Monthly Archives: November 2011

Your Yale Education 2011: A Class on NYC Clubbing and “Nightlife Culture”

Ah, the rich merits of the Ivy League education, the plush learning it affords.  Like this Yale University class in the American Studies department: “Dance Music and Nightlife Culture in New York City.”

Behold the rich harvest of learning that will accrue to the student who signs up (from the Yale Daily News):

A junior seminar called “Dance Music and Nightlife Culture in New York City,” has drawn attention from global hotspots like London, Toronto and New York. According to the syllabus, the class seeks to answer the age-old question: “Why do we go out at night?”

While we’re still certainly searching for answers, students in the American Studies seminar “Dance Music and Nightlife Culture in New York City” are working til the world ends to find an answer. The seminar is taught by American Studies graduate student Madison Moore GRD ’12, whose dissertation “looks at iterations of glamour in fashion, nightlife, and music,” according to his website. Seminar sessions include topics ranging from “The Scene of Harlem Cabaret” to the “The Birth of the Mega Club.” There’s even a class on “Getting Past the Velvet Rope,” a class Cross Campus could probably use.

And here are the potential pedagogical tools of this “class”:

The class includes readings from Langston Hughes and Prof. George Chauncey, with some sessions jiving to in-class audio samples. Potential final paper topics include naked parties, a concert at Toad’s, a drag show at 168 York Street.

If only Allan Bloom were here to see how far we’ve come.  Also, Tom Wolfe?  You know the drubbing you took for I Am Charlotte Simmons?  Your fair alma mater has abundantly vindicated your searing portrait of the modern university.

If anyone out there sees this and wants, I don’t know, an actual education, and wants to prosecute said education in an environment that gives attention to hard-core theological and spiritual formation grounded in a conquering Messianic king, then I suggest you check out a school like Boyce College chock-full of professors who love the Lord, love holiness, and desperately want to see students transformed by the gospel of grace.  At Boyce, you can take classes with far less interesting titles–“Christian Theology 1″–that will nonetheless knock your socks off.  The rest of one’s clothing, however, will very remain on one’s person, and final exams are decidedly–and thankfully–traditional.

More seriously, as a college professor, I grieve to see classes like this taught at elite American schools.  The upper echelons of our culture seem so decadent, so beyond the western moral tradition.  We need to pray for Trinity Baptist Church of New Haven (a great church!), for the outreach of the Christian Union, and for many church planters and church revitalizers to mount up and take on the very hard but very rewarding work of ministry in very dark and secular places.

(Image: New England Magazine)

 

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Ed Stetzer on DeYoung/Gilbert: Are Pastors Qualified to Speak on Theology of Mission?

The pastor-theologian is a subject of great interest to me, as my introduction to the book The Pastor as Scholar, the Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on Life and Ministry (Crossway, 2011) by John Piper and D. A. Carson  shows.  Because of this, my ears perked when, in the recent debate over the mission of the church, missiologist Ed Stetzer suggested that pastors Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert were not adequately prepared to do “careful theological thinking” on the topic du jour.

Here’s what Stetzer in the middle of his lengthy and stimulating Themelios review of What Is the Mission of the Church? (Crossway, 2011) by DeYoung and Gilbert (HT: JT):

Herein may be the book’s greatest challenge. The authors list the books they read to prepare for this response to the widening of the mission. Yet reading a couple dozen books is simply not adequate (or appropriate) to prepare themselves to stand against the careful theological thinking that has contributed to the widening of our understanding of mission and the prevailing view of evangelicals (if Lausanne’s Cape Town statement is a gauge).

At the conclusion, he had this to say in reference to the lack of “background and engagement” on the part of DeYoung and Gilbert:

However, I think it ultimately will not succeed at its task. Instead, it will have some people needlessly looking to parse terms when the mission instead is more about faithfulness. Those who read and share the book may very well be those who most need a stronger missional focus—the theologically minded who think deeply but engage weakly. Yet those who could benefit from the book will not read it because the authors lack the background and engagement to make the case to the missional and missiological community.

Read all of Stetzer’s review.

This review will not attempt to answer the question front and center in this debate; I have not finished the text by DeYoung and Gilbert, but am resonating deeply with it.  My review of Gabe Lyons’s Next Christians finds much sympathy with What Is the Mission of the Church?.  Nor am I taking on Ed Stetzer in this little blog post.  He’s a gifted thinker and leader, and I appreciate much of his scholarly and churchly program.  He is the go-to evangelical theologian on “missional” ministry, a churchman, and a Southern Baptist leader.

I would say, though, that Stetzer’s comments on the inadequate preparation of Kevin and Greg took me aback.  Merely reading books does not make someone an expert, it is true.  But that’s hardly all that these two young pastors–friends of mine–have done.  Kevin has an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  Greg has an MDiv from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and did PhD work at SBTS before taking up pastoral work.  If an MDiv is not adequate preparation for high-level theological thinking, many of us have wasted our money and hard-earned effort.  Both of these men have proven themselves, furthermore, to be gifted thinkers (In fact, I think both of them won “top graduate” awards or some such thing at their respective seminaries).

If only doctors in missiology can participate in missiological conversations, then we’re in trouble, because the group will be very small indeed.  Kevin and Greg have read widely to prepare themselves for the task before them in their missiology text, and they are most definitely up to said task.  Their extensive reading on the subject, coupled with their own preparation, fits them very well to speak into the subject.  Who is not a practitioner of “mission,” after all, if pastors are not?  Surely missionaries lead the front-lines challenge, but hasn’t the whole discussion on “missions” broadened in the last decade or two to include a wider scope of activity?  Isn’t a crucial part of the “missional” conversation that pastors are at the forefront of “missional” ministry?  Are not pastors like Mark Driscoll, Jeff Vandersteldt, and Tim Chester leading the way in “missional” strategy, whether through books, speaking, or practice?  Or am I missing something?

Pastors who lead their church members to support missions, pray for missions, go on missions trips, give their very lives to the missions cause, live evangelistically, reach out to the local community in myriad ways, and generally “be on mission” everyday seem to eminently possess the “background and engagement” necessary to comment on missions, particularly if these pastors have strong theological and biblical preparation and have acquitted themselves well in the evangelical public square.  Other than a missiologist or missionary, who is more prepared than a local church pastor to speak about the mission of the local church?  I’m baffled as to whom else we might call upon.

Let me push this a little further.  Mark Dever’s endorsement of the book references Kevin and Greg as “pastor-theologians.”  I think that’s exactly right.  I fear that at least part of Stetzer’s critique of the credentials of these men owes to an unhelpful divide between church and academy that has exploded the traditional model of the pastorate.  Pastors, goes the line, do ministry; academics, goes the line, think and write.  Sure, maybe pastors write books on practical spirituality or tithing or overcoming temptation.  But they can’t really step up to the plate and actually do theology.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  The historic Reformed model of the pastorate is that of the pastor-theologian.  Luther, Calvin, the Puritans, Edwards, Spurgeon, Lloyd-Jones–these were pastors who wrote theology.  They knew no unhelpful divide between church and academy.  Neither do Kevin and Greg.  Their text is not published by Brill or T&T Clark, of course–it is aimed at pastors and thinkers.  But it is undoubtedly a work of theology.  The authors are undoubtedly pastor-theologians, agree with them or not.

We are in trouble if we assume that pastors–especially well-trained and widely published pastors–are not qualified to participate in theological conversation.  In all of this, by the way, I should not be read as critical of “missional” thinking.  I try to practice a form of it and appreciate it and have many friends and colleagues who feel the same way.

Now, Stetzer has qualified his position in a later post.  He’s backed off the remarks I quoted above and suggested that “an academic book review would be incomplete without asking if the authors were adequately prepared to make their case.”  I’m not sure that’s exactly what Ed was getting at; I think he actually seemed to be saying, pretty clearly, that Kevin and Greg frankly aren’t prepared for this conversation.  He went on to say in his response that “I think more preparation, experience, and conversations would have served them well.”  From my read of the Deyoung and Gilbert book, there’s a great deal of interaction with “missional” thinkers and writers.  The issue here is not really preparation or interaction, as I am able to piece things together, but agreement.  Kevin and Greg have plenty of preparation and outdid themselves in terms of interaction.  They just parse things a bit differently than Stetzer and some self-professed “missional” folks.

By the way, Stetzer references the “Cape Town Statement” of Lausanne 2010 as–unlike What Is the Mission of the Church?– a piece of careful theological thinking.  But if one thinks about the earlier Cape Town Statement of 1974, the foundational theological document of the Lausanne movement, was it not John Stott who essentially drafted it in 1974?  It seems it was.  What was Stott for much of his life?  A pastor.  And what was Stott when he drafted the Statement?  A pastor.

There is some irony, then, in Stetzer’s critique, which otherwise offers much food for thought.

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To Launder or Not to Launder? Christianity Today Hosts Debate on “Dad Moms”

Some of you took note of the “Dad Mom” post I ran a couple of weeks back in reference to a commercial by Tide detergent.  The ad showed a man folding laundry and avowing that he loved “being awesome” and working at home while his wife brought home the bacon.

I wrote a short response to the commercial which drew an intense response on the part of evangelical egalitarians.  Christianity Today took note of the conflagration on Twitter and elsewhere and soon agreed to run a two-part debate on the subject between Laura Ortberg Turner, daughter of prominent California pastor John Ortberg, and me.  As of today, both parts have been published.  I strongly encourage you to read them both.

Here’s a snatch from Laura’s piece, which critiqued my original blog post:

More even than that, however, is the notion that Jesus would have insisted on maintaining a masculine image that would have kept him far from the laundry room, the kitchen, and anything that might smack of femaleness. 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.

Here’s some of my response to Laura:

The question, though, is whether I am to take on the burden of such work as a man. My read of numerous scriptural texts is that I am not. I try to help out where I can, but I am called of God to break my back to provide for my family so that my wife can care for my children and also my home in order that they and it might flourish. The pattern for such a life comes from texts both obvious and less expected. Genesis 3:16 shows that the Fall brings the curse to bear on the woman’s sphere of cultivation: children. Verse 18 shows that the Fall brings the curse to bear on the man’s sphere of cultivation: provision, whether located in the four walls of the house or outside it. We are redeemed from the curse, but not from God’s wise plan—and childbearing and provision are not effects of the Fall.

It is men who are out in the fields and tending the sheep in the Old Testament, not women; that seems so plain as to be obvious. The proverbial husband is outside the home in Proverbs 31, providing and leading, while the proverbial wife cares for and nourishes the home and family. Titus 2:5 upholds exactly this kind of arrangement. Women, not men, are to work at home.

I would encourage you to go to the Her.meneutics blog and read both pieces (Laura’s and mine) and scrutinize them according to Scripture.  It is not my word that should be trusted, after all, but God’s.

I appreciate the CT Her.meneutics blog hosting this debate and for giving this self-professed “Dad dad” a chance to talk respectfully about disagreements in the evangelical camp.  It’s clear that Laura is a sharp thinker and a strong writer, and I’m always thankful for a principled conversation.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’ve got to get back to “being awesome.”

 

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Carl Henry’s Quest for the “Evangelical Harvard” and Other ETS 2011 Topics

For the small but vibrant community of people known as “evangelical theologians” or “theology aficianados” or “those zealous about the extracalvinisticum,” the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society is a big deal.  I love ETS.  This year’s meeting, centered around the theme “No Other Name,” will be held this week in San Francisco, California from Wednesday, November 16-Friday, November 18.

There are a number of fascinating topics on the docket this year, as there always are.  Andy Naselli has listed one such event, a panel on the “spectrum of evangelicalism” that features several contributors to this notable and needed book on the same topic, just published by Naselli and fellow TEDS alum Collin Hansen.

Perspectives on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism

Thursday, November 17, 2011 | 3:00-6:10 pm | Parc 55 – Divisadero

Moderator/Introduction: Andy Naselli (The Gospel Coalition)

Presenters:

R. Albert Mohler Jr. (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary): A Conservative Evangelical View on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism
Kevin T. Bauder (Central Seminary): A Fundamentalist View on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism
Carl Trueman
(Westminster Theological Seminary): Response to Albert Mohler and Kevin Bauder

This panel should be very interesting.  You can also see Andy’s carefully enumerated reasons to attend ETS.  He is characteristically thorough.  I would add a fifth reason–because it’s fun!–but I would not wish to do untold violence to his list.

Here’s the full listing of everything happening at ETS 2011.  Wednesday morning–11/16/11–at 10:10am in Yerba Buena 7 (I have utterly no idea where this is), I’m going to do a paper on this: “Of Holy Grails and the ‘Evangelical Harvard’: Carl Henry, IFACS, and the Untold Story of the Great Christian University.  I’m one of four presenters in the Church History: American Christianity section alongside historians A. Donald Macleod of Tyndale Seminary and John Hannah of Dallas Theological Seminary.  My topic stems from my dissertation on the re-enchantment of the evangelical mind in the mid-twentieth century, which ranges over figures like Harold Ockenga, Carl Henry, and others.

Wherever you end up at ETS, I’m sure that this year’s meeting will be richly profitable.  The fact that it’s in San Francisco doesn’t hurt anything, either…

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Good News: Vanhoozer Returns to TEDS

Many have now seen the announcement about systematic theologian Kevin J. Vanhoozer returning to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School as research professor of systematic theology.  He has served as Blanchard Professor of Theology at Wheaton Graduate School from 2009-11.  Prior to that, Vanhoozer taught at TEDS from 1998-2009.

Here is the announcement from TEDS:

At the divinity school faculty meeting on Wednesday, November 9, Dr. Tite Tiénou, dean of TEDS, and Dr. John S. Feinberg, chair of the biblical and systematic theology department, announced the return of Dr. Kevin Vanhoozer. He will assume the position he filled before his three-year departure from TEDS—that of research professor of systematic theology.

Dr. Craig Williford, president of Trinity International University, said that he is “delighted that Dr. Kevin and Sylvie Vanhoozer are rejoining our Trinity learning community. Dr. Vanhoozer’s significant contribution to God’s redemptive global work as one of the world’s leading theologians expands the influence of Trinity for the sake of the gospel.”

Read the whole announcement here.

While in residence at TEDS as a doctoral student, I had Dr. Vanhoozer in class and worked on several projects with him through the Henry Center, including the Kantzer Lectures in Revealed Theology.  As one can imagine from his list of publications, Dr. Vanhoozer drew a certain amount of awe among TEDS students, including his 17 (!) doctoral students.  His positions were sometimes challenging, regularly creative, and always stimulating.  In my interaction with Dr. Vanhoozer, I observed a refreshing level of humility and kindness.  He had all his prolegomena students to his house, played the piano for us (as we ate Sylvie’s marvelous quiche), and was quite possibly the most eloquent lecturer I have ever heard in my life.

I believe that this is good news for Trinity, and I hope that this reassumption of Vanhoozer’s former post will continue to bolster the international reputation of the school as the leading pan-evangelical seminary in the world.

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Dad Moms, the Man Fail, and the Incredible Potential of Godly Women

If you chanced across this little piece of virtual real estate last week, you might have seen that I blogged about a Tide commercial featuring a self-identified “dad mom.”  I suggested, based on my read of Scripture, that this was a “man fail.”  To use an excruciating economy of words, I received a good deal of feedback on these matters.

[Update: I will be writing an essay for the Journal of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood on this topic and will flesh out further nuances in the complementarian position, many of which I discussed in the comments.]

One of the primary responses in the comments to that post related to the role of Christian women as sketched out in Scripture.  Some read me to be restricting women to the home, when in reality, the saying went, biblical women were far more active than one might initially think.  In response to that response, I thought that I would quote from a 9Marks piece I wrote a year or so ago entitled “The Genesis of Gender and Ecclesial Womanhood.”  The many readers of Christianity Today‘s Her.meneutics blog that flooded my site might be interested in my take presented here.  Many will still disagree with me, but you’ll see in a more fulsome sense how it is that I and other complementarians think about the role of women.

I’ve italicized the 9Marks content below (it’s just a snatch from the larger essay):

The gospel leads directly away from libertarian notions of freedom and identity and offers better ones.[10] In dying to self and trusting Christ as Savior and Lord, we live. Here there is “no male or female,” as Paul puts it (Gal. 3:28). But once freed from the shackles of sin, men and women both are free to fulfill what God distinctly intended for them in creation. After all, biology does not change upon conversion. The gospel is at the center of biblical womanhood (and manhood) and, in saving women from sin and hell, it empowers them to live in the fullness of God’s good plan for them.[11] 

When we turn to the pages of the New Testament, we find many examples of women freed in the gospel. Women served the church and its leaders in diverse and creative ways. Here are a few of the most significant:

  • Joanna, “the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza,” likely contributed generous sums to Christ and his band of disciples (Luke 8:3).
  • Prisca helped her husband Aquila disciple Apollos, a learned and eloquent preacher (Acts 18:26).
  • Timothy had both a godly mother and grandmother (2 Tim. 3:15).
  • Tabitha was “full of good works and acts of charity” (Acts 9:36).
  • In a climate hostile to Christianity and thus dependent on home fellowships, Lydia and Mary each hosted gatherings of Christians (Acts 12:12; 16:13-15, 40).
  • Phoebe was a “servant of the church at Cenchrae,” a “patron of many and of myself as well,” Paul noted in his letter to the Romans (Rom. 16:1-2).
  • Junia (Rom. 16:7) and Appia (Philemon 2) seem to have partnered with their husbands in gospel ministry, whether through evangelism in the case of Junia or hosting a church in the case of Appia.
  • In the examples of Mary, Anna and others, we find women of persistent, reverential, bold, effectual prayer (Luke 1:46-55; 2:36-38).

Here’s the whole piece.

This conversation is not going to cease anytime soon.  I do appreciate the dialogue, the sharpening responses, and I hope that in coming days that evangelical churches will increasingly hew to Scripture and not to culture.

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Media Is Here from the Mohler-Wallis Debate (Link)

Audio and video has been posted from the Mohler-Wallis debate hosted by the Henry Center of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (HT: @carlhenrycenter).  I just checked the video and it looks great.

A basic question at the heart of the debate is this: Is social justice an essential part of the mission of the church?

The Henry Center for Theological Understanding, in its Trinity Debates forum, is pleased to provide a public venue for addressing this question by hosting two prominent voices from competing perspectives. Jim Wallis will answer “Yes” and R. Albert Mohler will answer “No.”

Debate Media: Audio | Video

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Margaret Sanger Wanted to Eliminate “Human Weeds”

Ben Domenech’s Transom email is chock-full of good links and thoughts.  Recently, it included the material listed below from the Margaret Sanger corpus.  Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, came up recently when Herman Cain, embattled Republican candidate for the presidential nomination, suggested on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that she wanted “to kill black babies.”  Here’s the transcript.

This remark touched off a heated debate.  Here’s one response, for example, that decries Cain’s remark, arguing that he “offered an alternate version of history” in serving up this assessment.  You can also see the response from the Washington Post in the link above.  And make sure you read this helpful breakdown by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway (and the telling comments section).

Domenech included the following quotations from Sanger’s writing and remarks.  They are, in a word, stunning.  They show an audacious confidence in Sanger’s ability to determine who should be a part of civilization and who should not.  I’m pasting them in directly from the Transom:

“Birth control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks–those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.” (From this 1923 NYT story: http://goo.gl/z0ZdV, quoted in this study: http://goo.gl/7n4I9)

“The eugenists wanted to shift the birth control emphasis from less children for the poor to more children for the rich. We went back of that and sought first to stop the multiplication of the unfit. This appeared the most important and greatest step towards race betterment.” (From her biography: http://goo.gl/XRUC0)

“Today Eugenics is suggested by the most diverse minds as the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.” (From this essay: http://goo.gl/dDyTW)

“The unbalance between the birth rate of the ‘unfit’ and the ‘fit,’ admittedly the greatest present menace to civilization, can never be rectified by the inauguration of a cradle competition between these two classes. In this matter, the example of the inferior classes, the fertility of the feeble-minded, the mentally defective, the poverty-stricken classes, should not be held up for emulation… On the contrary, the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective.” (October 1921: http://goo.gl/XRUC0)

“Knowledge of birth control is essentially moral. Its general, though prudent, practice must lead to a higher individuality and ultimately to a cleaner race.” (From the NYU archive of her papers, in 1918: http://goo.gl/KaFVv)

These quotations speak volumes about Sanger’s views on eugenics.  It is clear that she believed that she had found a solution to the “problem” of the “over-fertility” of the “mentally and physically defective,” of whom African-Americans were a part.  This is material that should shock us, burn in our hearts, and cause us to peaceably and prayerfully oppose the work of Planned Parenthood and other abortion practitioners with the greatest Christ-inspired urgency. Planned Parenthood is not a liberator, but a killing machine; Sanger was no hero, but the head of this sub-human agency.

Satan is real, and he wants to destroy humanity (1 Peter 5:8).  His work–including the destruction of innocent babies in the womb–will finally be defeated when Christ returns.  Until that day, we must oppose it with every fiber of our being.

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The Essential Edwards Collection: $17 on Kindle (!)

I recently heard from Moody Publishers that the Essential Edwards Collection is being sold on Kindle right now for $17–or $16.48, to be exact.  If you’ve sat on the fence since 2010–a long time to sit on the fence–now may be the time to pick this series up.  The hour is upon you.

Edwards expert Douglas Sweeney and I wrote these books to introduce a wide range of readers to Edwards.  His robust theological and exegetical writing can be complex and difficult to understand.  In writing (not editing!) these books, we tried to give you significant chunks of his writing so that you could read his outrageously beneficial insights for yourself.  We do a good bit of explaining and discussing, and we even apply some of his thoughts to everyday, on-the-ground, normal Christian living.

Here’s the product description:

This set includes all five books of The Essential Edwards Collection:  Jonathan Edwards Lover of God, Jonathan Edwards On Beauty, Jonathan Edwards On Heaven and Hell, Jonathan Edwards On the Good Life, and Jonathan Edwards on True Christianity.

Jonathan Edwards was a colonial philosophical preacher and theologian. To many he stands as the preeminent theologian and thinker of the American tradition. This series of five books covers Edwards’ life and major writings opening an accessible window into the heart and mind of the man credited for starting the First Great Awakening.

By way of introduction, presentation and reflection, the authors unearth the choicest treasures of Edwards’ writings for lay people to discover. Eminently readable and understandable, The Essential Edwards Collection proves you do not need to be a scholar to enjoy and benefit from the writings and life of Jonathan Edwards.

If you’re still interested, here is the page link for the Amazon Kindle edition.  And here’s the Amazon page link for the print edition.

The books have gone out to some interesting corners in God’s kindness.  They landed in USA Today, Christianity Today, World magazine, and on two top-books lists (here and here).  They’re being translating into Korean.  Doug and I are grateful for the reception they’ve enjoyed. God is good, and we hope for nothing more than that these resources will draw people into a deeper, richer relationship with him.

By the by, I did a video interview with Credo magazine on Edwards that may be of interest.  I cover some of the material found in these books.

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The “Dad Mom” and the “Man Fail”

The cultural decline of men continues apace.  Tide detergent, of all cultural voices, is leading the charge today.  Watch “Dad Mom” here (I can’t tell if Tide changed the title due to backlash–it used to be “Dad Mom”).

These are actual quotations from this chirpy, tongue-in-cheek video:

“Hi.  I’m a Dad Mom.  While my wife works, I’m at home being awesome.”

“I can take even the frilliest girl dress and fold it with complete accuracy.”

I will not respond at length to these statements; by clicking on the “manhood” and “masculinity” tags on this blog, you could get more of a sense for my sensibilities toward things like this.  I will say, though, that the “Dad Mom” concept is a “man fail” in my view.  Men are not called by God to be “working at home” as women are in Titus 2:5.  The ground is not cursed for women in Genesis 3:17, but for men, whose responsibility it was to work outside of the home–and to protect women, which was the first “man fail” of all time.

The curse bore down upon Eve’s primary activity, childbearing, showing that her intended sphere of labor and dominion-taking was the home (Genesis 3:16).  This is true of the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 as well, who though something of a whirling dervish of godly femininity was not, like her husband, by the city gates with the elders (Proverbs 31:23), but working tirelessly to bless her family and manage her home for God’s glory.

All this suggests that the “Dad Mom” is a bad idea.  The commercial offers its perspective lightheartedly, but frilly folding aside, men abdicating their creational responsibilities is no laughing matter.  God created the plans for the family, not man.  We may want to be “awesome” as the culture defines it, but such awesomeness leads us away from the wisdom of our Lord.

This is not to say that men do not help out around the house in some ways.  I sometimes help with the dishes, and I certainly do not read the paper for several hours with my feet up while my wife wears herself out.  Compared to many generations, I’m much more plugged in with my kids, and I do help out around the house in certain ways.  My wife, however, is the homemaker, not me (and a fantastic one at that).  She does the vast majority of the cooking, cleaning, and managing of the house; she spends the day with the kids while I provide for my family.

In that sense, I guess I am a “Dad dad” and she is a “Mom mom.”  The culture presses in, but in submission to God’s will and in awareness of his good and gracious design for his blood-bought children, we stay the course.

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