Larry Crabb, The Silence of Adam
The Silence of Adam by Larry Crabb (and Don Hudson & Al Andrews) is a good read. I say “good” not “great” because the format of the book is often choppy and wandering. It could use some better editing.
Nonetheless, the thesis of the book is right on. It’s one that we men need to hear: Adam, the first man, sinned in the garden by remaining passive and silent when confronted with temptation. Ever since, men have followed in Adam’s passive, sinful footsteps. However, Jesus Christ (the 2nd Adam) has come to earth and succeeded where the first Adam, and all of us other men, have failed. Instead of passively falling to temptation, Jesus actively obeyed the Father–even to the point of dying on the cross. In so doing, Jesus has provided a way for us men to live the redeemed, masculine lives that God originally created us to live.
Unlike many books on Christian manhood/masculinity, this books argues that true manhood is to be found only through gaining a lofty view of Christ and through living a life of regular, deep repentance. For this, I am very thankful.
Here’s a few favorite quotes:
“My dream boils down to a sentence as simple as it is profound: If men become men, the world will change.”
“This book is a call to return to old paths, not to give up the good lessons that modern Christian thinking has taught us but to go back to a much stronger focus on finding ourselves by losing ourselves in Christ. I want to see us push aside our efforts to solve our problems, heal our pain, and recover our self-esteem! I want to clear the stage for Christ to fill the spotlight; I want to fix our attention so completely on his beauty and power that every other thought is scented with his fragrance…Worshiping him, praying to him, eagerly looking for him throughout all the Scriptures, humbling ourselves before him in brokenness over our pride and our lukewarm devotion, waiting upon him to fill us with his Spirit, serving him with single-minded purpose and a passion that consumes all others: these are the old paths to which we must return.”
“Men who ask ‘What should I do?’ are often asking another question, a far more disturbing one: ‘Do I have what it takes to do what a real man is called by God to do?’ That question, of course, stays undercover. It makes us too uncomfortable. But it’s there; we can’t completely hide from it.”
“Men were designed to remember God and to move with courage into regions where there is no code. Because we were designed that way, something feels out of whack when we play it safe. And we know it. Every time we back away from something that we’re too scared to face, we sense that something’s not right. But we’re too scared to explore what’s wrong.”
“We continue to walk the path to maturity when we admit how deeply we long for a father, a man who walks ahead of us, letting us know what is possible and calling us to follow, and a brother, a peer whose struggles and compassion encourages us to make ourselves known to him as we walk together. When the reality hits us, as it will for most men, that we have neither father nor brother, the overwhelming disappointment can either turn into bitterness or it can drive us to seek God with all our hearts and to become fathers and brothers for other men. For those few who know the joy of being well fathered and richly brothered, the calling is not merely to enjoy these blessings but to provide the same ones for others.”