The Myth of Biblical Manhood – A Parable

After a long correspondence, Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Doug Phillips, and John Eldredge decide to meet at a bar to discuss whose view about Biblical Manhood is most biblical.

At Driscoll’s urging, they gather at the Red Herring Pub in Seattle to knock back a few adult beverages. Fog settles outside. The four men sit at a booth near the entrance, Piper and Phillips on the right, Driscoll and Eldredge to the left.

The bartender comes over.

“I’ll take a Rum and Coke,” says Piper, remembering his days as an Army Ranger.

“Hot buttered rum for me,” says Phillips. It seems a manly Colonial drink.

“Give me a Margarita,” Eldredge says, kicking off his sandals. He wears a loud Hawaiian shirt, untucked.

Driscoll looks askance at Eldredge. “Just give me a Bud,” he says. Then he thinks better of it. “Actually, give me two.”

he bartender leaves and the men look curiously at each other. They’ve read each other’s books, have sometimes poked fun at each other in sermons, but here in the booth there’s a natural solidarity. They are, after all, men. Biblical men. Maybe they aren’t all that different after all. The biggest question seems to be who will pick up the tab. A real man pays for his guests, they tacitly agree, but how will it work when four of the manliest men in Christendom are sitting at the same table? Who pays then?

A quiet but epic struggle ensues over who will get the check. The unspoken understanding is that the winner gets the title of best model of biblical manhood.

“I’ll get it,” says Driscoll. “It’s my town.”

“No, I’ll pay,” says Piper. “I’m senior and I accept responsibility.”

Before the other two can offer, the door opens and a stranger walks in. The men in the booth stare. The stranger looks like a hippie—long hair, hemp jacket, and wearing what can only be described as an Arabian dishdasha. That, or a dress.

“Is that a dude?” Driscoll whispers. That he even has to ask makes him feel uncomfortable, and a little bit angry.

“I think so,” says Piper, turning around so he can see.

Eldredge admires the guy’s hair and sandals, but dislikes that he’s wearing a peace patch on his sleeve. Pansy, he thinks.

“God, he looks like a cross between Russell Brand and Richard Simmons,” Phillips gasps.

This makes Driscoll cringe. Simmons is gay, right?

The stranger walks purposefully into the room and angles directly toward the table. “Hi fellas!” he says. “Good to see you all.” He stands next to Driscoll. “Mind if I sit down?”

Driscoll scoots in reflexively, giving the stranger a wide berth.

“Thanks!” the man says, and sits down.

Piper, ever the courteous pastor, strikes up a conversation. “So, uh, what’s your name, friend?”

“Josh,” the man replies.

“Well Josh, do we know you at all?” Piper continues.

You may read HERE this parable, written by Stephen Smith, who graduated with distinction from Taylor University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in History. He graduated with honors from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2012 with a Master of Theology (Th.M.), majoring in Media Arts in Ministry. He has a fascinating story, which you can read HERE.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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