wtf, manly Jesus

I’ve been reading a book for class, American Jesus by Stephen Prothero. Each chapter covers a different interpretation of Jesus in American history, from Thomas Jefferson’s literally taking a razor to the Bible to Jesus the Hindu Yogi. One of the Christian interpretations, focused mostly on the early part of the 20th century, is “Manly Redeemer.”

Jesus Boxer

For example, check out this prayer by”Baseball Evangelist” Billy Sunday: “Lord, save us from offhanded, flabby-cheeked, brittle-boned, weak-kneed, think-skinned, pliable, plastic, spineless, effeminate, sissified, three-caret Christianity.”

It all seems like a quirky anecdote, but Stephen Prothero misses the boat when he forgets to mention some contemporary examples of this kind of (incredibly damaging) Christology. Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll in Seattle (remember this story from Times Magazine?) is on of the leaders in the movement, also out to redefine and manipulate Calvinist theology. Driscoll insists that Christianity is decidedly ‘chickified’ and that we need more innovative manly men permeating our churches. (You know, those dudes watching football on Sundays instead of going to church.)

Someday I’m going to write more about my conflicted thoughts on masculinity. Until then, I’ll leave you with this stupifying vision that is the reincarnation of Billy Sunday, and apparently also of our most manly Jesus himself:

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