While I stress over finals, Jeff Keuss over at Theology KungFu makes a typically cutting observation about the emergence of two “types” of men/masculinity in Christian culture:
I work alongside young men in their early 20s who continue to choose essentially two paths:
(1) entwine themselves with charismatic 21st century Robert Bly/Iron John/’Wild at Heart’ types who spin tales of manhood as a thing forged in the Black Forest amidst the terror of hordes of Orcs, framed in the flickering light of epic battles of yore, and promise mentorship in exchange of unswerving allegiance. In short, many of the neo-Calvinist church plants catering to middle class America who see manhood as certainty of strength through force of will rather than faith, hope and love and as the mark and virtue of a true man fall into this camp.
(2) The disenfranchised/misunderstood/maligned socially aware social justice artist who sees the role of manhood framed as the critic par excellence. These young men fall into the hippie cum grunge cum slacker cum ‘have-hoodie-and-iPod-will-travel’ aesthetic that dance on the edge of things often journaling in the coffee shop while the world burns around them. This is the underachiever who is the overly idealistic and tells all who listen what is wrong and how things should be yet won’t step out to change things beyond the sphere of their shaker snow globe of well-meaning egalitarianism.
Is there another model? Is there some option beyond these polar extremes?
Ah! It burns . . . it burns!!!