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Friday, September 20, 2019

Boys Will Be Boys—Good! with Mark Galli

Boys Will Be Boys—Good!

In “The World Calls Them Otherwise, God Calls Them Good,” the perpetually wise Sarah Condon begins,
Boys are deemed too intense, too loud, too active. They misbehave earlier and more demonstrably than most girls. They have a much higher rate of diagnosis for challenges like ADHD and mood disorders. They spend more time in detention than their female peers. …To be honest, the world can feel like it is geared towards really well-behaved girls. Education definitely feels this way. Expecting children to sit for seven hours a day with few breaks in between is how many children in our country do school.
There are not a lot of places that boys can be themselves anymore. And I write that with hesitancy. People often take that to mean that bad behavior should be condoned. Nope. I just mean, for God’s sake, let them speak in loud, excited voices about dragons and understand that no recess means no one is learning math at 2pm.
And she concludes, “There are so few places where boys can feel like they are not constantly out of place. I hope that home is one of them. And I hope that church can be one too.”
Christianity Is So Today
The reasons for reveling in the story of the church’s decline are many. Some see the church as a glass half-full and badly cracked. Others pin their hopes on decline because it signals a funeral for God, and as Dostoyevsky put, “If God does not exist, Without God, everything is permitted.” Other still have a vested interest in the narrative of decline, because it creates a market for their books and programs on church renewal. (Yes, the last sentence is cynical, and applies only to a minority of such authors, to be sure).
So some people have a bias to see the church in a negative light. But that doesn’t mean the church is free of enormous challenges. It doesn’t even mean that some churches might not dwindle into oblivion. It just means that human beings remain perpetually drawn to mystery and are troubled by the seeming tragedy of existence. And there is no better place to ponder and wrestle with such than in the church, where the curious and perplexed live in “the old, old story” week by week.
Two recent books reviewed in Christianity Today make this point in different but complementary ways.
‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’
This 1963 movie was the first I saw on a theater. It was a comedy. I remember laughing in the dark with my friends as the huge screen flickered before us. Sometimes I laugh at the mad, mad, mad, world of today. And sometimes not.
In “How Identity Politics Drove the World Mad philosopher Roger Scruton reviews Douglas Murray’s The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race, and Identity. It’s not a rant but, as Scruton is wont to do, brings insight into our current madness:
As Douglas Murray shows … the emerging world of censorship is a world without forgiveness, in which people are condemned for what they are rather than what they do, and in which the real virtues and vices that govern our conduct are ignored altogether as irrelevant.
The silver lining, in my view anyway, is that the extremes described in the book and review are just that. People with sane eyesight recognize how crazy mob behavior is. And in my experience, most people—at least people who don’t spend much time on social media—tend to be sane.
It’s a Big, Big, Big, Big Solar System
How big? Watch this video to put the distances between our sun and the planets into true scale. Another instance of “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the [unfathomable!] work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1).
Grace and Unfathomable Peace,

Mark GalliMark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today

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