Tuesday, June 06, 2006

summer reading


I was humming and had had a bounce in my step all morning. In the afternoon I stopped by the campus bookstore to pick up some Summer reading ... anyone know Paul Barnett? ...

I decided to meander over to the new academic book section ...

buh buh buuhhhhhh (music of dread)

As my eye caught the books tagged with our seminary president's (Al Mohler of Together for the Gospel fame) endorsments, I noticed he said

"Every young person ought to read ..."

Getting Serious About Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness

"Hi, Christine."

Jimmy, who works at the bookstore, walked up behind me observing my dumbfounded face.

"Jimmy, Al and Debbie are trying to marry me off!!! Why?!"

115 comments:

CraigS said...

lol!

Ruth said...

Yeah - I've met Paul Barnett a few times!

Lol re marrying off....did you buy the book?

ckhnat said...

... i thought about it ...

but i think it would just get me mad ... not at the author, but at modern men in general. it's a pit that i have a tendency to fall into, and i'd rather stay away.

ckhnat said...

I bought Barnett's book Jesus and the Rist of Early Christianity, today.

John Dekker said...

It does sound interesting. I'm very skeptical of course - why don't people like singleness?

I don't like what I'm reading on the website - the WCF's condemnation of "undue delay of marriage" seems to be taken out of context.

And defining celibacy as "the supernatural removal of sexual desire" sounds dodgy.

But again I say - it does sound interesting. Like the " male-friendly mating structure that is not geared toward marriage."

Oh, and I guess a few of us Aussies would know Paul Barnett. I went out for pizza with him the other day. :)

CraigS said...

I liked the definition of celibacy that the article had. Have you seen a better one, JD?

Christine, I get as mad at modern women with their fairy-tale expectations as you do with modern men and their unmasculine slackness.

God has not suddenly poured out the gift of celibacy on this generation - its just that we find relationships incredibly difficult, and conclude its because we are meant to be celibate.

ckhnat said...

While I enjoy my singleness, I found myself nodding eagerly in approval at the last paragraph. Our society has produced a breed of men who dispose of responsibility, endulging themselves instead in selfish pleasures. Thus women who desire a godly union ...

ugh! ... see! i told you!!!

Next time you play Rugby with Barnett tell him I said "G'day" and that I look forward to reading "Jesus and the Rise of Early Christianity" this Summer. I'm attempting to get a bit of a head start on next semester's reading.

John Dekker said...

Rugby? Who plays rugby?? You're spending to much time with those Sydney people...

No, not so much a better definition Craig, as one that's right. Celibacy isn't the removal of sexual desire, (though no doubt that can happen.) Rather, it's the grace to control sexual desire. And it's a choice.

Also, I don't believe in the supernatural. :)

CraigS said...

Rather, it's the grace to control sexual desire. And it's a choice.

Well, I'm not sure about that. Paul says if you lack control you should get married, not try harder.

Also, can a gift be a choice? Do you choose what gifts you have?

ckhnat said...

A day or so ago a friend told me that I'd better not give in to the "temptation" of marriage, but alas, everyone does eventually.

"Oh, I fully intend on giving in. I just haven't had a good enough offer yet."

"Oh, so you've had offers ... just not good enough ones."

"Well, neither really ... wait ... no, earlier this week I received my first proposal."

"How did it go?"

"Notice I said 'proposal' and not 'earlier this week I got engaged.'"

"How did he do it?"

"An Instant Message."

John Dekker said...

Don't forget that self-control is fruit of the Spirit. So no, we don't "try harder" but we do make a choice. Just like we make choice to love and rejoice.

So yes, a gift can be a choice. That's what the Christian life is all about.

John Dekker said...

Do you choose what gifts you have?

They do say that celibacy is the spiritual gift that no-once wants. :)

CraigS said...

If all Christians are to exercise self-control, how do you know if you've got the gift of celibacy then?

I liked Calvin suggest, that a man who refuses to marry is robbing a woman of a husband...

ckhnat said...

BAM!!!

(ouch ... i may have slammed my fist on the table too hard)

CraigS said...

So CK, who was proposed to - you or your friend? I couldn't tell from your comment...

ckhnat said...

me

Ruth said...

Actually Christine, something I found interesting in the talk last night, was that whatever sit. we should be living for Christ first - be that single or married.

I don't think we should be pointing any fingers (Craig and Christine) at either gender saying - 'they should be more...' - but working on ourselves making sure that we are....

Perhaps you've both stereotyped a lot of people...I don't know many women with your 'fairtale' obsession, and I know lots of really masculine men (but that could be a sydney thing!!)

I had to write that last bit as a response to JD's rubbishing us Sydney siders!!! Also - to say - come to Sydney!!

CraigS said...

via IM - classy!

Well, you've brought it up, so we get to ask. Why did you decline?

CraigS said...

Ruth, I will say that the chicks in our circle are very good samples of the species. I've moved in some different circles in the past...

CraigS said...

Actually, I have very high regard for the girls at our church, they are classy people...

Ruth said...

Yeah - but those women might have changed??

It's way too easy to point fingers at other people's faults.

ckhnat said...

It all seemed a bit hasty ...

We hadn't spoken or seen each other since Christmas.

Plus, the method.

CraigS said...

Yeah - but those women might have changed??

Ok, all women in the world are excellent. ;-)

ckhnat said...

"But just think of people's reactions when they hear we're engaged!" he added.

"Hmm, now that you put it that way ..." (my mind's eye say the shock and disbelief on our friends' faces) "It would be funny ..."

CraigS said...

We hadn't spoken or seen each other since Christmas.

Plus, the method.


Yeah the method was ordinary. But give him a chance to redeem himself...

CraigS said...

The poor bloke has probably spent the last 6 months building up the courage to ask...

ckhnat said...

"I don't know ... I'm not sure I'd enjoy being married to a lawyer."

"Eh, you're right. Who'd want to be married to a woman minister, anyway."

Ruth said...

I'm not saying that Craig - and you know it.

I just worry lately that we spend forever talking about what men should be like, guys complain what women are like....and nobody looks at themselves - and says ' there's a lot of room for improvement here'.......ok, so now I'm hobby horsing!!

glad you said no CK...if you haven't seen him since christmas...although they do say absence makes the heart grow fonder.

ckhnat said...

"Sigh ... not a *woman minister* ... and you know it."

"Why not ... you could be like Beth Moore!"

"No, thank you."

"What's wrong with Beth? uh oh ... i can feel our first arguement coming up."

ckhnat said...

"I am personally not a big fan of Beth's *preaching* to crowded auditoriums of mixed audiences (women *and* men)."

"But if the men are there of their own accord ..."

"That doesn't negate the Biblical command. It's not a matter of if a woman is *capable* of preaching ... but ought she preach. I believe Scripture is clear on that issue."

Ruth said...

Good on you Christine - sounds like you made a wise decision....what a depressing conversation!!! Yes, the Bible is crystal on women preaching to mixed congregations...at least, I think so!

ckhnat said...

He's a really swell fellow - Artsy, fun, passionate. Poor guy, he says the city just isn't the same since I've left ... (whatever!)

What I failed to mention previously is that the conversation began thusly ...

"So ... yeah, you remember back during Christmas how all our friends got engaged ... when the number of couples reached the double-digits I began to crack ... what the hey!!! ..."

"You and I are a dying breed, Christine. I know! Why don't we just get engaged."

That's when we started getting a bit goofy imagining telling our friends that the two of us (of all people) has gotten engaged!

Did you know?!! NO! I had no idea! I didn't even know they were interested in each other!

(It was all in jest ... at least ... i think it was ...)

mike said...

I actaully had a deal going with an ex flatmate that we'd get married if we were both still single when we turned 30... She now has a boyfriend. So there goes that plan.

The Borg said...

I liked Calvin suggest, that a man who refuses to marry is robbing a woman of a husband...

Is a woman who refuses to marry robbing a man of a wife?

Ruth said...

How does that idea (man or woman robbing) fit in with 1Cor7??

Is it better to stay single? Is that what you guys think that chapter is saying....if it is, does the Christian community act like we believe it? Here it is in fact very hard for single men to get jobs in full time paid ministry...just pondering these thoughts...

Donners said...

It's a good thing you to didn't marry her Mike, you would have driven her crazy with her music, she'd demand that all her drinks be boiling and you'd axe yourself bending down to give her a hug.... ;)

Ruth, personally I think it is saying that marriage is a struggle (facing many troubles) and that there are reasons not to marry.

Strong reasons. On one hand it seems to say that everyone who can do it SHOULD do it. But who can say if they have the 'gift of singleness'.

or is the 'gift of singleness" just being incidentally single?

It's easy to decide that because you want to marry that you don't have the gift. But then, its hard being single if you want to get married, for multiple reasons.

I certainly found it very difficult and even with all the struggles that come with being married, I'd rather be married. But then, I've been blessed with an undeserved gift of marriage.

Donners said...

by the by, I totally agree with you on the woemn preaching thing Christine. Good to see you stand up for what scriipture says about it.
:)

I came up against a fair bit of opposition and confusion in ministry internship... More than I expected. Some people had served as missionaries in other countries, but never considered that the bible meant what it said!

John Dekker said...

or is the 'gift of singleness" just being incidentally single?

This is a really good question, especially in light of Paul's admonition to stay in the state in which one was called.

I don't think there is anything incidental about the Christian life.

If God closes certain doors, you can interpret that as a call to be single, at least temporarily.

Ruth said...

I agree - it is an excellent question, and one I've been thinking about a lot over the last few days....(I know - I'm married, why am I thinking about it...there are reasons).....

I suppose one of the big issues I'm trying to sort out, is - do we really believe and act on the idea that being single gives you more opportunities for ministry - or devotion to God...is that what the Bible is saying??

I have a single, ordained friend who will have trouble getting a job, and had trouble last time getting a job, purely because he is single...but wouldn't you think that a single guy is able to offer more time and energy than a married one? Isn't that what 1Cor is implying with the married man having the worries of this world to contend with?

Also - anyone have any ideas on 'this present crisis' in 1Cor7??

Does that bear any light on those questions?

Ruth said...

Is the gift of singleness being content while you're single...or is it that you are single - and need to work at being content?

CraigS said...

Is a woman who refuses to marry robbing a man of a wife?

Yes she is - and she should stop being a thief!!

sajini said...

Christine, do you like this guy?

ckhnat said...

nah ... we're just a couple of friends goofin' around.

ckhnat said...

Ruth - I'm a bit perturbed at churches that pass over single ministers, myself. But i see where their coming from ... they want a 2-for-the-price-of-one ... a preacher and a hospitality coordinator/women's sunday school teacher.

Anonymous said...

aiyaiyai...

I read that article, and I find it deeply disturbing in its cultural conservatism. It reads a lot like it's buying into a very particular cultural reading of marriage that existed for a few hundred years of English ecclesiastical practice, and making that normative for a reading of Scripture.

For most of the Church's history, singleness as a lifelong situation has been honoured, and in most cases unduly held up as more holy. While I have no desire to advocate that kind of superiority for the single life, I think the article you reference is deeply flawed in taking the opposite line.

I am almost horrified at the suggestion that marriage is an 'obligation' for most of us. It may well be the majority choice, but it is not a duty. In fact, I would argue that the Gospel frees you from just such notions of duty. You are *free* not to marry, and you are *free* to marry, the question is how you will serve the Lord in either way.

The article raises the issue of 'Chronological Snobbery', but it itself uses a very narrow period of history to make its position normative.

But I rant enough. As you were....

- jeltzz

Ruth said...

Okay - so I've actually read the article now!!!

It made some good points - many women want to get married, and many men are using the 'singleness for God' excuse to not get married, when they are also not actually spending that much time or effort serving God - they are just being selfish.

The historical stuff...and it's tradition, so it must be right, the definition of celibacy being the supernatural removal of sexual desire, and the idea that marriage is an obligation is just wrong.

Lots of traditions are stupid. We need to be serving God as He has revealed himself in His word, not listening to traditions - anyone ever heard of the sinfulness of man - show me from the Bible, and I'll do something about it, but tradition??? (will soon finish rave about that!)

I think it's a shame that people are marrying so much later in life, because I like marriage - it's great....but sometimes it's not because people are being selfish and don't want to marry before then, but because nobody has asked....this is not their fault, and laying an obligation on them will only make them feel worse.

I thought the article was dangerous in many respects - laying laws on people, and using tradition as a basis of argument, rather than the living and active word of God. That's what we should be listening to on this matter.

(although, I also think men and women should get married if they so desire, and it given the opportunity, not sit around waiting forever before it happens)

ckhnat said...

precisely my thoughts, ruth.

Ruth said...

I love it when we agree Christine!

So glad about the apartment too. I'm off to bed now, but it looks like your day is beginning..hope it's a good one.

Donners said...

'2-for-the-price-of-one ... a preacher and a hospitality coordinator/women's sunday school teacher.'
That idea bothers me. I know its prevalent, why wouldn't churchs want that? But it makes me grumpy... it can be a selfish expectation rather than encouraging.

"the definition of celibacy being the supernatural removal of sexual desire, and the idea that marriage is an obligation is just wrong."

I totally agree Ruth. On one hand, I can say that I don't have the 'gift of singlness', but thats just because I'm married. Not b/c I didn;t have the requisite 'super-continence' and self-control.

Some people find singleness harder than others, but that doesn't mean they those people should marry. They are single at that moment, ergo they should pray for God's strength and work on their own self-control. Who knows if they will marry? It is in God's hands.

I was quite willing to accept a life of singlenss ( despite its challenges) when Luke came along. Of course, I'd probably be whinging about it right now, but that wouldn't make me any less blessed to be single.

And I agree with you John, there is no such thing as coincedence, I mean the whole term 'incidentally' as I have just written it, in quotation marks.

'You are *free* not to marry, and you are *free* to marry, the question is how you will serve the Lord in either way.'
Great summary Jeltzz.

Donners said...

Gosh is it only 11am over ther? I really should be in bed (its 1am) but I've been there for ours and sleeps not there. ;)

ckhnat said...

Here's another pet peeve:

When well-meaning Christians, exhort their single counterparts to more holy living as a means of attaining marriage as a reward for being righteous.

(pulling hair out!!!)

sajini said...

Yeah, I have seen that ac ouple of times!!! A little off the topic maybe but I was visiting a church this past weekend and I said hi's to a newly married couple and one of them said "Oh saj, you should try marriage." Argh.. sure, I'll go try it out and let you know next week!! (no I didnt say it. It did cross my mind).

ckhnat said...

Statements like that come in many forms. What about this one?

"Why don't you date So-and-so?"

it's particularly bothersome when the statement is directed toward a woman.

"Sure, as if I had much of a choice in the matter."

Donna said...

My single guy friends here at seminary have found the difficulty of ministering when not married, particularly to the opposite sex. It can get really sticky when a single guy who genuinely wants to minister to a gal or visa versa, particularly in the avenue of lay counseling which involves varying degrees of vulnerability.

Previous to my engagement to Jason (during our friendship as well as our courtship), we had a sort of buddy system when a situation arose that required ministering to the opposite sex, specifically counseling. We would either meet the person together or would introduce the person to each other in a non-threatening atmosphere. I also had this sort of arrangement with a couple of my other guy friends as well, and it was pretty effective.

All this to say, it makes it a little understandable that the church would like a team (husband and wife) to minister to the body of believers, especially if they can't afford to hire a second staff member who is female to specifically disciple/minister to women (touching on a couple of other issues that would take too long to get into here, including today's church culture and its ideas of vocational ministry). However, it is a shame that a single man has so much difficulty in finding a place to plug in and get involved.

Okay, that's probably my last comment for a good while... hope you enjoy the west coast, Christine. :)

Los Federales said...

brown girl has a couple of brown beers

Called to mind a stampede of our savior's apostles

Turning, expecing to hear murmers and jeers.

singing and shouting and dancing on tables

Ruth said...

Amy it bothers me....I've been thinking through the role of a minister's wife (kind of appilicable!!), but haven't come to any conclusions....would love to hear your and Christine's thoughts - both being articulate, well thought through women.

Christine - I am horrified that people think that marriage is a 'reward' for righteous living - firstly how arrogant a presumption is that! - I'm godly, so I got married....where as you're single, so what's that saying!! That is just a lie from the devil....secondly - in marriage you are so often confronted with your own incredible ungodliness, as you seek not to serve your spouse, as you lose your temper more often than you ought, etc etc etc - so if someone thinks that they are living righteously and that's why they're married - then they are in for a huge wake up call.

Amy Some people find singleness harder than others, but that doesn't mean they those people should marry. They are single at that moment, ergo they should pray for God's strength and work on their own self-control. Who knows if they will marry? It is in God's hands.

Completely agree - a good way to think about singleness - and I think goes well with my understanding of 1Cor7 (which is the passage I'm pondering this week!)

Chris said...

"Lots of traditions are stupid. We need to be serving God as He has revealed himself in His word, not listening to traditions - anyone ever heard of the sinfulness of man"

I'm not sure I agree with this one - I think tradition is very important to pay attention to, not necessarily because it's correct (it could very well be wrong, which one has to judge in the light of scripture), but because whether we like it or not, our views on scripture are shaped by our experience with many traditions, good or bad. If we understand those traditions, we can begin to understand the perspective from which we come, which helps us start to figure out which parts of our understanding of scripture are only our perceptions and which parts are truth.

As for marriage, I love it, but it's not for everyone, and that's fine. I'm wiht jeltzz, it's a choice that we're allowed to make. I'm sure the spirit cousels some in one direction, and some in the other direction, but all in all, I'd say freedom is probably the answer to the question. It pisses me off that so many traditional churches have problems with both single pastors and women pastors (and especially single women pastors), but what also pisses me off is when the pendulum swings the opposite way; single women berating married couples for being happy and wishing their particular flavor of happiness on others (to date, I can't think of any single person wishing their singleness on a married guy or girl). And what really gets me is the culture of today, where the white, middle-class male is the only one who is forced to walk on egg-shells, because anything he says or does can be taken as sexual harrassment/bias/intolerance/etc. It's a horrible double-standard!

I think in this whole discussion, the key is really that there is neither male nor female in Christ, and that each has been called to their own role in the world. Lots of people get it in their heads that one is better than the other (male or female, or married or single), but that's really just personal preference, and it's why they chose that life in the first place, not beause it's necessarily "better." We're all unique individuals, and there are so many benefits to having both single/celibate and married people around, why would we argue whether one or the other is better?

Donners said...

"in marriage you are so often confronted with your own incredible ungodliness, as you seek not to serve your spouse, as you lose your temper more often than you ought, etc etc etc - so if someone thinks that they are living righteously and that's why they're married - then they are in for a huge wake up call."

YES! LOL!

I didn;t realise what a selfish, petty person i could be until i got married.

It's weird, whe I think about how busy life is these days I think, I work, and study and I'm married.

On one level its not rational, because we don't have kids yet, but being married is time consuming!

In a million small ways.


Chrsitine, I like this sentiment.

"Sure, as if I had much of a choice in the matter."

I assume that you mean that you don;t do the asking? Good p[olicy. I asked afew guys out before I realised that it just wasn't working.

I'm so glad I hid my eagerness and let Luke do the chasing this time! It creates the kind of balance of roles right from the start, and its nice to be chased too!

CraigS said...

"the definition of celibacy being the supernatural removal of sexual desire, and the idea that marriage is an obligation is just wrong."

I still don't think anyone has put forward an alternative definition though - for the record I thought that definition was rather good.

Ruth said...

Craig - I don't want to go there! I just think it's wrong...are you telling me that people who are celibate have no sexual desire?? Don't answer that - I dont want to go there!!

Chris - I agree and disagree with you. Sure - we often bring tradition with us in the way that we read the Bible...but we should try to stop that and let God speak to us without our presupposed ideas interferring.

I try really hard to make sure I'm letting the Bible dictate to me the best way to live - not traditions (be they church ones or world ones).

I am also very much happy to be married. I am happy for those who can happily stay single. I really feel for my friends that want to get married and haven't been asked. Sure it's a matter of freedom - I think most people would agree with that - it's just sad when some people dont have the option of marriage because of lack of proposals.

CK and Amy - I also liked being chased - but would add, don't die wondering - if you like a guy CK, let him know - if he wants to do anything about it, he will. If not, then it's a 'no' and you can move on....that is good advice for all the single girls reading!! (if I do say so myself!)

CraigS said...

Yes, good advice Ruth. I've had a couple of girls in the past who basically "got in my face" and dropped major hints - and in a couple of cases I picked up the ball and ran with it.

Guys can be a bit dense sometimes and need a bit of encouragement. At the same time, if you're getting in his path and he's not paying any attention, pretty soon you need to realise it ain't going anywhere.

Here's where I talk about "less than optimal" attitudes in some girls. I've known of girls who have set their hearts on a guy at church, and been convinced that he is "the one". Some have waited years, certain in their hearts that they are going to get together.

Have you encountered that sort of thinking amongst girlfriends?

CraigS said...

Ruth, I agree it's sad for a girl who wants marriage and lacks options. I also know guys who have felt in the same position when they are continually knocked back.

One of the problems is that there tend to be more women in church than men - this is one of the results of the feminization of the church. So encouraging a robust masculinity in the church (which all you girls do) will attract more men...

byron said...

PS Paul Barnett = retired Sydney assistant bishop. Lovely guy. He still does a little lecturing at Moore College.

Ruth said...

Yeah - I think it's really sad when women sit aroung pining after one guy for year on end...it's just wasting time....if he's not interested, move on.

But you wont know if he's interested if you don't ask, so go ask, find out, let him tell you where he's at, then either he'll ask you out, or you need to look for someone else. There is no 'one right man'...until you've married him.

Chris said...

"the feminization of the church" ... I've never heard of that before, but I think I'd buy that. I took this Christian History class in college, and we talked about it a little bit. Mostly brainstormed ideas as to why the statistics showed it happening. No conclusions though, which was to be expected.

I do have a few ideas though. Women tend to be more communal than men, and we've got the whole "small group" thing going, which men aren't very comfortable with. I wrote about it a while back: http://randomthoughtsbychris.blogspot.com/2005/05/female-church.html

CraigS said...

There is no 'one right man'...until you've married him.

Ah, we are in full agreement here. One of the attitudes I've knocked up against (quite often) is this idea of "the one". Some person who you are fated to be with (and who will, by implication, fulfill all your dreams)

"Yes, I like him a lot, but I'm not sure if he's 'the one'"

Ruth said...

Craig - aren't we in full agreement most of the time?? Barring your incredible stubborn streak with re gambling?? ;-)

The Borg said...

I believe there's the One out there for me.

That is, if I do marry, it will be to just one man.

Christine and Ruth you are so right about the situation for women. A lot of the time us womenfolk are single not because we're resisting commitment or being difficult, it's just that no one has asked us yet!

By God's grace I accept the situation I'm now in, although I would like to get married I'm happy being single too.

I don't think I'd ever actually tell a guy I liked him though. To me that seems too forward and eager.

Ruth said...

Hey, it worked for me!

Ruth said...

I think it depends also on the way that you do it.....

Bert said...

All interesting comments here. Don't forget, "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" and I don't think it necessarily matters what side you're on. Even those of us who are happily married have had times when we've hit ourselves in the head and asked, "What have I gotten myself into?" Whether one is married or single, the focus should be on Jesus and serving Him. I think that is what Paul is really getting at.

As I side note, I do think many people put off getting married way too long. What is the point of a five to ten year dating period? Sounds like a possible recipe for trouble to me.

CraigS said...

A lot of the time us womenfolk are single not because we're resisting commitment or being difficult, it's just that no one has asked us yet!

Hmmm...but not the situation for you though, is it Shiloh? In fact, I recall someone was going to form a club for guys who you had rebuffed... ;-)

(I wont mention his name as he is happily engaged now...)

CraigS said...

Craig - aren't we in full agreement most of the time??

Yeah, I think so.

Regarding the whole guy/girl thing - obviously guys should lead. But sometimes they need some nudging.

But really, too many guys are afraid of rejection. They need a bit more backbone. I honestly think we should suspend bible study for a month and introduce compulsory weekly watching of cagefighting for all the men in our church.

I'm sure that would shift some attitudes...

The Borg said...

I don't know who you are talking about.

In the last eighteen months, I've only been asked out thrice. One was relationship that didn't work out, another was a Christian guy whom I wasn't interested in (and don't say I should have gone out with him because he's Christian and we're both single bla bla bla) and the other was a non-Christian.

And I've never been formally proposed to.

So take that!

The Borg said...

And Craig, what has cagefighting got to do with being a man?

CraigS said...

I don't know who you are talking about.

Well, there were a few prior to the last 18 months as well. You haven't done too badly!!

CraigS said...

And Craig, what has cagefighting got to do with being a man?

Aggressive, take-charge, resilient, determined, tough, persevering, courageous...

The Borg said...

But surely you can be all these things playing computer games??

CraigS said...

But surely you can be all these things playing computer games??

Hardly

The Borg said...

If you think of a computer game realm as a mini world in which you make decisions etc, you have oppurtunities to show courage, be aggressive, take charge (albeit of pixels), be resilient, tough and determined. And to play a game right up to level 20 takes perservence...

(btw, there is a point to all this, I'm not advocating the playing of computer games)

mike said...

rofl Shy only three offers... I would say you are doing pretty well.

Re Computer games. I think I'm with Craig. Your point is...?

CraigS said...

What is the point Shiloh?

The Borg said...

I'm saying that cage fighting isn't necessarily going to make a man a man. Sure it might make him aggressive and macho, but it isn't going to make him take responsibility for his actions, and if it does make him courageous, it's only going to make him courageous in the arena of the cage.

That said, I have nothing against guys wanting to cage fight. But don't use it as a substitute for real manliness training.

Ruth said...

100% with you Shiloh.

CraigS said...

Well, I was suggesting that we watch cage fighting rather than participate...

Ruth said...

Cause watching it does what exactly?

CraigS said...

Inspires courage and heroism

The Borg said...

How so?

And if it's just a matter of watching cage-fighting, doesn't that just make it very much like a computer game?

(Thanks Ruth :))

Ruth said...

Whoa Craig - didn't I say a while back that we agree most of the time? This is one of those times when we dont!!


What are you talking about? Watching cagefighting makes you manly??

CraigS said...

I don't think I used that exact phrase...

But yeah, I think boxing, wrestling, martial arts as well as war movies etc. all inspire valour and courage.

It's a guy thing...

The Borg said...

Craig, don't think you can magic things into inexplicability by saying "it's a guy thing". You're not speaking for all men here, so you're going to need to reason this one out.

CraigS said...

Ah, she is on to my trick!

I made a resolution recently not to debate with girls...

CraigS said...

Ok, when we see examples of a virtue, we are inspired to imitate that virtue.

If we see examples of men being strong, courageous and heroic, we will be inspired by that.

That is honestly one of the reasons why I let my boys watch "Band of Brothers" (over and over again). I want them to be inspired by these heroic men, and think "Yeah, that is a part of being masculine."

I'm sure this generation of western men are amongst the least courageous in history. Life is too comfortable. We fear pain, fear hurt, fear discomfort.

My little boy, Harry, plays footy. He has no fear - he leaps in and tackles the biggest boys you can imagine. Sometimes he gets knocked flat, sometimes he even has a little cry. But he always gets back up and has another go. I am proud of him!

Thats what I want my sons to be like. That's what I want to be like.

Ruth said...

I think that's noble, I just dont think you get that from watching cagefighting.

In those movies (which I havent seen), isnt motive a key factor that makes courage stand out - isn't it valour because of a cause or reason - not just 'violence' for 'violence sake'??



Any idiot can be strong - it takes wisdom and courage to choose your battles, conviction to be bold when you need to be etc.

Harry is a trooper - and I'm glad you're proud of him. I agree that that is a huge upside of playing footy (which, as you know, I'm not a huge fan of watching!)


BTW -I know you made that resolution, but I don't understand what you mean by debate...is this any different to the discussions on your other pages? You don't have to answer if you dont want to.

mike said...

I watch cage fighting all the time and it makes me feel really manly... but that's just me...

CraigS said...

I just dont think you get that from watching cagefighting.

Ah, but you haven't watched cagefighting, have you Ruth? It is more noble and skillful than you would think...

Yes, motive is important in the movies, but in the cage there is a lot of raw courage on display. It is no different to two cricket teams battling it out for the glory of winning. There is nobility in the contest.

My resolution was just a bit of a joke. All I mean is I'm not going to employ "the sledgehammer" on girlz...

Ruth said...

Ok - I am cagefighting ignorant. If you and Mike want to feel all manly and contestly and couragely watching it - who am I to disapprove? ;-)

Glad you're no longer sledgehammering girls...good decision.

Anonymous said...

Guys need respect to feel secure, women need love. God made us different on purpose...

The Borg said...

Sure, watching cage-fighting makes you feel manly, but does it make you manly? Does it make you a better leader?

Wisdom is justified by her deeds.

mike said...

Stop being such an intellectual Shy ;)

John Dekker said...

I thought it was "Wisdom is justified by her children."

Chris, I looked at your blog, but I couldn't reply because you disallow anonymous comments.

Regarding the feminization of the church, Ann Douglas has written a book called The Feminization of American Culture in which she demonstrates that it was caused by a repudiation of Calvinism.

This article by Michael Horton has a bit about it.

CraigS said...

Mike, which cagefighting do you watch? UFC?

mike said...

ummm *cough* I don't... but maybe we can hang out and watch some together when I come to Sydney in a couple of weeks.

CraigS said...

lol - irony always shoots straight over my head...

Yeah, lets catch up when you are in Sydney. Where are you staying, what are you up here for?

Come to CITM if you don't already have a church sorted out...

mike said...

I'll be staying down south in Janali for 10 days for a holiday. I have a heap of Christian mates down there. I'll see if I can get along. What's your nearest train station?

CraigS said...

Central, and I can pick you up from the station if you want.

Where do your mates go to church? I grew up in the Shire, and know it pretty well...

mike said...

That would be awesome. I'll be in touch I'll addd you to my gmail chat. :)

Priscilla said...

So you're a hobbit then, Craig?

Paul Dame said...

Here's an example of the feminization of the church:

a woman telling a man he's not very manly, and then proceeding to give him advice on how to be more manly.

-That advice needs to come from another guy. No guy will ever admit that a woman known more about being a man than he does. Even if she's right - he'll deny it forever; or avoid it.

Personally I'm not in to cage fighting, but maybe it's because I've never been exposed to it. But I've been stired up in the courage and valor realm by battle scenes depicted in things I've read. The most stirring though have been passages of scripture. But modern churches today have avoided every exciting war metaphor. (except for the 'battle with sin' which doesn't have the same encouragement value for everyone) The only time you hear about it is if the music director doesn't pay attention when the congregation does a hymn sing. If they even sing hymns at that church.

Without any intentional thought, I eventually gave up pro wrestling. There's enough action in the four books of Kings - and Judges is pretty crazy too (tearing a lion apart with your bare hands?!?!)
But if some girl had told me that watching pro wrestling was unmanly, or foolish, silly, harmful, etc. I wouldn't stop.
At least not until I thought she'd forgotten she'd ever mentioned it.

So ladies if you ever have a son, and you think some behavior is unmanly. Have his father talk to him about it. He'll respect Dad's opinion about being a man considerably more than he'll respect yours.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the hint, Paul

CraigS said...

Paul, I agree in so far as a men should be teaching the young men (and boys) about manliness.

But I think it is fine for a woman (and especially a wife) to encourage masculinity. When George Whitefields courage was wavering before a mass meeting once, his wife said "Play the man, George!" I thought that was fine advice.

CraigS said...

Oh, and cagefighting has all the "colour and spectacle" of pro wrestling, with the added bonus that it is actually real...

It's a guy thing. My little boys have boxing matches all the time. They are never happier than when being rumbled.

G. F. McDowell said...

YOU ARE BORG
I WILL NOT BE ASSIMILATED
RESISTANCE IS NOT FUTILE

Men must be men.

I am a man. (not like the stupid BK commercial, funny though it was to watch a minivan get dumped off a bridge into a dump truck)

CraigS said...

A post on cagefighting on my blog...

mike said...

Making friends here with Craig... bgetting more comfortable with being myself