April 6, 2016 / Carolyn Custis James

The Masculinity Crisis

In this fallen world, an appalling global crisis faces women and girls that is imperative for the church to engage. Our goal goes well beyond merely addressing and eradicating injustice and suffering. We must work for the full flourishing of every one of God’s daughters.

But God also has sons. And what we often fail to recognize is that they are in as much trouble as women and girls.

In staggering numbers, men and boys are marginalized, abused, trafficked, objectified, and trapped in poverty. They are on both the giving and the receiving ends of the injustice and violence we hear about every day.

Beginning this week, Discover the Word is running a series of podcasts on Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World. This discussion takes up the subject of the current masculinity crisis.

“The malestrom is the particular ways in which the fall impacts the male of the human species—causing a man to lose himself, his identity and purpose as a man, and above all to lose sight of God’s original vision for his sons.” —Malestrom

Every man and boy (even those who seem to have it all) is a perpetual target of the malestrom.

In researching Malestrom, I wanted to know if and how the Bible speaks into this masculinity crisis. Do we have a message for men and boys that anchors their identity, invests them with dignity and purpose, and leads to their true flourishing as God’s sons?

Mart De Haan and my good friend Elisa Morgan are the program hosts. I love interacting with them and deeply appreciate how seriously they are taking this subject. I’m only sorry you can’t see the intensity on their faces as they raise important questions and together we wade into current global issues confronting men and boys. Brian Hettinga does a masterful job of narrating the series.


L to R: Mart De Haan, Elisa Morgan, Brian Hettinga

This podcast series not only delves into contemporary masculinity issues, it explores how the the Bible speaks into those issues with a radical gospel/Jesus vision of manhood. That vision outstrips every definition of masculinity swirling in today’s world, including definitions often embraced by the church. Trace every current of the malestrom, and you will end up talking about patriarchy. We do that too. Our discussion includes powerful redemptive stories of men in the Bible who battle the malestrom and emerge to reveal the brand of masculinity Jesus came to recover.

This was the third time I’ve been invited to discuss my work on DTW. Previously I discussed Half the Church with hosts Haddon Robinson and Alice Mathews and The Gospel of Ruth with the current DTW team. Those podcasts are still available on the DTW website.

Malestrom podcasts are available here. Session 1:  “Let’s Begin a Study Called Malestrom” was posted on Monday, March 4. The series will continue for a couple of weeks. All sessions will be available online, so you can listen at your own pace.

This level of in-depth coverage is pretty rare. And, of course, I consider the topic to be crucially important for the men and boys we love, as well as for the health and flourishing of the church.

I hope you’ll check it out.