Why Men Hate Going to Church - David Murrow

I have a love-hate relationship with this book.
On the one hand, I was annoyed with the way he portrayed women - I know, it was a stereotype to highlight the differences between men and women, but as a woman it annoyed me. I felt judged whilst reading it, and that my feminine qualities were somehow the reason men couldn't worship alongside me.

I'm probably being oversensitive about that. Maybe it's that time of the month.

I also really didn't like the way he separated Jesus into two separate characters who he called 'lamb Jesus', who he spoke of in quite a derogatory manner, and 'Lion Jesus' who he insisted never demonstrated gifts of the spirit such as being gentle, loving or patient. Painting a picture of schizophrenic Jesus by parodying two different sides of his personality felt very uncomfortable to me.

On the other hand, the book is very readable and makes some interesting points. Near the beginning he gives two lists of characteristics and asks which list best describes the church. Naturally you lean towards the list that doesn't include 'aggression', but has 'nurturing' listed. He then points out that these lists were actually taken from 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus'.

Men and Women are different and want different things, but whether this is inherent or the fault of culture is a whole other debate. Murrow points this out when he talks about targeted advertising. I couldn't help wandering though, aggression is surely not something we should be striving for when the bible asks us to be 'peace-loving'. 'Men are from Mars' is a secular psychology book, not a biblical guide. Just because our culture says men should behave one way, doesn't necessarily mean that our churches should emulate that to make men feel more comfortable.

'Why Men Hate going to Church' does raise interesting questions, the church certainly is losing men in their droves, but I'm not sure that the conclusions Murrow draws from that are entirely helpful.


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