Manhood as Cheap, Grownup Adolescence

This YouTube clip disturbed me this morning.  It may be old news to you guys, but I just stumbled upon it.  I’m all for being a fan of certain things, or teams, or people, but this is excessive to the point that it alarms and frightens me more than entertains or informs how we should act as men.

When our love for a team eclipses our love for our children, or spouse, we have held our manhood cheap.  Instead of being a man, we are infantile boys with the rights to drink, drive, marry, vote and own a gun – none of which we are mature enough to handle.

I wish this Dad would man-up, love his family more than the Red Sox, repent to his younger son and honor his older son who was more of a man than the child nearly 10x his age on the other side of the counter.

Full link and story here: http://www.sportsgrid.com/mlb/father-threatens-to-disown-crying-son-for-yankees-fandom/

Blog on Biblical Masculinity and MMA

Scott Knight is blogging over at the Resurgence site, and dedicating his blog posts to the concept of biblical masculinity.  In his first post, he talks about the sin of King David and then goes in to challenge men who have abandoned their responsibility in fulfilling God’s mission. I’ll give you his concluding quote, but you should go check it out and subscribe to it if this is your thing.

This means that most men in the church today need to get off their blessed assurance and follow God into battle! To that end, I will be using this blog in the future to help train men in the biblical fight principles that Paul outlines in his epistles and we will be using real fighters and real fighting to help illustrate these. But first, I want to talk about the young men in this country who are conspicuously absent from our churches and how we can follow God into the battle for these men’s souls.

Where Are All the Brothers? A Review

I recently read a book intended to be given to men giving them legitimate answers concerning typical reasons why they are not present in N. American churches.  It’s called Where Are All the Brothers? by Eric Redmond.

The book is written as a series of short answers to 9 common barriers, or questions, men have that serve as the basic motivations for not being part of a local church. Here is the full Table of Contents:

Introduction: What You Will Gain if You Give Me Ten Minutes of Your Life for Each of the Next Nine Days

1. Isn’t the Church Full of Hypocrites?
2. Wasn’t the Bible Written by Men?
3. Isn’t the Church Geared toward Women?
4. Isn’t the Preacher Just a Man?
5. Doesn’t Islam Offer More for Black Men?
6. Aren’t Some Churches Just After Your Money?
7. Is Organized Religion Necessary?
8. Jesus Never Claimed to Be God, Did He?
9. What to Look for to Find a Good Church

Appendix A: The Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophesies about Christ in the New Testament
Appendix B: The Church Does Not Welcome Homosexuals

Audience:  While the book is written almost like a tract – something to give to someone to convince them of something – I found it worthwhile to read as a future pastor who will have to wrestle with the  diminishing number of “Y” chromosomes in the church.  Redmond has given me, and all of us, some very good, solid, reasoned answers to a number of questions that can keep men from fully engaging in our churches, or even  just showing up.

Good:  I found this book not only informative and challenging, but extremely easy to read.  Redmond begins with a basic plea for readers to give just 10 minutes a day for 9 days, and that is an adequate amount of time to cover this book.  If you were to give it to somebody you were trying to persuade to come to church, any church, then that is a reasonable request, and could easily get through the book.  If that is your reason for reading the book, make sure you follow it up with some good conversations regarding each chapter.

Not-so-Good:  While I don’t want to be nit-picky, I am not a big fan of reading books that overly dialogical.  However, I think for what Redmond was trying to do, I don’t know how you could have written it any other way.  Its meant to be used as a resource to give to men you have friendships with over concerns regarding church involvement.  The dialogical nature works for this purpose.

Highlights: By far, Redmond does a great job all around.  I think his chapters dealing with the allure of Islam for men, and the all time favorite, “Doesn’t the church just want my money?” are his most insightful contributions to the issue.

Recommendation: I would say that if this is a concern for you, either in current church praxis or because of friendships you have where this is an issue, then Redmond’s book is a great resource, well worth having.  If your interest level is more on the intellectual, sociological plane, then this may be a book worth checking out, though it will not give you the detailed background and academic breadth you’re probably searching for.

Also check out CJ Mahaney’s comments about this book, and a couple of others worth checking out here (Sovereign Grace Blog).

Be a Man!

I love and need to be continually challenged to be the man I believe and know God has created me to be. Here’s a really good article on what it means to be a man today.  Here’s a great quote:

“Our culture is infatuated with youth and encourages you not to grow up.  After all, it says, the glory is in the youth.  If you would be men you must reject this siren song and swim against the tide.  You must diligently seek to throw off immaturity and to grow up.”   

Click here for the whole thing.For some more good resources on this, check out the following:A Church Based Hope for “Adultolescents” (from John Piper, Desiring God blog) Finding Reliable Men: Leaders at Home (from purechurch blog)