Unconvinced by muscular Christianity

Some readers will know that I had a flood in my office last week. Over a period of several hours, water came in through the roof, cascading down the wall and splashing merrily over visual aids, furniture and carpet. The flood is dealt with now, and the mess is all cleared up. Amongst the items I threw away was a set of old woven Sunday School pictures by Thomas Nelson. On the right below is a close-up of Jesus blessing the children. Even had it not been damaged by the water, it was time it went. The image is saccharin, unhelpful and antiquated.

The image on the left, however, cropped up in my Twitter feed from the Guardian newspaper earlier this morning. In an article which claimed that “Christianity has undergone a macho make-over’ , the image was shown as an example. Painted by American artist Stephen Sawyer, it is apparently intended to attract men to a muscular brand of Christianity.

Am I alone in feeling that it might have the opposite effect? Not only that, but I am a little dismayed by the notion that men are poor simple creatures who only like noisy things, only have mates called Dave and might be drawn into the Kingdom of God by the smell of sweat and displays of testosterone!

Image: guardian.co.uk