Friday, October 15, 2010

What is Masculinity?

Notes from Chapter One of "Future Men"  by Doug Wilson

What is masculinity? Wilson writes: "the collection of all those characteristics which flow from delighting in and sacrificing bodily strength for goodness." He defines masculinity by 5 terms: Lords, Husbandmen, Saviors, Sages, and Glory-Bearers.

1. Lords: "man was created to exercise dominion in the earth. The charge which God gave in this regard is frequently called the Cultural Mandate." (Gen 1:26-28). "In boys we may call this the 'tree fort' impetus. Boys want to conquer and subdue, and if the terrain before them is the backyard, then that is what they want to conquer and subdue." (p.14)

2. Husbandmen: "Man was created not only to discover and conquer new worlds, but also to make those worlds flourish." (p.15)

3. Saviors: "Men also have a deep desire to deliver or save." (15) The great example of a Savior is of course Jesus Christ. The ancient serpent, the dragon, was the tempter who brought the occasion of sin before Adam and Eve. Men who follow Jesus Christ, the dragon slayer, must themselves become lesser dragon-slayers. And this is why it is absolutely essential for boys to play with wooden swords and plastic guns. Boys have a deep need to have something to defend, something to represent in battle. And to beat the spears into pruning hooks prematurely, before the war is over, will leave you fighting the dragon with a pruning hook. The Christian faith is in no way pacifistic. The peace that will be ushered in by our great Prince will be a peace purchased with blood. As our Lord sacrificed Himself in this war, so must His followers learn to do. Boys must learn that they are growing up to fight in a great war, and they must consequently learn, as boys, to be strong, sacrificial, courageous and good. (16)

4. Sage: "We must teach our boys the masculinity of study, of learning, of books, of intellectual discussion."

5. Glory-bearers: Men are the glory of God (I Cor 11:7) Boys must be instructed on how to grow up into glory and how to fulfill their responsibility to be representative, responsible, and holy. (18)

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