Editor's Note: Owen Strachan, professor of theology and church history at Boyce College in Louisville, recently wrote a post critiquing a Tide commercial on "Dad Moms" as one more indication that our culture denigrates true masculinity. His post elicited strong responses from Her.meneutics writers. Amid a flurry of tweets, Strachan offered to engage Laura Ortberg Turner in a point-counterpoint. Here is Laura's response.
First, a confession:
I really don't want to like you, Owen.
And I'm disappointed in (although not entirely surprised by) 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.
To be clear, I still think you are wrong on this particular issue. But the far more important thing than who is vindicated by a jury of our peers—because we will both have our supporters and detractors—is that you are my brother in Christ, and that no amount of ambiguous biblical interpretation can do anything to that truth. So with that confession, an apology to you, and a commitment to treat you with love and repentance when I fail.
To the issue at hand, a few important areas of disagreement and discussion:
First, the distinction between working "at home" and "outside the home" (as you make in referring to Titus 2:5) is mostly a false one in that it reads the Industrial Revolution into the ancient texts. We find both men and women at work throughout the Bible, but in those times, work (largely agrarian) was not something ...1
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