Larry Crabb. This new edition includes: Epilogue from Dr. Don Hudson. Authentic and Inauthentic. Recipe Theology.
We struggle to live in community with each other. Maybe our lives are moving toward a kind of maturity that will open our mouths and leave Satan speechless. But never as a permanent adjustment. And that is true victory. Permit us to introduce ourselves to you: three men, each with a story to tell — stories of sadness, joy, failure, success, boredom, passion, vengeance, and love. Join us in thinking through what it means to be a man, to live as God intended men to live. The kid in the front row with the rascally grin — that one on the far left — is me at age four.
It is a strange feeling to look at myself more than sixty years later and wonder what lay behind that attention-grabbing smile. My mind drifts from that picture and wanders off in several directions. I remember when I was about thirty.
Men of Courage: God's Call to Move Beyond the Silence of Adam (Formerly Silence Of Adam, The)
I can see myself joking, teasing, entertaining — engaging each of the folks I had just taught, with what my memory tells me was a noisy grin, not unlike the one in the picture. After everyone left but my wife and I, Evelyn approached me with a knowing, somewhat troubled look. I immediately felt caught, more than a little unnerved. But I managed to remain casual.
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Okay, why? Another memory. I was maybe twelve.
Men of Courage: God’s Call to Move Beyond the Silence of Adam
On vacation with my parents and brother, I was spending the night in a log-cabin motel in the mountains of upper New York, just outside the sleepy village of Schroon Lake. My bed was the top bunk. A window opened onto the moonlit lake bordered by a thousand pine trees. I remember lying on my bunk, staring out the window, utterly caught up in the majesty of the scene.
An irresistible sense that I was part of something big, something beautiful, crept into my awareness. In all my life, it was perhaps the closest thing to a call from God I ever heard. I knew that I fit, I knew that I was part of a larger story, and I felt stirred. I had something to give that would make a difference.
I was thrilled, excited; I felt lifted up into a dimension I had never before seen. But I was also frightened, terrified with a fear that wanted to paralyze me. Another memory comes to mind as I write. As a child growing up in Plymouth Meeting, a tiny suburb of Philadelphia, my bedroom was at the end of a long hallway.
One night I was lying in bed, reading my Bible. I was perhaps thirteen. I quickly hid my Bible beneath the sheets and grabbed a comic book. Dad would have been delighted to see me reading the Bible. Why did I deny him that joy? Why did I prefer to be seen with a comic book?
Ask Mother what I was like as a youngster, and — as she has done many times — she will immediately reply, with a look of fond exasperation, He was a rascal! During my growing-up years, all the way through high school and college, I worked hard to be silly. No one who knew me then ever guessed that I felt called by God and that I read my Bible. The fact that I write serious books rather than cartoons has surprised most of my teenage friends.
Have I been trying for years, from kindergarten on, to hide my substance behind nonsense? Did I joke with our Bible study friends to keep them from taking me too seriously? Did the notion that I had something to say to this world terrify me? Was I a rascal in order to run away from a primitively sensed calling to be a man, to deny the dreams that were forming within me? I wonder if the prospect of moving into my world as the person I know I am still terrifies me, perhaps enrages me, and leaves me feeling isolated, disconnected, lonely.
These thoughts enter my mind as I stare at the grinning four-year-old that was — and perhaps still is — me. As I keep looking at the picture, an entirely different line of thinking comes to mind. I have no recollection of it, but I cannot imagine the Sunday school teacher was especially pleased with my rascally smile.
If I close my eyes and visualize her presumed disapproving look, I can feel a strange pleasure, a definite feeling of satisfaction. Perhaps I like it that way. A little rebellion tastes good. Maybe there is a good kind of rebellion, a spunkiness, a courage to live authentically, even at the cost of not fitting in.
Maybe it is the courage to dream. Whatever it is, I like it. A seminary employed me as a professor for seven years — and then asked me to leave. My presence did not sit well with some of their constituency. Looking back, I can see a hundred things I said and did that would understandably trouble them. Many of those things were immature, and some were sinful; a few I would do again. Releasing who I am feels like dangerous business. I just may be a rebellious rascal, with a mischievous grin on my face, more often than I realize.
Men of Courage: God's Call to Move Beyond the Silence of Adam by Crabb: New | eBay
But neither rebellion nor rascalness defines me. Something else is more central to my being.
I am a masculine reflection of the character of God. I was designed to move into and through my world with laughter and hope.