I was going through my bookshelf the other day and came across Werner Neuer's Man and Woman in Christian Perspective. I first read it in college, probably about 1993 or so. It was recommended to me by Peter Doyle, the pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church of Opelika, AL. Dr. Doyle used to do a college men's Bible study and it was one of the most impactful things in my life -- especially my view of men and women. Dr. Doyle gave us all kinds of great counsel on relationships; 25+ years later I'm realizing just how much I appreciate what he taught me and how it saved me from really colossal mistakes I would have otherwise made. You could say he permanently inoculated me against feminism. I remember him telling us, "Marry a woman who dresses like a woman. Marry a woman who wears dresses and skirts, not pants." Even in 1993, he was, shall we say, politically incorrect. Dr. Doyle also wrote a series of kids' adventure books that had very strong male/female stereotypes. He also did a really fine American history series for kids. As a preacher, he was simultaneously bold and jovial -- he'd slice your conscience up with a grin on his face. But he always pointed us to Christ as our sure hope of forgiveness. Anyway -- back to the Neuer book. Neuer is a German theologian and I remember being surprised when Dr. Doyle assigned it to our group it since I did not expect a conservative work on the sexes to come from a contemporary European theologian. But I was surprised. Happily surprised. It really is a superb book, especially in the way it integrates Scripture with what we know from the created order. I relied on Neuer extensively in my May, 2000 essay on men and women.

"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."

- Marcus Aurelius

This is a follow up to my sermon for men who want to hear more on their duties as husbands and fathers.

 

My sermon Sunday on the pair of family psalms, Psalm 127 and Psalm 128, deserves a bit more comment. I will focus here especially on Psalm 128. (Video of the sermon is available here -- the sermon starts about the 17 minute mark; audio is available here.)

The first part of the sermon focused on the man in these psalms and that's what I want to look at further here. If we want to know what it means to be a blessed man, perhaps we need to start with manhood itself. What does it mean to be a man? How are men different from women? How does a man's masculinity feed into his duties/roles as a husband and father? What shape should a man's rule over his home and in the world take?

"Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [besides Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter."

                                                                        --- Jurgen Habermas, a German philosopher/theologian

Have you seen reports on this new Netflix show Cuties? Looks like soft pedophilic porn. It's sick. Maybe with Ghislaine Maxwell behind bars, some on the left are trying to normalize pedophilia before a bunch of them get busted for it. Maybe they can get it legalized before they go to jail. Let's hope not.

What’s interesting to me here is the plot line of Cuties and the way this movie is being defended by progressives, especially given the way Netflix has marketed it.

The New Yorker tweeted this: “Cuties, which has angered scandal-mongers on the right, is the story of a girl’s outrage at, and defiance of, a patriarchal order.”

Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
    and do not reveal another's secret,
lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
    and your ill repute have no end.

-- Proverbs 25:9-10

 

Last week, the Atlantic published a story which claimed Trump made disparaging comments about American soldiers according to four anonymous sources. Not surprisingly, the story quickly fell apart as many sources were willing to go on record by name disputing the account and the story's author gave a pretty pathetic excuse for why his sources wanted to remain unnamed. What is disappointing is that some Christians who should know better (such as David French) decided to traffic in this anonymous story. My point in this post is not political and has nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with personal relationships, unsubstantiated rumor/gossip, due process, and our obligation to rely on multiple named trustworthy sources when passing along potentially damaging reports. Anonymous reports can be used to damage presidential candidates, but they can also be used to damage relationships and communities. They are a form of gossip, and thus forbidden by biblical law.