He got a 32 gun in his pocket for fun,
He got a razor in his shoe.
- the incomparable Jim Croce
Normally, I review books on my other blog, but this one has a place in Ponder Anew.
Let me introduce myself to you. My name is jaigner. I am a man. Okay, check. I'm a Christian. An evangelical. I'm a teacher. A music teacher. An elementary music teacher. I have a wife. My wife and I own an apricot miniature poodle named Ellie. I don't call her my wife's dog. I call her my dog.
I like music, poetry, reading books. I enjoy strawberry margaritas. I have gotten a professional massage at a place where they give you a robe (which came to mid-thigh on me) and have water for you to drink in a big bowl with sliced cucumbers floating around in it.
I love the sport of baseball, but football annoys me a lot.
I'm an egalitarian and don't think it's necessary for men to dominate or have an uneasy dignity they have to defend.
And John Eldredge doesn't like me. I'm not the perfect man by a long shot. Not even normal, according to his point of view. Here's the thing: when Eldredge talks about how every man deep inside wants to be a Mel Gibson in "Braveheart" kind of guy, he's not talking about me.
I guess I resent the fact that he thinks all of us men are alike at our core, and, in the same way, women are the same at their core. It's just not true. Besides that, in his quest for the perfect proof text to prove his thesis, he virtually ignores everything in Scripture that talks about how men should be able to be something other than tough and rugged. In fact, he seems to greatly prefer Hollywood's vision of men over the Bible's.
There are other things wrong with this book. His theology lacks substance. His exegesis is bad and his hermeneutic is lazy. His writing style is flowery and romantic - now that you mention it, it's really way to flowery than a book about an "Eldredgeman" should be. But what really bothers me is what do you do with the rest of us, both men and women, who at their very core do not see themselves in his idea of gender.
Besides the fact a lot of us don't see ourselves in this uberdude, there's got to be some balance. I need to be tough sometimes, that's true. I may need to kill snakes or ride a horse or something. But I am not being a fully developed, fully alive man if everything I do looks like John Wayne or something. Can you imagine John Wayne teaching music to a room full of 5-year-old children? No, but Mr. Aigner can do it. I might be lost in the saddle, but I can do things a lot of those guys can't do.
I do, however, refuse to use body wash. I don't care what color it is or what the label says about it being for guys. It's not happening. I'll stick with my bar soap.