Wednesday, July 08, 2015

pending series of posts on Mark Driscoll and the Testosterone Gospel

It's going to take some time to assemble all the material for this, but Wenatchee The Hatchet never actually finished reviewing Real Marriage. In light of the continuation of the Driscolls to talk about how Mark's heart is to compel the young guys to grow up we'll have to explore that a bit more.  Regardless of what "tribe" Mark Driscoll manages to re:launch and re:vive his motivational speaking career it will be useful to review the trajectory of Markulinity as a theme in his teaching.  It's not necessarily a given that the figure now known as Mark Driscoll emerged with this dude-bro theology fully formed.  In fact in reviewing some earlier observations and coverage of Driscoll it was actually somewhat difficult to find some attestation of that as the primary concern. Rather, early coverage and some blogging from someone who met the early Driscoll suggests that the frat boy gospel of Driscoll incubated within other contexts, such as an explicit narrative/rhetorical framework of intergenerational conflict. 

What may also be alien to those with progressive sympathies, whether secular or religious, is that even among evangelicals and socially conservative Christians Driscoll's approach to manhood has been considered deeply flawed, even fatally flawed, at a theological level.  We'll have to see if we can carve out some time to address that later on.  What may be useful as a teaser for the time being is to propose that even among conservative Christians there came to be a critique of Driscoll's Testosterone Gospel as one that was presented for alpha males only, not for ordinary men looking to find a way to go through life.  There have also been suggestions from progressive and relatively conservative Christian writers looking back on the early phase of Driscoll's public ministry that generational resentment was more prominent than the Testosterone Gospel Driscoll has come to be known for in the last fifteen years. We may have time to explore how for those inside the culture Markulinity was seen as a remedy to a generational problem that might not make sense to people who were not inside the culture at the time Driscoll's taxonomy of adulthood, as a theological framework, was beginning to take shape.

So, uh, yeah, it won't be a short series and there will be asides and backtracks to readings from Roy Baumeister or Philip Zimbardo and Daniel Kahneman and maybe Jonathan Haidt along the way.

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