Today is the first day of Lent and I will be going to dinner at my church (put on by the men!) and will receive ashes on my forehead at the Ash Wednesday service. Apparently, this process caused one dude on Twitter to say that this was papal claptrap and it was apparent that I was worshipping a different Christ! Poor Patrick is lost in the post-evangelical wilderness, obviously being poorly taught as to the hills that Christians should die on.
In the meantime, people ask what I’m *giving up* for Lent. A couple of years ago, I read Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Last year I wanted to get through Called to Believe, Teach, and Confess: An Introduction to Doctrinal Theology (from a distinctly Lutheran perspective.) However, I ended up reading all the footnotes, checking all the Bible verses, and making sure I understood everything in the review and discussion sections.
So, I stopped after Chapter 6. I plan to read each day during Lent while considering how to pull together a study for people who leave broader evangelicalism for Lutheranism or for others who are wondering about the distinctives. I would like to focus on a Lutheran understanding of the Law and Gospel which has been helpful to me.
I’ve decided it is more beneficial for me to expand my knowledge during this time as opposed to giving up something. For others, to give up something might be beneficial which is great.
Owen Strachan continues to mess with the *fully man* part of Jesus
For those of you who do not know Owen Strachan, here is his bio at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Maine native is a graduate of Bowdoin College (A.B. in History), Southern Seminary (M.Div. in Biblical & Theological Studies), and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Ph.D. in Theological Studies). In roles within the SBC and greater Evangelical sphere, Dr. Strachan is Senior Fellow of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood and was formerly President of CBMW, whose purpose is “to set forth the teachings of the Bible about the complementary differences between men and women, created equally in the image of God, because these teachings are essential for obedience to Scripture and for the health of the family and the church.”
He is also a contributing writer for The Gospel Coalition, a research fellow of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC, and a fellow of the Center for Pastor-Theologians.
At SBTS, Dr. Strachan was director of the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement, and at Boyce College, he served as chair of Gospel & Culture.
Did you get that? CBMW, SBTS, TGC, ERLC, etc.? In other words, he is a through and through Calvinista. I need to use that term more. It has been determined by language experts that I am truly the first to use it in this manner. 🙂
Owen has written some unusual things through the years. Needless to say, Julie Anne Smith and I have been blocked from Owen’s Twitter feed even although I continue to follow him anonymously. (You can block me but I will find out anyway!) His pronouncements have given us much to write about through the years.
Was Jesus Buff?
On 2/24/20, my good friend, Julie Anne Smith posted Owen Strachan’s Logical Conclusion: Jesus Must Have Been Buff.
Here is Strachan’s tweet that started it all.
…Owen Strachan‘s idea of Biblical manhood does not look like what I read in the Bible. Owen and his Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood friends love to talk about male headship and men as strong spiritual leaders. But when they cross the line like Owen has in the above Tweet, it’s important to see what the Bible really says.
…To hand-select one verse that makes it look like men are supposed to be physically strong is pretty odd, especially when there are scores and scores of verses about what leadership really looks like.
One of the most common character traits I read in the Bible for both men and women is gentleness.
…Sure, it’s good for people to work out, but to make the conclusion that if men aren’t in good shape physically, they won’t be in good shape spiritually is ridiculous. This is just one more attempt to shame men into the roles that CBMW and Owen tout.
But check out this verse, from the ESV-men-approved translation which puts the emphasis on one’s spiritual life over physical life:
“For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Tim. 4:8
Owen Strachan and Holy Testosterone
When I saw her post being tweeted, I started to laugh. Several years ago, I wrote a post: A Complementarian Fail by CBMW’s Owen Strachan and Jason Allen: Holy Testosterone! That post got 498 comments!. But it was written about 4 years ago and when I tweeted out a link to the post, lots of people reacted.
Then some language buffs debated whether or not it would be better written as Sola Testosterono. 😇
I realized that many people have started following TWW in the last couple of years and have not seen some of the more eyebrow raising posts over the last decade or so. I spent some time reviewing this post from 2016 and decided it was worth reposting. I had a really good laugh.
So, as I toodle off to participate in *papist rituals,* I hope you find this post both amusing as well as a bit concerning. What are they teaching in Reformed Baptist seminaries these days?
“Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.”-A quote from that other Calvin.
I frankly think this whole weird male thing started with Mark Driscoll. You surely remember this nonsense.
“In Revelation, Jesus is a pride-fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is the guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”
The gospel™ boys fell all over themselves trying to imitate Driscoll on the man thing. Then, they went further down the road in promoting Duck Dynasty and wrote a gazillion posts at The Gospel™ Coalition website. Some of them took to growing the beards just like some of them attempt to look like Mahaney by shaving their heads. This is redneck theology, especially when they wear camo to preach and give guns away at conferences.
They have attempted to convince us that they have a corner of gender theology market because they are Calvinistas and it has been definnitively proven by Calvinistas that they are the most theologically adept of all mankind since they can quote John Calvin and prove he had nothing to do with the murder of Michael Servetus. They even seem to channel John Calvin in how some of them speak to those of us Christians who do not agree with their take on certain theological points.
Calvin treated his critics with contempt, calling them “pigs,” “asses,” “riffraff,” “dogs,” “idiots,” and “stinking beasts.” In this vein, Calvin said this of the great Anabaptist leader, Menno Simons: “Nothing could be prouder, nothing more impudent than this donkey.”(8) Philip Schaff’s goes into this with sources in French, etc. in his History of the Christian Church, Volume VIII, p. 594ff. Schaff cites his sources. For the quote on Menno Simons, see The Secret of the Strength by Peter Hoover, p. 63; Calvin, IV, 176; HRE XII, 592.
I may not be able to quote the Institutes with wild abandon but I am perfectly capable of knowing what is baloney theology is when I see it. I do know my Bible, especially from a big picture, contextual perspective.
Which brings me to my next point.
Holy Testosterone defeated Satan says Owen Strachan.
Well, darn! I always thought it was the divinity of Jesus, who lived a sinless life and was crucified, dead, buried, resurrected, and ascended, that defeated Satan. That’s what the Bible seems to indicate. So, where do we find mention of this holy testosterone in the Bible? Shouldn’t Strachan know where it says this in the Bible since he is the head of the Council of Biblical™ Manhood and Womanhood and claims to know the Bible? Why didn’t he quote chapter and verse?
Let me get Owen’s argument straight. If we could have extracted pure testosterone from Jesus, could we have used this in spiritual warfare? Does this mean that testosterone is part of the full armor of God? Ephesians seems to have left this out.
14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God. (Eph 6:10-18) NIV Bible Gateway
Should there have been a second half of verse 17? You know, inject yourself with lots of testosterone to crush Satan?
Apparently those who have cojones over at CBMW are jumping on the testosterone bandwagon. According to another CBMW post that was written this month, 5 Key Ways to Cultivating Biblical Manhood in Your Church by CBMW’s Jason Allen:
Through this, the church needs to recover biblical manhood, Christian masculinity—what we might think of as sanctified testosterone.
TWW Prediction: This will become the new buzz word, following on the heals of winsome, gospel, Biblical and slander.
People were quite confused by Strachan’s original tweet.
Strachan appears to play the “I’m smarter than you, idiot” game in his response to the confusion caused by his tweet. He calls his thinking on the matter “rather obvious” because Jesus was a man, not some genderless floozy.
And hilarity ensued. (I choked on my coffee today.)
(If you didn’t get it, focus on the word *penal.*)
Was redemption really all about the testosterone of Jesus?
This is an important observation. Jesus had some estrogen as well as testosterone. How do we know for sure that it wasn’t the small amount of estrogen in his body that caused the defeat of Satan? Is it written somewhere in the Bible? I wonder if Strachan and BFFs did any reading on the subject or the endocrine system.
According to Testosterone and Estrogen Balance in Men
Testosterone is for men, and estrogen is for women, right? For the most part yes, but there is estrogen found in all men, and women do need small amounts of testosterone. There is, however, a growing need to understand the effects of estrogen in men. Like all hormones, estrogen needs to be kept in balance in both men and women. Chronic health conditions are more likely to occur in men as a result of estrogen levels becoming too high.
Testosterone and estrogen are actually very closely related in the body. A look at their chemical structure reveals only subtle differences. Yet, the differences of the effects of these two hormones on the body are substantial. Testosterone affects nearly every cell in the male body. It improves muscle mass and bone density and will also have a positive affect on the heart, brain and blood vessels. Estrogen is actually made from the circulating testosterone in the body by an enzyme called aromatase. As men age, they tend to make increasing levels of estrogen with decreased production of testosterone. Estrogen can be made in the liver, muscle and brain, as well as the fat cells.
In fact, every last cell in the body of Jesus has his male genetic code. One could just as easily conjecture that it was his pancreas or his bunion that defeated Satan.
Unfortunately, Strachan appears to be treading into Joseph Smith territory.
“…it is necessary that we should understand the character and being of God, and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God…These are incomprehensible ideas to some; but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did.”
Jesus has two natures and this is the divine mystery. He is fully man and fully God. It was the divine nature of God that allowed Jesus to live a sinless life, not his testosterone. Jesus was not born with a sin nature unlike the rest of us.
Where does it say any of this in Scripture?
This commenter seem to have a better grasp of the subject than Strachan and she has a lower testosterone level than he does.
What is the deal behind this incessant clamoring to make men so different than women that causes them to write this weird stuff?
It seems to me that these men are so insecure with their masculinity that they must attempt to read into Scripture what is not there. Why? Did these guys get beat up when they were little kids and are now trying pretend that they are bad*** dudes? We may be different in our biology, but men and women experience similar longings and concerns. CBMW appears to be trying to convince us that men and women are so different that we cannot experience similar feelings.
Here is an example.
In the CBMW post, there is an effort to show the distinction between men and women by feelings.
Men long for a higher calling. They need a higher purpose. Our hearts leap within us when we see exhibitions of courage, when we hear tales of heroism, when we witness valiant sacrifice. Give men a grander vision for their life, one marked by service, leadership, and devotion to great and noble ends in the Kingdom of Christ.
Do women not wish a grander vision for their life. Do they not want to strive towards a higher calling? Should not the life of women be marked by service? Do women have no interest in devoting their lives to doing great things for Christ?
The answer is obvious. Both Strachan and Allen get an *F* for their poor understanding of basic biology and an inability to provide us with Biblical texts which back up their assertions. This was a *complementarian fail* and some might say it was an impotent argument.