“The maelstrom is the seaman’s nightmare, but the ‘malestrom’ poses an even greater threat to men than the hidden dangers of the open sea.”
The malestrom is the particular ways in which the fall impacts the male of the human species—causing a man to lose himself, his identity and purpose as a man, and above all to lose sight of God’s original vision for his sons. The malestrom is one of the Enemy’s single most ingenious and successful strategies. Its victories are flashed before us every day in the headlines as men lose sight of who God created them to be as men.
This book argues that the principal expression of the malestrom is historic patriarchy and that patriarchy is ultimately destructive for both men and women. But above all, it runs counter to the gospel of Jesus.
Jesus didn’t come to make men more manly, but to reconnect them with their creator and put them back on mission as God’s image bearers.
Interwoven in the stories of women in the Bible that I have developed in my previous books are men whose stories are eclipsed by a larger personality who commands the spotlight or men whose stories are diminished, downsized, or distorted because we view them through a western lens.
We gravitate instead to men like Joseph, who rises from slavery to second only to Pharaoh; David, who slays Goliath; Joshua, who leads the march on Jericho; Daniel, who survives lions; Peter, the rough and blustery fisherman; and James and John, the notorious ‘sons of thunder.’ Kings, conquerors, and untamed men! These are the kinds of muscular stories we want our sons to hear and the brand of manliness that we want them to embrace.
We shy away from men in the Bible who share the stage with strong, courageous women or who don’t fit the typical hero profile that reinforces traditional patriarchal cultural values. These missing men are crucial, for they are heroically doing battle with the malestrom. Battered and bruised though they may be, they must be allowed to tell their stories. They picture for us a wiser radically new, gospel-brand of man—incontrovertible evidence that God is at work in his world, that Jesus has come, and that his Spirit is alive and active.
The newness of God’s kingdom is breaking through, and that newness shows up in his sons, even in Old Testament times. The stories of these missing men are alive with the power and hope of the gospel, and they stand tall on the pages of Scripture, not because they satisfy the world’s fallen cultural definitions of what it means to be a man, but because they reconnect with their calling as God’s true sons.
All of us, men and women, need these missing men.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Genesis of the Malestrom [Adam]
Chapter 2: Patriarchy Matters [Abraham]
Chapter 3: The Father Wound [Judah]
Chapter 4: The Rise of Women [Barak]
Chapter 5: The Power of Power [Boaz]
Chapter 6: The Marginalized Man [Matthew]
Chapter 7: Gender Role Reversal [Joseph of Nazareth]
Chapter 8: The Manhood of Jesus
Chapter 9: Liberating Men from the Malestrom [Paul]