Manliness: A Contest

One of my former students, Nathan Martin, had worked with Reagan culture czar Bill Bennett on his sequel to The Book of Virtues, a collection of classic and contemporary readings entitled  The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood.

It explores the traits and virtues of manhood, some arguably lost in our feminized and gender-neutral age, using stories, poems, and reflections from authors ranging from Homer and Shakespeare to Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan.  (Luther even makes an appearance!)  The book is divided into chapters  dealing with Man at War; Man at Work; Man in Sports, Play, & Leisure; Man in the Polis; Man with Woman and Children; Man in Prayer and Reflection.

The Acknowledgements credit not only Nathan but also a slew of other Patrick Henry College products:  Christopher Beach, Olivia Linde, Brian Dutze, Shane Ayers, and David Carver.  That’s virtually the whole research team, drawing on their background in the Great Books, their perceptive thinking about these issues,  and their writing and editing skills.  So I’m very proud of them.

Nathan is also a fan of this blog (you might also recognize some of those other names as occasional commenters) and of the discussions that we have here.   He sent me two copies of the book, one for me and one to give away on my blog.

So I will celebrate my birthday Hobbit style:  Instead of getting a present, I will give a present.  Well, actually I’m not giving it; Nathan is.  And it won’t really be a gift.  Unlike God, I am making you earn it.   I’d like to start one of our famous discussions.  And the person deemed to have made the best comment will receive the free book.  (I haven’t quite determined how this will be decided yet.  Maybe it will be obvious.  Maybe we’ll vote on it.)  The comments, for the purposes of the contest, will be closed at midnight Eastern time on Sunday.

So here is the topic for discussion:  What is “manliness” in your thinking and in your experience?

I’d like to hear from women (what are the masculine traits that you look for in a man?) and men (when did you have to “act like a man,” and what did that entail?), and from people in various stages of life (boys, youth, husbands, fathers, and old guys like I have now become).

By the way, if you don’t want to hold out for a free book, you can buy one by clicking the links.

 

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Probably creativity.

    Often we think of this as a human trait, but it appears to be a manly trait like leadership.

    When I look around at all the cool stuff men have invented, like this computer I am typing on, and the running water from the faucet, I just have to be thankful for all those guys who wanted to figure out a better way. I feel the same when I look at all the great art and literature. Also, it takes a certain vision persistence to create. Even all those guys who conceived, built and maintain a free thing like Wikipedia.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Probably creativity.

    Often we think of this as a human trait, but it appears to be a manly trait like leadership.

    When I look around at all the cool stuff men have invented, like this computer I am typing on, and the running water from the faucet, I just have to be thankful for all those guys who wanted to figure out a better way. I feel the same when I look at all the great art and literature. Also, it takes a certain vision persistence to create. Even all those guys who conceived, built and maintain a free thing like Wikipedia.

  • SKPeterson

    1. Befriending the friendless.
    2. Kindness to children, strangers and animals.
    3. Respect for one’s wife, family and neighbors.
    4. Humility in the face of God’s own creation.
    5. Control of one’s emotions in times of stress.
    6. Patience. To a point, then resolve.
    7. A sense of humor.
    8. At least one politically incorrect habit or hobby.

  • SKPeterson

    1. Befriending the friendless.
    2. Kindness to children, strangers and animals.
    3. Respect for one’s wife, family and neighbors.
    4. Humility in the face of God’s own creation.
    5. Control of one’s emotions in times of stress.
    6. Patience. To a point, then resolve.
    7. A sense of humor.
    8. At least one politically incorrect habit or hobby.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @2 Galatians 5:22?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @2 Galatians 5:22?

  • Dan Kempin

    My father always said that you arrive at being a man when you realize that you don’t have to prove that you are a man.

    A great turn of phrase, but I was more influenced by the example he lived in other ways. For instance:
    -To admit that you don’t know, to ask, and to be willing to learn. (And to patiently teach those who are willing to learn.) And,
    -To admit that you were wrong and apologize.

    Not very sophisticated, I know, but I have always carried these as core virtues of manhood.

    Thanks, Dad.

  • Dan Kempin

    My father always said that you arrive at being a man when you realize that you don’t have to prove that you are a man.

    A great turn of phrase, but I was more influenced by the example he lived in other ways. For instance:
    -To admit that you don’t know, to ask, and to be willing to learn. (And to patiently teach those who are willing to learn.) And,
    -To admit that you were wrong and apologize.

    Not very sophisticated, I know, but I have always carried these as core virtues of manhood.

    Thanks, Dad.

  • Tom Hering

    Toys. Of some sort. We never stop buying them, making them, wanting them, collecting them, playing with them, or showing them off. Though we do stop blowing them up with firecrackers.

  • Tom Hering

    Toys. Of some sort. We never stop buying them, making them, wanting them, collecting them, playing with them, or showing them off. Though we do stop blowing them up with firecrackers.

  • Mary Jack

    Lack of hubris in the midst of an engaged life.

  • Mary Jack

    Lack of hubris in the midst of an engaged life.

  • Michael

    Should there be a “justify your answer” part to this contest? It seems like what is going to happen is that people are simply going to fire off a list of admirable qualities in a person. My question is, why wouldn’t we admire these same qualities in a woman? SKPeterson lists “patience” and sg lists “creativity”. While I agree these are great qualities, why are these specific to manliness? Would these not be “womanliness” as well?

  • Michael

    Should there be a “justify your answer” part to this contest? It seems like what is going to happen is that people are simply going to fire off a list of admirable qualities in a person. My question is, why wouldn’t we admire these same qualities in a woman? SKPeterson lists “patience” and sg lists “creativity”. While I agree these are great qualities, why are these specific to manliness? Would these not be “womanliness” as well?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @5
    True we graduate to bigger, better explosives.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @5
    True we graduate to bigger, better explosives.

  • Matt Wallace

    I am most a man when my delight in the gospel frees me from my inner gollum, and drives me to the bear the cross for the needs of my family, church, and world.

  • Matt Wallace

    I am most a man when my delight in the gospel frees me from my inner gollum, and drives me to the bear the cross for the needs of my family, church, and world.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “SKPeterson lists “patience” and sg lists “creativity”. While I agree these are great qualities, why are these specific to manliness? Would these not be “womanliness” as well?”

    Patience is pretty hard even if it is more manly than womanly. Still it could be desirable as a manly virtue. Creative activity is easy to establish as predominantly masculine. Just because something is more prevalent among males doesn’t make it a desirable manly virtue. I would say that creativity is often a manly virtue but it can be used for evil, too, as we all well know.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “SKPeterson lists “patience” and sg lists “creativity”. While I agree these are great qualities, why are these specific to manliness? Would these not be “womanliness” as well?”

    Patience is pretty hard even if it is more manly than womanly. Still it could be desirable as a manly virtue. Creative activity is easy to establish as predominantly masculine. Just because something is more prevalent among males doesn’t make it a desirable manly virtue. I would say that creativity is often a manly virtue but it can be used for evil, too, as we all well know.

  • Kirk

    Spitting, chopping logs and killing woodland creatures.

  • Kirk

    Spitting, chopping logs and killing woodland creatures.

  • SKPeterson

    Michael – My point with patience is a type of shorthand for things like levelheadedness, sobriety, calmness and a minimization of rashness. Men are prone far too often to engage in untoward violence with little thought to the ramifications – the “act first, think later, cover it up if necessary” manner of dealing with problems. This manifests itself in our public realm with the constant fear mongering of both the left and right, the constant state of near panic, the continual mountain-making from mole hills, and the faux crises ever put before us. Maybe avoidance of those things, engaging in patience is not entirely specific to Manliness, but it is what I expect from adults. And a Man should be an Adult, not a Boy.

  • SKPeterson

    Michael – My point with patience is a type of shorthand for things like levelheadedness, sobriety, calmness and a minimization of rashness. Men are prone far too often to engage in untoward violence with little thought to the ramifications – the “act first, think later, cover it up if necessary” manner of dealing with problems. This manifests itself in our public realm with the constant fear mongering of both the left and right, the constant state of near panic, the continual mountain-making from mole hills, and the faux crises ever put before us. Maybe avoidance of those things, engaging in patience is not entirely specific to Manliness, but it is what I expect from adults. And a Man should be an Adult, not a Boy.

  • Cincinnatus

    Eating aforesaid woodland creatures after cooking them (lightly) with the aid of aforesaid chopped logs.

  • Cincinnatus

    Eating aforesaid woodland creatures after cooking them (lightly) with the aid of aforesaid chopped logs.

  • Tony

    “Manliness: To protect and to serve.”

  • Tony

    “Manliness: To protect and to serve.”

  • SKPeterson

    Avoiding use of the word “artisanal” is probably key, but that’s just a guess.

  • SKPeterson

    Avoiding use of the word “artisanal” is probably key, but that’s just a guess.

  • Jonathan

    SKPeterson’s comments are gold.

    But, being the most manly of men, I’ve got to sing, “I’m a lumberjack, and I’m OK …” You know the rest.

  • Jonathan

    SKPeterson’s comments are gold.

    But, being the most manly of men, I’ve got to sing, “I’m a lumberjack, and I’m OK …” You know the rest.

  • Rev. F. A. Bischoff

    When you realize that the days behind you are greater than the days that lie ahead and you realize that many of your dreams and hopes will not come true — and you’re good with all of that.

  • Rev. F. A. Bischoff

    When you realize that the days behind you are greater than the days that lie ahead and you realize that many of your dreams and hopes will not come true — and you’re good with all of that.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Manliness is imaging God in leading, providing, and protecting in a righteous way.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Manliness is imaging God in leading, providing, and protecting in a righteous way.

  • Minutus

    Joy in risk-taking.

  • Minutus

    Joy in risk-taking.

  • –helen

    Kindness:
    It is thinking of and providing for others’ needs before they’ve thought of them. It divides the men from the self-centered boys (of all ages). And no, it’s not a “feminine” trait. It is the mark of a man who knows he is a man, (and doesn’t have to bully or beat up on anyone to “prove” it).

  • –helen

    Kindness:
    It is thinking of and providing for others’ needs before they’ve thought of them. It divides the men from the self-centered boys (of all ages). And no, it’s not a “feminine” trait. It is the mark of a man who knows he is a man, (and doesn’t have to bully or beat up on anyone to “prove” it).

  • –helen

    I vote for SKPeterson, too.

  • –helen

    I vote for SKPeterson, too.

  • Harry Shaw

    I always thought that Rudyard Kipling settled the debate with his poem “If.” All manly wisdom is condensed very nicely in those lines.

    If
    By Rudyard Kipling

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

  • Harry Shaw

    I always thought that Rudyard Kipling settled the debate with his poem “If.” All manly wisdom is condensed very nicely in those lines.

    If
    By Rudyard Kipling

    If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with triumph and disaster
    And treat those two imposters just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breath a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

  • Curtis

    What is manliness? Mark Driscoll.

    Snark Snark Snark :) Tehehe…

    Though this is a pretty baller video of him on being a man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z-CprYLeoc&feature=related

  • Curtis

    What is manliness? Mark Driscoll.

    Snark Snark Snark :) Tehehe…

    Though this is a pretty baller video of him on being a man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3z-CprYLeoc&feature=related

  • V. Williams

    @9
    That fairly well sums up what I would use to describe manliness. I am a woman, and those are the kinds of qualities that I most admire in my spouse. :)

    I might add that a specific example of that “inner Gollum” you speak of includes letting discipline matters with the children slip past unaddressed because it is easier to do so after a long day’s work. Particularly when the reason it is easier is because their mother (me) wants to be easy on the children for some reason.

  • V. Williams

    @9
    That fairly well sums up what I would use to describe manliness. I am a woman, and those are the kinds of qualities that I most admire in my spouse. :)

    I might add that a specific example of that “inner Gollum” you speak of includes letting discipline matters with the children slip past unaddressed because it is easier to do so after a long day’s work. Particularly when the reason it is easier is because their mother (me) wants to be easy on the children for some reason.

  • V. Williams

    Or more generally speaking: while giving up that inner Gollum, still managing to assert the proper Biblical headship.

  • V. Williams

    Or more generally speaking: while giving up that inner Gollum, still managing to assert the proper Biblical headship.

  • Cincinnatus

    Pardon me, but apart from Kirk@11 and SKPeterson@15, I have thus far seen no definition of “manliness” that is, in fact, distinctively masculine. All the qualities denoted could equally apply to women, i.e., human beings generally, yes?

  • Cincinnatus

    Pardon me, but apart from Kirk@11 and SKPeterson@15, I have thus far seen no definition of “manliness” that is, in fact, distinctively masculine. All the qualities denoted could equally apply to women, i.e., human beings generally, yes?

  • Gary

    A “real man” will give up his life for others.

  • Gary

    A “real man” will give up his life for others.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Manliness. The state or quality of being manly. Manliness.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Manliness. The state or quality of being manly. Manliness.

  • Tom Hering

    “… I have thus far seen no definition of ‘manliness’ that is, in fact, distinctively masculine.”

    Most women like stuff that makes a big noise and sends pieces flying all over the place?

  • Tom Hering

    “… I have thus far seen no definition of ‘manliness’ that is, in fact, distinctively masculine.”

    Most women like stuff that makes a big noise and sends pieces flying all over the place?

  • Cincinnatus

    Ah yes, Tom, I forgot the comment about explosions.

    But then again, that’s a rather shallow account of manhood.

  • Cincinnatus

    Ah yes, Tom, I forgot the comment about explosions.

    But then again, that’s a rather shallow account of manhood.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus, the text of your comment (@26) appears serious enough, but its referents are apparently anything but. Huh?

    Perhaps therefore missing the joke, I will say that I doubt anything that could be assigned to “manliness” would be truly exclusive to males. If you want to go that route, you’ll have little to talk about besides biology.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus, the text of your comment (@26) appears serious enough, but its referents are apparently anything but. Huh?

    Perhaps therefore missing the joke, I will say that I doubt anything that could be assigned to “manliness” would be truly exclusive to males. If you want to go that route, you’ll have little to talk about besides biology.

  • Tom Hering

    “… that’s a rather shallow account of manhood.”

    Bingo! All the best masculine qualities are shared with women.

  • Tom Hering

    “… that’s a rather shallow account of manhood.”

    Bingo! All the best masculine qualities are shared with women.

  • Cincinnatus

    As Plato himself observed.

  • Cincinnatus

    As Plato himself observed.

  • Joe

    I think Ron Swanson sums it up pretty well:

  • Joe

    I think Ron Swanson sums it up pretty well:

  • Joe

    Seriously, I think manliness is nothing more than attempting to faithfully fulfilling your vocation as son, husband, father, etc. God has given to all men many vocations but certain of them can only be fulfilled by a man – attempting to fulfill these vocations is manliness.

  • Joe

    Seriously, I think manliness is nothing more than attempting to faithfully fulfilling your vocation as son, husband, father, etc. God has given to all men many vocations but certain of them can only be fulfilled by a man – attempting to fulfill these vocations is manliness.

  • Joe

    And, manliness and typos are not in no way related to each other ….

  • Joe

    And, manliness and typos are not in no way related to each other ….

  • Jonathan

    Swanson wouldl love this, Joe. A bro-off featuring basketball and Frisbee. Men.

  • Jonathan

    Swanson wouldl love this, Joe. A bro-off featuring basketball and Frisbee. Men.

  • SKPeterson

    Okay, I suppose we might look to cinema and see who embodies various ideals of manliness and what constitutes manhood. However, this presents some interesting juxtapositions. For example, in Shane, arguably one of the best westerns ever made, who is the best man, Alan Ladd’s titular character, or Joe Starrett, played by Van Heflin? In keeping with the western theme, what about Jimmy Stewart’s character in Bend of the River up against his character in Winchester ’73 or in Destry Rides Again? Do cinematic ideals play true to type? Are they ideals? How do they typify them or make a caricature of those ideals? Moreover, might we not identify things that mark a Man, but note that some Men are Good and some are Bad (and some are Ugly, ba-dum-dum-ching).

  • SKPeterson

    Okay, I suppose we might look to cinema and see who embodies various ideals of manliness and what constitutes manhood. However, this presents some interesting juxtapositions. For example, in Shane, arguably one of the best westerns ever made, who is the best man, Alan Ladd’s titular character, or Joe Starrett, played by Van Heflin? In keeping with the western theme, what about Jimmy Stewart’s character in Bend of the River up against his character in Winchester ’73 or in Destry Rides Again? Do cinematic ideals play true to type? Are they ideals? How do they typify them or make a caricature of those ideals? Moreover, might we not identify things that mark a Man, but note that some Men are Good and some are Bad (and some are Ugly, ba-dum-dum-ching).

  • fws

    as a gay man I have sort of been forced to study that thing called “manliness” out of a fear probably of not being that.

    I suggest that real manliness are traits shared by women.

    And I suggest that manliness as it is usually defined is usually about male vices.

    Maybe that is why my gay brethren seem to gyrate rather wildly between the true virtue that is the best that men and women share in common and that vice as well.

    Primarily this looks like a refusal to grow up and grow a pair in a way women with children usually do way before their male counterparts manage the job.

  • fws

    as a gay man I have sort of been forced to study that thing called “manliness” out of a fear probably of not being that.

    I suggest that real manliness are traits shared by women.

    And I suggest that manliness as it is usually defined is usually about male vices.

    Maybe that is why my gay brethren seem to gyrate rather wildly between the true virtue that is the best that men and women share in common and that vice as well.

    Primarily this looks like a refusal to grow up and grow a pair in a way women with children usually do way before their male counterparts manage the job.

  • Cincinnatus

    Where’s Peter Leavitt when we need him? I’m certain that manliness involves having large cajones.

  • Cincinnatus

    Where’s Peter Leavitt when we need him? I’m certain that manliness involves having large cajones.

  • SKPeterson

    Cincy – don’t forget gratuitous appeals to questionable authority!

    Frank @39. Gyrating gay men. You crack me up.

  • SKPeterson

    Cincy – don’t forget gratuitous appeals to questionable authority!

    Frank @39. Gyrating gay men. You crack me up.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@40)! Why must you persist in this error?!

    It’s cojones! Cojones! Not cajones. Cajones literally means “big boxes” in Spanish, and typically refers to drawers (like in a bureau), although it also refers to a type of box drum.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Cincinnatus (@40)! Why must you persist in this error?!

    It’s cojones! Cojones! Not cajones. Cajones literally means “big boxes” in Spanish, and typically refers to drawers (like in a bureau), although it also refers to a type of box drum.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m just spelling it as Peter would have. But “big boxes” works too, I think. Men like big things, according to the venerable scholar Samuel Huntington.

  • Cincinnatus

    I’m just spelling it as Peter would have. But “big boxes” works too, I think. Men like big things, according to the venerable scholar Samuel Huntington.

  • Paul

    Manliness involves having the right and strength to accomplish your will, but laying it aside for the sake of another: …just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.

  • Paul

    Manliness involves having the right and strength to accomplish your will, but laying it aside for the sake of another: …just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.

  • Pete

    Manliness is this:

    To do what needs to be done,

    And not write haiku.

  • Pete

    Manliness is this:

    To do what needs to be done,

    And not write haiku.

  • fws

    sk @ 41

    yes gay men ALL gyrate.

    except for me of course. Well , on wednesdays in salsa class… maybe just a little…. but morally? NEVER… well maybe on wednesdays. In salsa class. Brasilians….

  • fws

    sk @ 41

    yes gay men ALL gyrate.

    except for me of course. Well , on wednesdays in salsa class… maybe just a little…. but morally? NEVER… well maybe on wednesdays. In salsa class. Brasilians….

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    I doubt that any of us can better Kipling, so, I’ll offer “If” as my entry-

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    I doubt that any of us can better Kipling, so, I’ll offer “If” as my entry-

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

  • fws

    pastor spomer @ 47

    that sounds like my mother!

  • fws

    pastor spomer @ 47

    that sounds like my mother!

  • Tyler

    Manliness is about one’s character. Athena tells young Telémakhos that his father “finished what he cared to say, and what he took in hand he brought to pass.” He carries to completion things he begins and what he has promised to do. It is unwavering in conviction, yet humble in opinion. A man tells the truth, even if that truth is what leads to his death. It protects the innocent and seeks justice for those wronged. He walks with strength and purpose, yet is accompanied with a compassion that only comes through a deep love of those around him. His presence brings a peace that can only come from a calm soul.

  • Tyler

    Manliness is about one’s character. Athena tells young Telémakhos that his father “finished what he cared to say, and what he took in hand he brought to pass.” He carries to completion things he begins and what he has promised to do. It is unwavering in conviction, yet humble in opinion. A man tells the truth, even if that truth is what leads to his death. It protects the innocent and seeks justice for those wronged. He walks with strength and purpose, yet is accompanied with a compassion that only comes through a deep love of those around him. His presence brings a peace that can only come from a calm soul.

  • Helen K.

    following…

  • Helen K.

    following…

  • Cincinnatus

    Yet again, none of these definitions have described anything–behaviors, characteristics, virtues–that are in their essence exclusively or archetypically manly.

    The closest we came, I think, was the earlier comment that stated that manliness is embodied in the person who fulfills those vocations that are exclusively open to men: fatherhood, brotherhood, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    Yet again, none of these definitions have described anything–behaviors, characteristics, virtues–that are in their essence exclusively or archetypically manly.

    The closest we came, I think, was the earlier comment that stated that manliness is embodied in the person who fulfills those vocations that are exclusively open to men: fatherhood, brotherhood, etc.

  • fws

    Note here that we are talking about Virtue.
    Note then that the Lutheran Confessions are right:

    “Nothing can be demanded as to morality beyond the ethics of [pagan] Aristotle.”

    This is based on the Lutheran definition of “Natural Law” which the Confessions identify narrowly and only as Reason, which is nothing less than the Divinely Revealed Law of God. This is why Reason agrees with the Decalog. It is the SAME Law (Apology IV)

    This means that any pagan or Pharisee will do the Earthly righeousness that is Fatherly Goodness and Mercy that God providences , as well or better than a christian can do it. God will make this happen in all Old Adams by extorting it out of him with the Law. And if he refuses, then God will send punishments to make it happen.

    Cf Luke 18, the parable of the Lawless Lawgiver nagged by a conscience widowed of love.

    http://www.esvbible.org/Luke2018:1-8

    And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

    He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. [He did not respect the 1st or 2nd table of the Law]

    And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.

    And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.

    Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8 ESV)

    We Lutherans, in the Apology, specifically reject the Roman Scholastic theory of “natural law” because the Order of Creation is cursed and fallen and so it does not reveal the Will of God. It reveals the Wrath of God as the Law that it is. The Law ALWAYS accuse and Kills.

    In contrast the Eternal Will of God is that Fatherly Goodness and Mercy be done among men. And God providences this SAME Goodness and Mercy in two ways:

    1) On earth God providences Goodness and Mercy by Virtue and Mortification. He extorts it out of Man by using the Law this says.

    2) In the Kingdom of Grace God re-incarnates mankind into Goodness and Mercy so that SAME Fatherly Goodness and Mercy flows from New Man “spontaneously” and “automatically” ”
    as light from SUn” and “as the angels do it”.

    This is precisely why FC art VI asserts that there is NO substantial or essential difference between works of the Law and Fruits of the Spirit . They are both the SAME Fatherly Goodness and Mercy BOTH providenced from God but in two different ways.

  • fws

    Note here that we are talking about Virtue.
    Note then that the Lutheran Confessions are right:

    “Nothing can be demanded as to morality beyond the ethics of [pagan] Aristotle.”

    This is based on the Lutheran definition of “Natural Law” which the Confessions identify narrowly and only as Reason, which is nothing less than the Divinely Revealed Law of God. This is why Reason agrees with the Decalog. It is the SAME Law (Apology IV)

    This means that any pagan or Pharisee will do the Earthly righeousness that is Fatherly Goodness and Mercy that God providences , as well or better than a christian can do it. God will make this happen in all Old Adams by extorting it out of him with the Law. And if he refuses, then God will send punishments to make it happen.

    Cf Luke 18, the parable of the Lawless Lawgiver nagged by a conscience widowed of love.

    http://www.esvbible.org/Luke2018:1-8

    And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

    He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. [He did not respect the 1st or 2nd table of the Law]

    And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.

    And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.

    Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8 ESV)

    We Lutherans, in the Apology, specifically reject the Roman Scholastic theory of “natural law” because the Order of Creation is cursed and fallen and so it does not reveal the Will of God. It reveals the Wrath of God as the Law that it is. The Law ALWAYS accuse and Kills.

    In contrast the Eternal Will of God is that Fatherly Goodness and Mercy be done among men. And God providences this SAME Goodness and Mercy in two ways:

    1) On earth God providences Goodness and Mercy by Virtue and Mortification. He extorts it out of Man by using the Law this says.

    2) In the Kingdom of Grace God re-incarnates mankind into Goodness and Mercy so that SAME Fatherly Goodness and Mercy flows from New Man “spontaneously” and “automatically” ”
    as light from SUn” and “as the angels do it”.

    This is precisely why FC art VI asserts that there is NO substantial or essential difference between works of the Law and Fruits of the Spirit . They are both the SAME Fatherly Goodness and Mercy BOTH providenced from God but in two different ways.

  • Booklover

    Manliness is enduring 180 days of Kindergarten in classrooms entitled “Sunflower,” “Daffodil,” and “Daisy” rather than “Tonka,” “Eagle,” or “T-Rex.”

  • Booklover

    Manliness is enduring 180 days of Kindergarten in classrooms entitled “Sunflower,” “Daffodil,” and “Daisy” rather than “Tonka,” “Eagle,” or “T-Rex.”

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Yet again, none of these definitions have described anything–behaviors, characteristics, virtues–that are in their essence exclusively or archetypically manly.”

    Exclusively, no, like tODD said, but archetypically, yes.

    Creativity, leadership, defenders, as well as the ability to work cooperatively and establish hierarchies and systems, yeah, those are archetypically manly virtues that make society safe and strong.

    Consider wikipedia, people just writing about stuff so that others can find info fast. It is pretty easy, but somewhat time consuming and you get nothing for your efforts beyond the satisfaction of putting your two cents out there and helping someone else save some time. Turns out, yup, it’s a guy thing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/business/media/31link.html?hpw

    Veith asked women what we consider manly, definitely leadership, confidence in his own authority, creativity/work ethic maybe loyalty. These are archetypically manly.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Yet again, none of these definitions have described anything–behaviors, characteristics, virtues–that are in their essence exclusively or archetypically manly.”

    Exclusively, no, like tODD said, but archetypically, yes.

    Creativity, leadership, defenders, as well as the ability to work cooperatively and establish hierarchies and systems, yeah, those are archetypically manly virtues that make society safe and strong.

    Consider wikipedia, people just writing about stuff so that others can find info fast. It is pretty easy, but somewhat time consuming and you get nothing for your efforts beyond the satisfaction of putting your two cents out there and helping someone else save some time. Turns out, yup, it’s a guy thing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/business/media/31link.html?hpw

    Veith asked women what we consider manly, definitely leadership, confidence in his own authority, creativity/work ethic maybe loyalty. These are archetypically manly.

  • Donegal Misfortune

    Grow a beard O ye Men and be Glad, lest ye look like every other woman and and every other lad!

  • Donegal Misfortune

    Grow a beard O ye Men and be Glad, lest ye look like every other woman and and every other lad!

  • helen

    No maybe about loyalty, sg… even in Grade B Westerns!

    Or every other man, Donegal! Beards are many and varied; definitely an individual thing!

    Tyler @ 49
    You describe my father, and one other.

  • helen

    No maybe about loyalty, sg… even in Grade B Westerns!

    Or every other man, Donegal! Beards are many and varied; definitely an individual thing!

    Tyler @ 49
    You describe my father, and one other.

  • Thankful

    +1 for Tyler’s #49

  • Thankful

    +1 for Tyler’s #49

  • Michael

    Cincinnatus@26, I agree completely.

    In a way, this conversation really shows how influential feminism has become. While people still regard the sexes as different, the differences between the sexes are not thought of as very wide.

  • Michael

    Cincinnatus@26, I agree completely.

    In a way, this conversation really shows how influential feminism has become. While people still regard the sexes as different, the differences between the sexes are not thought of as very wide.

  • Abby

    I must describe “manliness” by describing my husband. He:

    *Was of Middle Eastern, Eastern Orthodox heritage, so grew up in a strong patriarchial home—he had no trouble being the head of our home;

    *Loved sports—football being his favorite. He became a referee and an umpire for kids sports—he would have no trouble throwing a coach or anyone out of a game if need be. Was allowed to referee for his daughter’s basketball games because he was known for his fairness and honesty;

    *Was a good father who attended everything that had to do with the kids. Our children loved and trusted him;

    *Happily served in the church as Head Elder, Teacher, and Bible student. Led family devotions in our home;

    *Always treated me as a dearly loved wife, supporting me and encouraging me wherever we would go. He was proud of me and promoted me. He sent me roses (the only flower he chose for me) on many occasions, even to the place where I worked. He made me feel safe and secure. Kept me warm by procuring wood and running two fireplaces during the winter!;

    *Conducted all of his life and speech with honesty, integrity and boldness. He was popular and well-liked by liberals and conservatives alike. However, was a die-hard Republican.;

    *Would purchase and send the family cards for birthdays and anniversaries. Participated in almost all of the shopping that was done (including groceries!—I honestly don’t know why he liked that!);

    *In a real suit, played Santa Claus for the family and at nursing homes;

    *Volunteered to be in a “dunk-tank” at a church picnic. The line went “around the block” to try to put him in the water!;

    *Loved to sing hymns in church, even with a voice that was consistently off-key (one thing he looked forward to in heaven—to sing on-key!);

    *Strongly desired to become a pastor but was prohibited by a disease he was afflicted with since childhood. He fought this disease with all means possible throughout his adult life. Only two days before he died (at age 54), had me get a pad of paper to write down hymns and Bible readings for his funeral;

    *Is remembered well, and missed by me, friends, family and coworkers.

    I could say much more. Thank you for letting me honor his loving “manliness” this way.

  • Abby

    I must describe “manliness” by describing my husband. He:

    *Was of Middle Eastern, Eastern Orthodox heritage, so grew up in a strong patriarchial home—he had no trouble being the head of our home;

    *Loved sports—football being his favorite. He became a referee and an umpire for kids sports—he would have no trouble throwing a coach or anyone out of a game if need be. Was allowed to referee for his daughter’s basketball games because he was known for his fairness and honesty;

    *Was a good father who attended everything that had to do with the kids. Our children loved and trusted him;

    *Happily served in the church as Head Elder, Teacher, and Bible student. Led family devotions in our home;

    *Always treated me as a dearly loved wife, supporting me and encouraging me wherever we would go. He was proud of me and promoted me. He sent me roses (the only flower he chose for me) on many occasions, even to the place where I worked. He made me feel safe and secure. Kept me warm by procuring wood and running two fireplaces during the winter!;

    *Conducted all of his life and speech with honesty, integrity and boldness. He was popular and well-liked by liberals and conservatives alike. However, was a die-hard Republican.;

    *Would purchase and send the family cards for birthdays and anniversaries. Participated in almost all of the shopping that was done (including groceries!—I honestly don’t know why he liked that!);

    *In a real suit, played Santa Claus for the family and at nursing homes;

    *Volunteered to be in a “dunk-tank” at a church picnic. The line went “around the block” to try to put him in the water!;

    *Loved to sing hymns in church, even with a voice that was consistently off-key (one thing he looked forward to in heaven—to sing on-key!);

    *Strongly desired to become a pastor but was prohibited by a disease he was afflicted with since childhood. He fought this disease with all means possible throughout his adult life. Only two days before he died (at age 54), had me get a pad of paper to write down hymns and Bible readings for his funeral;

    *Is remembered well, and missed by me, friends, family and coworkers.

    I could say much more. Thank you for letting me honor his loving “manliness” this way.

  • http://nbfzman.blogspot.com nbfzman

    Repentance. Faith. Forgiveness.

  • http://nbfzman.blogspot.com nbfzman

    Repentance. Faith. Forgiveness.

  • Elise

    As a woman, I consider a man “manly” if he is close to God, possesses a humble spirit, shows kindness to all people, defends the helpless, cherishes the woman he loves, leads his family wisely, and respects others- especially when they do not return that respect. It all comes down to character. I think John Adams nicely summed up what a man should be in a letter he wrote to his daughter, Nabby, advising her on the qualities to look for in a husband: “Daughter! Get you an honest man for a husband, and keep him honest. No matter whether he is rich, provided he be independent. Regard the honor and moral character of the man more than all other circumstances. Think of no other greatness but that of the soul, no other riches but those of the heart. An honest, sensible, humane man, above all the littleness of vanity and extravagances of imagination, laboring to do good rather than be rich, to be useful rather than make a show, living in modest simplicity clearly within his means and free from debts and obligations, is really the most respectable man in society, makes himself and all about him most happy.”

  • Elise

    As a woman, I consider a man “manly” if he is close to God, possesses a humble spirit, shows kindness to all people, defends the helpless, cherishes the woman he loves, leads his family wisely, and respects others- especially when they do not return that respect. It all comes down to character. I think John Adams nicely summed up what a man should be in a letter he wrote to his daughter, Nabby, advising her on the qualities to look for in a husband: “Daughter! Get you an honest man for a husband, and keep him honest. No matter whether he is rich, provided he be independent. Regard the honor and moral character of the man more than all other circumstances. Think of no other greatness but that of the soul, no other riches but those of the heart. An honest, sensible, humane man, above all the littleness of vanity and extravagances of imagination, laboring to do good rather than be rich, to be useful rather than make a show, living in modest simplicity clearly within his means and free from debts and obligations, is really the most respectable man in society, makes himself and all about him most happy.”

  • Mike

    Manliness is to take responsibility for others.

  • Mike

    Manliness is to take responsibility for others.

  • SKPeterson

    Michael @58 and Cincinnatus – Perhaps it is femininization ;), but not so much men becoming more like women, but that the qualities we admired traditionally in men are now being applied to women. Hence, we say that the qualities of Manliness are indistinguishable with those of virtuous people of any gender. We then reduce Manliness indeed to cajones,cojones and sexual prowess. Our society is offended at the notion of any separation of genders in fulfilling occupations – look at the occasional furor that erupts over various denominations not ordaining women into the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Yet, I will say that men are predominant in many fields outside the ministry – high level sports being the most culturally obvious, but I will provide a counter-factual as evidence. Yesterday I spoke with a very rare individual – a young, attractive American female chemical engineering graduate student. The rest of the group she is in is comprised primarily of men, with the other women being the group secretaries and one being the group finance officer.

    This brings to mind something that is predominantly a quality of Manliness. sg earlier mentioned creativity, but it is something more, of which creativity is a part – it is a sense of wonder and discovery. Wondering how to solve a problem, wondering about how things are made, how things work, how to make things better. Discovering why things are where they are, why they are, and where they might be going. Wonder, discovery, adventure. While these are not the exclusive provinces of men, men do predominate. The occasional woman is a notable exception to the general rule.

  • SKPeterson

    Michael @58 and Cincinnatus – Perhaps it is femininization ;), but not so much men becoming more like women, but that the qualities we admired traditionally in men are now being applied to women. Hence, we say that the qualities of Manliness are indistinguishable with those of virtuous people of any gender. We then reduce Manliness indeed to cajones,cojones and sexual prowess. Our society is offended at the notion of any separation of genders in fulfilling occupations – look at the occasional furor that erupts over various denominations not ordaining women into the ministry of Word and Sacrament. Yet, I will say that men are predominant in many fields outside the ministry – high level sports being the most culturally obvious, but I will provide a counter-factual as evidence. Yesterday I spoke with a very rare individual – a young, attractive American female chemical engineering graduate student. The rest of the group she is in is comprised primarily of men, with the other women being the group secretaries and one being the group finance officer.

    This brings to mind something that is predominantly a quality of Manliness. sg earlier mentioned creativity, but it is something more, of which creativity is a part – it is a sense of wonder and discovery. Wondering how to solve a problem, wondering about how things are made, how things work, how to make things better. Discovering why things are where they are, why they are, and where they might be going. Wonder, discovery, adventure. While these are not the exclusive provinces of men, men do predominate. The occasional woman is a notable exception to the general rule.

  • helen

    Some of you worry about “manliness” separating the men from the women.
    I understood it as separating the men from the boys.

    Christ was the perfect man. It had little to do with his “equipment” in any language.
    “He had compassion …” “He loved…” “He wept.” “He taught” He provided bread.
    “He attended the synagogue, as was His habit” “He withdrew to pray.” “He forgave…”
    He valued little children. He recognized beauty in nature.
    He concerned Himself with His mother’s welfare while He was dying.

    How many of these things will you say are “not manly” because women do them?

  • helen

    Some of you worry about “manliness” separating the men from the women.
    I understood it as separating the men from the boys.

    Christ was the perfect man. It had little to do with his “equipment” in any language.
    “He had compassion …” “He loved…” “He wept.” “He taught” He provided bread.
    “He attended the synagogue, as was His habit” “He withdrew to pray.” “He forgave…”
    He valued little children. He recognized beauty in nature.
    He concerned Himself with His mother’s welfare while He was dying.

    How many of these things will you say are “not manly” because women do them?

  • fws

    SK @ 63

    Yours (and sg’s!) is the first post that presented a difference that is going to make me reflect. I think you might be onto something there.

    And you briefly touched upon this: “Our society is offended at the notion of any separation of genders in fulfilling occupations .”

    Martin Luther would say that this is the overcoming of the curse of Genesis 3. And he would say that this is the same kind of overcoming as roundup for thorns and thistles, labor saving devices and 40 hour work weeks for sweat of brow, and demerol and therapy for the pains of being a parent. Here is what he says in his Genesis commentary:

    “Now there is also added to those sorrows of gestation and birth that Eve has been placed under the power of her husband, she who previously was very free and, as the sharer of all the gifts of God, was in no respect inferior to her husband. … If Eve had persisted in the truth, she would not only not have been subjected to the rule of her husband, but she herself would also have been a partner in the rule which is now entirely the concern of males.” Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, (Gen 3:16), I Luther’s Works, (Concordia, St. Louis), pp. 202-03.

    Now I would suggest from this two things:

    1) We have to separate from the Roman Catholics and their Natural Law theories who imagine that they can tease out of a Fallen and Cursed Order of Creation notions of a Divine Design that are God’s Eternal Will. This is folly. And it will destroy the Holy Gospel ultimately.

    2) We Lutherans should have no problem with womens’ ordination. And we should similarly have no problem with women having an equal place in the professions.

    There I said it.

    Why not? Women being subordinate to men is part of a curse. Read the other curses of Gen 3. How do we deal with those other curses? Is it a threat to God’s Order to use roundup on weeds? Perhaps. But no one turns this into an element of the culture war.

  • fws

    SK @ 63

    Yours (and sg’s!) is the first post that presented a difference that is going to make me reflect. I think you might be onto something there.

    And you briefly touched upon this: “Our society is offended at the notion of any separation of genders in fulfilling occupations .”

    Martin Luther would say that this is the overcoming of the curse of Genesis 3. And he would say that this is the same kind of overcoming as roundup for thorns and thistles, labor saving devices and 40 hour work weeks for sweat of brow, and demerol and therapy for the pains of being a parent. Here is what he says in his Genesis commentary:

    “Now there is also added to those sorrows of gestation and birth that Eve has been placed under the power of her husband, she who previously was very free and, as the sharer of all the gifts of God, was in no respect inferior to her husband. … If Eve had persisted in the truth, she would not only not have been subjected to the rule of her husband, but she herself would also have been a partner in the rule which is now entirely the concern of males.” Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, (Gen 3:16), I Luther’s Works, (Concordia, St. Louis), pp. 202-03.

    Now I would suggest from this two things:

    1) We have to separate from the Roman Catholics and their Natural Law theories who imagine that they can tease out of a Fallen and Cursed Order of Creation notions of a Divine Design that are God’s Eternal Will. This is folly. And it will destroy the Holy Gospel ultimately.

    2) We Lutherans should have no problem with womens’ ordination. And we should similarly have no problem with women having an equal place in the professions.

    There I said it.

    Why not? Women being subordinate to men is part of a curse. Read the other curses of Gen 3. How do we deal with those other curses? Is it a threat to God’s Order to use roundup on weeds? Perhaps. But no one turns this into an element of the culture war.

  • kenneth

    it is a question of men and not women on whichwe are reflecting. it is anice break from feminism of which i have heard plenty. no offense please.

    virtue is best handled by the ancients. such as aritotle. my favotite. we miss that in this over taxed and sated culture. the four best are as called by the greats..the cardinal virtues. four is agood number too. prudence. patience. truth. courage..

    of course the church has that beat. sports fans. and tennis players

  • kenneth

    it is a question of men and not women on whichwe are reflecting. it is anice break from feminism of which i have heard plenty. no offense please.

    virtue is best handled by the ancients. such as aritotle. my favotite. we miss that in this over taxed and sated culture. the four best are as called by the greats..the cardinal virtues. four is agood number too. prudence. patience. truth. courage..

    of course the church has that beat. sports fans. and tennis players

  • Michael

    fws wrote: “Women being subordinate to men is part of a curse. Read the other curses of Gen 3. How do we deal with those other curses? Is it a threat to God’s Order to use roundup on weeds? Perhaps. But no one turns this into an element of the culture war.”

    This is brilliant.

  • Michael

    fws wrote: “Women being subordinate to men is part of a curse. Read the other curses of Gen 3. How do we deal with those other curses? Is it a threat to God’s Order to use roundup on weeds? Perhaps. But no one turns this into an element of the culture war.”

    This is brilliant.

  • fws

    michael @ 67

    No Michael. it is actually a reading of Genesis 3 and how St Paul means his reference to it in a way that even the most simple person can understand as being the simple truth.

  • fws

    michael @ 67

    No Michael. it is actually a reading of Genesis 3 and how St Paul means his reference to it in a way that even the most simple person can understand as being the simple truth.

  • helen

    This brings to mind something that is predominantly a quality of Manliness. sg earlier mentioned creativity, but it is something more, of which creativity is a part – it is a sense of wonder and discovery.

    Gentlemen, if “creativity” is only ascribed to women who have undertaken [previously] manly occupations, you have swallowed feminist arguments whole!

    fws: Luther is not an argument for women’s ordination; we are still under the curse this side of heaven.
    …she who previously was very free and, as the sharer of all the gifts of God, was in no respect inferior to her husband. …If Eve had persisted in the truth, she would not only not have been subjected to the rule of her husband, but …

    She did disobey God. So did Adam.
    He got the weeds; she got him.

    Demerol complicates things and increases risk. Been there, with and without.
    Round up only breeds more agressive weeds and now the [manly created] foods which incorporate their own poison are quite possibly poisoning the bees and butterflies they depend on for pollination! “Manly creativity” seems more devoted to bigger explosives and cruelties of war than ever.

    I’ve read/written wistfully about what man can be.
    Fact: he rarely is, except by the grace of God.

    Sorry if I got off track myself, Dr Veith.

  • helen

    This brings to mind something that is predominantly a quality of Manliness. sg earlier mentioned creativity, but it is something more, of which creativity is a part – it is a sense of wonder and discovery.

    Gentlemen, if “creativity” is only ascribed to women who have undertaken [previously] manly occupations, you have swallowed feminist arguments whole!

    fws: Luther is not an argument for women’s ordination; we are still under the curse this side of heaven.
    …she who previously was very free and, as the sharer of all the gifts of God, was in no respect inferior to her husband. …If Eve had persisted in the truth, she would not only not have been subjected to the rule of her husband, but …

    She did disobey God. So did Adam.
    He got the weeds; she got him.

    Demerol complicates things and increases risk. Been there, with and without.
    Round up only breeds more agressive weeds and now the [manly created] foods which incorporate their own poison are quite possibly poisoning the bees and butterflies they depend on for pollination! “Manly creativity” seems more devoted to bigger explosives and cruelties of war than ever.

    I’ve read/written wistfully about what man can be.
    Fact: he rarely is, except by the grace of God.

    Sorry if I got off track myself, Dr Veith.

  • fws

    helen @69

    My point was that we do treat the items in the Gen 3 list differently don’t we? And I say , along with Luther, that we should not.

    And you did not really address that point did you Helen?

  • fws

    helen @69

    My point was that we do treat the items in the Gen 3 list differently don’t we? And I say , along with Luther, that we should not.

    And you did not really address that point did you Helen?

  • fws

    Helen @ 69

    If it helps, let me concede this: One can observe from experience that when mankind attempts to overcome the list of curses in Gen 3, that usually there are futher complications and unintended consequences.

    But there is a problem that still remains which is this: We treat the items on the list differently.

    Your use of demerol was not seen as a sinful attempt to subvert God’s Ordering of creation, nor is roundup. The only item in Gen 3 where this is done is that one curse that is the subordination of women.

    Why is that is my question.

  • fws

    Helen @ 69

    If it helps, let me concede this: One can observe from experience that when mankind attempts to overcome the list of curses in Gen 3, that usually there are futher complications and unintended consequences.

    But there is a problem that still remains which is this: We treat the items on the list differently.

    Your use of demerol was not seen as a sinful attempt to subvert God’s Ordering of creation, nor is roundup. The only item in Gen 3 where this is done is that one curse that is the subordination of women.

    Why is that is my question.

  • Helen K.

    So far (just my personal preference) I vote for R. Kipling and wish to commend the lady who spoke so eloquently of her late husband, Abby @59.
    I like SK Peterson @2 also.

    P.S. One reason I “like” Lutheran Church, LCMS-no ladies in the pulpit…yet. Please don’t scream at me. (:

  • Helen K.

    So far (just my personal preference) I vote for R. Kipling and wish to commend the lady who spoke so eloquently of her late husband, Abby @59.
    I like SK Peterson @2 also.

    P.S. One reason I “like” Lutheran Church, LCMS-no ladies in the pulpit…yet. Please don’t scream at me. (:

  • helen

    fws: I thought I did address both points.
    1. We try, more or less, to decrease the pain of childbirth, at increased risk. (And now that C sections have become so common, increased pain, too, I think. For Adam’s benefit.)

    2. It’s not reported that God handed Adam a hoe and told him not to use anything else. It was up to his ‘creativity’ to deal with the thorns and thistles. (And it’s Eve’s job, too, in most cultures.)

    When Adam eliminates thorns and thistles without destroying the rest of the environment, Eve can perhaps think of stepping into his shoes as head of household/congregation. The thorns and thistles flourish. It’s only in this benighted country that most people escape the burden [and lose the joys, too] of working on the land.

    Eve was placed under her husband Adam in Genesis 3, as head of the household. Paul writes extensively about how the husband’s responsibilities should be exercised (probably the verses least used as sermon texts in the NT).

    YOU, fws, (with many others) translate that as “subordinate to men” and that’s where the culture wars begin.
    You are missing/skipping Luther’s “if” and so you are not agreeing with him.

    Sorry, Kenneth, because I agree with you.
    This topic did stay on track longer than usual!

  • helen

    fws: I thought I did address both points.
    1. We try, more or less, to decrease the pain of childbirth, at increased risk. (And now that C sections have become so common, increased pain, too, I think. For Adam’s benefit.)

    2. It’s not reported that God handed Adam a hoe and told him not to use anything else. It was up to his ‘creativity’ to deal with the thorns and thistles. (And it’s Eve’s job, too, in most cultures.)

    When Adam eliminates thorns and thistles without destroying the rest of the environment, Eve can perhaps think of stepping into his shoes as head of household/congregation. The thorns and thistles flourish. It’s only in this benighted country that most people escape the burden [and lose the joys, too] of working on the land.

    Eve was placed under her husband Adam in Genesis 3, as head of the household. Paul writes extensively about how the husband’s responsibilities should be exercised (probably the verses least used as sermon texts in the NT).

    YOU, fws, (with many others) translate that as “subordinate to men” and that’s where the culture wars begin.
    You are missing/skipping Luther’s “if” and so you are not agreeing with him.

    Sorry, Kenneth, because I agree with you.
    This topic did stay on track longer than usual!

  • helen

    Helen K
    P.S. One reason I “like” Lutheran Church, LCMS-no ladies in the pulpit…yet. Please don’t scream at me. (:

    I won’t scream at you. I’ll cheer and say, Amen!

  • helen

    Helen K
    P.S. One reason I “like” Lutheran Church, LCMS-no ladies in the pulpit…yet. Please don’t scream at me. (:

    I won’t scream at you. I’ll cheer and say, Amen!

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Mr. Shaw beat me to it. Good taste Harry!

  • http://gslcnm.com Pastor Spomer

    Mr. Shaw beat me to it. Good taste Harry!

  • PG

    Manliness: A man who dies to himself that he might live for his neighbor, especially for his wife, children, and those whom he serves in his daily life; the perfect definition of manliness is our Lord, the new Adam, whose “manly” self-sacrifice for His bride, the Church, is given in Ephesians 5:22-33 as the model for all husbands. As Pontius Pilate declares of Jesus just prior to the crucifixion in John 19:5, “Behold, the man” (noting, however, that here the Greek word means “human being,” not simply “male,” yet Ephesians 5 describes His crucifixion as the essence of manhood).

  • PG

    Manliness: A man who dies to himself that he might live for his neighbor, especially for his wife, children, and those whom he serves in his daily life; the perfect definition of manliness is our Lord, the new Adam, whose “manly” self-sacrifice for His bride, the Church, is given in Ephesians 5:22-33 as the model for all husbands. As Pontius Pilate declares of Jesus just prior to the crucifixion in John 19:5, “Behold, the man” (noting, however, that here the Greek word means “human being,” not simply “male,” yet Ephesians 5 describes His crucifixion as the essence of manhood).

  • JunkerGeorg

    Got to this late, but perhaps that is good.

    I too had in mind Kipling, but knew I couldn’t cite him, given that Rudyard at least realizes how conditional his definition of manliness is by his use of “if”. Had he believed it unattainable in this life, that is, by all except Jesus Christ, he might have never have presumed to write what he did, or better yet, provided Christ as the “Ecce Homo” conclusion of it, knowing that without the Man from Nazareth as the example, fulfillment, and eschatological gift of a sanctified manliness, such a poem would only drive a Christian man to either pride or despair.

    Should I go with a portrait of manliness instead? Say the portrait of the “Christian Knight” by Albrecht Dürer, you know, as the stoic-faced knight rides on, through the oppressive forces of sin and death all around him, looking neither to the right, left, nor backwards, where the Devil, with an ingratiating grin, seems powerless while ignored? No, that won’t do. Even if the actual subject were not Erasmus, such a stoic presentation of manliness hardly represents reality, doubtfully even for the apophatic “desert fathers”, that is, when no one is watching.

    Should I turn to good ole’ Will? Could I legitimately cite the parting advice of the father Polonius to his son Laertes?

    “This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

    No, we can’t cite that. We know that the selfish deeds of Polonius did not reflect such words anymore than ours do our own, promoting himself by exploiting humanity around him. That isn’t manly. No sacrifice there. More importantly, no sacrament either.

    Now, Prince Hamlet himself, in terms of the collective picture William paints, well, might that be an accurate representation of the pinnacle of manliness? I say “pinnacle” in terms of what is possible by grace for a fallen, broken and bent humanity, an inhumane and ungodly creature which is nevertheless justified and sanctified in and by Heaven’s Prince of Peace? You know, Hamlet, who was made to be such an examplar of what is the tragedy of man under Heaven, born of woman, under the Law, and lest we forget, the tragi-comedy of what it means to be a man in Christ the True Man in the end, as angels sings thee to thy rest?

    Certainly if an accurate portrait of fallen-yet-justified man would be Hamlet, both driven and weighed down by conscience. Such is full of down-to-earth reality of how life really is under the Law, while revealing a rich philosopy which is never fully solved, except for in Heaven’s rest to come, where we will be able to sit (hopefully) with the likes of Shakespeare and Chaucer, Donne and Herbert, Tolkien and Lewis, and discuss it, much to our Lord’s amusement.

    But of course, reflecting so many others here in their wonderful posts, there is really no other definition that will do for what is true manliness other than the one and only “true man” who has been born of a woman, under the Law. “Ecce Homo.” Behold the Man. He and he alone is the definition of Manliness, of what “is” true man (in the strictly ontological terms of Nicaea) and what it is to “be” a true Man (in Luther’s terms of finally being free of all the incipient existential docetism relative to the human life/personality of Christ, who, yes, wasn’t “play-acting” when he laughed at a joke at table, nor when he cried His cry of dereliction while nailed to the tree, quite in contradiction to the Eastern fathers suggestions of a stoic Christ). Pilate in contrast, along with the crowds for Barabbas, certainly demonstrated what it is to be “less than man”, that is, to be of a fallen, broken and bent humanity to the point that it is curved in on itself…striving to become like God with the result of only being bent over backwards and thrown down in the attempt, falling outside of Christ, so that far from becoming like God we have become less than man, in utter need of recreation in a mold that will not break or ever be corrupted.

    As Martin Luther once said, “You cannot make Christ too human.” He is the definition of what man is and what it means to be a man, and though for the meantime we really cannot fully know personally such true manliness now, seeing it merely through a glass darkly, we can and do confess it every Sunday in our Creeds, and live in it every time we kneel and receive Him in His Holy Supper, and look forward to His Second Advent when then we will know as we are known. In the meantime, if by grace alone we men can amount to being even half the men that Hamlet and Luther were, such will suffice.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Got to this late, but perhaps that is good.

    I too had in mind Kipling, but knew I couldn’t cite him, given that Rudyard at least realizes how conditional his definition of manliness is by his use of “if”. Had he believed it unattainable in this life, that is, by all except Jesus Christ, he might have never have presumed to write what he did, or better yet, provided Christ as the “Ecce Homo” conclusion of it, knowing that without the Man from Nazareth as the example, fulfillment, and eschatological gift of a sanctified manliness, such a poem would only drive a Christian man to either pride or despair.

    Should I go with a portrait of manliness instead? Say the portrait of the “Christian Knight” by Albrecht Dürer, you know, as the stoic-faced knight rides on, through the oppressive forces of sin and death all around him, looking neither to the right, left, nor backwards, where the Devil, with an ingratiating grin, seems powerless while ignored? No, that won’t do. Even if the actual subject were not Erasmus, such a stoic presentation of manliness hardly represents reality, doubtfully even for the apophatic “desert fathers”, that is, when no one is watching.

    Should I turn to good ole’ Will? Could I legitimately cite the parting advice of the father Polonius to his son Laertes?

    “This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”

    No, we can’t cite that. We know that the selfish deeds of Polonius did not reflect such words anymore than ours do our own, promoting himself by exploiting humanity around him. That isn’t manly. No sacrifice there. More importantly, no sacrament either.

    Now, Prince Hamlet himself, in terms of the collective picture William paints, well, might that be an accurate representation of the pinnacle of manliness? I say “pinnacle” in terms of what is possible by grace for a fallen, broken and bent humanity, an inhumane and ungodly creature which is nevertheless justified and sanctified in and by Heaven’s Prince of Peace? You know, Hamlet, who was made to be such an examplar of what is the tragedy of man under Heaven, born of woman, under the Law, and lest we forget, the tragi-comedy of what it means to be a man in Christ the True Man in the end, as angels sings thee to thy rest?

    Certainly if an accurate portrait of fallen-yet-justified man would be Hamlet, both driven and weighed down by conscience. Such is full of down-to-earth reality of how life really is under the Law, while revealing a rich philosopy which is never fully solved, except for in Heaven’s rest to come, where we will be able to sit (hopefully) with the likes of Shakespeare and Chaucer, Donne and Herbert, Tolkien and Lewis, and discuss it, much to our Lord’s amusement.

    But of course, reflecting so many others here in their wonderful posts, there is really no other definition that will do for what is true manliness other than the one and only “true man” who has been born of a woman, under the Law. “Ecce Homo.” Behold the Man. He and he alone is the definition of Manliness, of what “is” true man (in the strictly ontological terms of Nicaea) and what it is to “be” a true Man (in Luther’s terms of finally being free of all the incipient existential docetism relative to the human life/personality of Christ, who, yes, wasn’t “play-acting” when he laughed at a joke at table, nor when he cried His cry of dereliction while nailed to the tree, quite in contradiction to the Eastern fathers suggestions of a stoic Christ). Pilate in contrast, along with the crowds for Barabbas, certainly demonstrated what it is to be “less than man”, that is, to be of a fallen, broken and bent humanity to the point that it is curved in on itself…striving to become like God with the result of only being bent over backwards and thrown down in the attempt, falling outside of Christ, so that far from becoming like God we have become less than man, in utter need of recreation in a mold that will not break or ever be corrupted.

    As Martin Luther once said, “You cannot make Christ too human.” He is the definition of what man is and what it means to be a man, and though for the meantime we really cannot fully know personally such true manliness now, seeing it merely through a glass darkly, we can and do confess it every Sunday in our Creeds, and live in it every time we kneel and receive Him in His Holy Supper, and look forward to His Second Advent when then we will know as we are known. In the meantime, if by grace alone we men can amount to being even half the men that Hamlet and Luther were, such will suffice.

  • Harry Shaw

    Beginning to think that defining manliness is like a mischief of mice nibbling at a giant wheel of cheese. Each mouse partakes of it yet none possess it in it’s entirety. Feel free to draw any parallels between this and Plato’s Theory of the Forms. Essentially that which we seek is at best approximated, yet never quite fully realized. Above all a man ought to be a rational being who bases decisions and life choices upon reason. With only this one could well imagine the ideal of what a man ought to be might best be approximated. Reason alone is the best measure for the immense breadth of definitions that can be accomodated in our search for the ideal.

    Harry

  • Harry Shaw

    Beginning to think that defining manliness is like a mischief of mice nibbling at a giant wheel of cheese. Each mouse partakes of it yet none possess it in it’s entirety. Feel free to draw any parallels between this and Plato’s Theory of the Forms. Essentially that which we seek is at best approximated, yet never quite fully realized. Above all a man ought to be a rational being who bases decisions and life choices upon reason. With only this one could well imagine the ideal of what a man ought to be might best be approximated. Reason alone is the best measure for the immense breadth of definitions that can be accomodated in our search for the ideal.

    Harry

  • Tom Hering

    Manliness is whatever mature, responsible men do. Mature, responsible women do the same things, but it isn’t manly in their case because they aren’t men.

  • Tom Hering

    Manliness is whatever mature, responsible men do. Mature, responsible women do the same things, but it isn’t manly in their case because they aren’t men.

  • Michael

    PG@76

    If we switch the sex-specific pronouns in what you wrote, we get this:

    Biblical Femininity: A woman who dies to herself that she might live for her neighbor, especially for her husband, children, and those whom she serves in her daily life.

    If one were to describe a woman using the above, would we say that she is not Biblically Feminine?

    The rest of the post was a “See Jesus” definition. More problematic, it implies Jesus is a model for men, but not for women.

  • Michael

    PG@76

    If we switch the sex-specific pronouns in what you wrote, we get this:

    Biblical Femininity: A woman who dies to herself that she might live for her neighbor, especially for her husband, children, and those whom she serves in her daily life.

    If one were to describe a woman using the above, would we say that she is not Biblically Feminine?

    The rest of the post was a “See Jesus” definition. More problematic, it implies Jesus is a model for men, but not for women.

  • fws

    Michael @ 80

    +1!

  • fws

    Michael @ 80

    +1!

  • PG

    Michael, although I haven’t read all the comments on this Cranach post, your concern could probably be levelled at a number of the definitions offered above–that is, plenty of them speak of things that probably should be true of both men and women irrespective of gender.

    Yet St. Paul describes what it means to be a husband with “see Jesus” and what it means to be a wife with “see the Church” (Ephesians 5:23-33). The step I take (which concerns you) is that I see this, Eph 5, as also having something to say about men and women even beyond the husband-wife relationship, especially when I call the crucifixion “the essence of manhood.” Point taken, and I’ll give that more thought. Still, Jesus is referred to in Scripture as the “new Adam” (a male) and the Church is described as the “new Eve” (a female).

    Does this mean that women ought not follow the example of our Lord? Of course not! Does it mean that men ought not consider themselves as belonging to the bride of Christ, receiving the salvation won by our Lord? Again, of course not!

    But I would offer to a man that if he wishes to see true manliness, he should look at Christ; and to a woman that if she wishes to see true femininity, she should look at the Church.

    Thanks for your reply.

  • PG

    Michael, although I haven’t read all the comments on this Cranach post, your concern could probably be levelled at a number of the definitions offered above–that is, plenty of them speak of things that probably should be true of both men and women irrespective of gender.

    Yet St. Paul describes what it means to be a husband with “see Jesus” and what it means to be a wife with “see the Church” (Ephesians 5:23-33). The step I take (which concerns you) is that I see this, Eph 5, as also having something to say about men and women even beyond the husband-wife relationship, especially when I call the crucifixion “the essence of manhood.” Point taken, and I’ll give that more thought. Still, Jesus is referred to in Scripture as the “new Adam” (a male) and the Church is described as the “new Eve” (a female).

    Does this mean that women ought not follow the example of our Lord? Of course not! Does it mean that men ought not consider themselves as belonging to the bride of Christ, receiving the salvation won by our Lord? Again, of course not!

    But I would offer to a man that if he wishes to see true manliness, he should look at Christ; and to a woman that if she wishes to see true femininity, she should look at the Church.

    Thanks for your reply.

  • fws

    pg @ 82

    Um….. No!

    In that case Women should ponder how to be branches of a vine, New pig/sheep bladders, yeast, virgins, fish, prodigal sons, israelites, wheat, dirt, and well… lots of stuff.

    IF the point of these metaphors is about understanding sexuality or sexual roles then the Point of the metaphor is lost.

  • fws

    pg @ 82

    Um….. No!

    In that case Women should ponder how to be branches of a vine, New pig/sheep bladders, yeast, virgins, fish, prodigal sons, israelites, wheat, dirt, and well… lots of stuff.

    IF the point of these metaphors is about understanding sexuality or sexual roles then the Point of the metaphor is lost.

  • fws

    Pg @ 82

    ponder that there will be neither male nor female in the resurrection. You are taking a metaphor that to have us ponder things that will never perish, to, as St Paul says, fix our eyes upon heavenly things, and …

    you are making it about something that will completely perish with the earth and so fixing our eyes in the exact opposite direction each of those metaphors intends for us to be pointed.

  • fws

    Pg @ 82

    ponder that there will be neither male nor female in the resurrection. You are taking a metaphor that to have us ponder things that will never perish, to, as St Paul says, fix our eyes upon heavenly things, and …

    you are making it about something that will completely perish with the earth and so fixing our eyes in the exact opposite direction each of those metaphors intends for us to be pointed.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Speaking of the manly virtue of creative pursuits, Dennis Ritchie recently died.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/technology/dennis-ritchie-programming-trailblazer-dies-at-70.html

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Speaking of the manly virtue of creative pursuits, Dennis Ritchie recently died.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/14/technology/dennis-ritchie-programming-trailblazer-dies-at-70.html

  • Abby

    “Beginning to think that defining manliness is like a mischief of mice nibbling at a giant wheel of cheese. Each mouse partakes of it yet none possess it in it’s entirety. . . Essentially that which we seek is at best approximated, yet never quite fully realized.”

    So true–but couldn’t it be said of both man and woman?

  • Abby

    “Beginning to think that defining manliness is like a mischief of mice nibbling at a giant wheel of cheese. Each mouse partakes of it yet none possess it in it’s entirety. . . Essentially that which we seek is at best approximated, yet never quite fully realized.”

    So true–but couldn’t it be said of both man and woman?

  • http://nbfzman.blogspot.com nbfzman

    fws,

    At risk of hijacking this thread, I must point out an error in your thinking that woman’s “submission” to man is a result of the curse in Gen 3. “Subordination” may be another thing, but your argument is confusing the two by attempting to make them one and the same.

    1 Tim 2:12-13

    ” 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve”

    St. Paul does not base woman’s submission to men on a curse, but on the order of creation. If this was based on a curse of sin, you might be correct that Christ has taken it away, but this is based on something that was established when there was no sin in the world and God said “And it was good,” in that it is based on the order of creation.

    I will not hijack this thread with follow-up, but I wanted to give something to think about, and I am willing to receive the same.

    It would be better for us to seek to serve in the callings God has given us rather than coveting the callings of others, and, ultimately, for us to rejoice in Christ’s atonement for all of our covetings and sins.

  • http://nbfzman.blogspot.com nbfzman

    fws,

    At risk of hijacking this thread, I must point out an error in your thinking that woman’s “submission” to man is a result of the curse in Gen 3. “Subordination” may be another thing, but your argument is confusing the two by attempting to make them one and the same.

    1 Tim 2:12-13

    ” 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve”

    St. Paul does not base woman’s submission to men on a curse, but on the order of creation. If this was based on a curse of sin, you might be correct that Christ has taken it away, but this is based on something that was established when there was no sin in the world and God said “And it was good,” in that it is based on the order of creation.

    I will not hijack this thread with follow-up, but I wanted to give something to think about, and I am willing to receive the same.

    It would be better for us to seek to serve in the callings God has given us rather than coveting the callings of others, and, ultimately, for us to rejoice in Christ’s atonement for all of our covetings and sins.

  • fws

    nbfzman @87

    ok. Luther seems to have had a different idea here. I am not sure that what St Pauls says is at odds with Luther…

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/10/14/manliness-a-contest/#comment-129918

    something more to think about….

    if the items in the list are curses that did not exist before gen 3 then what existed before genesis 3 was something different right? What am I missing here?

  • fws

    nbfzman @87

    ok. Luther seems to have had a different idea here. I am not sure that what St Pauls says is at odds with Luther…

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/10/14/manliness-a-contest/#comment-129918

    something more to think about….

    if the items in the list are curses that did not exist before gen 3 then what existed before genesis 3 was something different right? What am I missing here?

  • fws

    nbfzman @ 87

    there is ALOT going on in that passage…

    I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

    likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

    Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

    For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

    Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
    (1 Timothy 2:8-15 ESV)

    I will note that up until the last century, it was considered that womens role was to be the same in society, church and family.

    now we make a distinction between church/family vs womens role in society. this is a modern distinction that would have been unknown to st paul or luther or even franz pieper.

  • fws

    nbfzman @ 87

    there is ALOT going on in that passage…

    I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

    likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

    Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

    For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

    Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
    (1 Timothy 2:8-15 ESV)

    I will note that up until the last century, it was considered that womens role was to be the same in society, church and family.

    now we make a distinction between church/family vs womens role in society. this is a modern distinction that would have been unknown to st paul or luther or even franz pieper.

  • Rose

    A man is the spiritual leader of his family.

  • Rose

    A man is the spiritual leader of his family.

  • Michael

    @fws@89

    “now we make a distinction between church/family vs womens role in society. this is a modern distinction that would have been unknown to st paul or luther or even franz pieper.”

    One of the most strange things one will find is that many people who won’t support a woman in a pulpit would support Sarah Palin being president. It’s okay for a woman to lead the free world, but not okay for a woman to lead at the local church?

  • Michael

    @fws@89

    “now we make a distinction between church/family vs womens role in society. this is a modern distinction that would have been unknown to st paul or luther or even franz pieper.”

    One of the most strange things one will find is that many people who won’t support a woman in a pulpit would support Sarah Palin being president. It’s okay for a woman to lead the free world, but not okay for a woman to lead at the local church?

  • helen

    It’s even stranger that men who will not allow a woman in their “voters’ assembly” will nominate and vote for women to board positions which oversee the policies of our educational institutions, our seminaries, and synod itself.
    The men give very lame excuses when challenged on this point.

  • helen

    It’s even stranger that men who will not allow a woman in their “voters’ assembly” will nominate and vote for women to board positions which oversee the policies of our educational institutions, our seminaries, and synod itself.
    The men give very lame excuses when challenged on this point.

  • fws

    michael @ 91

    Yes Michael, this is because we Lutherans have re “sacramentalized” the church and marriage/family in a way that the Lutherans of Pieper and those before him never would have done. The earlier Lutherans saw no distinction whatsoever between the earthly governments of Family, Church and State excapt as to the distinction between earthly vocations that will all perish with the earth as part of the Romans 8 flesh that the Lutherans identify them all as.

    This is why people talk about the church literally ending if persons in stilhettos or gay men become pastors. If the earlier Lutherans were right, allowing these things would have the same consequences as allowing women to serve in government.

  • fws

    michael @ 91

    Yes Michael, this is because we Lutherans have re “sacramentalized” the church and marriage/family in a way that the Lutherans of Pieper and those before him never would have done. The earlier Lutherans saw no distinction whatsoever between the earthly governments of Family, Church and State excapt as to the distinction between earthly vocations that will all perish with the earth as part of the Romans 8 flesh that the Lutherans identify them all as.

    This is why people talk about the church literally ending if persons in stilhettos or gay men become pastors. If the earlier Lutherans were right, allowing these things would have the same consequences as allowing women to serve in government.

  • Helen K.

    Well, folks, just one more comment and I don’t have the expertise of the Lutheran doctrines down pat. When I saw the reference from Michael @91 regarding voting for Sarah Palin for president I just have to say. Not only will I never (never say never?) !! vote for a lady for president, I hope we (at LCMS) never see a female in the pulpit. Yes, this is only my personal view and prejudice. Many irate females and not a few guys may write me off and that’s o.k. I’ve even become weary of all these conferences with lady speakers. (not Lutheran). I suppose I am showing my narrow-mindedness. I have always enjoyed “being a girl”. Wasn’t a that line from Flower Drum Song?
    So no vote to Michelle B. and Sarah P. Not but what you aren’t nice and wonderful and successful ladies.
    And thank you Helen, for not screaming at me a few comments back. (:

  • Helen K.

    Well, folks, just one more comment and I don’t have the expertise of the Lutheran doctrines down pat. When I saw the reference from Michael @91 regarding voting for Sarah Palin for president I just have to say. Not only will I never (never say never?) !! vote for a lady for president, I hope we (at LCMS) never see a female in the pulpit. Yes, this is only my personal view and prejudice. Many irate females and not a few guys may write me off and that’s o.k. I’ve even become weary of all these conferences with lady speakers. (not Lutheran). I suppose I am showing my narrow-mindedness. I have always enjoyed “being a girl”. Wasn’t a that line from Flower Drum Song?
    So no vote to Michelle B. and Sarah P. Not but what you aren’t nice and wonderful and successful ladies.
    And thank you Helen, for not screaming at me a few comments back. (:

  • Deborah

    Manliness is strength enough to protect a loved one, and tender enough to love with abandon, and intelligent enough to know when each is appropriate.

  • Deborah

    Manliness is strength enough to protect a loved one, and tender enough to love with abandon, and intelligent enough to know when each is appropriate.

  • fws

    after reading all these posts, it does seem that manliness and womanliness are the SAME virtues that are done by a man or a woman.

    does anyone disagree here?

    And i would suggest that what the non virtuous world calls manliness or womanliness is a pandering to those traits of vanity and ego and things that are ephemerous .

  • fws

    after reading all these posts, it does seem that manliness and womanliness are the SAME virtues that are done by a man or a woman.

    does anyone disagree here?

    And i would suggest that what the non virtuous world calls manliness or womanliness is a pandering to those traits of vanity and ego and things that are ephemerous .

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “does anyone disagree here?”

    Yes.

    The world doesn’t need women to be the same as men. That would be redundant on a bunch of things and leave out truly important things that women have and do but are not valued these days. And they weren’t created the same or to do all the same things, so, no.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “does anyone disagree here?”

    Yes.

    The world doesn’t need women to be the same as men. That would be redundant on a bunch of things and leave out truly important things that women have and do but are not valued these days. And they weren’t created the same or to do all the same things, so, no.

  • Thankful

    fws #96 – I must disagree as Ephesians 5 presents the case that there are differences between men and women which are desirable. While men and women would seem to strive for the same character traits, their expression of the image of God is unique.

    I confess I was hoping that we would hear more behavioural characteristics noted in the comments rather than the gestalt emphasis (i.e. Ephesians 5). e.g. What specific behaviours are performed by a man loving as Christ loved the church?

    The following is mostly in the context of marriage, but there is a larger context of society as well. I submit that women are to lean upon men and be protected by the strength of men. An apt example of this may be seen in the way men opens(ed) doors for women. Men are to lead women as Christ leads the Church, therefore, men perform the driving of the car. Women are to trust men to provide for their needs, therefore they are homemakers and do not strive for provisions…just as the Church has its needs provided for by Christ.

    Although some of these things may be ephemeral, they are that simply because of the tension of the already and not yet.
    To address a bit of the previous comments, though we are Christians, we still labor under the curse as all the world does. Also, I did not notice the Scriptures to indicate that there will be neither male nor female heaven, only that in the resurrection, we will not be given in marriage and will be as the angels (i.e. not given in marriage). Maybe that is asexual, but since our actual bodies are to be resurrected, it would seem that there will at least be male and female.

  • Thankful

    fws #96 – I must disagree as Ephesians 5 presents the case that there are differences between men and women which are desirable. While men and women would seem to strive for the same character traits, their expression of the image of God is unique.

    I confess I was hoping that we would hear more behavioural characteristics noted in the comments rather than the gestalt emphasis (i.e. Ephesians 5). e.g. What specific behaviours are performed by a man loving as Christ loved the church?

    The following is mostly in the context of marriage, but there is a larger context of society as well. I submit that women are to lean upon men and be protected by the strength of men. An apt example of this may be seen in the way men opens(ed) doors for women. Men are to lead women as Christ leads the Church, therefore, men perform the driving of the car. Women are to trust men to provide for their needs, therefore they are homemakers and do not strive for provisions…just as the Church has its needs provided for by Christ.

    Although some of these things may be ephemeral, they are that simply because of the tension of the already and not yet.
    To address a bit of the previous comments, though we are Christians, we still labor under the curse as all the world does. Also, I did not notice the Scriptures to indicate that there will be neither male nor female heaven, only that in the resurrection, we will not be given in marriage and will be as the angels (i.e. not given in marriage). Maybe that is asexual, but since our actual bodies are to be resurrected, it would seem that there will at least be male and female.

  • fws

    thanksful @ 98

    First: what do you mean by Image of God. What is that to you?Lutherans say that the Image of God was completely lost in the fall. And that Image consisted alone of Adam’s faith in Christ. You apparently disagree with these two beliefs. I would be curious to know why.

    Secondly: Let’s be clear here about what St Paul means by marriage. In his time men literally bought their wifes and their wives became their chattel property. Period. That is the cultural context of Eph 5.Women were property. They had zero sexual choice. Rape was a matter purely of property right violation for example.
    The biblical context looks virtually identical to the status of women in muslim countries today. And women don’t drive. Agree. And this is the context for that comment.

    Thirdly:

    By making Ephesians into a handbook on male female relationships you miss the point of St Paul, which is always to place our gaze upon Christ and not upon things that will perish. Before the fall, women were co equal to men and were not under their authority . In heaven it will be the same deal. That was St Pauls point in Galatians about there “being neither male nor female slave nor free”. I agree that it was not to say that there wont be gender in heaven or that there would be. I agree with you there. No marriage. No sex? Dunno. Jesus is still a guy and anatomically correct and not neuter action figure. So I assume we will be similar from that. Does it matter? no.

  • fws

    thanksful @ 98

    First: what do you mean by Image of God. What is that to you?Lutherans say that the Image of God was completely lost in the fall. And that Image consisted alone of Adam’s faith in Christ. You apparently disagree with these two beliefs. I would be curious to know why.

    Secondly: Let’s be clear here about what St Paul means by marriage. In his time men literally bought their wifes and their wives became their chattel property. Period. That is the cultural context of Eph 5.Women were property. They had zero sexual choice. Rape was a matter purely of property right violation for example.
    The biblical context looks virtually identical to the status of women in muslim countries today. And women don’t drive. Agree. And this is the context for that comment.

    Thirdly:

    By making Ephesians into a handbook on male female relationships you miss the point of St Paul, which is always to place our gaze upon Christ and not upon things that will perish. Before the fall, women were co equal to men and were not under their authority . In heaven it will be the same deal. That was St Pauls point in Galatians about there “being neither male nor female slave nor free”. I agree that it was not to say that there wont be gender in heaven or that there would be. I agree with you there. No marriage. No sex? Dunno. Jesus is still a guy and anatomically correct and not neuter action figure. So I assume we will be similar from that. Does it matter? no.

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  • Harry Shaw

    @Abby
    Correct, but we are debating manliness. Moreover, I do not necessarily see all male and female virtues as being interchangeable. For instance, the virtue expected of a male to pick the seat up on a toilet and not leave it there when finished is not a trait one would expect of a woman.

    =grin=

    Harry

  • Harry Shaw

    @Abby
    Correct, but we are debating manliness. Moreover, I do not necessarily see all male and female virtues as being interchangeable. For instance, the virtue expected of a male to pick the seat up on a toilet and not leave it there when finished is not a trait one would expect of a woman.

    =grin=

    Harry

  • Dan Kempin

    Now that the contest is over, and the thread is likely dead, it seems to me that much of the discussion has really missed the mark. I’m not criticizing, but much of the commentary (the clever and funny stuff) was about “machismo” and cultural male identity. A great deal of the discussion had to do with “righteous” living and the general struggle with sin. (“Real men don’t go to strip clubs.”) It touched also on vocation. But as so many of the comments have pointed out, none of that really gets at manhood. Roles can differ, as can cultures, and women, also, struggle with sin.

    I suppose the only real way to get at it would be to go to the first three chapters of Genesis. We see the particular virtue of a man in his role before the fall. And we see the particular nature of man’s struggle in the curse that was imposed after the fall. Man abdicated his role by being silent when the serpent spoke to the woman, and not only does he continue to struggle with the same inherent weakness (abdication of responsibility), but he also blamed the woman for his own failure. Abdicate and blame. I suppose that is the legacy and nature of a man.

    As a result, God also gave him the curse of murphy’s law. “thorns and thistles” Nothing will go right and nothing will be easy now in his attempts to fulfill his roles. Gardening has become all about weeding now. “All things are wearisome; more than one can express;” (Eccl. 1:8) There’s a sentiment to which every man can eventually relate.

    In fact, why not just go to Ecclesiastes? Who better to teach than Solomon, who pursued every dimension of manhood and virility? There is your manhood: to work and to sweat for your food and to sleep in the shadow of your own grave marker.

    But to do so in hope that there is redemption and in the anticipation of rest; to recognize the vanity of everything, and so to give cheerfully of anything; to realize that the greatest good of fallen man is to know and to emulate the Father–that is to be a man.

    (Just don’t ask me to comment on women. Who understands women?)

  • Dan Kempin

    Now that the contest is over, and the thread is likely dead, it seems to me that much of the discussion has really missed the mark. I’m not criticizing, but much of the commentary (the clever and funny stuff) was about “machismo” and cultural male identity. A great deal of the discussion had to do with “righteous” living and the general struggle with sin. (“Real men don’t go to strip clubs.”) It touched also on vocation. But as so many of the comments have pointed out, none of that really gets at manhood. Roles can differ, as can cultures, and women, also, struggle with sin.

    I suppose the only real way to get at it would be to go to the first three chapters of Genesis. We see the particular virtue of a man in his role before the fall. And we see the particular nature of man’s struggle in the curse that was imposed after the fall. Man abdicated his role by being silent when the serpent spoke to the woman, and not only does he continue to struggle with the same inherent weakness (abdication of responsibility), but he also blamed the woman for his own failure. Abdicate and blame. I suppose that is the legacy and nature of a man.

    As a result, God also gave him the curse of murphy’s law. “thorns and thistles” Nothing will go right and nothing will be easy now in his attempts to fulfill his roles. Gardening has become all about weeding now. “All things are wearisome; more than one can express;” (Eccl. 1:8) There’s a sentiment to which every man can eventually relate.

    In fact, why not just go to Ecclesiastes? Who better to teach than Solomon, who pursued every dimension of manhood and virility? There is your manhood: to work and to sweat for your food and to sleep in the shadow of your own grave marker.

    But to do so in hope that there is redemption and in the anticipation of rest; to recognize the vanity of everything, and so to give cheerfully of anything; to realize that the greatest good of fallen man is to know and to emulate the Father–that is to be a man.

    (Just don’t ask me to comment on women. Who understands women?)

  • Helen K.

    Pastor Kempin-I’m happy to read your comment and I think you should receive a “prize”. I believe you have hit the nail on the head here with the references to Genesis and Ecclesiastes. What better place to understand the definition of “manliness” then the Word!

    Nice to see the thread is still hanging on (by a thread).

  • Helen K.

    Pastor Kempin-I’m happy to read your comment and I think you should receive a “prize”. I believe you have hit the nail on the head here with the references to Genesis and Ecclesiastes. What better place to understand the definition of “manliness” then the Word!

    Nice to see the thread is still hanging on (by a thread).

  • Dan Kempin

    Helen, #102,

    “I think you should receive a “prize”

    Thanks, Helen! But my dad taught me (post #4) not to rely on external reinforcement for my manhood. ;)

    Then again, the best possible reinforcement for a man is the praise and encouragement of a woman. So . . . I guess I DID win a prize. Thanks!

  • Dan Kempin

    Helen, #102,

    “I think you should receive a “prize”

    Thanks, Helen! But my dad taught me (post #4) not to rely on external reinforcement for my manhood. ;)

    Then again, the best possible reinforcement for a man is the praise and encouragement of a woman. So . . . I guess I DID win a prize. Thanks!

  • Helen K.

    Dan @103
    Your dad taught you well.
    I also admire a couple of other comments you’ve made recently, but don’t know that they are on this thread. I’d have to look. Perhaps I’ll hunt up your blog. So much to read I’m neglecting my “womanly duties”. Thanks for the kind words.

  • Helen K.

    Dan @103
    Your dad taught you well.
    I also admire a couple of other comments you’ve made recently, but don’t know that they are on this thread. I’d have to look. Perhaps I’ll hunt up your blog. So much to read I’m neglecting my “womanly duties”. Thanks for the kind words.


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