Audio Ur: Brandon O'Brien on the Masculinity Movement
What's really at issue in the new masculinity movement?

Back in April, Leadership assistant editor Brandon O'Brien wrote an article in Christianity Today about the recent trend toward manly Christianity in some evangelical churches. The article generated quite a buzz on the website and in the blogosphere. Brandon was recently interviewed on the subject for an article in USA Today. Last week, Skye Jethani, Leadership managing editor, talked with Brandon about the articles and asked him a few hard questions. What really keeps men out of church? Where do our gender stereotypes come from? What's really at stake here?

To download this episode of Audio Ur, click here.

August 06, 2008

Displaying 1–3 of 3 comments

Nathan Smith

August 20, 2008  1:32pm

I really enjoyed the movement of this conversation to the last statement which was directed towards knowing what it means to be a human being before we consider what it means to be male or female. When speakers talk about Jesus - I find that they run the risk of stating unintentionally (at times - not all the time) "what would Jesus do if He were me?" or "what was Paul doing as it relates to what I'm doing?" That is why we were given a mediator - because we have an inclination to try to identify with our leader/sage so as to enroll ourselves in their school of life but also we end up using "Jesus" as our platform to do things that are questionable, edgy, more masculine, more feminine, etc... I personally don't want to be like Jesus in every way - he had a certain personality, a gender, giftings, a preference list and taste distinctives, an attitude, a specific posture and disposition, etc... He was fully human. I want to be like myself - the person that the Trinity created for me to be and live my life in obedience to the Father as Jesus lived his life - so it is to live in the way of Jesus not like Jesus' personality, profile and gender. That mistake is made all too often. I really like that this interview culminated in the fact that it is not a gender issue as much as it is a human being issue as to where we start from. Again - be wary of speakers and individuals who use Jesus to support their daring actions - even the non-violent action. There are many things we can base our decisions on with him but like so many other gurus, people use Jesus to make their decisions for them or to justify their disagreeable or edgy decisions. So to go against my input, I think Jesus would say "Be yourself - the self that I created with the Trinity and never apologize for being yourself - only when you are not yourself." This should replace the "what would Jesus do?" statement because the "would" in Caputo's book "What would Jesus deconstruct?" is the most subjective word in the statement and is clearly manipulatable and related to the version of Jesus that that person espouses.

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Charles Coulter

August 15, 2008  7:29pm

I think we have allowed the media, and its romance with feminism, a relatively new concept on the world stage, and as new, it ends up with a hugely overplayed status in terms of attention. So with the media, film and TV, working hard to create an image of what men are like, we, as a society, lose a great deal of say as to what we term "masculine." Think of the presentation of men in sit-coms and commercials. We're belligerent, willfully ignorant, stubborn, and often over-sexed, ever-chasing our wives for bedroom "favor," or salivating like the worst adolescent the second any shapely young gal strides by. This does us all a disservice. The parody is meant for comedy, and meant to reward women for the many years they were parodied as "empty-headed." So, that which we value in churches, respecting women, loving our mothers, not falling down drunk, desiring fair sportsmanship when at play, avoiding violence to turn the other cheek—all of these solid, respectable attributes, the very qualities that create great fathers and strong families—all of these stand-up, masculine traits go too-easily disrespected, first by the culture at large, and, if we're not careful, in the church. - Chuck Coulter Divinity Student, Wake Forest Univ.

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Bradford Rosenquist

August 13, 2008  6:20pm

Just one main question: Since this issue about masculinity and what appears to be a "reason" men do not attend church as much as women may be related to different roles in life historically across all cultures, and the Bible does say that certain things are more of a man's role in the Body of Christ, is it not possible that there really is a tendency to be more feminine in our presentation in church and the activities of the church...especially with the influence of women as to decor, display, the atmosphere of mixed events, etc.

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