This page contains an overview and the archives of the Masculinist mailing list as a courtesy for subscribers. Please do not post links to these files, because this is an email list and not a blog.
The Masculinist is motivated by a variety of problems facing men and the church in our society:
- The well-documented societal problems with men: failure to launch/living in Mom’s basement, opioids, poor educational achievement relative to women, rising out of wedlock births, etc.
- The attraction of large numbers of young men into various atheistic, Nietzschean “alt-right” type groups (only a minority of which are actually white supremacist, but all of which have various problems).
- The disproportionate failure of the church to attract committed men. (Contrast with Orthodox Judaism and Islam).
- The universal complaints by pastors that young people, especially young women, can’t seem to find quality spouses.
I started the Masculinist because there were important things that needed to be said about this that weren’t being said by others. This is a topical newsletter; so don’t expect me to say too much about areas outside of my focus, though I may do it from time to time when I think I have something unique to contribute.
This is not a “safe space.” This is not an “irenic” newsletter. In part that’s because the church has gotten a number of very important things wrong, which I intend to critique and correct (see Masc #3, 5, 7, 9, and 11). I fully expect that many of you will decide to unsubscribe. In fact, if I don’t get enough unsubscribes, I’m probably repeating too much conventional wisdom. Nobody needs me for that.
This newsletter is written for Christian men. Others are welcome to subscribe and read, but I am not catering to anyone else’s sensibilities.
I also want to stress that I am a cultural critic, not a theologian or Bible teacher. (And I’m a good one too – one who, for example, saw that Trump was a legitimate contender as far back as November 2015). I do not claim to be an authoritative teacher on Christian doctrine. Since this a Christian newsletter, obviously I have to deal with scripture and doctrine. But this newsletter is in the genre of cultural criticism.
I would also point out that much of what’s written by actual pastors and theologians is also cultural criticism. Consider this 2011 post by Gospel Coalition council member Kevin DeYoung called “Dude, Where’s Your Bride?” It only cites one scripture (1 Cor 16:13) that isn’t even marriage related. This post is cultural commentary and life coaching, not Bible teaching. This is frequently the case with church teaching on sex and relationships. In the genres of cultural criticism and life coaching they may not necessarily be wrong, but they have no more credibility or authority than I or others like Rod Dreher do.
The Masculinist follows several guiding principles:
- Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s famous dictum: live not by lies. We must have the courage to tell the truth, even where uncomfortable. (See Masc #1)
- Build up, don’t just tear down. To that end, every other issue is devoted to practical tips to help you become a better man, or to improve in other ways. My agenda is positive not just negative.
- Only critique people in the public square. I’m not going to tear into people who have not held themselves out as public intellectuals or commentators. I tend to pick on big name people who can defend themselves. And it helps to pick household names most of you already know about. And so on.
- Skin in the game. I’m not going to recommend anything I am not personally doing or did not personally do in similar situations. I may note other items, but explicitly without endorsement.
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The archives are below. The most important issues to bring you up to speed from an analysis and critique perspective are #3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 14, 17, and 18. The practical tip focused issues are #2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16.
#1 – The Trouble With Men (September 2016)
#2 – Skills (October 2016)
#3 – The History of the Church and Men (November 2016)
#4 – How to Make Strong Eye Contact (December 2016)
#5 – What Does It Mean to Be a Man? (January 2017)
#6 – How to Establish a Consistent Prayer Life (February 2017)
#7 – Accountability for Failure (March 2017)
#8 – Stop Apologizing (April 2017)
#9 – Preaching What We Practice (May 2017)
#10 – The International Man of Mystery (June 2017)
#11 – Has the Church Become an Unwitting Enabler of Family Breakdown? (July 2017)
#12 – How to Improve Your Posture (August 2017)
#13 – The Lost World of American Evangelicalism (September 2017)
#14 – An Antifragile Church (October 2017)
#15 – The Structural Weakness of Christian Communities (November 2017)
#16 – Building Relationships (December 2017)
#17 – The Basis of Attraction (January 2018)
#18 – Women and the Attractiveness Curve (February 2018)
#19 – Accentuate the Positive (March 2018)
#20 – The New Memetic Moment (April 2018)
#21 – The Tragic Landscape of Modern Relationships (May 2018)
#22 – Be Above Reproach (June 2018)
#23 – Marrying Up (July 2018)
#24 – How to Respond to Failing Institutions (August 2018)
#25 – What Do We Do About the Friend Zone? (September 2018)
#26 – The Fall of the Household (October 2018)
#37 – Habits of the Home (November 2018)
Here are some other free resources you might be interested in.
- Notes on Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age. This book is extremely important but also very dense. I’ve read it twice and took extensive notes, which are in a zip file organized by chapter. This material makes for good review or discussion document for a reading group.
- Notes on Nassim Taleb’s Incerto. As I noted in Masc #14, Nassim Taleb is a very important thinker whose conclusions are counter-intuitive, profound, and very favorable to Christianity. I have summarized some of the key points from Fooled by Randomness, The Black Swan, Antifragile, and Skin in the Game (new) for your convenience.
- Proverbs on Women and Marriage. Last year I read through the book of Proverbs and extracted every verse on women and marriage, now conveniently compiled into a single document.