The new Rector of St Mark’s Darling Point, Michael Jensen, has written a thought provoking blog entitled The Wimp that Won. As with all of Michael’s writing it is clear, lucid and has enough quotes from dead theologians and poets to make you realize that Michael is one brainy dude who has studied at Oxford and that he probably wrote the piece in a tweed jacket.
The guts of the blog is that Jesus was not an Ubermensch, which is an idea created by the crazily brilliant German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The Ubermensch is a person who will act as his own God, giving himself morality and value as he sees fit according to him alone. The Ubermensch is an independent individual who has the power to banish herd instincts from his mind and become a master of self discipline. So basically he is the type of person that every atheistic undergrad uni student wants to be but can’t because they are still living with their mum.
Michael says that Jesus was not a beastly or tough dude (my words) but a man who gave up everything for the glory of his father and for our betterment and he was cruelly beaten and died an ignominious death on the cross and therefore we should be just like him. Jesus was a wimp that won and we should be the same
But here is where Michael and I disagree. The Jesus of Philippians 2 can’t be a wimp, to give up all that he has and die for others is not a wimpish thing to do at all. It is a model of perfect toughness and love. It is the definition of what strength is. So in Michael’s obvious hyperbole he has undercut something very unique and manly about Jesus. He has also lost an opportunity say something very profound about what true toughness and manliness is. True toughness and manliness is not having a beard and tattoos, drinking scotch and smoking cigars all while reading Calvin’s Institutes and beating up an Arminian. No real toughness and real manliness is knowing when to wield your might and power. In Jesus’ love for humanity, in the incarnation, Jesus chose not to wield his considerable might and power for the sake of those he loved and yet, in his return, we will see that might and power on full display.
Was Jesus a wimp? Hell no. He was a true man, one who knew when to wield his power and when to relinquish it for the good of others. This is not wimpish, it is ultimate manliness and toughness on full display.
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