The LA Times 12/7/06 [Excerpts]: Manliness is next to godliness: Brad Stine runs onstage in ripped blue jeans, his shirt untucked, his long hair shaggy. He's a stand-up comic by trade, but he's here today as an evangelist, on a mission to build up a new Christian man one profanity at a time. A moment later he adds a fervent: "Thank you, Lord, for our testosterone!"
It's an apt anthem....Stine's daylong revival meeting, which he calls "God-Men," is cruder than most. But it's built around the same theory as the other experimental forums: Traditional church worship is emasculating.
John Eldredge, a seminal writer for the movement, goes further in Wild At Heart, his bestselling book. "Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men," he writes. Men "believe that God put them on earth to be a good boy."
Christian radio host Paul Coughlin, author of "No More Christian Nice Guy," takes the stage. "Jesus was a very bad Christian," Coughlin declares. After all, he says, the Son of God trashed a temple and even used profan-ity, or the New Testament equivalent, when he called Herod "that fox."
The virility crusade is, in part, a response to a stark gender gap. Though churches have tried all sorts of gimmicks to attract men...more than 60% of the adults at a typical worship service are women...according to David Murrow, author of Why Men Hate Going to Church.
The most famous men's ministry, Promise Keepers, packed stadiums throughout the 1990s with men who wept and hugged one another as they pledged to be dutiful and pure. Men at Promise Keepers rallies today make the same vows, but...conferences now carry titles such as "Storm the Gates" and "Uprising." This year, the theme is "Unleashed," as in unleashing the warrior within. "It is not about learning how to be a nicer guy," the website declares.
[TBC: This is the gospel according to macho movies, televised wrestling, and the NFL, not according to the Scriptures.]