Some big news for us this week.
It’s Good To Be A Man is a #1 best seller on Kindle right now:
If you purchased a copy, thank you for helping us achieve this.
Would you leave us a review to keep our ratings high?
We are expecting the inevitable 1-star review-bombs from angry white knights and triggered feminists, so having a lot of honest reviews—especially from verified purchasers—will help off-set this.
Click here to leave a review
If you haven’t yet purchased the book, or you’re waiting for the dead tree version, let us whet your appetite with a brief guide to some of the key concepts we cover. These are largely taken from Chapter 9 (No Gravitas, No Manhood) and Chapter 10 (Gravitas Through Duty):
Every boy is born male—but manhood is something you must grow into. And to mature, you need the love and discipline of a father. In other words, to become a father, you must have a father.
Without fathers, sons remain boys. They grow up clueless about how to harness and aim their masculine natures. They are functional bastards, perpetually in a state of arrested development and destructive to society.
Even unbelieving sociologists can see this.
But it’s not too late if your own earthly father has failed you—the formula is simple:
Find a faithful church that will disciple you. Submit yourself to it. Grow up.
What does “grow up” mean?
It means getting gravitas—a virtue which refers to a man’s seriousness, his dignity, his weight (translated literally). You can’t inherit it, and you can’t fake it.
Gravitas is the result of having settled into your Christian identity as a man, when you become proficient at reflecting the glory you were made to reflect. And this begins with the fear of the Lord.
A good place to check your own maturity is in your speech: Gravitas means avoiding the pitfalls of either self-seriousness or mockery. [For an in-depth article on speech and humor, see our piece Are You Serious? on CrossPolitic »]
Scripture describes the virtues, duties, and traits that are integral to manhood. By focusing on these, you can more easily order your life around God to reflect His glory.
We see a triad of masculine virtues in Scripture:
- Wisdom (your grasp of what is happening in your world, and how to act accordingly);
- Workmanship (your developed ability in the talents God has given you);
- Strength (your ability to work while bearing weight).
If you combine these virtues, you get three masculine duties that show us what exercising dominion looks like:
- Our first duty is envisioning and planning (wisdom about workmanship);
- Our second is building and supplying (workmanship upheld by strength);
- Our third is guarding and fighting (strength guided by wisdom).
And, when you combine masculine virtues with masculine duties, three masculine traits become clear:
Pursue these things through God’s Word, in the power of His Spirit, and you will build gravitas through duty.
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Much fruit comes from understanding your local context. People mistakenly assume that this is something that needs only to happen in “foreign missions”—but it is just as necessary in the local mission field.
There has never been a more urgent need for local reformation. You don’t have to be a church planter to do this. You just need to be faithful where God has placed you. But you can learn a lot from people who are planting churches, because your work is functionally ancillary to theirs.
As a church planter, Michael likes to approach aspects of his local culture through a threefold lens of adopt, adapt, and reject.
- Adopt: There are things in your local community which are fine as-is. There is no need change them or replace them. So you can simply adopt them.
- Adapt: There are things in your community which, while not essentially bad, need to be tweaked to bring them in line with Scripture. Consequently, work to adapt these things.
- Reject: There are things in your community which are intrinsically immoral and ungodly. These things must be rejected and confronted.
This is a simple framework, but like most simple things it hides layers of complexity. It takes both a lot of time and research to know which is what. It requires that we actively involve ourselves in the community God has sovereignly placed us.
But the ROI is invaluable.
Here are few practical steps you may find helpful:
- mainstream newspapers
- alternative papers
- Wikipedia entries
- Twitter accounts
Pay special attention to recurring issues, issues that cause celebration, and issues that cause woe. Moreover, be sure to read the editorial sections in your papers, as they focus on hot-button issues, and usually seek to draw lines between opposing sides. This will help you understand the “said” values of your community, and inform you about where the greatest resistance to the gospel will be.
Listen to/watch local…
- lectures (given at libraries, college, coffee houses, etc.)
- concerts (big venues and small venues)
- films (mainstream and alternative)
- sermons (what type of preaching does your community hear?)
Pay attention to the content of the songs, lectures, and performances, as they will not only reveal the “said” values of the performers/speakers but also the “said” values of the participants.
Participate in local…
- pool halls
- swim clubs
- play groups
- farmer markets
- coffee houses
- art galleries
- governmental meetings
- homeowner meetings
Pay attention to the demographic makeup of the local people. Lower, middle, or upper class? Black, white, Asian, etc.? Younger or older? Hip, unhip, somewhere between? Families or singles?
How do they speak? Is sarcasm and irony welcomed, or considered rude? Pay special attention to the men. Are they macho, effeminate, or masculine?
This will help you know the actual make-up of your community, and will put a face on what would only be a percentage on a demographic report.
- What are the main industries in your locale?
- Who are biggest employers?
- Which companies are trending up? Which are trending down?
- What are their pay scales? Can it support families?
- What are their company cultures like?
There are thousand questions you could ask, but the key thing is to understand the goal of your questions. That way you will know what to ask at any given time rather than trying to follow a list.
Your objective is to investigate people’s “said” values, in an effort to discover their “actual” values.
- What are their real fears, dreams, and hopes?
- What are the idols that they worship in place of their Creator?
This will inform you in how to preach the gospel to them. Michael’s Big 3 questions he tries to get answers to when developing relationships with new acquaintances are…
- Why are you here? (e.g. job, fame, pleasure, family, etc)
- What do you think is wrong with the world/community/you? (e.g. lack of education, global warming, mankind’s nature, etc)
- How do you intend to fix it? (e.g. education, technology, meditation, etc)
Note that you should rarely ask these exact questions. Use lots of “smaller” questions that inch you toward a correct understanding of the people you’re speaking to. Shared meals are great time to ask these smaller questions. Where are you from? Why did you move here? Do you have siblings? How were you raised? Did grow up “religious?” Etc.
Why is it important for us to be preaching against the revolutionary spirit?
Because we worship a God of order and not of confusion.
Revolution is overturning an existing order in the hope that something better will come out of the chaos. It is basically magical evolutionary thinking applied to politics. Christians are called to apply creational thinking, where the body politic grows and is sanctified in the same way as an individual. We are not called to overturn the order that God has established; we are called to reform it, to bring it into obedience to his will.
Revolutionism is impatient, unwilling to work through the methods that God has ordained. It demands instant sanctification, and according to its own ideals…ideals which are necessarily warped, because instant sanctification isn’t a thing. Rather than recognize that their impatience is sin, and thus part of the problem, revolutionaries assume it is righteous, and part of the solution.
Christians, however, have God’s word to give them a true perspective on history. They understand that when Cain builds a city, this is not a good thing. They understand the motif of the city as indicating the power and order of fallen man throughout Scripture, only to finally be redeemed at the end of history with the garden-city of the New Jerusalem. They understand that God’s people were nomads for generations before being given the kind of dwelling that the fallen flesh lusts for immediately. They understand that to God, a thousand years are as a day, and they are willing to subordinate and mortify their impatience to his will, knowing that his ways are wiser.
There are two revolutions that threaten to demolish our society right now: the revolution being enacted by the Regime (states, Pfizer, WEF, etc)…and the counter-revolution brewing from the Proles.
Churches who have failed to preach against the Regime revolution are going to have utterly no credibility in the eyes of Proles. If the Proles revolt, and the churches preach against them, they will simply look like collaborators, denouncing those who are thwarting their masters. But if churches don’t preach against a Prole revolution, they will be complicit in a lawless power grab that results in untold death and suffering.
If only we had a clear commission that committed us to a principled discipling of our nations into obedience to the full law of Christ, so no one could accuse us of either showing partiality, or fence-sitting…
Using social media? Here are the three goals we have for our social media activity:
- Put pebbles in poeple’s shoes. In other words, throw out things that are worth thinking on, that people are likely to toss around in their minds, and will open them up to consider taking those ideas further, later.
- Send up signal flares. In other words, say things that should be, or once were, obvious—so people know they aren’t alone in thinking them. It’s a way of letting people know they aren’t crazy, and illuminating the landscape for them with concise instruction.
- Sketch out ideas. In other words, test and work out ideas you might want to use in a more developed format later—podcasts, articles, sermons, books, etc. It’s like a loose conversation, or thinking aloud with people.
Now, a few don’ts:
- Don’t use social media to engage in detailed or long arguments, even in good faith. It is too transient a forum; sinking this kind of energy into it is not redeeming the time. Better to do that in a format you can easily refer people to later.
- Don’t let followers make you feel obliged to defend or prove your assertions. It’s OK to simply disagree in most cases, and usually demands for explanations don’t reflect a genuine spirit of learning, but a spirit of contention that is never sated.
- Don’t think of social media as reflective of “real life” relationships. Just because we are friends on social media, doesn’t mean we are friends. The opposite is also true. Michael and Bnonn both unfollow almost everybody as soon as they accept friend requests. This is because they…
- Don’t use social media for consuming content. Heavy consumption kills the creative process and steals your time. You should instead find higher-quality, curated sources.
Stuck and stagnant? You probably don’t need…
- More experts or coaches in your life
- More podcasts, books, or courses
What you need is simple, small, and consistent obedience.
There are at least one or two things in your life right now, which you know are displeasing to the Lord, and bad for you. Start there. Flee these things, and pursue something good in their place.
On a related note, accumulating more experts and more info is often just a way to feel like you are taking action without actually taking action.
But beyond these, my son, be warned: there is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body. (Ecclesiastes 12:12)
The best piece of advice you are likely to receive is to stop reading about how to do something, and just start doing it—regardless of how imperfectly.
New content this week: #
- Michael appears on Crosspolitic to talk It’s Good To Be A Man (start around 49:00)
- Bnonn invites you to sign the Cornerstone Challenge Statement on the primacy of Christ » This is part of his own work of local reformation with other brothers. The goal is to bring faithful Christians together, and to instruct and encourage them in standing firm against tyranny—since institutional churches aren’t doing this. The challenge statement is on the Lordship of Jesus, and its implications for church and state. Although it is Kiwi-focused, it is written so that anyone can sign it as representatives of Christ in their own nations. Check it out, sign it, and share it far and wide.
Read and share this email on the web: #
Talk again next week,
Bnonn & Michael