Sunday, November 4, 2007

Book: Why Men? (Ch 1)

Last week we went started taking a look at David Murrow's book Why Men Hate Going to Church? Now we're moving into chapter 1.

Murrow starts out with a "case study"-- which I use loosely-- about a man named Cliff. He's a hard worker, fishes, loves his wife and kids, drives a four-wheeler, enjoys cold beer, dirty jokes and doesn't go to church. Murrow argues that guys like Cliff are practicing their own religion called Masculinity [He uses this term a lot, but has yet to really define it]. Murrow quotes two men, notably Charles Spurgeon, who says, "There has got abroad a notion, somehow, that if you become a Christian you must sink your manliness and turn milksop." Christianity and masculinity do not go together [as popularly perceived].

Is Church a women's thing? On the outset, Jesus, a man, founded the Church with 12 male disciples and, to our knowledge the whole of the NT is written by men. Today when you look at the pastorate most are males. However, when we begin to look at the congregation, the majority are women. Further, those who are volunteering and most involved are women. Murrow offers this sad statement: "the only man who actually practices his faith is the pastor."

He argues that this affects the women as much as men.

The men we do find in church are not the "manly men" like Cliff (see above), but instead are "humble, tidy, dutiful, and above all, nice." This is a contrast with those men we see in the Bible-- Moses, Elijah, David, Daniel, Peter, and Paul [and Jesus?]. They were "men who risked everything in service to God...They had an intense commitment to God, and they weren't what you called saintly."

Murrow states that this is a book written for laywomen. He asks if they will allow men to take risks, dream big, push the envelope.

I ask this: Murrow states that one "cannot have a thriving church without a core of men who are true followers of Christ." Is this true? Why or why not?

1 comment:

Susan said...

There have been studies done with youth groups that if the guys outnumber the girls the group will grow and if the opposite occurs it shrinks.