I would like to beat a very old drum here, one that I beat a lot, but only because it has proven so illuminating to me. Back to Barfield’s “original to final participation”. Along with everything else, masculinity in its original natural form is dying. I don’t know about any of you, but when one is virtually anywhere in the “third world” it is amazing to me as an American, the extent and degree of masculine control over everything. As an American, and one who lives in a particularly liberal town,this kind of unthinking, effortless, control, which is as natural as a fish in water, is almost incomprehensible. I recently read an account of a missionary kid who was American by birth, but reared in Japan for most of his youth, being especially amazed upon returning to America at the degree of rudeness and”yelling” that went on here from women to their men in public. But he said what amazed him the most, was that the men “took it like whipped puppies”. Indeed.
I think the natural power of the male is over. He can rebell against it all he wants,but it is struggling in quick sand. The more struggle there is, the faster he sinks. The patriarcal head of household church movement is completely artificial and is NOT a return to something spiritual, but something natural, and it is nature that is dying.
The only way forward for masculinity is to die. Jesus was the first man to give up his natural masculine powers. The Kenotic poem of Philippians is the essential telling of this story. It has now caught up with the world. It is only in dying to what is natural that masculine authority and headship can be raised again and come back in a new “final” form that is shorn of nature.
Now, I know everyone will want details on what this means. All I know is that every man I have ever seen who tried to revive nature ends up being an ass. I have seen cases of the most macho masculine and by nature controlling men, with what are undoubtedly very high male hormone levels, just rendered helpless by the current culture. They thrive no better than an Apache warrior in modern Arizona. And in fact, the reality is exactly the same as for the warrior. He can only die, and be raised as a Christian, which looks very different and does not exist by humiliating and degrading women and children.
I think everything in the natural world exists by rivalry. In the natural world, the man is the man is the man by overpowering rivalry over against the female and the children. In God’s world, this is undone. In reality, it may well be that large elements of all of this death have only come to pass as late as the 20th century.