Christianity,  Theology/Bible

Strachan Mixes It Up on the Her.meneutics Blog

Owen Strachan wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago critiquing the “Dad Mom” mindset that is often praised in popular culture. His article provoked a response from Laura Ortberg Turner at Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics blog. Turner contests Strachan’s reading of Titus 2:5 and Genesis 3:16 and argues that Strachan’s vision of manhood is not the same as Jesus’. She writes:

I really don’t want to like you, Owen.

And I’m disappointed in… myself for having that reaction first. This is an issue that gets my blood boiling more quickly than almost any other, and after reading your blog post about “Dad Men” and the cultural decline of masculinity, my first response was toward division, away from unity, and toward a mentality that says that if you don’t agree with me, you must be wrong. I am sorry for that…

It is hard to imagine the Jesus who washed his disciples’ feet and cooked them breakfast and said that slaves were the model of greatness turning up his nose at laundry as something beneath his masculine dignity. We can imagine many figures in the ancient world who would have ferociously guarded their masculine dignity—Samson, Alexander the Great, Caesar Augustus. Jesus, it seems to me, would be at the bottom of that particular list.

The Her.meneutics blog allowed Strachan to respond today, and here’s a bit from his essay:

God gives gifts to all his children. But those gifts must be stewarded in accordance with his design according to texts like 1 Timothy 2:11–12. A woman is not hindered by the domestic call; she is set free to pour out her talents for the flourishing of her children and home. The gospel frees us to serve. My tiny 3-year-old girl is far better served by the loving, wise care of my wife than anyone else. Too often in this discussion, we ignore one of the most crucial matters: the health of our kids. My wife and I used to live across the street from a daycare and were always sad observing the overwhelmed worker trying to care for several screaming babies at once. God’s plan is better than this. He has gifted my wife to lavish love and thoughtful attention on my two kids. This work requires sacrifice and is often hard, but it is powerfully calibrated to bless my children and strengthen our home.

Read the rest here.


  • Andy

    So when are churches going to lead by example and start paying their pastoral staff enough so that their wives can be at home with the kids – not just the Sr. Pastor, but the associates too?

    • yankeegospelgirl

      Sorry, let me correct that statement—after surveying a lot of the articles under the “abortion” tag, I see that they are taking a fairly consistent pro-life stance. Unfortunately, they’re completely feminist in other respects, as is demonstrated here.

      • Katelyn Beaty

        Hi yankeegospelgirl,

        Thank you for engaging the CT women’s blog and taking the time to read our articles and commentary related to abortion. As the blog’s editor, I wanted to confirm that Her.meneutics maintains a consistently pro-life approach to life ethics issues, and our writers have taken a repeatedly pro-life stand on abortion. Like our parent magazine, Christianity Today, we would never publish an article that advocated a pro-choice ethic.

        We hope that you continue to engage the blog. Blessings,
        Katelyn Beaty

        • Kamilla


          With respect, “Like our parent magazine, Christianity Today, we would never publish an article that advocated a pro-choice ethic” – that is not strictly true. Last summer CT published a series of posts which could hardly be embraced as clearly pro-life (and there are only two options here because you are either alive or you’re not). In particular, a piece, on the parent CT site last summer, held to a pro-choice position: “PGD is in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with the added step of genetic screening. Only one of four embryos tested negative for OI and was implanted, but I did not get pregnant. (We eventually conceived both our second and third children naturally; neither of them inherited OI.) We had the other three embryos destroyed.”

          Embryo-destructive PGD practices are nothing if not pro-choice. In fact the author of that particular piece openly describes herself as pro-choice. Although her relationship with CT has been severed, as referred to below, the article is still available. I accessed it just now in order to pull the quote. Another article from last summer was a symposium on population issues in which several population control advocates were quoted.

          So the question is not whether CT takes a pro-life position, it is how far the editors are willing to push the margins on issues such as embryo-destructive IVF and PGD practies as well as abortifacent birth control. How old does a human being have to be in order for the folks at CT to argue against his killing? Ten seconds? Three days? Two weeks? Anytime after implantation?

          Really, I’d say its laughable but that would indicate this isn’t serious. It should be a shameful embarrassment that a magazine and it’s sub-creatures which positions itself as “a voice of Evangelical conviction” is considered by anyone to be such, given it’s ambivalence on life issues.


  • Kamilla


    CT/her.meneutics did recenty sever their relationship with a pro-choice writer who had written several articles for the blog. Other of their writers have expressed support for her and indicated they are happy to have a pro-choice Christian as their sister in Christ — that expressed faith in Christ is the *only* thing that matters.


  • J.R.

    Owen got skewered.
    When will we complimentarians start listening? I have no plans of becoming an egalitarian, but please do take the time to read the comments section of his “response.”

    We Biblical manhood and womanhood folks have got to do our homework a lot better and give much better defenses for Godly manhood and womanhood. The Egalitarians are winning this argument hands down, both scripturally and logically.

    • PuritanD


      I have not reviewed Owen’s latest article or the comment section. However, I would not allow the comment section of a blog to dictate who is winning the argument.

      The Egalitarian position is an unattainable position due to the fundamental philosophy from which they try to interpret Scripture. I have been looking from an egalitarian an answer to their dilemma with Eph. 5:21. To follow their logic: if they believe that it is talking about mutual submission (which it is not), how does Jesus submit His will to the Church in the verses following?

      Not one person has yet provided a good answer to that. The other side of their philosophical problem is that the foundation of their arguments are being picked up by those who desire to see the homosexual agenda being “biblical”.

      In any case, do not allow a comment section of one blog to demonstrate that they are winning. It may be that all Egals flock there and few Comps are there.

      • Don Johnson

        Jesus does not submit his will to the church, that is your mistake. Jesus submits to the church.

        And bringing up the homosexual bogeyman is not a respectable argument.

          • Don Johnson

            One of the ways to submit to another is to serve them.

            Jesus washed the disciple’s feet, which was the task of the lowest slave in a house for Jews, serving them.

            Jesus served me by dieing for me, doing for me what I could not do for myself.

            These are just 2 examples.

          • PuritanD


            I have heard it argued that “to serve” equates “to submit”. Yet, no dictionary nor thesaurus supports such an idea. So, where in the Bible do we see Jesus submitting himself to the church’s desire?

            I would love to go into detail on how one can exegete a text to make what Jesus did as submission to the church, but I guess you work by different rules.

            Your example of Jesus’ washing the disciples feet as “submitting” is laughable at best. If he was doing this as you claim, he did not do a great job since he refused Peter’s request. Again, I must have missed the demand or even request of the disciples to have Jesus wash their feet for them. What version is that in again?

            Did we ask Jesus to die on the cross for us? Did we desire to be saved? Please, try again on where Jesus actually submits to the authority of the church. It would seem that Jesus actually submitted Himself to his Father, “Not my will, but yours be done.” This does not seem to be Jesus submitting to the church but to the Father.

  • Kamilla


    Seriously, you have to get your Bible out more if you think the feminists (aka Egalitarans) are winning yhe biblical arguments. Biblically, they haven’t a lef to stand on. However, if the Comps don’t get off this exegetical merry-go-round, the feminists will keep the Comps entangled in senseless skirmishes while they win the battle for yhe institutions (seminaries, publishers,parachurch orgs and denominations).

    The Complementarians have to step back from the fit-for-tat on keyhole and authentic and start making the big picture arguments. Patriarchy is the biblical norm for relationships and it is woven into every single page of Scripture.

    Logically, there the Egals *are* going to win as long as you let them construct the arguments. Trouble is, too many folks are scared of a little thing called paradox. Logically speaking, that is the key to just about everything. The other piece of that which NO ONE wants to talk about is Teleology. No one’s winning the “equal but different” battle until they step out and talk about teleology.

  • Kamilla


    Someday I’ll remember to turn of the silly auto-correct thingy. I think the rest of the typos are more or less decipherable.

  • Kamilla


    I’m guessing you haven’t gotten the memo from CBE that Christ does,indeed, submit to the Church. See Alan Padgett’s book, sold by their book service.

    I think you must not have read many homosexualist arguments, either. For that is precisely how they have marched thru TEC, etc.

  • Kamilla


    I’m guessing you haven’t gotten the memo from CBE that Christ does,indeed, submit to the Church. See Alan Padgett’s book, sold by their book service.

    I think you must not have read many homosexualist arguments, either. For that is precisely how they have marched thru TEC, etc. But then, I guess it’s not a respectable argument just because someone makes it. Even if that someone is the purple-shirted Vickie Gene Robinson.

  • Rachael Starke

    While the Her.Meneutics blog is certainly a mixed bag of opinions and poor, well, hermeneutics at time, on this occasion I have to side against Strachan’s argument as it’s articulated here.

    I am a staunch complementarian because I am a staunch Trinitarian. But complementarianism is about full-orbed, intersecting spheres, not flattened, barely-touching circles. His original piece, and Her.meneutics response uses cultural norms as its main argument, with proof texting as a condiment. I want to be charitable and say that he sort of hastily reacted to a silly commercial and just flung some words onto a screen, not thinking how they’d be sliced and diced.

    Provdientially (not coincidentally?), Kathleen Nielsen has a great piece up this morning at TGC that presents a more compelling, albeit anecdotal, description of what loving complementarianism can look like.

  • Don Johnson

    I have Padgett’s book and will read it soon. My point in my earlier comment is that submitting to another is different than “submitting one’s will” to another.

    I have read some homosexual arguments, though not studied them like egal/comp arguments. It is a bogeyman argument when brought up by comps, but I also think it taps into their actual fears so it works to keep comps comp and so is seen as worth bringing up by some comps. The verses for each subject should be discussed on their own. And they can be discussed on their own.

    • PuritanD


      Talking about side stepping the issue. The point is nothing to do with fear but with the philosophical and hermeneutic arguments. Both egals and the homosexual agenda crowds use the same type of arguments for different verses. And as an aside, mostly out of context.

      For example, egals demand that hypotass? in Eph 5:21 be understood as “mutual submission” Yet, there is not one other example in all of Scripture that would understand that term in such a sense. As one person rightly asked, “Why should we give hypotass? a meaning in Ephesians 5:21 which it is nowhere else shown to have? But if hypotass? always means “be subject to an authority,” then it is certainly a misunderstanding of Ephesians 5:21 to say it implies “mutual submission.””

      Also, egals desire to “enhance” meaning of terms. I have heard it argued that “to serve” equates “to submit”. Yet, no dictionary nor thesaurus supports such an idea. So, where in the Bible do we see Jesus submitting himself to the church’s desire?

      • Don Johnson

        Hupotasso does not mean always “to be subject to an authority”. Words derive their meaning from how they are used.

        If you want to study Eph 5 from an egal perspective, see Phil Payne’s and Bruce Fleming’s books. And read them in their own words, not reviews of them.

        Hupotasso has many ways of being done, Eph 5-6 gives 6 examples from the household. We know they are examples as they are all subordinate clauses in the Greek to Eph 5:21.

        The pericope/teaching unit is Eph 5:15-6:9 and it is wrong to break it up.

        • PuritanD


          You are sadly in error here. When a word always means “X” no matter where it has been used including the Greek of that time outside of the Bible, you cannot all of a sudden decide it means “Y”. You provide no evidence nor answer the question (a theme that seems to be developing here for you) There is no exception to this. Granted, words generally have a semantic range, but the semantic range you want is created by egalitarians.

          List just one example from the Scriptures or even the Greek of Paul’s day that can even support such a presupposition, from context. Now, a better question is, “does each subjection to authority the same in each case?” The answer to that is context. My subjection to my elders is different to governmental authority to our Lord Jesus Christ., but none of this is mutual.

          So far, your argument is, “well, we egalitarians say it means “Y” therefore it is.” There is something better, isn’t there?

  • Kamilla

    Two quick responses before I sign off:

    Submitting v submitting will is a distinction without merit given the subject.

    It is not a bogeyman if it is true. And it is.

  • J.R.

    Thanks for both misunderstanding and proving my point.
    Yes, egalitarians are wrong and can be proven so.
    However, Owen Strachen’s article does not get the job done.
    And uninformed comments like the ones HERE that do not address the ones made over THERE, simply lend credibility to the incorrect and unbiblical position of egalitarianism.

    Kamilla, I do not doubt your sincerity and desire to defend Biblical Manhood, but if you were truly practicing Biblical Womanhood, I do believe your comments would take a new inflection, tone and manner — and might also win over those who need to hear the truth.

  • Don Johnson

    Daniel is a great example of submitting to government authorities, but Daniel did not “submit his will” to them. There may be some confusion among some about submission and what it means.

  • Kamilla


    I get an error when I tried to post the link. It is:

    choicesthatmatter dot blogspot dot com

    In the archives for Sept 2011, it is the post: On being fired from Christianity Today.

    • yankeegospelgirl

      Thanks Kamilla. Wow, was that ever a wimpy firing letter. I was especially struck by this line:

      “CT’s stances on abortion and sexual ethics are not as core to our identity as our theological commitments to, for example, Jesus’ atoning death on the Cross or the reliability of Scripture.”

      WHAT??? Excuse me, but our stance on murder and sexual perversion should be absolutely hand in glove with Jesus and the Bible. Any true Christian recognizes that taking innocent life and perverting God’s natural law of sexuality are two of the absolute vilest abominations in his sight according to His Word.

      It’s pathetic. Pathetic.

  • Nathan

    I would like a list of references that tell all men and only men how to act. These would contain the biblical definition of manhood. If all you have are a few examples that I’m not told to follow, then how do I know that I’m to follow them? I think that Strachan expects me to live up to his own idea of manhood and not God’s.

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