Director’s Dicta: January 2024, week 3
The NFL, Gender Ideology, and the TxC Hermeneutic: Getting to the Gist
Suppose you walk into a room and discover it’s flooded by water. Unless you are willing to turn off the tap and repair the broken pipe, simply wiping up the water will do no long term good. To do long term good, one must understand the overall system: it’s design, its function, and where it’s fundamentally broken. The TxC hermeneutic provides the lens by which we can understand – and thus minister to – a fallen world and its culture. How so?
Consider the National Football League. As I pen this, it’s playoff time; and it’s also “Arctic Blast” time: plummeting sub-zero temperatures with life-threatening wind chill. And, what do we see: sparsely populated church buildings (“it’s unwise and dangerous to drive to church in such conditions”) yet packed stadiums – outdoors and in the elements. Why?
Recall the TxC hermeneutic: The profound depth and truth of the TxC hermeneutic tells us that, in reality, only two religions exist: (1) a religion that faithfully worships the Creator God aka Twoism – all orthodox Christian expressions; and in contrast, (2) a religion, expressed in a myriad of forms, that worships some aspect of Creation aka Oneism: ideas, the physical world, power, the Self, the State, et al. Because God is the creator, all men are necessarily religious and cannot not be religious. This means that the spiritual fulcrum at issue always pivots between faithfulness and idolatry. Every move, whether individually or culturally, is fundamentally a religious move – done either in fidelity to Jesus or in opposition to Him. (Cf. Mt. 12:30). This means that underlying every cultural moment – whether touching sports or sexuality – churns a theological battle, whether acknowledged or not. TxC exists in part to “get to the gist” of what’s really animating the confusion and chaos we see today.
Back to football: Paul tells us categorically that the truth is suppressed then exchanged for the lie (Rom. 1:18, 25). The truth is not negated, obliterated, or otherwise vitiated. Rather, it is suppressed; it still exists, yet is literally “held down”. And it remains active, even if unacknowledged – and it remains knownat some level. Man’s basic problem therefore is ethical, not evidential (Rom. 1:19).
Man as a creature of God is a religious creature and therefore, he can’t not worship. When he fails to worship the true and living God, he will worship something in creation, even if doing so is laughably irrational. (see, Is. 44 – people cultivate a tree, use its wood to bake bread and then carve an idol from the same wood and bow down to it; cf., Ps 2:4 “he who sits in the heavens laughs”). In the same way, is it really rational to pay big bucks simply to be a spectator in bone-chilling and dangerous weather all to “support your team”? Why not watch the game comfortably at home or in a pub? What’s the draw to the crowded and cold stadium? Something more than “being a sports fan” is operating here; it’s the impulse to worship something that informs our identity that drives this irrational behavior. This is not to say that all attendees are idolators, however, from a worldview perspective, it’s one thing to be a fan; it’s quite another to be a fanatic.
Consider gender ideology. While we should be concerned about the symptoms spawned by gender ideology — men competing against girls, men using women’s locker rooms and restrooms, and so-called medicine that actually harms, disfigures, and mutilates otherwise healthy children — we also need to see gender ideology for the gist of what it really is: a re-paganization of human anthropology. Litigation and legislation, though needed, cannot in themselves remedy this defective anthropology.
The TxC hermeneutic, however, provides the tool by which we can make real progress instead of simply playing whack-a-mole with this ideology’s symptoms. Foundational clarity – understanding the system, real cosmology – is needed. And TxC and its Irenaeus Institute provides it. Here’s how.
Gender ideology rests on a view of reality that is decidedly Gnostic: namely, that the material is less important and perhaps inherently evil and in any case, must be conformed to the immaterial; what matters is the individual Self’s opinion or feelings or sense of reality, whether real or not – Accordingly, some confused person saying “I’m a woman trapped in a man’s body” not only trumps his biological reality – but demands that everyone one else affirms his confusion or delusion. Politically, it’s a form of tyrannical coercion leading to cancel culture and speech codes mandating “preferred personal pronouns”. Scientifically, it’s a form of dressed up pagan alchemy, seeking to transmute one thing into another by speech and scalpels. “If I can conceive it, I can achieve it! “Blab it and grab it!”
Biology becomes neutral at best, or bigotry at worst. The biological must be altered to reflect the “inner” sense of identity if a conflict arises between mind and body. Notice however, the bait and switch: a cosmetic change is deemed to be a compositional change: A person born as a male now claims not merely to “identify” as a female (whatever that means), but now claims TO BE a woman. Presto! At least Houdini understood he was an illusionist.
Make no mistake: This is fundamentally a worldview and cosmological claim. The TxC hermeneutic unearths this claim and makes sense of it from a Christian perspective. Seeing what’s really occurring provides the gateway for a clear proclamation of the redemptive Gospel. The Gospel bugle must sound clearly. (1 Cor. 14.8).
These examples illustrate why the work of TxC and its Irenaeus Institute is so crucial. The Institute with its Fellowship program will train the next generation to soberly and graciously unearth the myths and misconceptions that the suppression and exchange of the truth have wrought in all areas of life, academic and popular. They will be equipped to engage civilly and cogently with ideas, persons, and whatever else sets itself against the knowledge of God and Christ’s Lordship (2 Cor. 10:5). Remember that the Risen and Ascended Lord gave us the Spirit of Truth (Jn 14:17). Details for the Institute and how to apply for limited spots will be coming soon.
For additional insight concerning the suppression of truth and its cultural implications, consider:
- Jones, Stolen Identity: The Conspiracy to Reinvent Jesus
- Budziszewski, The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man
- Frame, Apologetics to the Glory of God