teachers to be manly or unmanly? (let alone the biblical argument)

    Isn’t the PRINCIPLE requirement of a man to be someone who ‘stands’? Might I suggest that 1 Cor 16:13 gives us every responsibility to be MEN?.

    I think Driscoll’s point (as I understand it.. that there are way too many blown by the wind, stand for nothing guys in (or worse, leading) churches that don’t call sin ‘sin’, and allow all manner of things that are not holy to be called holy, that men ‘out there’ will look at them and think ‘I can’t follow men like that and I don’t want to be like that’) has some merit despite the ‘style’ which some will find uncomfortable – and let’s remember that Jesus’s message and style created similar offence – especially to the religious? (I can’t imagine him turning over the tables went down well!)

    Finally, if real men are those who are faithful, teachable, accountable, honest, holy, loving and strong I’d find myself being encouraged to be the same. My wife appreciates a strong lead and I can serve her no better than being sure of my commitment to Christ, his ways and his purpose for me/us.

    I made some further comments on my blog, and point 4 might be of particular interest to readers of this blog.

    Regards
    Rob Mason

    http://allforjesus.ning.com

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  29. Will

    Thanks for this discussion everyone – I often reflect on these issues.

    I am presently doing a ministry apprenticeship at the moment which I very much enjoy. But I often reflect on the fact that but for very poor asthma in recent years (and some other factors too) I may well have been able to fulfil my dream job of working on a big cattle station in outback Australia. Sometimes my present job makes me feel so weak, particularly when I have to exercise such gentleness and patience with people, and during those times I often think how great it would be just to be outside dominating cattle!

    But then I have to remind myself that in truth the self-giving “weakness” of word ministry is much more “manly” than anything I could be doing with livestock, even though the latter would much better fit the world’s idea of a manly activity.

    I feel sure Mark Driscoll would agree with these thoughts, notwithstanding that he could undoubtedly beat me up in just a couple of minutes after I run out of puff.

  30. clairebo

    This is a superb post. Thank you for writing it.

    And Driscoll is a misogynistic disgrace who despises the weakness that each of us is called to in our obedience to be transformed to the likeness of Christ.

  31. glenscriv

    Hey clairebo,
    Thanks for commenting. For me, Driscoll is neither a demon nor an angel. He tends to prompt either hero worship or blanket denigration – I’m not sure that either is the right response. But yes we do need to be discerning about certain ‘knight in shining armour’ mythologies that, to an extent, inform his teaching. We should be able to point these out, and he should be ‘man enough’ to take it. On the other hand, the man clearly loves Jesus, proclaims Jesus, serves Jesus wholeheartedly. I call him a brother. I’m glad he’s around.
    Glen

  32. Jeremiah

    I agree Glen, it’s too easy for people to uncritically accept or condemn Driscoll whole cloth. I find that I can’t go either direction. I agree about the shining knight mythology entirely and I believe that his preaching from Ruth and Nehemiah exemplify the weakness of that whole mythology.

    On the other hand, he seems to be leaving the OT alone and gearing up for a large series on Luke. I’d say that for a pastor who has said Mars Hill is all about Jesus a gospel series has been overdue (he preached John as far back as 2001). Driscoll’s best preaching, in my opinion, has been from texts in Luke whether it was his Advent series or his christus exemplar sermon about five years ago. I also hope, per your post, Glen, that a year or more of Driscoll going through Luke will help him grasp the “Let it be me” masculinity Christ modeled for us. Seeing as his christus exemplar sermon was one of his best in a twelve-year career, I figure Driscoll CAN appreciate that.

  33. glenscriv

    Thanks Jeremiah, wise words. And good tip about the christus exemplar sermon and the upcoming Luke series. I’ll be tuning in with interest.

    God bless,
    Glen

  34. glenscriv

    Will – thanks so much for your comment earlier – only just realized I haven’t responded.

    You said: “the self-giving “weakness” of word ministry is much more “manly” than anything I could be doing with livestock.”

    Very true!

    And thanks also for your comments on ProGnosis – massively encouraging on a personal level and very apt when people are wondering what’s the point of the disagreement.

    Glen

  35. glenscriv

    Hi Rob,
    Sorry you’ve been in spam until now. 3 links puts you over the limit I’m afraid.

    If you’re under the impression that I don’t believe in gender roles you’re very much mistaken. But I’m also keen that the culture does not define masculinity for us.

    Your post on children’s work resonated with me very much. Whenever I’ve helped out with Sunday school I’ve been overrun by young boys thrilled to have a man to ‘rough and tumble’ with as well as talk to.

    It makes me think of how Jesus keeps asking the disciples to let the children come to Him. I wonder whether the disciples thought child-care was a bit feminine? The culture of the day would have – just as our culture does today.

    Which leads me to a provocative suggestion: If we let Jesus define masculinity for us we may well find more and more men taking on what the world thinks of as ‘women’s roles’.

    Just a thought.

  36. jayber crow

    I also wanted to say I really appreciated the grace and wisdom of this post. And the Flight of the Conchords clip.

    Glen, I really admire your desire to be gracious to everyone, and I would nearly always want to join you in your “let’s not demonize a brother” stance.

    But surely there are times when someone is (repeatedly) a poisonous voice and that just has to be called with some kind of simple directness? I have to say the fact that Driscoll has some kind of voice within evangelical culture troubles me more than nearly anything else. It seems to indicate a basic lack of discernment of character, of goodness, of the fruit of the Spirit that makes me pretty sad. There’s something quite nasty about much of his posturing, and I honestly don’t think Clairebo overstates in her comment.

    Speaking about Jesus can actually be a destructive thing if we don’t do it in the Jesus way…

  37. jayber crow

    PS if I survived a Tim Cairns-led pub crawl of Vancouver, does that make me a real man?

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  39. Will

    only just saw this now. thank you too!

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  41. Glen

    Hi Jayber,
    Thanks for your comments. Surviving Tim Cairns in any context requires a level of manliness well beyond my feeble chickification. (btw Tim, looking forward to seeing you soon!)
    About Driscoll…. yes. sigh. I dunno, I dunno. He’s definitely got problems. Honestly the christology worries me bigtime and is of course tied to his macho posturing. And I really do appreciate Clairebo and your comments. I think people should be saying these things. Maybe I just need to let go of my fence-sitting Anglicanism. I’ll probably post more about him in future.
    Glad to have you dropping by,
    Glen

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