Ever since the first grumblings of the modern feminist movement began in the early 1960s, the traditional roles of men and women have been under constant attack. With the gradual decline of the working class in America, our fathers have been slowly trading sweat-soaked blue-collars for permanent-press white or gray collars. Along with their uniform change they have also traded 40-50 hour workweeks for 60-70 hour ones. This supposed upgrade had the little-noticed effect of removing dad from the family equation and leaving mom at home alone to raise the children.

This trend toward essentially one-parent homes left a gaping role-model hole where Dad was supposed to be. Since he was always at work (either physically or mentally), Mom was left to provide not only the female but also the male role to their developing sons and daughters. Danielle Crittenden’s book, What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman, published in 1999, made this case quite clear. But the male counterpart to this book never arrived. While Crittenden argued that feminism failed in delivering its promises of fulfillment and equality for the modern woman, the boys were left to fend for themselves. Although several books appeared—John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart immediately comes to mind—they were all stop-gap measures that encouraged men to take up manly activities on the weekend to satiate the testosterone that was going to waste during the workweek typing spreadsheets and giving sales presentations. Even though the intentions of the authors were good, this weekend-warrior advice only served to guarantee that fathers would be out of the house even more often, effectively worsening the problem.

Thinking Straight in a Crooked World

Thinking Straight in a Crooked World

Left to our crooked nature, we can never fully understand what God has planned for us and His world. God has not left us without a corrective solution. He has given us a reliable reference point in the Bible so we can identify the crookedness and straighten it. Gary DeMar shows the power of biblical thinking and the desperate need for it in the church today. Thinking Straight in a Crooked World is designed to identify the bends in the road of ideas and repair them with biblical, straight thinking.

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The role of the absent father was not missed on Tyler Durden—the “Mr. Hyde” personality of the protagonist in the film, Fight Club (also released in 1999)—where Durden makes the connection that earthly fathers were models for God and when the fathers bailed out, God did too. Durden makes this point very clear when he tells the nameless narrator: “You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you, in all probability, he hates you.” Durden’s response came through fighting and dominating—and in some cases terrorizing—others.

On today’s podcast, Gary answers a listener question about the Bible and masculinity. Are Christian men to be domineering and forceful, or kind and gentle? Gary discusses many experiences that he had in his own life and various influences that informed the man he is today. Along the way he recommends the book of Proverbs, conversations, and lots of patience and honesty. He also discusses the show “Say Yes to the Dress” and teaches what a Rolodex is. Listen now to learn much more about what it means to be a real man.

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