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WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH von David…
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WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH (2010. Auflage)

von David Murrow (Autor)

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7091325,166 (3.85)1
Christianity is the only world religion with a chronic shortage of men. David Murrow identifies the barriers to male participation, and explains why it's so hard to motivate the men who do go to church. Then, he takes you inside several fast-growing congregations that are winning the hearts of men and boys. "Church is boring." "It's irrelevant." "It's full of hypocrites." You've heard the excuses --now learn the real reasons men and boys are fleeing churches of every kind, all over the world. Christianity is the only world religion with a chronic shortage of men. David Murrow identifies the barriers to male participation, and explains why it's so hard to motivate the men who do go to church. Then, he takes you inside several fast-growing congregations that are winning the hearts of men and boys. The first release of Why Men Hate Going to Church sold more than 125,000 copies and was published in multiple languages. This edition is completely revised, reorganized, and rewritten, with more than 70 percent new content. Why Men Hate Going to Church does not call men back to church--it calls the church back to men. … (mehr)
Mitglied:Serve.Missions
Titel:WHY MEN HATE GOING TO CHURCH
Autoren:David Murrow (Autor)
Info:Thomas Nelson (2004), 256 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
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Why Men Hate Going to Church von David Murrow

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A Gold Mine. I finally finished reading David Murrow's "Why Men Hate Going to Church (updated)", after having put it down for a couple of months while I read other books and worked on other things.

The best I can say about this book is that it is a gold mine, in the truest sense of the term. You see, my wife watches Gold Rush on Discovery Channel, so I wind up watching quite a bit of it with her. On that show, various crews move around literally TONS of earth, searching for a few specks of gold. That is EXACTLY what you will be doing reading this book - searching through tons of detritus (to put it gently) for the occasional HINT of something worth noting.

To say I was disappointed in this book would be a statement in contention for understatement of the year, at least. Upon seeing the title and even a couple of the other BookSneeze reviews, I actually requested BookSneeze make this available in eBook format, which is how I read all my books now. I was hoping for something as mind blowing and concrete as Shaunti Feldhan's seminal work, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men. Instead, the "research" in this book at one point literally consisted of the author standing outside an Alaska sporting goods store and asking 97 men what they thought was masculine or feminine about church.

And that is the most glaring flaw of this book - little to no actual research to base the author's claims on. Instead, he draws on what he personally sees and how he personally feels. Which is fine, if the title would have been "Why Me and My Friends Hate Going to Church". But in purporting to talk about a genuinely real crisis, the author falls flat on his face due to so little research on the topic. Add to this the guy's blatant homophobia and misogyny - he dislikes any song that mentions a love of Jesus, because it sounds too gay - and you pretty much have a recipe for disaster. Indeed, one of the reasons I put the book down for a couple of months was because of the sheer number of times I was almost ready to destroy my Kindle just to get this book away from me. But I agreed to participate in the BookSneeze program (a truly great program, btw), and I didn't want to review the book without completing it, so here I sit, having now done so.

Overall, I'd give this book 0.5 stars out of 5. It has enough good in it that if you're DESPERATE for something to read and can get your hands on a free copy, I'd say it is better than nothing - but not by much. Had I paid for the book, I'd be demanding my money back. ( )
  BookAnonJeff | Jul 11, 2021 |
In this updated edition of his 2005 book Why Men Hate Going to Church David Murrow has addressed a real, verifiable problem. Men don’t go to church, at least not in the numbers that women do. Why is this? Are Women more spiritual than men? Less fallen? No, but among the various factors that keep men out of the pews, Murrow finds that the church have soft-pedaled parts of the gospel painting Jesus as the gentle lamb of God without also showing us that He is the Lion of Judah, ferocious and wild. He asserts that if the church is to recapture the culture, grow, fulfill its mission, take risks, do something significant, be more orthodox, cultivate commitment among the youth, then we need to retool how we do church in ways that appeal more to men and make them feel like church is worthwhile.

What Murrow attempts to do in these pages is point out the lack of men in church, identify some of the ways that church culture has excluded men, and offer some practical advice on how to make church more man friendly. I applaud this goal. The issues he speaks of are real and if men are to be encouraged to pursue a real and vibrant faith, clearly this means doing ministry in ways that speak to men. A promise keeper’s male hug-fest doesn’t translate to more men in the church. Murrow tries to put his finger on the pulse of what does. For this I applaud him. And so, what is the problem? Several in fact:

1. Murrow bases his analysis on unhelpful gender stereotypes garnered from pop-psychology. In chapter one, Murrow makes the case that the church displays feminine values because Christian values. Murrow utilizes Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus to make his point that culturally, the Church is seen as feminine. Women value things like communication, connection, beauty, whereas men are all about power, efficiency, proving oneself and skills. While I think John Gray makes important distinctions in the way men and women are socialized, I think it is a mistake to absolutize his claims. If men are to thrive in life, the so-called feminine characteristics he describes are what will enable it. Without the ability to empathize, and relate to others (feminine traits), a man demonstrates a low E.Q. and will not succeed in business or life. This is what a number of popular business books are telling us guys. Men are not simply task master automatons; they are also relational beings. I have a problem with a book about men which begins with an assumption which denies their full humanity.

2. While Feminization is a problem in the church, Murrow fails to see that it is actually a broad cultural problem, not a simple ecclesial problem. At one point, he does acknowledge that women are starting to be a significant portion of the academic world is also excluding men. This is a societal problem. Men are withdrawing from business, from academic institutions and the church. This book addresses the problem in the church in isolation from culture. Therefore Murrow’s analysis is flawed from the get-go.

3. Murrow’s use of statistics is irresponsible. Well, at least he is inconsistent. Some of his stats are good; sometimes he relies on non-scientific polls to make his point. Other times he draws conclusions from stats that are not judicious. For example, when 11 out of 95 men leaving a sportsman show think that church is not masculine, this is hardly compelling evidence of how feminine the church is. Let me be clear, I agree the feminization of the church is a real problem; yet most of the data Murrow sites is more anecdotal than empirical.

4. Sometimes Murrow fails to accurately name the reasons for the problems he sees. For example, he rightly points out that the biggest gender disparity he sees, is in African-American churches. What is the reason? Gay pastors, the formal and traditional dress of African-American churches, and the length of their services are Murrow’s answer(91, 109, 159). While there may be some truth to his answers, this fails to account for the wider societal issue of the absence of the African-American male. African-American males are under educated, under represented in the workforce, do not have the political clout of African-American women. They are the highest representative demographic of men in prison. Murrow’s analysis doesn’t account for any of this. It makes me think that much of what he says is more conjecture than actually helpful.

5. Murrow operates on the assumption that because something is cultural feminine, it excludes men and therefore we need to do something different for them. I agree up to a point. But he makes the case that men are uncomfortable with physical affection, talking about their ‘relationship’ with God or being in intimate settings with other people. He suggests mega-churches attract men because they feel unthreatened and can be anonymous. Okay. But is this good for men? Personally, opening up relationally and talking about uncomfortable things has been my biggest growth edge in my ‘relationship’ with God. I get that some of relational language can be seen by macho-men as a little bit ‘candy-ass,’ but honestly relational language captures the experiential reality of what it means to walk with God. Murrow would argue that we should abandon the unbiblical language of ‘personal relationship’ which sounds icky to men and anyway is not biblical, to the harder more challenging language of discipleship. I agree that to be a Christian is to come to grips to what it means to be a disciple, but this does not fully encompass our life with God. Jesus himself said to his disciples, “I no longer call you disciples but I call you friends (John 15:15).” There is a personal relationship at the core of how we relate to Jesus. If men object to the language of ‘personal relationship,’ they still need to contend with Biblical language which commends intimacy and friendship. If this is problematic for the would be disciple, maybe they need to let go of some of their gender stereotyping. Man up! Having a personal relationship with Jesus doesn’t make you less of a man, or overtly feminine. It makes you a member of the new humanity. You want to be a man, have a personal relationship with Jesus. You don’t want to do that? Then die in your impotent idea of manhood with its antiquated appropriation of gender stereotypes.

6. As long as I am mentioning language, another place where Murrow gets this wrong is when he eschews the language of ‘family of God.’ He rightly, if woodenly literal, points out that Jesus never used the term ‘family of God; instead he talked about the Kingdom of God. I personally have no issue using Kingdom language, but to dismiss family of God as simply something that appeals to the feminine, fails to emphasis our relationality to one another. To be in the church, is to be connected to other Christians in ways more profound than our marriages or family of origin. The fact that Jesus never says, “family of God” doesn’t illegitimatize the term. Jesus does say, “Those who do the will of the Father are my brother, sister and mother. (Matthew 12:50)” My guess that this statement is more offensive to women than men. Paul, Peter, James and John all use the term ‘brothers’ to refer to those in the church. When you think of the church. this is your family. It is a theological truth for Christians, not gendered language aimed to draw women into the church and exclude men. It is a fact for those who would call Christ their Lord and want to be his disciples.

7. On a personal note, I like church. I am bummed if I miss church. According to Murrow’s analysis, the fact that I like church, thrive in church, have good verbal skills and am relational is because I am feminine. My schmaltzy talk-about-your-feelings-pastoral nature fits well in church and its girly. Well Murrow here is a newsflash. I am all man. I am so manly that other men cower when I walk to a room. If you are a man reading this now, I know you are intimidated. I’m just saying.

This isn’t to say all the advice that Murrow gives on how to reach men is bad. Some of it is pretty helpful. He talks about providing places where men feel like they are offering something significant and are taking leadership. He also offers some helpful tips on teaching that connects with men. Occasionally he overstates his advice like when he says don’t allow churches to display flowers because it’s too feminine and men feel uncomfortable. If your church doesn’t look like a bed and breakfast probably most men can handle a few bouquets. I find the inherent sexism in his analysis problematic, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get some things right.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson (via Booksneeze) for giving me this review copy in exchange for my review. I was not asked to write a positive review of this book. So I didn’t. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Most churches have more women than men in attendance. Men don't hate Jesus, they are responding to the feminization of the the church and the Gospel. Churches can attract men if they keep away from things that are repugnant to men. Church services become overly emotional and physical, with monologue sermons that drone on and on, with endless praise songs or hymns that almost have a homo-erotic fixation on Jesus. Churches stress Jesus as Lamb of God rather than Lion of Judah; as Prince of Peace rather than King of Kings; stress weakness and dependency vs struggle and self-sacrifice. This is a counter-cultural book that stresses discipleship and making small changes to not chase away a good part of the population. You probably won't agree with everything, but he makes a lot of good points. ( )
  Luke_Brown | Sep 10, 2016 |
A fabulous book. An absolute MUST READ for all clergy. Murrow hits the nail squarely on the head so often and so truly. Unfortunately, the feminization of Christianity and most churches has gone so far that it is questionable whether it can ever be moved back to a balance. Jesus was NOT the meek and mild, quiet, contemplative, child-hugging person that he is portrayed to be in churches and modern culture. He actually got ANGRY at people, chastised people, destroyed their stands and threw the money changers out of the temple...no feminine person was he. ( )
  highlander6022 | Mar 16, 2016 |
This is one of those books that I think I will try to go back and read once every 5 years or so because it addresses things so ingrained within the Christian culture, and therefore within my psyche, that it will require repeated exposure and reminders to work them out of my general interactions. Having said all of that, there are things within this book that I highly disagree with; the book is very reactionary (although the author repeats over and over that this reactionary position should never be maintained by anyone) and therefore tends to be extremist in nature. However, if the reader is careful to recognize those things which are reactionarily extreme and those which are biblically sound, this book will prove to be extremely helpful in the personal development of any Christian and corporate development of any church. ( )
  NGood | Feb 19, 2014 |
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Christianity is the only world religion with a chronic shortage of men. David Murrow identifies the barriers to male participation, and explains why it's so hard to motivate the men who do go to church. Then, he takes you inside several fast-growing congregations that are winning the hearts of men and boys. "Church is boring." "It's irrelevant." "It's full of hypocrites." You've heard the excuses --now learn the real reasons men and boys are fleeing churches of every kind, all over the world. Christianity is the only world religion with a chronic shortage of men. David Murrow identifies the barriers to male participation, and explains why it's so hard to motivate the men who do go to church. Then, he takes you inside several fast-growing congregations that are winning the hearts of men and boys. The first release of Why Men Hate Going to Church sold more than 125,000 copies and was published in multiple languages. This edition is completely revised, reorganized, and rewritten, with more than 70 percent new content. Why Men Hate Going to Church does not call men back to church--it calls the church back to men. 

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