Adam and Chaos

The Silence of Adam on

For the past few weeks, I’ve been facilitating a men’s group meeting at my church, talking about biblical masculinity while interfacing with Larry Crabb’s book The Silence of Adam. Someone just before class last night asked me what I thought of the book.

There are many things I like and many things I dislike. While I have not made it a priority as of yet to read all significant works about the topic, I have been largely unimpressed with the literature from conservative evangelical authors (or authors who are often read by conservative evangelical readers). I find a great many assertions are made but are not proven to be so from Scripture.

What I’m looking for is a careful exegesis of Scripture which yields a picture of masculinity distinct from femininity that has less to do with a counter-feminism movement and more to do with a biblical picture of what regenerated men should look like. Unfortunately, most of what is out there seems to be anecdotal and woefully lacking in sound biblical foundations.

Has anyone found a book that fits the criteria above to some extent? What did you like about it? What did it seem to lack?


3 thoughts on “Adam and Chaos

  1. Just because a man does something does not make it masculine. Here’s a social example. Take the term that is popular in our vernacular, “Man Up!” Other cultures have similar idioms, but this one belongs to us. What does it mean? We use in instances where we want someone to step up and take responsibility, particularly when it doesn’t come naturally to their personality or their will.
    So we have a sense, albeit a vague one, of what it means to be masculine. That is further enhanced by the story of Adam in Genesis and stories throughout the Old Testament. In the NT, we see the same kind of call on men to teach and instruct, lead their families well, and be men.
    This has nothing to do with a vocation or even psuedo-masculine actions (i.e. chopping wood, hunting, belching). It is an attitude of responsibility and care for those whom God has placed in dominion over. Some food for thought, according to Genesis, planting a garden and recycling are masculine activities, since man was given dominion over creation and its flourishing. Just a funny thought. Hope that helps.

  2. I would certainly avoid all things Eldredge. The dead horse of “Biblical” masculinity is still being beaten by many and like yourself, I place little stock in any of what is written about it.
    I find more confusion when I turn to the Bible, simply due to my lack of an understanding of their historical culture and social norms about gender and roles in community.

    As for myself, I am a male, thus what I do as a male, is masculine. I do not define my or others actions by gender stereotypes. Possibly you could explain what you mean by “masculinity”?

    The idea of “Biblical” masculinity is an even more foreign concept but certainly a favorite soap box with some types. I usually find them incredibly insecure people who are out to hurt and shame those who do not fit into their pre-determined models or expectations. What do you think “Biblical” masculinity is or does it even exist? It sounds rather like a socio-spiritual construct to me.


  3. I haven’t necessarily read an entire work on it. I started a series of posts recently on biblical masculinity and I would love your input to see if its what you’re looking for, or perhaps how it could be. Only part 1 is currently available. Parts 2-3 will come out early next month.

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