There is a unique relationship between Man and the proverbial Dare. This seems to go all the way back into the deepest roots of primal manhood.
We love the motif of conquest. I see it in myself. I see it in both of my sons – now 8 and 5 – who in the next room constantly have the good guys (usually either an action figure or, worse, a piece of construction paper with Mommy’s best attempt at a rendering) squaring off with the bad guys, talking smack … “Say your prayers!” or “Get ready for a beat down!” Usually that comes before we hear the poor bad guy get thrown against the toy box or we find his limp body on the kitchen floor after having been tossed over the cliff which is our kitchen table.
I think the reason some men don’t want to go to church is that they think one has to become a wuss to be a Christian. Much of Christianity to them sounds so artsy, so lovey-dovey. Everything is about ‘turning the other cheek’, loving, caring, supporting, hugging, and a big list of terms that make them feel like the church only comes in shades of pink or, at best, pastelles. There are paint brushes, journal pads, and shiny, happy people holding hands; but where are the hammers, guns, and numchucks?
I’m grateful that in the midst of this there are still men who are calling – better, daring – men to be men. I love it when John Piper says, “Who confronts them with urgency and tears� Who pleads with them not to waste their lives� Who take them by the collar … and loves them enough to show them a life so radical and so real and so costly and Christ-saturated that they feel the emptiness and triviality of their CD collection and their pointless conversations about passing celebrities� Who will waken what lies latent in their souls, untapped – a longing not to waste their lives?” (John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life, 128)
John Piper himself is a man who calls out with passion and boldness and challenges men to be men. Douglas Wilson is another. His book Future Men argues that the motif of the dragonslayer/warrior is one that is rooted not in man’s nature as fallen, but in man’s nature as an image-bearer.
We’re going to pepper into our PivotLIFE blogs a series on manhood that will begin with some articles from the guys over at The Rebelution blog. For starters, a quick history review of some guys you would not want to meet in a dark alley: the Vikings.