Gender Strife in a Secular Age

Without God we are left to ourselves to build a name for ourselves, only to scatter under God’s curse like tribes with different languages unable to communicate and get along. We live in times similar to the days after the Tower of Babel construction enterprise failed.

Every month intellectuals meet in my office at church to discuss “knowing the times and what God’s people should do,” as the men of Issachar once did (1 Chronicles 12:32). This month we were discussing Charles Taylor’s “take” on our age and the vacuum left in a a secular culture when the default mode is unbelief and “disenchantment” (Weber) with God and premodern beliefs.

Taylor and other cultural pundits recognize the “subtraction story” of the secularist narrative that promised the good life once Christianity and superstition were subtracted and a time when only pure science remained. Simultaneously, the transcendence of God was increasingly domesticated by Christians (Placher). Now polarization of tribes is becoming more fierce. Political wars, gender tensions, and new ideological battles irrupt daily in this age of exclusive individualism.

David Brooks highlights an example of this by showing how young “men who feel fatherless, solitary, floating in a chaotic moral vacuum, constantly outperformed and humiliated by women, haunted by pain and self-contempt” are drawn to cultural icon Jordan Peterson. Peterson sets men against women, calling men out of victimization and blame-shifting. Although Peterson fills a gap where men are without fatherly advice, he increases the excarnational and impersonal order that replaced Jesus’ incarnational and loving revolution.

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