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#21 Rachel Anne

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 02:28 PM

I have a couple questions regarding Driscoll's idea that men are made for fighting and domination:

(1) If men are made for domination, what about the loser in an MMA match? He didn't dominate — is he a failed man?

(2) If men are made for combat, why are almost all the men at an MMA event spectators? Surely the pure model for Driscoll isn't MMA: it's Fight Club, where everyone fights.

---

Because of the basic demographic reality, it isn't by looking at the fighters, but at the SPECTATORS at an MMA event that we can learn from MMA something about what men are like. And this is not a particularly pretty picture. Among the spectators, we don't see men as brave warriors, ignoring pain and fear to strive courageously for victory. Sadly, the lesson of the spectators is a lesson about men risking and achieving nothing at all, only indulging appetites of one sort or another. Fortunately, when these men are NOT at MMA events, but working at their jobs and taking care of their families, then we see them in a much more positive light, even if Driscoll sees that part of their lives as lacking the TRUE manliness of fighting and dominion.

Edited by bowen, 08 September 2011 - 02:39 PM.


#22 SDG

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 02:50 PM

Really good comments, Bowen.

#23 opus

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:00 PM

Because of the basic demographic reality, it isn't by looking at the fighters, but at the SPECTATORS at an MMA event that we can learn from MMA something about what men are like. And this is not a particularly pretty picture. Among the spectators, we don't see men as brave warriors, ignoring pain and fear to strive courageously for victory. Sadly, the lesson of the spectators is a lesson about men risking and achieving nothing at all, only indulging appetites of one sort or another.

I wonder how Driscoll's thoughts re. MMA jive with his thoughts re. video games (which he criticizes as something stupid that merely trades in fantasies about fighting great, epic battles).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctQOmzsvisQ

Edited by opus, 08 September 2011 - 04:01 PM.


#24 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 06:17 PM

bowen wrote:
: (2) If men are made for combat, why are almost all the men at an MMA event spectators? Surely the pure model for Driscoll isn't MMA: it's Fight Club, where everyone fights.

Ha!

opus wrote:
: I wonder how Driscoll's thoughts re. MMA jive with his thoughts re. video games (which he criticizes as something stupid that merely trades in fantasies about fighting great, epic battles).

Haha!

#25 Darrel Manson

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:50 AM

My review goes the Jacob/Esau route.

#26 SDG

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 02:07 PM

My review. (Several grafs toward the end on the morality of pugilism will surprise no one who followed the discussion around The Fighter.)

#27 SDG

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 06:51 AM

Writing about this movie as the home-video release approaches, I find myself reflecting incredulously on Mark Driscoll's remark that "I can't worship a Jesus I can beat up" (which I would have thought we discussed here, but apparently not).

If this sentiment were generalized, it would seem one of the following must be true:
  • either Jesus is the biggest badass who ever lived, and could beat up literally any man in history; or
  • there are at least some men who can consider Jesus unworthy of their worship, or themselves unable to worship Him, or whatever.
Also, by implication it would seem that human respect to men in general can be predicated on beat-up-ability, so that if you disrespect a weak man, that is more reasonable or pardonable than if you disrespect a strong man. Also, it would seem equally reasonable for a man to feel that he can't be pastored by a pastor he can beat up, so unless Driscoll can beat up every man in his church, they should probably go elsewhere.

I wonder if some people at Driscoll's church ever think, "I can't be pastored by a man I can intellectually beat up."

It would be nice to think that Driscoll realized what an idiot he was to say that.

#28 kenmorefield

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:39 PM

I have long been ambivalent about the "I could never follow/worship a God who..." rhetorical move, which strikes me as increasingly ubiquitous.

I get, or think I do, that such statements can be effective ways of highlighting what are core convictions that can/would/might make sincere devotion problematic (or, yes, impossible), but I also worry that it can become a thoughtless way of simply expressing what one's assumptions are. Plus I think the more conditions we put on who God can be before we've experienced him in anything approaching fullness, the more likely we are to respond in self-defeating ways when we find Him not as we expected him to be.

In short, I think a lot of people unconsciously or subconsciously conflate what and who they EXPECT God to be with what and who they NEED God to be...and that conflation has troubling implications.

P.S. Nice little film, incidentally, he says since this is in a WARRIOR thread. Didn't expect to like it much, not being an MMA fan, but I couldn't really think of another sports film where you got to the big match and didn't know who you WANTED to win. (Made me think about all the "does God really care who wins a sporting event" comments in the wake of Tebow mania.)

Edited by kenmorefield, 22 December 2011 - 02:52 PM.


#29 Christian

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:50 PM

P.S. Nice little film, incidentally, he says since this is in a WARRIOR thread. Didn't expect to like it much, not being an MMA fan, but I couldn't really think of another sports film where you got to the big match and didn't know who you WANTED to win. (Made me think about all the "does God really care who wins a sporting event" comments in the wake of Tebow mania.)

That's a great comment, Ken.

I've been wanting to see this film again because of Tom Hardy. I wasn't too impressed by him here. I'd seen him only in Inception before this film and he hadn't made much of an impression on me, but I had heard he was on a higher level om Warrior. But Warrior was more Nick Nolte's show, at first, before becoming, I thought, much more about Joel Edgerton's character. Hardy seemed almost an afterthought.

And then I saw Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and was very impressed by Hardy in that film. That makes me want to revisit this film, and finally sit down to watch Bronson.

Edited by Christian, 22 December 2011 - 12:51 PM.


#30 SDG

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:21 PM

I have long been ambivalent about the "I could never follow/worship a God who..." rhetorical move, which strikes me as increasingly ubiquitous.

The move implies a standard for judging what sort of God is acceptable, when in fact God Himself is the standard by which we are judged. Talk about God in the dock.

I've been wanting to see this film again because of Tom Hardy. I wasn't too impressed by him here. I'd seen him only in Inception before this film and he hadn't made much of an impression on me, but I had heard he was on a higher level om Warrior. But Warrior was more Nick Nolte's show, at first, before becoming, I thought, much more about Joel Edgerton's character. Hardy seemed almost an afterthought.

And then I saw Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and was very impressed by Hardy in that film. That makes me want to revisit this film, and finally sit down to watch Bronson.

Really? I've found that Hardy makes an impression in everything. With his first line in Inception he practically stole the movie from Leo, and he spent the rest of the movie having fun at Joseph Gordon-Levitt's expense.

In Warrior, far from an afterthought, Hardy is clearly the protagonist, by a number of counts:
  • He's the character who changes the most, who changes at the climax, and whose climatic action matters most.
  • Of the two estranged sons, he's the one with the breakthrough moment with the father, lowkey as it is. I spent the whole last act of the movie waiting for a breakthrough moment between Edgerton and Nolte, but it never came -- my main narrative reservation about the film.
  • He's the character with important secrets that we learn at key plot points. He's got three big secrets in particular: why he's fighting, what he's running from, and what he accomplished on the way. With Edgerton, what you see is what you get.
  • Of the two brothers, Hardy gives the showier, more flamboyant, riveting, critic-pleasing, alpha-male performance. In my review I noted a definite Boromir-and-Faramir quality to their relationship, though Hardy doesn't dominate Edgerton to the degree that Sean Bean does David Wenham. (I also said that their confrontations were like pitting Brando's Terry Malloy from On the Waterfront against Russell Crowe's Jimmy Braddock in Cinderella Man.)

Edited by SDG, 22 December 2011 - 01:21 PM.


#31 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:44 PM

SDG wrote:
: The move implies a standard for judging what sort of God is acceptable, when in fact God Himself is the standard by which we are judged. Talk about God in the dock.

Does God want to be loved? If so, then God wants to be judged. And because he wants to be judged, we can judge him -- even if we do so using his standard. (And I know there's a long history of bracketing off certain sections of the Old Testament as "anthropomorphisms", etc., but the fact remains that, as written, there are parts of the Bible in which God alters his course of action because he doesn't want people to judge him a certain way. See, e.g., the bit in Exodus 32:9-14 where Moses prevents God from wiping out the Israelites because it would make him look bad in the eyes of other nations, i.e. nations that would judge God's actions harshly.)

: Really? I've found that Hardy makes an impression in everything.

But he STILL doesn't look all that much like Picard, false nose or no false nose. ;)

: In Warrior, far from an afterthought, Hardy is clearly the protagonist, by a number of counts . . .

Brilliant analysis.

#32 Christian

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:51 PM

Really?


Yes, really. I won't itemize my own lists for thinking what I think, because ... well, because, as usual, I can't really remember the details of the plot. ;) But I remember thinking, in reading about the film around the time it was released and talking with friends, that my view wasn't so out there.

#33 SDG

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:14 PM

Does God want to be loved? If so, then God wants to be judged. And because he wants to be judged, we can judge him -- even if we do so using his standard.

I don't think I can put it that way. In reality, I would say it's always we who are judged, not God.

If you ask me to judge the beauty of a symphony, a sunset, or a woman, I can do that by whatever ideas of beauty I may have. If you ask me to judge my own standard of beauty, I can try to step outside of my subjectivity and cultural influences and critique my ideas of beauty against some larger set of ideas. But if you ask me to critique Beauty itself -- or Truth, or Goodness, or Justice -- how can I do that? These are the standard. And they are all "refractions, as it were, across the prism of consciousness," etc. (see my sig quote) rooted in Being itself, God Himself. Consequently, I don't know what it would mean to "judge God." (Pursuant to the idea of judging God "using his standard": God doesn't have a standard, He is the standard.)

And I know there's a long history of bracketing off certain sections of the Old Testament as "anthropomorphisms", etc., but the fact remains that, as written, there are parts of the Bible in which God alters his course of action because he doesn't want people to judge him a certain way. See, e.g., the bit in Exodus 32:9-14 where Moses prevents God from wiping out the Israelites because it would make him look bad in the eyes of other nations, i.e. nations that would judge God's actions harshly.

Without prejudice to the historical and literary questions here, theologically speaking, any time human beings judge God harshly, it is so much the worse for the human beings in question. If God chooses not to do something to avoid the harsh judgment of human beings, it is an act of mercy to the human beings.

: Really? I've found that Hardy makes an impression in everything.
But he STILL doesn't look all that much like Picard, false nose or no false nose. ;)

Whoa. I didn't know that connection. That's going to be interesting to go back and watch.

Brilliant analysis.

Thanks!

Edited by SDG, 22 December 2011 - 02:18 PM.


#34 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 04:03 PM

SDG wrote:
: I don't think I can put it that way. In reality, I would say it's always we who are judged, not God.

I dunno. If we are made in the image of God, then we are made in the image of a Judge. Ergo...

: But if you ask me to critique Beauty itself -- or Truth, or Goodness, or Justice -- how can I do that?

The same way you critique the wind -- by what it does. ;)

: Whoa. I didn't know that connection.

Really? I'm sure I've made it more than a few times on this board. (See, e.g., the thread on This Means War, which co-stars Tom Hardy, i.e. the Picard clone, and Chris Pine, i.e. the new Kirk.)

#35 SDG

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 04:35 PM

: I don't think I can put it that way. In reality, I would say it's always we who are judged, not God.

I dunno. If we are made in the image of God, then we are made in the image of a Judge. Ergo...

God is the judge of creatures He has made. He is not a judge of God. Ergo...

: But if you ask me to critique Beauty itself -- or Truth, or Goodness, or Justice -- how can I do that?
The same way you critique the wind -- by what it does. ;)

If I ever figure out what this might mean, I'll get back to you.

Here is how I see it. Beauty is to the aesthetic power, and truth to the intellect, and goodness to the will, simply the aspect of being to which these faculties are respectively ordered, and which, to the extent of their competence, they rightly appreciate and embrace. To rightly know beauty, to rightly know truth, to rightly know goodness, is to love, appreciate and embrace them. There is no meaningful sense in which beauty, truth or goodness can be judged or critiqued. If you do not love beauty, truth or goodness, it is not beauty, truth and goodness that is judged, but you.

I have no similar brief against judging the wind, but I will leave that task to those who feel qualified to undertake it.

: Whoa. I didn't know that connection.

Really? I'm sure I've made it more than a few times on this board.

You could fill a whole forum with the things on this board that I don't know.

Edited by SDG, 22 December 2011 - 04:36 PM.


#36 Overstreet

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 05:32 PM

I wonder if Mark Driscoll was wearing his fighting gloves when he Tweeted this yesterday:

Dear fathers, if your daughter is dating a loser, feel free to dump him for her and take her out yourself.


DOMINATE.

But, of course, if your sons date losers, well, that's their business.

#37 Attica

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 06:16 PM

I wonder if Mark Driscoll was wearing his fighting gloves when he Tweeted this yesterday:

Dear fathers, if your daughter is dating a loser, feel free to dump him for her and take her out yourself.


DOMINATE.

But, of course, if your sons date losers, well, that's their business.




Yeah. What about "the meek shall inherit the Earth".

That's what bothers me about this particular kind of viewpoint on men, it leans towards aggression and domination as being strength, while meekness and compassion are a weakness. It's bass ackwards. Even his tweet contains a certain lack of compassion. I mean, I'm all for joking around, but it doesn't come across as a being a joke..... it comes across as being a complete lack of compassion for the "weak losers". The last thing our society needs is for the church to raise up a bunch of aggressive, compassionateless Christian men. There's enough of that kind of man already.

#38 Attica

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 07:20 PM

Writing about this movie as the home-video release approaches, I find myself reflecting incredulously on Mark Driscoll's remark that "I can't worship a Jesus I can beat up" (which I would have thought we discussed here, but apparently not).

If this sentiment were generalized, it would seem one of the following must be true:

  • either Jesus is the biggest badass who ever lived, and could beat up literally any man in history; or
  • there are at least some men who can consider Jesus unworthy of their worship, or themselves unable to worship Him, or whatever.
Also, by implication it would seem that human respect to men in general can be predicated on beat-up-ability, so that if you disrespect a weak man, that is more reasonable or pardonable than if you disrespect a strong man. Also, it would seem equally reasonable for a man to feel that he can't be pastored by a pastor he can beat up, so unless Driscoll can beat up every man in his church, they should probably go elsewhere.

I wonder if some people at Driscoll's church ever think, "I can't be pastored by a man I can intellectually beat up."

It would be nice to think that Driscoll realized what an idiot he was to say that.



What makes his comment even more stupid is the fact that we did beat Jesus up. I mean I know God could have stopped it, but it does convey a certain view of Christ's manhood, being a meekness and compassion for the world, that he would go to the cross to rescue, instead of starting an agressive rebellion against the Roman oppressors, as some expected and desired. That is most certainly not aggressive or dominating behaviour. I would think Driscoll's view leads to an understanding of God being a deity who gets his "manliness" out of kickin @ss instead of a compassionate God who sees sin as a terrible condition in need of remedy, being that sometimes correction is part of the cure.

It's dark.


EDIT: Oh.... and this would probably make Driscoll quake in his boots, but there are decidedly female characteristics to the Holy Spirit.

Edited by Attica, 22 December 2011 - 07:36 PM.


#39 Christian

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 08:06 PM

Is it just me, or has this thread gone off on a major tangent?

#40 vjmorton

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 08:16 PM


I wonder if Mark Driscoll was wearing his fighting gloves when he Tweeted this yesterday:

Dear fathers, if your daughter is dating a loser, feel free to dump him for her and take her out yourself.


DOMINATE.

But, of course, if your sons date losers, well, that's their business.




Yeah. What about "the meek shall inherit the Earth".

That's what bothers me about this particular kind of viewpoint on men, it leans towards aggression and domination as being strength, while meekness and compassion are a weakness. It's bass ackwards. Even his tweet contains a certain lack of compassion. I mean, I'm all for joking around, but it doesn't come across as a being a joke..... it comes across as being a complete lack of compassion for the "weak losers". The last thing our society needs is for the church to raise up a bunch of aggressive, compassionateless Christian men. There's enough of that kind of man already.

I don't think that "loser" has anything to do with "weakness" as is being inferred here.