Finish training your sons and daughters here in Bloomington...

Here's an interesting article on manhood today. (Or should I say boyhood?) It's the Wall Street Journal so maybe their paywall will keep you out? Teaser:

Except perhaps in very conservative communities, men with sufficient social skills can find sex and companionship without need of a matrimonial commitment (and for those who lack social skills, a willingness to marry is unlikely to provide much compensation). The culture's unrelenting message—repeated in Hymowitz's article—is that women are doing fine on their own. If a woman doesn't need a man, there's little reason for him to devote his life to her service.

George Gilder said it all back in the seventies in a book titled Sexual Suicide (since updated and retitled Men and Marriage). But you know, George Gilder is gauche. Admitting you've read him is sort of like admitting to being a collector of Dennis Rodman memorabilia or a fan of Charles Murray. Anyhow, did you get that "except perhaps in very conservative communities?"

Sadly, I'm not sure Protestant Reformed churches qualify any longer.

In our experience here in a university community where we watch college students individuate from their PCA and Reformed Baptist (including SBC) parents, the prevailing message of Reformed parents to their college and grad student children is that a good education trumps sexual purity and holiness. Of course, they don't put it so honestly. Instead, they tell their daughter that she must... finish college before getting married, she must get established in her profession or finish her graduate degree before having children, she must keep active in her career or profession after having children, she must have only one or two children so she and her husband can afford daycare after their paternity and maternity leaves expire—the list goes on and on.

It's a life sentence.

Being in a university community, we minister in the interface between children awakening from spiritual sloth and unbelief to faith and zeal, and regularly the response of their rich Reformed parents is horror. Horror that their brilliant daughter now wants to be a wife and mother more than she wants to be a world-famous harp player or hip and rich marketing director. Horror that she wants to marry instead of burning. Horror that she wants to stay home and be a mother instead of going to work and being a drone.

And especially fury that her church's elders and their wives encourage and seek to strengthen her in her newfound Christian faith.

But behind those scenes are all the hard work of teaching and admonishing and disciplining young men who were well on their way to living a life of updates, texts, tweets, and selfie narcissism that's finished off each evening with pizza, video games, and masturbation. In other words, our Clearnote Pastors College men, elders, deacons, pastors, and college ministers all work hard to teach and admonish and exhort and encourage the young men of our church to repent and believe in Jesus Christ, and to obey everything He commanded. Consequently, they leave sodomy and fornication and narcissism behind and begin to look for wives and to desire sons and daughters.

I mean, really: could it be any other way for a Reformed church in a college or university community? Must we not live and minister Biblically? Is that not our calling and our vow? Should not the Reformed church be that "very conservative community" the Wall Street Journal speaks of? 

This is why I keep telling readers to send their sons and daughters to Bloomington for their college training. Encourage them to come to Athanasius College. To come to Indiana University and be a part of our campus ministry. To take some Bible or church history or theology classes at Athanasius College while pursuing their IU degree.

Encourage them to get an education while you buy them a piece of paper granted by IU that will assure them of lifelong status and wealth. And that education, need I say it, will come from their time studying at Athanasius College, being taught our David's Mighty Men curriculum, and sitting under the preaching of the Word each Lord's Day.

We are not to raise proud materialists who are risk averse. That's the Reformed world today and its repulsive and faithless. We're to raise up a godly seed and Clearnote Church and Athanasius College and Clearnote Campus Fellowship are here to serve you and your precious sons and daughters in finishing that work so you are able to pass the baton to them. As Freddie Mercury sang, "from father to son to son."

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.


TB quote: ..." life of updates, texts, tweets, and selfie narcissism that's finished off each evening with pizza, video games, and masturbation.."

Uh, have you guys been remote viewing 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue again?

On a more serious note, after over 25 years in retail of one type or another, I can absolutely state that the emasculation of our your young men and the feminizing of our young women continues at an ever accelerating pace......which I think is concurrent with the increased manifestation of evil.

It's good that you are able to offer an oasis from this.

Is your "David's Mighty Men curriculum" available to share? I'd like to know what other churches are doing to build up their men.


Ditto with the above. Aside from trying to tell all the parents to send their kids to you guys, would you be able to make available the curriculum? We have the same plague here in our church as well.

Even some liberals get at least part of this. Camile Paglia had an article in Time today.

"Is it any wonder that so many high-achieving young women, despite all the happy talk about their academic success, find themselves in the early stages of their careers in chronic uncertainty or anxiety about their prospects for an emotionally fulfilled private life? When an educated culture routinely denigrates masculinity and manhood, then women will be perpetually stuck with boys, who have no incentive to mature or to honor their commitments. And without strong men as models to either embrace or (for dissident lesbians) to resist, women will never attain a centered and profound sense of themselves as women."

Dear Matt and Steve, I would be happy to get our DMM curriculum to you. Please email me at sbaker at shepherdchurch dot com.

My impression from admittedly limited experience is that it's mainly the baby boom generation driving female careerism. The younger generation sees the real tradeoffs and wants to hear what the Bible has to say.  The older generation doesn't want the Bible opened on this point.

I suspect one big factor in fathers pushing their daughters into careers and professional success is small families.  There is no son in the family, so the daughter becomes a substitute son to the father.  It astounds me that a father would rather have his daughter be professionally successful, unmarried, and childless even though it means the end of his line. Yet I've seen it happen multiple times.

I've heard other older fathers express regret that they spent much more effort preparing their children for earthly success than for eternal life.  Now their children have left the church.  Don't be that father!

@Stephen Baker - Thanks for respondoing. Email sent.

I would value any advice you have that I can pass on to my fifteen year old son, who is about to go on a date with his first girlfriend.  Both are believers. I would also value any advice you can give me.  Personally I would like to see him married young.


One bit of advice is to be specific with your son about what he may not do with that young woman. Young men and women have a way of being very lawyer-like and technical when they define and consider purity. The church is full of young men and women who consider themselves technical virgins but who are in bondage.

@Roger du Barry

I thought the whole point of the courtship movement was to isolate the teenagers from the dating 'candy' until they really were ready to marry. I can see the point of wanting to get people married young, and that is generally the viewpoint of most of the courtship movement as well ... but what am I missing here?

Dear brothers,

For our sons, I'd certainly buy Man vs. Lust linked to above, in the phrase "leave sodomy and fornication and narcissism behind." Click that phrase and you'll be taken to Amazon's page for the book. It will provide many good talking and teaching points for conversations with your son.



One of your recent blogs, you mentioned teaching class to young Christian women who had "had excellence crammed down their throats" (if I recall clearly) and were practically in tears to learn that they were allowed to want to be mothers and wives first and foremost.

I want to give that link to my daughter, but my searches have failed me. If you remember what I'm talking about, could you please post a link to that entry?

Many thanks,


Dear Tom,

Some possibilities:


Also, I concur with David Baker's comments above.

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