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Forging Men for the Kingdom Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, The Kings College Research Fellow, The Acton Institute

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Presentation on theme: "Forging Men for the Kingdom Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, The Kings College Research Fellow, The Acton Institute"— Presentation transcript:

1 Forging Men for the Kingdom Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, The Kings College Research Fellow, The Acton Institute

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3 Crab A Paddle Uninitiated Passive Immature Wounded Posers Deep Questions About Identity/Purpose As A Man

4 Passive Fathers Overmothering Physical and Emotional Abuse Idolatry/Sin As A Way to Measure Masculinity (women, work, success)

5 As many as 90 percent of the boys who are being raised in church will abandon it by their 20th birthday. Many of these boys will never return.

6 What happened? Hiding, posing... I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid (Gen. 3:10) Faking through life Success at all cost Hiding (work, t.v.) Easy battles Fighting being exposed; masks; costumes; thug-life; being hard Im on my own

7 What does the Church expect of men?

8 Bored, Passive, Checked Out

9 Angry, Hard, Unstoppable

10 Dead Men, Dead Church You cannot have a thriving church without a core of men who are true followers of Christ... Few Churches model mens values: risk and reward, accomplishment, heroic sacrifice, action and adventure... --David Murrow, Why Men Hate Going To Church

11 Unfinished Men A boy has to learn to become a man from other mens active formation (Proverbs 1-5ff; 1 Tim 5:1, Titus 2:6, 1 Peter 5:1- 5, 1 John 2:13-15, Proverbs 27:17). Masculinity is bestowed God exposes holes; incompleteness; places that still need developing, fathering

12 Kill the men, win the war Build the men, change the world Boys beyond men? Are the boys really the problem?

13 Overmothering/Emasculation When mothers turn to their sons for the emotional support they fail to receive from husbands My parents never divorced; they just lived separate lives under the same roof. But as the older son, I became my mom's surrogate spouse. It took me years to figure out what I had gone through. I'm 36, am a solid Reformed Christian, have a good job as a big-firm lawyer, and generally enjoy life. But I'm absolutely ruined as far as relationships are concerned. I give time to my church, work a lot, and use my spare time to travel the globe. I don't even bother dating anymore. Extremes: misogyny/SSA

14 Rescue and Initiation

15 The Stages of the Masculine Journey

16 What do boys need at different stages of the Creatista

17 2 to 1 What do we ask high school boys to do in the life of the church? Is Christianity something you do? What do our boys see from watching adult Christian men? How do we encourage aggression and courage?

18 Beloved Son Birth to 12-years-old(ish)Luke 2:41-52 Exploration, safety, affirmation, wonder Knows hes the beloved sonhe is his fathers delight and his Fathers (God) delight Stunted: loss of innocence (death, divorce, abuse); passive father leaves the question unanswered; violent, abusive father says, no; SSA © David P. Hall/Corbis

19 Explorer Ages 13 to 25ish1 Sam 17:29-39 Time of testingfacing challenges, trials, adventure, work; must submit to worlds rules; not the center of the universe Questions: can I do it, am I the real deal, do I have what it takes? learned through experience with other men; affirmed and validated Learning what aggression is for; battle If unanswered, he will search forever (work, women, sports, etc.) Stunted: Kitchen-window boys, no experiences to affirm among men, uninterpreted failure

20 Warrior Ages 18-35ishFight the good fight1 Tim 6:12 Fight, learn not to give up, fierceness, virtues of courage and self-discipline, meets war/battle, choose to engage Sports, debate, battle for truth, fights for a cause, put in situations where he must fight Stunted: when taught that all aggression is wrong (castrated), exerts aggression and it fails, no one to teach them how to fight, no cause, wrong cause, no king (strong leader, mentor to follow)

21 Lover What is the greatest thing a man can do? (Matt 22: 36-40) Beginning early 20s (Psalms) Not about women but an aesthetic conversion; a love of beauty; passions of the heart; a move away from the analytical; poetic is far more inspiring than the analytical David knows God through intimacy; loving creation, loving the law Cant love a woman well if he is not in love with God; can know information about God but with a passionless heart Beauty, music, art, poetry, story, epic, story, myth, legendbut where?

22 Lover Stuntedget the woman to soon (SOS 2:7); after the explorer, into the warrior stage; fail with a woman, undeveloped when boys are taught spirituality as analysis; kept from beauty, passion (cant dress himself?) Boys need to learn how to cultivate and develop love and passion Braveheartfought like warrior poets

23 King Around 40ish2 Samuel 5:12 Time of ruling, entrusted with power when can you entrust a man with power? (if improperly initiated he will do great damagemarriage, family, work, tyrant) My life is for the service of others Wounded/Broken: No beloved son stageno gifts, toys, play; No explorer stage spends life on adventures (golf, hunting, sailing GONE) No warriorpicks fights to prove that hes a warrior (church splitsweak kings abusing others to try to get a sense of strength); Undeveloped Loverdumps wife no. 1 and gets a new fresh one, chases the beauty (Prov. 5)

24 King What are you ruling over, who are you fighting for, where are you bringing the kingdom for others? Or he wont fight; the kingdoms men warehoused in the church The hardest stagerequires more of you because its for others Have to find love in God because its lonely at the topisolation, no friends, no mentors; Arrogance and pride poisonwont take input from others Leads young warriors Stunted when he is made a king too soonyou are the man of the house no; or never given a mini-kingdom while he was young to learn; betrayal

25 Sage 60ish and up (Apostle Paul) Counseling and wisdom Kingdom gets smaller; retires; influence is larger than evercounseling others No moving to Florida or Arizonabringing your wisdom to younger men Deep, deep communion and conversation with God Stunted: dismissal as too old

26 @#$$&!! Now what? Without proper development, stages will be mishandled At a stage but not ready for it God will take you back and mature men through what is needed (Luke 2:52; Luke 4, Isa 61) Band of Brothers toward the Cross

27 More Sources Fathered By God, John Eldredge Season of Life, Jeffrey Marx The Church Impotent, Leon Podles Why Men Hate Going to Church, David Murrow Fine Young Man, Michael Gurrian A Parents Guide To Preventing Homosexuality, Joseph Nicolosi

28 Forging Men for the Kingdom Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, The Kings College Research Fellow, The Acton Institute


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