Thursday, June 28, 2007

An article in the July ‘Christianity’ reports on the difficulty Christian women are having finding marriage partners because of the paucity of males in church. As a result of this article I did some head counting at last Sunday night’s service at NCBC. I came up with 32 males against 46 females – that’s a 41%-59% cut. I suppose this isn’t really news. Moreover, the article brought to my mind another article in the September 2006 issue of ‘Christianity’ which raised the question of whether there is room in today’s church for the expression of the masculine. Also, I have written before on an apparent imbalance toward the feminine in contemporary church culture.

I think there is something very deep here, something that’s actually bound up with the very fabric of our world. One senses it when one reads a book like H. G. Wells “The Time Machine”, a book that investigates feminine and masculine traits by separating them out into two different branches of human evolution, the Morlocks and the Eloi. Looking back on history since enlightenment times one sees a twoing and froing between the analytical and the romantic, as these two perspectives, like Wells' Morlocks and Eloi, constantly react against one another. The analytical favours the masculine caricature: objectivity, focus, the impersonal, the mechanical, the unfeeling, the categorical, the rational, knowledge, evolutionary competition, conquest, even war. The romantic favours the feminine caricature: subjectivity, holism, the personal, mystery, feeling, the intuitive, the heart, the irrational, the inner life, gnosis, tenderness and pacifism.

Like some deep underlying geological fault line imposing itself on the geomorphology of the Earth above, there is, I feel, a deep dualism in the way the world is being perceived and this dualism is making itself felt here. That psychological fault line is constituted by a perceived dualism between the inner life of the heart versus the ‘external’ world of apparently impersonal things. This conceptual fault line is not only affecting our weltenshauung but even affects our church culture; as that culture attempts to disconnect itself from the impersonal, it skews itself toward the feminine.

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