Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Sleeping on the Job

Socially, there are conservatives and liberals.

Geopolitically, there are globalists and nationalists.

Philosophically, there are uniformitarians and catastrophists.

The vast majority of us find our way into one or more of these camps by default.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Semi-Random Musings (26)

Unless you come from a megachurch background where the primary influence on your Sunday praise fodder is the Hillsong catalog, you are probably familiar with the name Isaac Watts (1674-1748), lyricist of several absolutely wonderful old hymns. The three I know best are “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” and “Jesus Shall Reign”.

Many of Watts’ hymns paraphrase psalms.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Anonymous Asks (203)

“Why does the Bible use so many different words to describe sin?”

John Walvoord writes that there are thirty-three different Greek words translated as some version of “sin” in the New Testament. I won’t try to rehash his study, but it should be fairly obvious from the sheer number of ways the writers of scripture describe it that sin is a big subject.

Properly understanding sin demands we look at it from multiple angles.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Goodness or Godhood

The following post is an edited version of a flyer created in 2016 for the author’s neighbors. He went to be with his Lord and Savior January 20, 2020, which is “far better”.

“Good” is a word often carelessly used in conversation.

Three examples: “People who work for the government earn a good wage”, or “The weather should be good tomorrow”, or you ask a friend, “How are you?” and he replies, “I’m good.”

That last one is too much for anyone to say of themselves. We have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God”. At best we are not absolutely good, though we may have done some relatively good things that we hope our neighbors appreciate.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Mining the Minors: Hosea (33)

One of the more ironic features of God’s judgment is that he sometimes gives men and women precisely what they are asking for, and it turns out to be not at all what they had in mind.

Israel craved meat and complained against God, so God gave them meat until it came out their nostrils and became loathsome to them.

Israel craved idols, so God gave them idols that were deaf, dumb and useless at protecting them.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Immasculate Conception

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Last week we discussed the problems faced by children who grow up without fathers. If it were just an issue within society, that’s one thing, but evangelicals are increasingly being called upon to aid, abet and even validate single motherhood in the church.

Tom: I’ve just referenced three cases (and there are many more like them) where so-called Christians are looking to justify these sorts of choices and normalize them in Christian circles.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Fatal Friends: Dawkins and Calvin

Hey, look — John Calvin and Richard Dawkins are riding on the same bus!

To be fair, I think neither is likely to be very happy the other has come along for the ride. They’re probably sitting at opposite ends, looking away from each other, and maybe pretending to read an outdated copy of The Times. But they’re riding to the same station.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Foreign Gods in the Least Likely Moments

“He said, ‘Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord, the God of Israel.’ ”

Quick question for avid readers of the Old Testament: without clicking or mousing-over the link above, who said these words?

If you guessed Moses, you’re wrong.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Minimizing the Damage

Most elders, pastors and church leaders would agree that formulating an appropriate corporate response to the purported pandemic has been among the most difficult and divisive issues they have ever had dropped in their laps. No matter which way they went, some Christians were going to disagree with official church policy. A non-trivial number of congregants have parted ways with their brothers and sisters over it, and some are still mulling their options.

The question for church leadership is how to minimize the damage.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Anonymous Asks (202)

“How could a good God drown babies in the Flood?”

Many terrible things happen to babies in this world: war, starvation, disease, domestic violence and abortion, just to mention a few. People often ask why God would allow men and women to do such things to one another. It’s an oversimplification, but the usual Christian answer is something like “free will”. People make choices, and choices have consequences. Take away choice, and you remove every opportunity for evil to occur. You also remove all possibility of voluntary good.

Today’s question bypasses altogether the things God allows and singles out a historical event for which the Bible assigns God direct responsibility. That’s more interesting, I think, and maybe less easy to answer.

Still, let’s take a crack at it.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Lord, Teach Us to Pray (2)

If applied, the pattern the Lord gave his disciples in answer to the request “Teach us to pray” would breathe life into those times when two believers come together to pray, and to group situations when a local fellowship or church gathers for that purpose. The “Our” in “Our Father” slams the door on anything petty, personal or partisan.

We should be asking together that God’s will be done, not something based on sectarian interest, personal preference or private concern only.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Mining the Minors: Hosea (32)

Why are the prophets so obscure at times?

Peter tells us they did not always understand how and when the the words they received from God would be realized. And if the men who spoke these words had to labor to put the pieces together, we should not be surprised if we have to do the same with prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled today. That’s one reason.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Faith and the Fatherless

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Single motherhood is the new “normal”.

Government programs of various kinds have made possible a generation (or more) of children, many of whom know no father but the state. The Washington Post reports that by age eighteen fully half of children today will have lived some period with a single mother.

And increasingly, evangelicals are being called upon to aid, abet and even validate single motherhood.

Tom: IC, are there predictable consequences to growing up fatherless?

Thursday, June 16, 2022

I Want to Die

I was baptized young.

Not so young that I did not know what I was doing. After all, I believe in believer baptism only … just like the scriptures tell us.

I was around ten, I think. I asked for it to happen. No one pushed me. And at that time, I had a ten-year-old’s faith, and a ten-year-old’s understanding. Nothing wrong with that … it’s just not where I am today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

It’s Official ...

It’s easy as pie to find information about the number of women sitting as members of the 44th Canadian Parliament, especially those who ran as candidates for the victorious Liberal Party. Depending on the website you browse, commentators are either delighted so many of the fairer sex were elected last September or outraged that more women were not. So far as I know, the question that so perplexed US Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her hearings (“Can you define the word ‘woman’?”) has not been raised to any of these ladies, let alone have they been asked to nail down their preferred gender identity.

We Canadians may have bought into the Social Justice program hook, line and sinker, but the websites that celebrate or lament the sexes of our MPs are still running a little behind.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

When Normal Rules Don’t Apply

Was Adolf Hitler a Christian? And if so, how would we know?

One starting point would be to look at the things he said. Quotes like these employ language sufficiently “Christian” to inspire opportunistic atheists to say that he was, and even to assign Christians responsibility for the Holocaust:

“Overpowered by stormy enthusiasm, I fell down on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart for granting me the good fortune of being permitted to live at this time.”

(from Mein Kampf)

“Let us fall down upon our knees and beg the Almighty to grant us the strength to prevail in the struggle for freedom and the future and the honor and the peace of our Volk, so help us God!”

(from a 1936 speech)

The horrified Christian responds, “No true Christian would ever order the deaths of millions!”

Monday, June 13, 2022

Anonymous Asks (201)

“What do sheep symbolize in the Bible?”

The Bible is full of symbols and pictures intended to help us understand the spiritual realities they depict. But as a young man getting serious about studying scripture for the first time, one of the things I had to learn about Bible imagery is that there is rarely a single, consistent interpretation for any figure or picture.

In one sense all of scripture is the product of a single author in the person of the Holy Spirit of God. Because of this, we might expect perfect consistency between image and intended meaning from Genesis to Revelation. But that would be failing to take into account the way inspiration worked.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Lord, Teach Us to Pray (1)

In seeking to interpret the answer given by the Lord Jesus to this request, we should remember he spoke to his disciples in the light of where they stood and what they could grasp at the time. It was before his suffering, resurrection and ascension to heaven, with all the privileges that resulted from those events. Those making this request had an earthly kingdom in view, but we can learn so much of practical value from the pattern he laid down for them.

Christians know themselves to be already included in the kingdom of God with their citizenship in heaven, but still may learn from this prayer.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Mining the Minors: Hosea (31)

If you want to communicate truth effectively, you have to do it at the level of your audience. The Lord Jesus understood this and used imagery all the time. He told stories to which people could relate. Even if they often didn’t fully understand the subtleties of his parables, they sometimes got the broader message.

Even his most hardened critics knew when they were being targeted.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Stomaching Veganism

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

How, now?

Increasingly, studies like this one point to the strong possibility that a strictly vegan diet might actually be the healthiest for human beings, and that even consuming a small amount of meat in our diet is sufficient to increase our chances of diabetes, among other things.

These studies may well be accurate (though, as with all assertions of the scientific community these days, I tend to reserve judgment until we see all the consequences of a purely vegan diet in a representative sample of the human population over a generation or two). But for the sake of argument, let’s give these studies the benefit of the doubt and assume they represent truth and not simply another scientific boondoggle.

Tom: So, the obvious question ...

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Star Trek, Salvation and Sermons

Back in the early 1990s, The Humanist magazine interviewed the famous producer Gene Roddenberry, creator of the TV show Star Trek. The first series had been off the air for years and was long into syndication. Roddenberry was in the process of cranking out its eagerly-awaited sequel, Star Trek: The Next Generation — soon to prove yet another great hit.

The interviewer got the famous producer chatting about the relationship between the show and his own secular humanist beliefs.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

The Bankrupt Christian

I find the answers on the GotQuestions website to be biblical and well-thought through — most of the time.

This one was a rare exception. It’s not that the writer is categorically wrong in his take on the question of Christians declaring bankruptcy, but I do think there are aspects of the issue he fails to consider.

Short version: his answer to “Should a Christian declare bankruptcy?” is a hard “No.” I’m going to suggest a better answer is “Maybe.”

Hear me out.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

No Longer Live

“He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”

Did you know that living for yourself is a sin?

It seems a little harsh when we think of it that way. We think of sins as major patterns of observably evil behavior, and the word of God even leads us in that direction: “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

These are not oopsies, slips, errors or one-off sins. We can forgive those in ourselves easily enough. No, Paul is talking about ongoing patterns of behavior that become more important to people than obedience to Christ. These are the things that keep men and women out of heaven.

Monday, June 06, 2022

Anonymous Asks (200)

“Should Christians respect borders?”

Borders are neither essentially good nor bad: they simply tell us where one state’s authority ends and the next one’s begins. In principle at least, borders are morally neutral.

In fact, God himself was behind the original borders between the nations. As Moses put it, “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples.” This is a reference to the fallout from the judgment at the tower of Babel, when the Lord dispersed mankind over the face of the earth.

Sunday, June 05, 2022

In Service of Self

Self-centered = pre-occupied with one’s own well being and comfort.

What is the difference between being a selfish person and being a self-centered one? If you think about it, a person may give of his wealth freely, and see himself (and be regarded by others) as generous and unselfish. Yet for all his lavish giving to worthy causes, the real reason for his beneficence can be self-centered, motivated more by how others will see him than by the needs of those helped by his charity — his own image rather than the impoverished condition of the needy.

Big corporations often engage in this kind of duplicity on a grand scale; it is a “virtuous” way to keep name and products before the public.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Mining the Minors: Hosea (30)

Hoshea the son of Elah was the last non-Davidic king of Israel. Its next king will rule a reunited kingdom from Jerusalem, not Samaria, and he will most assuredly be from the tribe of Judah. A repentant and restored Israel will not mind, we are assured.

Hosea’s prophecy of the fall of the northern kingdom in 722 BC bookends the latter portion of the chapter (verse 7 to the end). It starts with Samaria’s king perishing “like a twig” (ESV) and concludes with the words “At dawn the king of Israel shall be utterly cut off.”

A sobering thought. The phrase “cut off” means to be destroyed.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: The Words are Immaterial

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Tom: Clint Bryan at Christianity Today has a post up about something called the Hillsong Church. I’ve heard the name and vaguely associate it with religious music and the “worship team”-style presentation, but I know very little about the Hillsong phenomenon, and I don’t think I could hum even a single one of what Mr. Bryan says are very hummable tunes. If you tell me that’s a not-very-subtle indication I’m not exactly at the nexus of mainstream evangelicalism, IC, I suppose I’ll have to take the rebuke with grace, but I thought maybe we could talk about Mr. Bryan’s article since it touches on a subject you’ve written about a fair bit.

Immanuel Can: Yep, okay. Where do you want to start, Tom?

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Straight Talk

Some years ago, Dr. Gordon Marino, the ethicist, wrote an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education called “Before Teaching Ethics, Stop Kidding Yourself”.

In this article, Marino complained of the cottage industry of posers and pseudo-experts we have today who dispense advice to us about how we ought to conduct our moral lives. Ethics, he argued, are not so much a matter of specialized knowledge as of ordinary people doing what they already knew to do.

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Not That Difficult

“Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

There are actually two different Greek terms translated into English here with the phrase “men who practice homosexuality”. The first is malakos and the second is arsenokoitai. In recent years repeated attempts have been made to redefine the meanings of these words in order to explain away what the apostle Paul is saying in the clearest possible terms.

Short version: the allegation is that Paul is condemning abusive, coercive or recreational sexual relations between men, but not loving, faithful same-sex relationships.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Intentions and Outcomes

Back in March and April of this year, Immanuel Can and I had a two-part discussion of the validity of Tim Keller’s accusations of systemic racism in evangelical support for Christian workers. You can find those posts here and here.

But in working through the issues raised by Mr. Keller, what struck me most forcibly was the apparent ease with which an otherwise-discerning Christian accepts “equity” (as the social justice crowd defines it) as a valid metric for assessing race- and culture-related issues.

I’ve been giving that a little more thought. Because Mr. Keller is not the only one in the evangelical community assuming “systemic” injustices can be uncovered by examining statistics.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Anonymous Asks (199)

“Am I supposed to obey my pastor?”

Hebrews 13:17 reads like this: “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

That would seem fairly straightforward, no? Well, let me throw you a curve.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Peace and God’s Will

In some situations peace and God’s will may be in conflict, as certain passages of scripture show. Jesus said, “I have not come to bring peace but a sword.” As a result of his advent households would necessarily be divided. Romans 12:18 teaches Christians to avoid provoking this conflict: “If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

Other scriptures show that among believers peace and the will of God are complementary: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity ... for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.” Think too of the many exhortations in the New Testament that call for oneness of mind. In these cases the pursuit of peace will assist us in discovering God’s will.

The reverse is also true: in fulfilling the will of God we will enjoy true peace.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Mining the Minors: Hosea (29)

The prosperity gospel is a lie for numerous reasons, but one of the more obvious is that Bible history shows uninterrupted prosperity is rarely good for God’s people in a fallen world. It does not tend to produce desirable outcomes like thankfulness or looking to God; instead, it frequently sponsors independence and entitlement.

In chapter 10, the prophet Hosea comments on the effect of prosperity in ancient Israel. It was much as we might expect ...

Friday, May 27, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Locating the Thought Police

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Immanuel Can: This is super interesting.

Tom: Do tell …

IC: It’s a chart measuring what proportion of two-sided debate and its opposite, so‑called “social justice” indoctrination, is being practiced at the various university campuses in Ontario, Canada.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Do Christians Hate Science?

If you pop around on the Internet for very long, you’ll find that one of the most common screeds against us is that Christians hate science.

I don’t think it’s true, of course, but it does seem a rather general perception among our detractors. They think we see in science a direct threat to our beliefs; and since science undeniably does many good things for us, secularists of various kinds have a duty to deprive us of our illusions in this regard. We will thank them later: or if we do not, it will only be because we couldn’t be helped.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What Does Your Proof Text Prove (18)

If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

Olympic hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones wants a godly husband, and she’s been asking God for one. So far, no success.

“Where are you God?” she wrote recently on Instagram. “Your word says John 14:14. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. I’m asking God to please honor the desire of my heart. Your word says two are better than one. Ecc 4:9-12”

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Population and Prophetic Fulfillment

In Deuteronomy 30, Moses is coming to the conclusion of his address to a new generation of Israelites on the brink of conquering Canaan.

On the one hand, his message is a prophecy of total failure. The curse will come upon Israel. God’s people will be driven out of their land to dwell among the nations of the world for generations. On the other hand, it is also a prophecy of guaranteed success. Repentance will bring restoration and prosperity the like of which Israel has never seen throughout its entire history.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Anonymous Asks (198)

“Are atheists more intelligent than believers?”

Here’s a short list of statistical data about atheists compiled by Pew Research Center:

94% approve of LGBTQ lifestyles
91% believe in evolution
87% approve of abortion
83% believe ethics are situational
78% are white
78% have no children
69% vote Democrat
68% are men
43% have a college degree (vs. 27% general public)
40% are ages 18-29
40% have never married
  9% proselytize

Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Essential Deacon

Two major Christian denominations view deacons as being ministers of the third order, below bishops governing a diocese, and below priests responsible for a local church. Nonconformist churches generally regard a deacon as one not formally trained in the faith, but given the task of caring for the non-spiritual needs of the flock; this especially in the proper distribution of welfare for the needy. It may be derived from the example of Acts 6:1-5 when compared with the qualifications required of deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Mining the Minors: Hosea (28)

We see repeatedly in scripture that God does not over-value our personal histories of religious service the way we may. Believers must fight the natural tendency to “take our foot off the gas pedal” as we age, relying on the spiritual successes of the past to stand as an adequate representation of what God has done in our lives rather than pressing on to finish the course with distinction.

Need I point out that the apostle Paul did not do that, nor did any of those who are commended by God? There are plenty of Old Testament cautionary tales to remind us that how we finish is what matters, not how impressively we start or the promise we may show.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Fundamentalism and Modernism

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Theistic evolution is a concept that has become increasingly acceptable throughout Christendom. As long as God is said to have directed it, evolution is a pill many otherwise-solid Christians seem prepared to swallow.

Tom: I read Terry Mortenson’s article on compromise this morning. It seems as good a starting point as any. He names a number of well-reputed conservative stalwarts whose own statements suggest they have gone (or went) a little soft on the issue — James Orr, Dyson Hague, George Frederick Wright, R.A. Torrey — to one degree or another, some as far back as the early 1900s. Other less conservative believers like Andrew Klavan accept evolution outright, convinced it’s so obvious that believing it is simply common sense.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The End of Evangelism

There is general fear being widely expressed among evangelicals today that we are not reaching people the way we used to. Certainly the numbers of people in the modern West who are becoming Christians seems to be slumping, and a lot of us are a bit nervous about the trend.

Is the Age of Evangelism Ending?

According to, one problem is that the professional clergy people and leaders are not stepping up, and that church ministries and programs are not going out to reach people. Meanwhile, The Evangelism Institute has found that while 85% of evangelical churches have a pro-evangelism statement in their constitution, less than 5% of the people are actually involved in doing something with it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Commentariat Speaks More Clearly

For ease of reference, the links page for our ongoing feature The Commentariat Speaks now displays the topic of each post, something I probably should have done from the beginning. You can find it here.

Acts of Faith That Aren’t

Some things in my life that might look like faith to the uninitiated are really just me being me.

I’m not alone in this. Like many other Old Testament saints, Jacob’s faith rates a mention in Hebrews 11. But it’s interesting to see the act of faith for which he is commended, and to consider the many acts for which he is not.

It would, of course, be foolish to think the Hebrews list of acts of faith is exhaustive: the writer concludes with the words “time would fail me to tell”, which statement strongly implies numerous acts of faith left unmentioned among which may well be a number of Jacob’s.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Commentariat Speaks (24)

Social media platforms are apparently now engaging in crosstalk. This recent exchange on Twitter prompted a few responses on Gab concerning a familiar expression:

Nick writes, “America is a Judeo-Christian nation, period.”

Erin responds, “Dear Christians: Jews have absolutely no desire whatsoever to be co‑opted and absorbed into your religion. Judeo-Christian is not a thing that exists. Your attempt to erase us is blatant. Bonus education for you: Jewish beliefs require access to abortion.”

Ah yes. Well, that definitely distinguishes Christians from self-described Jews of this sort at least.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Anonymous Asks (197)

“How do I know which of God’s promises are for me?”

Our question today recognizes something my father more than once pointed out to his children: that the old Sunday School song is wrong. “Every promise in the book” is not mine. Some of them belong to other people. When we try to apply them to our own experience, we do so without legitimate biblical authority, and may find ourselves disappointed when our expectations are not met.

That may seem a little unsettling to a new Christian seeking comfort in his Bible, but it is an important lesson to learn. And truly, distinguishing a promise for me from a promise for someone else is easier than it might initially appear once we establish some guiding principles.

The most important governing principle for claiming a promise is context.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

We are the Circumcision

In what sense is this true?

The apostle Paul, who made the above claim in Philippians 3:3, knew that circumcision was given as a sign of the covenant between Abraham, his descendants and God. Every male’s foreskin had to come under the knife and that part of the flesh be discarded. It was a gender thing, only a minor operation, but it came to be a source of great pride in Israel and being uncircumcised a contemptuous way of describing God’s enemies and theirs.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Mining the Minors: Hosea (27)

It’s hard for the natural mind to imagine being better off dead, isn’t it. Outside of Christ, I certainly can’t picture how death would ever be a preferable state.

This is not necessarily the case at other times and other places. Sometimes children are born into situations so appalling it would genuinely have been better for them not to have lived at all. That may sound like mere hyperbole, but scripture gives plenty of examples.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: Two Promises

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

In Matthew 16, upon Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus responds with two promises, which we may briefly restate as: (i) “On this rock I will build my church”, and (ii) “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven …”

Tom: There’s more to these promises, obviously, but I wanted to consider a couple of issues. First, whether these are two separate promises, or if the second is merely some kind of amplification of the first, and second, when can we anticipate the realization of these promises.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

So You Want to Serve God …

Dear Daniel:

I’ve been watching you for a while now. I see that you are an earnest kind of person, spiritually speaking. You are enjoying your studies, but finding them a challenge sometimes too, I know. And it’s not easy to handle a young marriage at the same time. Good for you for keeping it all in balance. That wife of yours is a saint; but then again, so are you — I mean the real definition of “saint”, not just some putatively-exemplary dead person in a cathedral window, but a person who has been genuinely sanctified by the salvation in Christ Jesus and has taken his place among all those who love God.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022


Jay Deitcher wants to create a new masculine stereotype, one that is empathetic and not “frigid”. When his wife told him she had a bond with their newborn son that he could never attain because men can’t bond with babies like women can, he was cut to the quick and determined to be the best nurturing father in human history and establish a bond with his son never seen before. So he cut his hours as a social worker, became a stay-at-home dad, cuddled and slept with the baby, and took him to events with all the local mothers and their children.

He also determined his son would not turn out to be some kind of traditional male stereotype. The gift of a baby coverall with footballs on it was hidden in a closet, never to be used.