I ran into an interesting post from Mark Sayers today, when I failed my lenten challenge to forego my news feed.
Sayers describes the historical choice of evangelicals to promote a gentler masculinity, and the context which prompted it, to argue that rather than simply looking back to some hardened 'machismo' we should again seek to recentre from biblical principles.
This historical perspective has never featured in the many articles I have encountered on how the church suppresses my manhood, and I found many points still resonated. The world is not so rough and tumble as it was, thank God, but power and dominance are still key temptations men face. The Invitation is still daunting:
In coming to Christ, hardened men were forced to leave their pride at the foot of the Cross. They were invited to follow a Messiah who shunned all of the world’s ideas of honour, who could have struck back with the force of an army of angels, but who chose to die a death that was shameful in the eyes of the world but that brought eternal glory.
I wonder if I Sayers has read this resource, subtitled "A Church Manual on Men as Partners: Promoting Positive Masculinities". I haven't read it yet, but am intrigued that two major organisations (World Council of Churches and World Communion of Reformed Churches) have set out to build new understandings of masculinity.
As I may have said elsewhere, I personally think that the big noise about men in church is misguided.* I am therefore very pleased to see other voices which seem to build positively but still critically on our history, rather than optimistically reaching for a golden former age.
*David Murrow's recent comment that the church's 'core product' has changed from salvation to relationships may explain why he says that men lack 'risk, challenge and adventure'. Not only is he confusing Sunday services with the Church, but he has lost the whole Change the World element! What bigger challenge and adventure does he want? Sorry for blowing out my two-link title once I got my rant on.