It seems that everywhere I read these days Christian men are going through an identity crisis. Is this crisis subtle? Well, that depends on whether or not you have been paying attention to secular and church culture. Rather, it seems the crisis has been brewing for a long time and has begun to find voices in books such as John Eldredge’s “Wild at Heart”, while the message has been visualized in films such as Braveheart, Fight Club and Gladiator.
If you wonder why this subject, then look no farther than this article on Yahoo yesterday.
The mantra: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy &*$% we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.” Tyler Durden in Fight Club.
The diagnosis: Men, especially Christian men are bored. Bored with life. Bored with church. They have been taught that to be a Christian man means to be a nice “yes” man where the idea of being a servant is equal to being a doormat without any voice. That is a simplifed and basic sketch of the diagnosis. I am one who is still thinking through this issue, but have had some interesting thoughts resonate within my ownself after watching the above movies, and after reading some of the literature.
The solution: The issue is more complicated than some would like to make it out to be, and there are opponents and advocates in both camps. But I agree that a lot of it is a spiritual issue, and where you find your solution may depend on what you believe. Jesus in John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
There is much reading and discussion that must be done on this subject. But I am interested in you as a man.
After reading the Yahoo article, what is your opinion on this topic?
For a satirical look at this article visit my friend Cameron Jorgenson. Cameron is a Ph.D. student at Baylor with an emphasis in moral formation, art and culture. He is a friend from undergrad, and was a roommate in seminary at Fuller. He is a witty writer and one of the smartest people I know.