Is the concept of moral responsibility compatible with physicalism / materialism?
The middle-of-the-night deal Secretary of State John Kerry (a.k.a. Neville Chamberlain Jr.) pulled off last night has virtually assured the creation of an Iranian centered Shi'ite Caliphate in the region.
Just as Chamberlain's infamous Munich Pact tolled the death knell of millions of Europeans and the enslavement under Nazi rule of most European nations, this agreement guarantees Iranian hegemony and sets up the absorption of most of the region into a greater Iranian state known as a Caliphate.
The Right to Be a Father
Modern technology is changing the definition of fatherhood and the rights that go with it. Consider two cases: (1) A pregnant woman wants an abortion. Her husband does not. Should he have a say in her decision? (2) A woman wants to become pregnant with frozen embryos. Her ex-husband opposes the decision. Should he have a say in the decision? Legally, the answer is no to the abortion case and yes to the frozen embryo case. The 1992 Supreme Court case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, effectively left the decision of whether to have an abortion entirely up to the woman. In that case, when it was under the Court of Appeals review, Judge Samuel Alito wanted to uphold a Pennsylvania law that required women to notify their husbands when seeking an abortion. The Supreme Court did not agree with his position. Listen to the logic of the Court’s position as summarized by Marsha Garrison of the Brooklyn Law School: The courts recognize that the “embryo is in the woman’s body, it’s within her and can’t be separated from her, so it’s not just her decision-making about whether to bear a child, it’s about her body.” In the matter of frozen embryos, the situation changes in the eyes of the law. June Carbone, law professor at theUniversity ofSanta Clara writes, “There’s nothing that involves her physical integrity and there is a notion that this would be a violation of the parenthood of the father” not to take his wishes into account. The watershed case was a 1992 decision by the Tennessee Supreme Court, which ruled that a man could prevent his ex-wife from using or donating embryos that they had created during their marriage in an attempt to have children. Arguably, there is a clear dichotomy in the courts as they view abortion and frozen embryos. This dichotomy is reflected in the comments by Michael McCormick of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children: “A mother can terminate a pregnancy and the father has no say. On the other hand, a mother’s able to make a unilateral decision to keep the child and saddle the father with 18 years of child support.” McCormick’s group is attempting to get the courts to accept the centrality and the simple logic of the father in both abortion and frozen embryo cases.
There is one faulty piece of logic in the comments by Marsha Garrison cited earlier. The issue is not “about her body;” it is about the life growing inside her body. The horror of Roe v. Wade is that it set the legal boundary that the life growing in the mother’s womb has no recognized rights or protection. The 1992 Casey case reinforced this by arguing that the father has no rights either. Once again, the Bible gives us clear guidelines to follow. God’s design is for a male and female to come together in marriage and have children. Both are important in the process and both are of equal value. In addition, the child growing in the mother’s womb is of infinite value and worth as well (see Psalm 139). Currently,US courts are ignoring the simple yet profound guidelines of God’s Word. Until and unless the courts return to those guidelines, confusion will reign.
One final thought on the ethical issue of frozen embryos mentioned above. Typically, when in vitro fertilization (IVF) is used, excess embryos result and those not implanted into the mother’s womb are then frozen and stored in a growing number of clinics throughout the United States. Most estimates now suggest that there are over 500,000 frozen embryos in the United States alone. But the existence of these frozen embryos raises profound ethical and legal challenges. For example, in the spring of 1998, two couples—one divorced, one in the process—had been fighting over what to do with their fertilized ova—four-to-eight celled embryos—that were processed and frozen in happier times. In one case the wife wanted the embryos implanted in her womb and, in the other case, the wife wanted the embryos destroyed. In both cases the husbands fought in court to deny their wives’ wishes. As this practice grows, the legal and ethical issues associated with frozen embryos become more complex. For example, the United Kingdom has a law that frozen embryos cannot be kept frozen for longer than five years. In 1997 over 3000 frozen embryos were nearing that five year threshold and faced destruction. The Vatican condemned the imminent destruction; couples and organizations from all over the world offered to “adopt” the embryos. They were destroyed. In Australia, a couple had previously frozen several embryos, produced through in vitro fertilization, but were tragically killed in a car accident. The legal authorities struggled to determine whether the embryos could legally inherit their parents’ estate.
I believe that a human embryo is a person of value and worth. Therefore, the existence of frozen human embryos requires reflection and serious biblical thinking. Two conclusions seem warranted:
1. Since one of our goals as Christians must be the protection of embryonic life, if “spare embryos” are produced through IVF and they are not used for implantation, it is ethically acceptable for these embryos to be frozen, provided that they are used, via future implantations, to produce a baby, not for experimentation. (This, however, should not be understood to condone IVF, which I believe is ethically wrong. Once human embryos are produced through IVF, their existence is not an ethically neutral issue. Since God is concerned about the human embryo (see Psalm 139:16), as good stewards, we must be too.)
2. Once the embryos are frozen, the major ethical guideline must be to protect them from harm. It is ethically unacceptable to permit these frozen embryos to be used for experimentation of any kind. Rather, the only ethically sound option for frozen embryos is quick implantation in a mother’s womb. Ethicists John and Paul Feinberg write that “. . . while we believe an IVF-conceived embryo has been produced by immoral means, once it exists, there is still an obligation to treat it morally. Killing it or allowing it to die is immoral. Freezing it and later implanting it . . . at the current state of our technology . . . seem the most likely ways to protect the child, and that must be the overriding concern.
See Pam Belluck’s editorial in the New York Times (6 November 2005); Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen, Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, pp. 19-26; James P. Eckman, Christian Ethics (2013 Revised Edition), pp. 50-51
Football and the American Character, by John J. Miller
Director, Herbert H. Dow II Program in American Journalism
The following is adapted from a luncheon speech delivered at Hillsdale College on September 9, 2013.
When we talk about football, we usually talk about our favorite teams and the
games they play. The biggest ongoing story in the sport right now, however, is something
else entirely. It’s not about the Bears vs. the Packers or Michigan vs. Ohio State, but rather the controversy over concussions and the long-term health effects of head injuries.
On August 29, 2013, the National Football League agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit involving more than 4,500 players and their families, who had claimed that the league covered up data on the harmful effects of concussions. Although medical research into football and long-term effects of head injuries is hardly conclusive, some data suggest a connection. A number of legal experts believe the NFL, which will generate about $10 billion in revenue this year, dodged an even bigger payout.
Football, of course, is much bigger than the NFL and its players, whose average yearly salary is nearly $2 million. Football’s ranks include about 50,000 men who play in college and four million boys who play for schools or in youth leagues whose pockets aren’t nearly so deep. A Colorado jury recently awarded $11.5 million to a boy who suffered a paralyzing injury at his high school football practice in 2008. How long will it be before school districts begin to think football isn’t worth the cost?
Earlier this year, President Obama waded into the debate. “If I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football,” he said. He also called for football “to reduce some of the violence.” Others have called for a more dramatic solution: Malcolm Gladwell, the bestselling author of The Tipping Point and other books, thinks football should go the way of dogfighting. He would like to see America’s favorite sport run out of polite society.
So football’s future is uncertain. But the past may offer important lessons. After all, football’s problems today are nothing compared to what they were about a century ago: In 1905, 18 people died playing the sport. Football became embroiled in a long-running dispute over violence and safety—and it was almost banned through the efforts of Progressive-era prohibitionists. Had these enemies of football gotten their way, they might have erased one of America’s great pastimes from our culture. But they lost—and it took the efforts of Theodore Roosevelt to thwart them.
On November 18, 1876, Theodore Roosevelt, a freshman at Harvard who had just turned 18, attended his first football game. Destined for great things, he was enthusiastic about athletics in general and eager to see the new sport of football in particular. So here he was at the second game ever played between Harvard and its great rival Yale.
As Roosevelt shivered in the cold and windy fall weather, he watched a game that was quite different from the sport we know today. There were no quarterbacks or wide receivers, no first downs or forward passes. Before play began, the teams met to discuss rules. What number of men would play? What would count for a score? How long would the game last? They were like school kids today who have to set up boundaries, choose between a game of touch or tackle, and decide how to count blitzes.
Harvard’s veterans agreed to a couple of suggestions proposed by Yale. The first would carry a lasting legacy: Rather than playing with 15 men to a side, as was the current custom, the teams would play with eleven men. So this was the first football game to feature eleven players on the field per team.
The second suggestion would not shape the sport’s future, but it would affect the game that afternoon: Touchdowns would not count for points. Only goals—balls sailed over a rope tied between two poles—kicked after touchdowns or kicked from the field during play would contribute to the score.
In the first half, Harvard scored a touchdown but missed the kick. By the rules of the day, this meant that Harvard earned no points. At halftime, the game was a scoreless tie.
After the break, Yale pushed into Harvard territory and a lanky freshman named Walter Camp tried to shovel the ball to a teammate. It was a poor lateral pass that hit the ground and bounced upward, taking one of those funny hops that can befuddle even skilled players. In a split second, Oliver Thompson decided to take a chance on a kick from about 35 yards away and at a wide angle. The ball soared into the air, over the rope and through the uprights, giving Yale a lead of 1-0. No more points were scored that afternoon.
In a letter to his mother the next day, Roosevelt gave voice to the frustration that so often accompanies defeat in sports. “I am sorry to say we were beaten,” he wrote, “principally because our opponents played very foul.”
More about Teddy Roosevelt and what he did for football in a moment. But first, let me discuss briefly why football matters.
Love for a college football team, whether it’s the Texas Longhorns or the Hillsdale Chargers, is almost tribal. In some cases the affiliation is practically inherited, in others chosen. Whatever the origin, football has the power to form lifelong loyalties and passions and has supplanted baseball as America’s favorite pastime. Yet it almost died 100 years ago. Over the course of an ordinary football season in those days, a dozen or more people would die playing it, and many more suffered serious injuries. A lot of the casualties were kids in sandlot games, but big-time college teams also paid a price.
Football isn’t a contact sport—it’s a collision sport that has always prized size, strength, and power. This was especially true in its early years, when even the era of leatherheads lay in the future: Nobody wore helmets, facemasks, or shoulder pads. During the frequent pileups, hidden from the view of referees, players would wrestle for advantage by throwing punches and jabbing elbows. The most unsporting participants would even try to gouge their opponents’ eyes.
The deaths were the worst. They were not freak accidents as much as the inevitable toll of a violent game. And they horrified a group of activists who crusaded against football itself—wanting not merely to remove violence from the sport, but to ban the sport altogether. At the dawn of the Progressive era, the social and political movement to prohibit football became a major cause.
The New York Evening Post attacked the sport, as did The Nation, an influential magazine of news and opinion. The latter worried that colleges were becoming “huge training grounds for young gladiators, around whom as many spectators roar as roared in the [Roman] amphitheatre.” The New York Times bemoaned football’s tendency toward “mayhem and homicide.” Two weeks later, the Times ran a new editorial entitled “Two Curable Evils.” The first evil it addressed was lynching. The second was football.
The main figure in this movement to ban football was Charles W. Eliot, the president of Harvard and probably the single most important person in the history of higher education in the United States. Indeed, Eliot hated team sports in general because competition motivated players to conduct themselves in ways he considered unbecoming of gentlemen. If baseball and football were honorable pastimes, he reasoned, why did they require umpires and referees? “A game that needs to be watched is not fit for genuine sportsmen,” he once said. For Eliot, a pitcher who threw a curve ball was engaging in an act of treachery. But football distressed him even more. Most of all, he despised its violence. Time and again, he condemned the game as “evil.”
One of Eliot’s main adversaries in the battle over football was Walter Camp, one of the players in the game Teddy Roosevelt watched in 1876. A decent player, Camp made his real mark on football as a coach and a rules-maker. Indeed, he is the closest thing there is to football’s founding father.
In the rivalry between Eliot and Camp, we see one of the ongoing controversies in American politics at its outset—the conflict between regulators bent on the dream of a world without risk, and those who resist such an agenda in the name of freedom and responsibility. Eliot and other Progressives identified a genuine problem with football, but their solution was radical. They wanted to regulate football out of existence because they believed that its participants were not capable of making their own judgments in terms of costs and benefits. In their higher wisdom, these elites would ban the sport for all.
Into this struggle stepped Theodore Roosevelt. As a boy, he had suffered from chronic asthma to the point that relatives wondered if he would survive childhood. His mother and father tried everything to improve his health, even resorting to quack cures such as having him smoke cigars. Ultimately they concluded that he simply would have to overcome the disease. They encouraged him to go to a gym, and he worked out daily. The asthma would stay with Roosevelt for years, but by the time he was an adult, it was largely gone. For Roosevelt, the lesson was that a commitment to physical fitness could take a scrawny boy and turn him into a vigorous young man.
This experience was deeply connected to Roosevelt’s love of football. He remained a fan as he graduated from Harvard, entered politics, ranched out west, and became an increasingly visible public figure.
In 1895, shortly before he became president of the New York City police commission, he wrote a letter to Walter Camp that read as follows:
I am very glad to have a chance of expressing to you the obligation which I feel all Americans are under to you for your championship of athletics. The man on the farm and in the workshop here, as in other countries, is apt to get enough physical work; but we were tending steadily in America to produce . . . sedentary classes . . . and from this the athletic spirit has saved us. Of all games I personally like foot ball the best, and I would rather see my boys play it than see them play any other. I have no patience with the people who declaim against it because it necessitates rough play and occasional injuries. The rough play, if confined within manly and honorable limits, is an advantage. It is a good thing to have the personal contact about which the New York Evening Post snarls so much, and no fellow is worth his salt if he minds an occasional bruise or cut. Being near-sighted I was not able to play foot ball in college, and I never cared for rowing or base ball, so that I did all my work in boxing and wrestling. They are both good exercises, but they are not up to foot ball . . . .
I am utterly disgusted with the attitude of President Eliot and the Harvard faculty about foot ball . . . .
I do not give a snap for a good man who can’t fight and hold his own in the world. A citizen has got to be decent of course. That is the first requisite; but the second, and just as important, is that he shall be efficient, and he can’t be efficient unless he is manly. Nothing has impressed me more in meeting college graduates during the fifteen years I have been out of college than the fact that on the average the men who have counted most have been those who had sound bodies.
As this letter indicates, Roosevelt saw football as more than a diversion. He saw it as a positive social good. When he was recruiting the Rough Riders in 1898, he went out of his way to select men who had played football. The Duke of Wellington reportedly once said, “The battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.” Roosevelt never said anything similar about football fields and the Battle of San Juan Hill, but when he emerged from the Spanish-American War as a national hero—and as someone talked about as being of presidential timber—he knew how much he owed not just to the Rough Riders, but to the culture of manliness and risk-taking that had shaped them.
Like Roosevelt, our society values sports, though we don’t always think about why—or why we should. My kids have played football, baseball, hockey, soccer, and lacrosse. As a family, we’re fairly sports-oriented. It has forced me to think about a question that a lot of parents probably ask at one time or another: Why do we want our kids to participate in athletics?
Many parents will point to the obvious fact that sports are good for health and fitness. They’ll also discuss the intangible benefits in terms of character building—sports teach kids to get up after falling down, to play through pain, to deal with failure, to work with teammates, to take direction from coaches, and so on.
It turns out that there really is something to all of this. Empirical research shows that kids who play sports stay in school longer. As adults, they vote more often and earn more money. Explaining why this is true is trickier, but it probably has something to do with developing a competitive instinct and a desire for achievement.
Roosevelt was surely correct in believing that sports influence the character of a nation. Americans are much more likely than Europeans to play sports. We’re also more likely to attribute economic success to hard work, as opposed to luck. It may be that sports are a manifestation—or possibly even a source—of American exceptionalism.
When Roosevelt ascended to the presidency, football remained controversial and Harvard’s Eliot continued his crusade for prohibition. In 1905, Roosevelt was persuaded to act. He invited Walter Camp of Yale to the White House, along with the coaches of Harvard and Princeton. These were the three most important football teams in the country. “Football is on trial,” said Roosevelt. “Because I believe in the game, I want to do all I can to save it.” He encouraged the coaches to eliminate brutality, and they promised that they would.
Whether they meant what they said is another matter. Walter Camp didn’t see anything wrong with the way football was played. Harvard’s coach, however, was a young man named Bill Reid. He took Roosevelt more seriously, because he took the threat to football more seriously. Indeed, within weeks of meeting with Roosevelt, he came to fear that Eliot was on the verge of success in having Harvard drop the sport, which would have encouraged other schools to do the same.
At the end of the 1905 season, therefore, Reid plotted with a group of reform-minded colleges to form an organization that today we know as the NCAA and to approve a set of sweeping rules changes to reduce football’s violence. In committee meetings, Reid outmaneuvered Camp while receiving critical behind-the-scenes support from Roosevelt.
As a result, football experienced an extreme makeover: The yardage necessary for a first down increased from five to ten. Rules-makers also created a neutral zone at the line of scrimmage, limited the number of players who could line up in the backfield, made the personal foul a heavily penalized infraction, and banned the tossing of ballcarriers.
These were important revisions, and each was approved with an eye toward improving the safety of players. Yet the change that would transform the sport the most was the introduction of the forward pass. Up to this point, football was a game of running and kicking, not throwing. There were quarterbacks but not wide receivers. It took a few years to get the rule right—footballs needed to evolve away from their watermelon-like shape and become more aerodynamic, and coaches and players had to figure out how to take advantage of this new offensive tool. But on November 1, 1913, football moved irreversibly into the modern era.
Army was one of the best teams in the country, a national championship contender. It was scheduled to play a game against a little-known Catholic school from the Midwest. The headline in the New York Times that morning read: “Army Wants Big Score.” The little-known Catholic school was Notre Dame. Knute Rockne and his teammates launched football’s first true air war, throwing again and again for receptions and touchdowns. And they won, 35-14. Gushed the New York Times:
“The Westerners flashed the most sensational football that has been seen in the East this year. The Army players were hopelessly confused and chagrined before Notre Dame’s great playing, and their style of old-fashioned close line-smashing play was no match for the spectacular and highly perfected attack of the Indiana collegians.”
A West Point cadet named Dwight Eisenhower watched from the sidelines. He was on Army’s team but didn’t play due to injury. “Everything has gone wrong,” he wrote to his girlfriend. “The football team . . . got beaten most gloriously by Notre Dame.”
With that game, football’s long first chapter came to a close. It had reduced the problem of violence, and the game that we enjoy today was born.
The example of Roosevelt shows that a skillful leader can use a light touch to solve a vexing problem. As a general rule, of course, we don’t want politicians interfering with our sports. The only thing that could make the BCS system worse is congressional involvement.
At the same time, our political leaders help to shape our culture and our expectations. They can promise a world without risk, or they can send a different message. As a father myself, I can sympathize with President Obama’s cautious statements about football. At the same time, his comments would have benefited from some context: Gregg Easterbrook, who writes a football column for ESPN, has pointed out that a teen who drives a car for an hour has about a one in a million chance of dying—compared to a one in six million chance for a teen who spends an hour practicing football.
Americans are a self-governing people. We can make our own judgments about whether to drive or play football—and when we make these choices, we can make them in recognition of the fact that although sports can be dangerous, they’re also good for us. They not only make us distinctively American, they make us better Americans.
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I have usually found your words to be a source of information and reassurance in my Christian faith, and have often sought out your writings and videos in times of doubt or questioning.
So I was really disappointed, almost shocked, when I read your newsletter of April of this year in which you casually stereotypes men and women, and complain that the church is becoming increasingly feminized, and has difficulties in attracting men.
Your compared the audiences at a couple of your speaking engagements to the audience from a clip of a Downton Abbey Q&A at another location – concluding that they were all men at the former and almost all women at the latter “simply because the Downton Abbey program is highly relational, which is more appealing to women, whereas my talks were principally intellectually oriented, which is more appealing to men.”
I believe that you are using stereotypes here, which you justify by making a ridiculous comparison that holds zero statistical significance. Not only is your statement unreasonable, it is potentially damaging – especially when made so carelessly. Stereotypes are shortcuts in classifying people. They can, and often do, limit and distort the way we perceive others and the world. Stereotypes are a lazy way of thinking that can lead to discrimination, and their use should not be encouraged.
I’m also a little disturbed by your claim regarding the feminisation of the church. What do you mean by that, and how do you support that statement?
I’m curious because the church has historically been a largely male-dominated institution (sometimes criminally so), and the bible’s instructions to and about women are often difficult to swallow. If anything, the church has had difficulty in attracting women. And if we are truly seeing more women in leadership roles at the church (I have to assume this is what you meant by feminizing), I believe this is not something to fear and resist. It would be a welcome change, and has every opportunity to challenge how we think about each other – allowing us to love each other better and see each other more clearly.
This newsletter called your expertise in some areas into question for me. Could you help to rebuild some of the faith I’ve lost in your words? I would very much appreciate it.
Sincerely, Alexandra (Canada)
My observations about the peculiar attraction that Christian apologetics has for men involves several claims. Let’s tease these apart to see which of them are objectionable.
First is my observation that apologetics seems to have far more interest for men than for women. That observation is based upon an enormous amount of experience in speaking on university campuses, at apologetics conferences, and in classroom teaching. It is a realization that gradually and unexpectedly forced itself upon me. It became very evident to me not only that the audiences which came to these events were largely male but that in event after event only the men stood up to ask a question. These facts seem to me to be undeniable.
Second is my hypothesis that this disparity is to be explained by the fact that men respond more readily to a rational approach, whereas women tend to respond more to relational approaches. Of course, this is just my best suggestion, and if you’ve got a better hypothesis to explain the disparity, Alexandra, I’m open to it. But there has to be an explanation.
Please understand that what I’m doing is not stereotyping but generalizing. There’s a difference between a stereotype and a generalization. A generalization admits of exceptions but remains an accurate characterization of most members of a group. Most women do respond better to relational appeals, whereas men tend to like the rational approach. Books on marriage improvement strongly emphasize this difference. In her fascinating book You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, Deborah Tanner, for example, says that the way men and women communicate is so different that when a man talks to a woman it’s a case of cross-cultural communication!
I thought at first that maybe the reason women almost never stood up to ask a question was due the intimidation factor: they just feel less comfortable than men getting up publicly to ask a question. That’s why the experience of seeing the Downton Abbey panel was so intriguing to me. Though there were men in the audience, everyone who got up and asked a question was a woman! When a man finally stood up and asked something, this was almost a cause of celebration and was noticed by everyone. Now obviously, this evidence is anecdotal, not statistical, as you point out, but still this was not just accidental. What is the explanation? Those of us who, like Jan and me, are fans of Downton Abbey know how relational the program is, as it follows the personal lives and struggles of those in the house. It’s striking that women didn’t feel intimidated about getting up publicly and asking questions about very relational matters.
Maybe I’m wrong about why apologetics consistently draws out more men than women, but if so, then we still need to find some explanation of why this is.
Third is my claim that the church is becoming increasingly feminized. What I mean by this is that church services and programs are increasingly based on emotional and relational factors that appeal more to women than to men. The problem of the church’s lack of appeal to men has been recognized by men’s movements like Promise Keepers and books like John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart. Nowhere is this feminization more evident than in contemporary worship music. Someone aptly remarked that if you were to replace references to God in many praise songs with “Baby,” they would sound just like romantic songs between a man and a woman! This is not true of classic hymns like “A Mighty Fortress” or “And Can It be?” Talking with young men, I find that many of them are just turned off by these touchy-feely worship services and would rather not go.
We see this same feminization though relational factors in network coverage of sports, traditionally a male bastion. Coverage of Olympic Games has deliberately targeted women in order to increase viewership by the addition of personal stories about athletes’ lives, rather than simply televising the events themselves. In professional sports have you noticed how in recent years television networks have engaged female reporters to go down on the field and interview baseball or football players, usually about how they felt about this or that? Jan and I had to laugh when, following the Broncos’ recent blowout of the Ravens, the female reporter asked Peyton Manning, “Didn’t you feel bad for the other team when you looked up at the scoreboard?” Uh, I don’t think so!
You’re right that the predominance of women in Christianity is a relatively new phenomenon. It is only over the last 200 years that Christianity has become increasingly female in its demographics. I’m very worried that the church is on a course that will end in relatively few men’s being active Christians.
Fourth is my claim that apologetics is a key to making the church and Christian faith relevant to men once more. People think that by having sports programs or men’s barbecues the church will draw in more men. But I’m convinced that the best kept secret to drawing in men is apologetics. Men need to see that Jesus of Nazareth was not only a tough guy but a smart guy. I never suspected that apologetics would have this special effect on men. I had no intention of ministering particularly to men in this ministry. But the appeal of apologetics to men is just undeniable. In my Defenders class we’ve got guys who don’t even attend church but who regularly come for my lectures on Christian doctrine and apologetics. One woman in the class told me, “I don’t understand a lot of what you say. But I’m glad to come because this is the only spiritual activity that my husband will participate in with me.” Wow!
I doubt that what I’ve said in response to your question, Alexandra, will do much to rebuild your faith in my words! My observations about the peculiar attraction that Christian apologetics has for men may not be politically correct, but I believe that they are accurate, even if disappointing and shocking to some.