Battle Hymn of the Evangelical: Part 6

Last week(ish), I gave the first reason I loved being a firebrand conservative in college. This week, it’s on to reason number two: being hardcore conservative made me feel manly.

I’ve already documented my…complicated relationship with evangelicals and manliness. For those who didn’t catch it the first time, I talk about it here, here, and here.

To summarize: growing up, there seemed to be some evangelical manliness test. It was written on elephant hide, in blood, by John Eldridge and Mark Driscoll. It involved something about rescuing a beauty, jumping off waterfalls, and being a Leader of this Generation. I think bear-hunting was involved, too.

But whatever the test was, I failed. I wasn’t one of those outdoor-ministry wood-chopping beard-growing types; I was a skinny nerd with peach fuzz and a nervous smile. I had no ability to fix a car, survive in the wilderness, or ask a girl out. And forget being a Leader of this Generation–I couldn’t even lead prayer at a Bible study. If there was a skill you’d think a manly man should have, I did not have it….unless you think a manly man should be good at Nintendo.

But then I found politics.

Continue reading “Battle Hymn of the Evangelical: Part 6”

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Why I “Became” a “Feminist”

Last week, I noted that an overly-cynical approach to manliness “leads to humiliation.” I already told the story about how I tried pretending to be a “Wild at Heart” manly man to impress people. This week is the story of how I pretended to be post-masculinity feminist to impress people.

Here’s the mostly true story:

Continue reading “Why I “Became” a “Feminist””

The Evangelical Manliness Crisis(?)

Evangelicals are in a manliness crisis!

The problem permeates our whole view of Christianity, and we all know it. The evangelical church in America has become too–

My guess is half of you would say the church is too macho, and the other half would say it isn’t macho enough. Depending on the blog you read, the book that just launched, or the last guy you passed on the sidewalk, evangelicalism is either brimming with cavemen or castrati.

Continue reading “The Evangelical Manliness Crisis(?)”

The Youth Pastor’s Secret to Success

I’m a youth pastor connoisseur. Between high school chapels, youth groups, and special retreat speakers, I’ve seen every type imaginable. Some were good–even when I was a sneering cynic, I still liked my high school youth pastor1. Others youth pastors were…less good.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching a lot of Science Channel, but I think there’s a Unified Theory of Youth Pastors which explains all this. Here’s the thesis: the more concerned a youth pastor is with being manly, the less effective he is. Continue reading “The Youth Pastor’s Secret to Success”

The Christian Phrase that Ruined College

Wild at Heart ruined college for me. Actually, it was one phrase from the book. I’ve been turning it over in my head for a decade, and I still can’t make sense of it:

“He’s dangerous, but in a good way.”

John Eldridge claimed this is what every woman wants to say about her man. But what does it mean? Some of my theories: Continue reading “The Christian Phrase that Ruined College”