Tossing fuel on the fire...

(Tim) There's a parable in this blog post by the Atlantic's star correspondent, James Fallows, and I'm foolish enough to hope others see it...

The question isn't whether each side has its weaknesses and dangers. Yes, even if it's a med-vac flight and the patient is dying, the Japanese might not fuel the plane if their protective cuff is missing. And the Chinese might be siphoning from a barrel of olive oil.

The trick is to get the Japanese to appreciate the Chinese drive to accomplish something, and not simply to put on a good show; and the Chinese to appreciate the dangers the Japanese avoid by being meticulous.

(Thanks, John.)

Comments

You mean you see it as an example/parable of approaches to courtship?

If so, I agree. The trouble with the modern courtship movement is that all the rules/procedures etc they have added, have gotten into diminishing returns. They're actually preventing potentially 'good' courtships from happening at all!

Will come back to the posts on courtship, as a single man I have views aplenty.

Finally, the large number of Christian single women vis a vis Christian single men, is *not* about Christian men failing to rise to the challenge. The real reason is this: Our evangelism works far better with adult women than adult men, with the result that the good men have no trouble in finding someone because of the "surplus of women" which our evangelism generates. The "rest" of the men, of whom I am one, are another matter. When the women ask where the good men are, the answer is, "already married, actually".

The fix for this: get our evangelism with men right, and Promise Keepers, although they seem to be loathed by the reformed wing of the church, are a huge step in the right direction.

Nice to see somebody actually using Facebook, lol...

Ross,

Evangelilism a great place to start, the best place. However, a ton of anecdotal evidence that I've received -- from Christian women, especially at ostensibly Christian schools, including from the male and female staff at those schools -- is that the Christian men are way, way behind the curve as far as Christian formation and even as far as mere human maturity. Yes, there are exceptions. That's the problem -- these guys (who ought to be "ordinary") are, in fact, exceptional.

So, here we have a strata of the church -- male, single, evangelized enough that they're professors of the faith -- who are, nevertheless, way, way behind the curve. What to do?

I don't see anyone doing much. Promise Keepers? They're a band-aid. What's missing, it seems to me, is another strata -- the mature Christian man, who is qualified to sit in the gate, who takes the young men and brings them along to spiritual, masculine maturity. These men are even more exceptional.

You wrote:

... What's missing, it seems to me, is another strata -- the mature Christian man, who is qualified to sit in the gate, who takes the young men and brings them along to spiritual, masculine maturity. These men are even more exceptional.

This is one thing Promise Keepers are trying to encourage - but really, only for the married men. We work with families, and with couples preparing to marry. But no-one seems to be committed to working with the single men, and that is where I see some profound gaps.

The other part of your question is, are the women complaining about all men or the single men? By definition, and because of the difference in numbers, a single man with his game together will not be single for very long. It is the single men left over, where the work is needed.

Well, if i may, it seems that Tim sees this more as a parable of the situation in the FV (the "fuel on the fire" title gives me that impression as well). If one were to "throw them alongside" one another, the FVist would be the Chinese, who are trying in their own ad hoc manner to get something done in the Church; and the Japanese are your staunch TRs, who want to make sure that every theological I is dotted and T crossed before they even think about trying to accomplish something.

Indeed, the trick is to get the "Japanese" to appreciate the "Chinese" effort, notwithstanding they don't do it exacting "aeronautical" (Reformed theological) precision.

>Indeed, the trick is to get the "Japanese" to appreciate the "Chinese" effort, notwithstanding they don't do it exacting "aeronautical" (Reformed theological) precision.

Spot on.

Fr. Bill

I'm one of those ordinary guys, single and a heart for young men. That came to me because when I was growing up, and Tim should know some of this, but especially Stuart Briscoe, influenced my life so as to disciple me through men at our church. They taught me how to grow in Christ through service, and how that would build me up into better service to our Lord.

We can go through all kinds of systems, and through programs that will certainly help, but the church has all that she needs when she responds to Jesus Christ. He built His church on the concept of making disciples, more so than getting converts. When we are open to His leading in a church, it should be natural that we put into place means and ways to disciple young men, and of course young woman also.

All members within a church can be reached to growth, when we allow Christ to lead us into these circumstances. Unfortuneatly, too many churches feel that they can not put together a good program, well they just need to let those thoughts go, and be open to what Christ wants to do in their midst. It just takes one soul to be open to His leading to take the first step and then watch what He will do with faith that is exercised. Yes, it is most often a matter of faith, rather than anything else... faith sees through what seems impossible, and when understood as coming from Him who is the founder of His church, it can be accomplished in the simplest of ways.

While programs like Promise Keepers are good, they will not meet what is needed at the church level. All these types of programs simply meet a certain need, but they fail to build men at the daily level of life. That's where discipleship is needed, and if it's not in place at your church, ask God to make it so.

Ralph

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