Tuesday, January 31, 2023

"Making Christianity Manly Again"

New from Oxford University Press: Making Christianity Manly Again: Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church, and American Evangelicalism by Jennifer McKinney.

About the book, from the publisher:

A look inside one of America's most politically consequential churches

Mark Driscoll, the founding pastor of Seattle's Mars Hill Church, indelibly impacted American evangelicalism. Driscoll's brash, authoritarian, and profanity-laden leadership grew Mars Hill Church into one of the fastest growing, most innovative, and most influential churches in the country--not an easy task in one of America's most secular cities. Driscoll's gender theology put men at the forefront of American Christianity, rebranding Jesus from a "gay hippie in a dress" to a sword-carrying, "robe-dipped-in-blood" warrior. This type of rhetoric paved the way for evangelicals' embrace of hypermasculine Christianity, priming the pump for their unprecedented support of Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 Presidential elections.

Making Christianity Manly Again places Driscoll's gender theology in its social and historical contexts and analyzes the contemporary social patterns that explain how a hypermasculine theology helped create a megachurch empire. By addressing the rhetoric of Driscoll's movement through his sermons, along with narratives from former Mars Hill Church members, sociologist Jennifer McKinney leads us to a better understanding of the dynamics of the evangelical impulse to reclaim and glorify men's power. These dynamics, as McKinney shows, have fueled a growing Christian nationalist movement, with enormous implications for religion and politics in America.
--Marshal Zeringue