Posted by: Ed | April 7, 2010

REAL MEN – a great article in CT

It seems like I regularly run into some kind of hubbub about MAN-NESS. There is something of a Christian masculinity movement going on out there that occasionally engenders some discussion that seems to reveal a lot more passion, hurt and anger than you would notice just walking around minding your own business (which of course I try to do).

Here at Journey John Elderidge books are not hard to find. Heck, they aren’t hard to find in my own house. They are regularly used as resources and study guide for various ministries. I’ve read and liked several of his books. He stirred up a little controversy when he published the wildly successful “Wild At Heart”.

Occasionally the not-looking-like-it’s-even-close-to-over argument over roles in the church pops up in places where you really aren’t looking for it. And being the diverse collection of individuals we are at at Journey majoring on the BIGGIES and trying to not to overly sweat the small stuff, some of us like people like Mark Driscoll et al and some of us, well not so much. My fellow pastor Todd posted a video by said famous pastor that stirred up some interesting discussion. You can see his blog here.

Candidly, it’s easier to find heat than light in this area. Which is why I’m posting this link to a great article by Bradon O’Brien in Christianity Today entitled A Jesus for Real Men – What the new masculinity movement gets right and wrong.I found it in a footnote of the great book (so far) that I’m reading by Alan and Debra Hirsch called “Untamed”. They were making a critical point about making Jesus over in our image. Alan has a Jewish background so he’s kind of into the whole 2nd Commandment thing.

The article is fair and well reasoned. I think you might enjoy it. Light is good. Click here.

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Responses

  1. “Ultimate Fighting Jesus” doesn’t get much better than that…LOL I am currently ready (by both Eldridges) Love and War… A marriage book in preparation for fall’s One Flesh season…it is interesting to read how they bring in their “philosophy” into the marriage relationship… Thanks for posting this…great article

  2. I think I was struck at the very beginning of the article by the contrasting premise: Are we looking to make church for men, or to make men for Church? My fear in the movements afoot is the potential that we become marketing agents for recruitment, rather then change agents towards salvation. I am pretty sure that if the church added cigar lounges and 52 inch plasma TVs with 24 hour ESPN Extreme that we would get more “dudes” in the buildings, but would we really get more of the potentially positive “dude characteristics’ for Christ? I think I missed the part in scripture where we needed to address more of the mainstream of society to be more relevant.
    And while I wholeheartedly support the efforts of men within the church to become more strong in their masculinity and more aggressive in their pursuit of leaderships roles in their homes and in the church, I tend to balk at the notion that the church needs to put the cart under the horse to get “dudes” to be “dudes” for Christ. These men we seem to be holding the door open for and prescribing as the fix all for the woes of the church, are generally the same men who through their abandonment of those roles created the vacuum that has resulted in the church becoming what it is today.
    I am not of the opinion that the one hour a week these men spent in church before the current feminist situation existed, or the one hour a week they might spend in church after some dude revival is implemented, had anything to do with creating who the men are now or in changing the men they might become later.
    Cowboy up…is a call to the individual to make himself more significant in God, not the cry for a 12 step program to make better cowboys.

  3. What a (mostly) GREAT article! Thanks for posting this, Ed.

    Todd

  4. I love Greg’s response on this and I very much appreciated the article. I expounded on this topic so much on Todd’s blog, I don’t need to repeat myself.

    But one thought keeps haunting me since I read the article. Separate yet related to the theological arguments presented here are current trends, debates and issues in sociology, psychology & gender studies. A number of writers in these fields are all dancing around the same material in different ways. This is not the time, place or forum to explore all the interconnections but they are definitely there.

  5. “Neither male nor female”
    I would encourage all believers (both male and female) to ask God to fully conform us into the image of Jesus, both the suffering servant AND the risen victorious Savior.
    Are we not risen and seated with Hm? So why not think, speak and act like someone risen and not just on the way to the cross.
    FULLY conformed into His image……?? If, when men (and women) come to church, they see MODELED people who are not afraid of standing against religious hypocrisy, the fear of man, the works of the devil and injustice, then perhaps more men(and women) would be attracted to church. Perhaps if they see and hear about the power of God being released thru regular ordinary everyday believers then they would be more likely to “man up” to the image of Christ.
    I do hear a cry of men’s hearts for a POWERFUL Jesus in the here and now. If they don’t see this aspect of Him Modeled thru us us how will they know this kind of Jesus is alive today??
    I believe many men are disappointed in the western church today because we do talk about being good like Jesus more than we talk about or model being powerful like Him. Isn’t this more like what “fully conformed” means?
    “As He IS, so are we in the world” Not just as He was, but as He is now, off the cross, risen, victorious, powerful and putting all the works of the devil under His (and our) feet!
    “As the father has sent me so I send you”…..Just as I (Jesus) did now you go and kick devil butt, freeing the oppressed, healing the sick, raising the dead.
    If we Let people see and hear about these kind of
    works both men and women will become more like Jesus.

  6. Watched the video and read the article.
    Is this an issue for our brothers and sisters actively pursuing Christ in the persecuted church or is this primarily an issue for us where we have time to dwell on such things? If it is an issue for them also then I will give it more thought.

  7. Duane,
    I like your “Nike” approach – Just Do It! It’s not quite analogous, but I’m reminded of a Dwight Moody story that may be apocryphal: While walking though a park w/ a pastor aquaintance they passed a man standing on a park bench with a Bible in hand preaching away. Moody’s friend said, “I don’t like his method of doing evangelism.” Moody retorted: “I like his method of DOING evangelism better than your method of NOT DOING evangelism.”
    John,
    I think you are on track! I think also, you are reflecting where we are or want to be at Journey.
    Ed

  8. ED….you know I am with you as we press into the scary places, the places of risk and perhaps the scorn of men. Jesus was all out and all good and many scorned Him…..boy are we in good company…..LET’S GO!!!

  9. Great article! My thoughts:
    Those who seek to walk closer and closer to Jesus-staying “on His heels” when He’s on the move and
    slowing down long enough to rest in His Presence and drink in His words- become more and more like Him-male or female! Men’s wisdom is so inferior to God’s in this area. Speaking as a woman, I’ve grown bolder and more confident as I’ve learned to
    follow Him more closely. I don’t have to try to “be” a certain type of person, I just “am”.
    Thanks, Ed, for sharing this article with us.


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