The War on Men with Owen Strachan

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At a Glance

While there is no such thing as “Toxic Masculinity,” the concept has wreaked havoc on men over the last 80 years. In the wake of second, and now third-wave feminism’s war against manhood, our understanding of what it means to be a man has faded. 

Today, Dr. Owen Strachan talks about what it means to be a strong “Biblical Man,” and about his upcoming book, The War on Men. Discover why we need real men in our churches, pulpits, and communities.

What You'll Hear

  1. Introduction (1:18)
  2. Why did you write The War on Men? (4:26)
  3. What lies about masculinity does our society believe? (8:01)
  4. How does the church respond to people speaking up about biblical manhood? (19:02)
  5. Who’s currently defining masculinity? The church or our secular culture? (22:00)
  6. This has been a reaction to feminism (28:03)
  7. What does biblical manhood look like? (33:08)
  8. Men need a mission (38:22)
  9. Promise Keepers (40:42)
  10. Is the church’s emphasis on niceness helpful or a hindrance? (44:13)
  11. Men need a purpose (55:21)
  12. Practical applications (59:03)
Special Guest Dr. Owen Strachan is Provost and Research Professor of Theology at Grace Bible Theological Seminary (GBTS). Before coming to GBTS he served as Associate Professor of Christian Theology and Director of the Residency Ph.D Program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned his PhD from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, his MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his AB from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He is married and the father of three children. Strachan has authored numerous books, including Reenchanting Humanity: A Theology of Mankind, The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision (with Kevin Vanhoozer) and Christianity and Wokeness: How the Social Justice Movement is Hijacking the Gospel – and the Way to Stop it. Strachan is the former president of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, the former director of The Center for Public Theology at MBTS and is the President of Reformanda Ministries.

Using the link above, you can read the transcript, listen along, and adjust the speed of the podcast while you listen.

Jesus shows us men that it is right to be both tough and tender.

Dr. Owen Strachan (34:28)

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Owen, can you paint a picture for us of what biblical manhood looks like? (33:30)

I would say that Adam is made not as the perfect man, of course, he’s fallible in Eden, so he’s not perfect, just like Eve is not perfect, but he is made without sin. And he is called to lead, protect and provide. You see that in Genesis 2 in different ways. And so Adam really gives us a good sense of what a man is called to be and is made to be. He’s made to work and guard the garden (Genesis 2:15). He’s called into marriage. He’s the one who was supposed to hold fast to his wife (Genesis 2:24). So obviously, God has built a lot into Adam from the start.

And then of course, we know that manhood, as with humanity itself, comes to perfect expression in the man Christ Jesus. And Jesus is many things and has many virtues, and glorious abilities and traits.

But fundamentally, I would say, Jesus shows us men that it is right to be both tough and tender.

Jesus is the one who makes a whip of cords in John 2 and scourges the temple. Jesus is the one who is richly compassionate to women and children, who, for example, calls the little children to himself and indicates that they’re not bothering him as his disciples fear. He loves little children. So Jesus is not only tough, and Jesus is not only tender.

Sometimes today in our conversation about Jesus, we focus on how he was gentle and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:29). Well, that’s a glorious truth about Jesus–you just have to make sure that you don’t read that in a kind of cultural way, such that you end up with a soft Jesus in a cultural form, who is not also the Lion of Judah, who is not also the one who has come to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).

So there’s so much we could say, all this manhood has to be powered by the gospel, you’re not truly a man in creational design until you’re born again. And when you’re born again, then you are enabled in the grace of God to glorify God in these roles of leader, protector and provider, especially. Unbelieving men can fill those roles, but again, you’re not living to the glory of God as a man until you’re regenerate–until you’re born again, you’re made new.

Now, that also doesn’t mean though, that when you’re born again, the conversation stops. All ‘being a man of God is,’ is being born again, no!–you’ve got a masculine body, you’ve got masculine duties, you need to conduct yourself in an appropriately masculine way. Anyway, these these things, a lot of them challenge all sides. It’s a huge discussion what biblical manhood is, but those are some of the core truths.

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