“We Make Too Much of Gender… Manhood is Not Something to Be Proved or Achieved” Book Review by B. Lea of “Man Enough” by N. Pyle
(Link): How the Other Half Reads: What I Learned from a Book on Manhood by B. Lea
- And so, once Nate Pyle’s new book, Man Enough: How Jesus Redefines Manhood, arrived on my doorstep, it went straight to the top of the teetering “to-read” pile on my nightstand.
- The Indiana pastor addresses the current conception of masculinity in our church and culture, which expect men to prove themselves with strength, productivity, athleticism, and coolness.
- Pyle identifies the deep feelings of unworthiness that these standards produce in men, often seen in an aggressive competitiveness borne out of their fears of being seen as a “not-man.” Who can live up to our cultural idols of masculinity: the suave appeal of James Bond, the athletic prowess of NBA all-stars?
- … Manhood, then, is not something to be proved or achieved: it is something to be affirmed as men pursue the example of Jesus, the perfect man.
- …While Pyle honors gender distinctions, he attributes much of our polarization over gender roles to social norms adopted in post-industrial 20th-century America. Both believe that we have made too much of gender. In Richard Rohr’s words: “The category of human is deeper than any cultural definitions of male or female or gender…..
- …For if our theology is properly Christocentric, then our exhortations and encouragements should be true and helpful to men and women alike.