Perpetual Boys and the Empty Pew

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As Father’s Day approaches, Touchstone magazine challenges the church to recognize an often ignored biblical truth, overlooked even in many of our annual Father’s Day sermons. Fathering is not about some abstract idea of “family values” or “quality time.” Fathering is not even first of all about being a “Christian role model” isolated from the people of God. First and foremost, fathering is about the church.  Louis R. Tarsitano hits the target when he identifies the gaping problem of ecclesiologically deadbeat dads:

“Given the hard work that it takes to be a Christian man, it isn’t surprising that around the world every Sunday morning perpetual boys throng the golf courses, sleep off Saturday night, or otherwise occupy themselves with pleasures instead of worshiping their God in his Church.  The may even feel like he-men for doing so, but they’re not.  They are leaving a hole in their families, where a grown-up Christian man is supposed to be. They are leaving a hole in the churches, where boys are meant to learn how to be Christian men from the society of Christian men, and where girls are meant to learn from observation the difference between a godly man and a moral slob.”

This entire issue, on men and fathers, is important and engrossing.  And the magazine itself is consistently worth twelve times the subscription price.

We live in a fearful and cowardly time. The crisis we face is not a crisis of clarity but a crisis of courage.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Public Theologian at Christianity Today and Director of Christianity Today’s Public Theology Project.