Two Boats and a Helicopter

This is what it looks like when you hit a nerve. A couple days ago I put forward 7 reasons why young men should marry 6 years earlier (on average) than they are doing now. This was hailed by some as the best thing they have heard in a long time, and denounced by others as an outrage not to be tolerated. As I write this, the original post has 2.6K Facebook likes, presumably in the hopes that Billy Everyman will take the hint. Does anybody really doubt that this is a pressing issue?

What's the hold up? Go get her.
What’s the hold up? Go get her.

Now I cheerfully grant that in a post like that it is not possible to cover every issue or anticipate every objection, and so I have a few additional things to say about all this. It should be relatively painless.

1. Some reasonable people want to see the gaps filled in, or additional things emphasized or given their due recognition. Others assiduously continue to miss the point, as though reading comprehension were now a hate crime. We live in time when a desire to keep mentally and spiritually disturbed men out of women’s restrooms is described as “hate,” and a modest desire to have the average age when young men marry be what it was in 1970 is described as “creepy” and “horrifically alarming.” One of the reasons this argument must be made is that advocates of the kultursmog not only want to normalize the abnormal, they also want to abnormalize the normal.

2. There is a sense in which no one is ever really “ready” for marriage. There are only various states of unpreparedness. I am simply arguing that (on average) there is a bell curve involved. A thirteen-year-old boy is not ready for marriage. A time eventually comes when he is as ready as he is going to get, and that after that point his preparedness declines.

I am talking about demographic populations. I am not saying that it is automatically an individual sin to be unmarried and 26. That would depend entirely on the reasons for it. I am simply saying that cultural expectations have the capacity to push the average age for marriage later, and that in our case it has been largely destructive, not beneficial.

3. I am a pastor, and this is a pressing pastoral problem. And I have talked to many other pastors who agree that it is a pressing pastoral problem. The nature of the pastoral problem is that of a large and growing population of unmarried women who would love to be married, and who would make good and godly wives. In the conservative church, it would not be unusual to find this cohort of women outnumbering the men in the same station of life by a factor of about 5 to 1. Some of this is caused by the church’s hostility to masculinity, resulting in men being made to feel unwelcome in the church, and some of it is caused by the men who remain being encouraged to perpetuate their teen years by a decade or so. Singleness is a gift, the teaching goes.

We are getting to that stage of feminism where the latest advancements consist of kicking women in the head.

4. Porn is an area where willful distortion of what sensible people are actually arguing is unfortunately common. Because it involves sex, not to mention communication about sex across the divide between men and women, a certain amount of misunderstanding can be expected. But for anyone to say that I was arguing that marriage is a “quick fix” for porn addiction is beyond irresponsible. Go back and read what I wrote. There are some whose addictions lie close to the bone, where the problem is some kind of misogynistic hatred. As I said, the repentance needed there is of another kind entirely. No sense repenting of lust when the problem was malice.

But, I argued, there are other men who are not gifted with celibacy, but who are not (yet) addicted to porn — although they are enticed by it. They do feel its pull. It would be a better idea, said I, for such a one to marry a woman and start building a real life together with her, than for that same young man to spend the next ten years pursuing a publicly-applauded lifestyle of self-indulgence, with his evenings spent in an apartment by himself, alone with his flat screen television and streaming Internet. What could go wrong?

And incidentally, I was not arguing that porn use is excusable. Sin is sin. And sin is defined by Scripture, not by our comparative weaknesses. Every instance of sin is a sin. My argument is not that such sin is ever okay, but rather that such sin is compounded when we make a concerted effort to avoid available helps and remedies. And by calling marital sex a help and a remedy, I am simply following the apostle Paul (1 Cor. 7:9). He appears to be under the impression that marriage quenches the fire, which rhymes with desire. This does not make marital sex a savior; but it is a help. A lot of Christians need to stop despising and disparaging God’s kindnesses to us.

5. Because we are talking about a culture-wide phenomenon, we cannot neglect the fact of legal discrimination against men. In order for men to have a socially useful role, and not a socially destructive role, it is necessary for that role to be supported and reinforced by society.

May I say something that will be a breach of decorum? And possibly something illegal? Men will always be dominant. The only choice we have is whether that dominance will be constructive or destructive. Part of the war on marriage has been to make constructive dominance illegal (e.g. Roe, no-fault divorce, not to mention numerous other court-ordered factors). For more on inevitable dominance, I would recommend George Gilder’s Men and Marriage. The net effect is that many unbelieving men have gone on strike. To do so makes their dominance destructive, and many Christian men have been more affected by the strike than they should have been. If men generally are on strike, this puts Christian men in the position of being scabs.

6. Because I was addressing the conservative church, where the initiative in courtship and marriage still lies with the male, I emphasized the need for men to have an accurate view of what league they are actually in. But the same thing needs to be directed at the women, some of whom have daydreams of their own. Here is a dose of realism — there are more options available than Mr. Collins or Mr. Darcy. When a woman’s standards are biblically high, she ought not alter them in the slightest. But if they are artificially high, then “lowering” them is actually raising them.

7. It is quite true that every Christian needs to find his or her primary identity in Christ, and not in things like vocation, or marriage, or anything like that. Our ultimate loyalty is to be always and everywhere attached to Christ. But Christ has given us His Word, in which He frequently tells us to do other things. We are not supposed to just sit on the sofa, finding our identity in Christ. We are also supposed to work, give, sing, marry, climb and strive.

Detaching our trust in Christ from the things of this world considered as His gifts and instruments is a gnostic move. Remember the joke about the guy sitting on the roof of his house during a huge flood. He was praying and trusting God for his deliverance. A boat came by, but he declined to get in it, saying he was trusting God. Another boat came by, which he refused also. The water kept rising. A helicopter came and dropped a rope, which he did not take hold of because he was trusting God. Finally the flood waters swept him away and he was drowned. He then stomped up to the Pearly Gates, soaking wet and kind of irritated, and demanded that St. Peter inform him why he was allowed to drown. “What did you want?” St. Peter said. “We sent two boats and a helicopter.”

Of course Christ is sufficient. But the sufficiency of Christ does not mean that we get to ignore His provision for us, as ministered through institutions like marriage. This principle is highlighted by the teaching of Westminster against their generation’s version of the gift of singleness.

“No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the Word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance whereof he has no promise of ability from God. In which respects, popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself” (WCF 22.7).

It is not the same situation, but it is comparable.

855
Leave a Reply

avatar
 
35 Comment threads
820 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
71 Comment authors
JohnmamazeeFarinata degli UbertiTonyIan Miller Recent comment authors

  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

Not only did you hit a nerve, it shot through the space/time continuum. I heard it even made it to Earth Three. (Brownie points if someone can identify that sf reference) Good job

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

Given that we have started by quoting the WCF, it might be mentioned that the WLC also has some dramatic things to say to our culture. Modern churchgoers, pastors, authors, and the like have invented a whole raft of extra and unBiblical principles that have, together, led to the delay of, and even denial of, the importance of marriage. Inventing ‘courtship’ and imbibing it with dozens of rules and categories and standards, which are not found in, and often are contradicted by, Scripture is one way our modern society has of ‘denying marriage’. Q. 138. What are the duties required… Read more »

valerieab
Member

Courtship is a huge umbrella term that encompasses every sort of mating practice, even in the animal kingdom. For humans, there are many, many ways of getting it wrong. So you’ll have to be more specific about what sort you find to be add odds with the catechism. If it’s Doug’s sort, then look at the fruit of the community he shepherds — I’m about a bazillion couples behind on wedding gifts, we’ve got so many marriages happening around here, and happening young. If you want to bring a “denying marriage” charge here, I think you’d find the evidence monumentally… Read more »

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

Valerie, Yes, indeed, I am speaking of modern American conservative Christian ‘courtship’, such as popularized by Joshua Harris and taught by Doug Wilson. As far as evidence goes, however, I am afraid that ship has already sailed. Doug himself admits, in his own writing, that he had turned down several young men for his own daughters. And he participated in the movie ‘unMarried: the rise of singleness’ which made the exact same point: that, within the modern American conservative Christian courtship community marriages are being denied and delayed left and right, leaving a huge swath of a Christian generation either… Read more »

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

>>So you’ll have to be more specific about what sort you find to be add odds with the catechism. The sort that is at odds with the catechism is the sort that is, well, at odds with the catechism. The catechism states firmly that a young man or woman struggling with fornication must marry, that lawful marriages must not be prohibited, and the like. Yet in many circles those two are fundamental planks of ‘courtship’. >>Courtship is a huge umbrella term that encompasses every sort of mating practice, I’m not sure we as Christians are exactly called to ‘mating practice’.… Read more »

valerieab
Member

“The sort that is at odds with the catechism is the sort that is, well, at odds with the catechism.” Well, that was about as illuminating as tautologies are prone to be… “Mating practice” simply means how two people (or critters) who are sexually interested in one another go about getting together. It’s a categorical term like “eating” or “traveling” that has zero moral value in itself. “Courtship” is almost as vague. You have to get into the hows and whys before you can say anything about right and wrong, and so far you’ve given me no specific practice or… Read more »

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

I guess you missed the rest of that paragraph?? I’ll repeat it: The sort that is at odds with the catechism is the sort that is, well, at odds with the catechism. The catechism states firmly that a young man or woman struggling with fornication must marry, that lawful marriages must not be prohibited, and the like. Yet in many circles those two are fundamental planks of ‘courtship’. >>”Mating practice” simply means how two people (or critters) who are sexually interested in one another go about getting together. Knew that. Now lets look at Scripture. Where in Scripture do we… Read more »

valerieab
Member

“I guess you missed the rest of that paragraph??” Nope, I read it. It just didn’t provide any of the specifics I’m trying to get from you. I gave evidence of how Pastor Wilson’s approach to courtship is effectively contributing to the creation of many marriages. You haven’t given any evidence to the contrary…just asserted it.

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

>>It just didn’t provide any of the specifics I’m trying to get from you. Ok here they are in list form: 1) The catechism states firmly that a young man or woman struggling with fornication must marry. This is what the reformed church tradtionally has taught and courtship traditionally has denied this, sometimes quite literally. Pastor Wilson, in these articles, goes a good bit of distance toward reforming, or, re-reforming this view, but it is still a fundamental plank in much of what has been taught as courtship. 2) The catechism states that lawful marriages must not be prohibited, but… Read more »

Jane
Member

Are you suggesting that the catechism requires that if some person somewhere suggests a lawful marriage, then no one (including the couple themselves) has the right to refuse or delay it?

That’s reading the catechism like an owner’s manual badly translated from Chinese.

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

>>Are you suggesting It is always interesting when you say something, and then someone comes up and says, ‘are you suggesting’ (or implying) and then states something you never said, and never would say. What I said is what I meant: 1) The catechism states firmly that a young man or woman struggling with fornication must marry. This is what the reformed church tradtionally has taught and courtship traditionally has denied this, sometimes quite literally. Pastor Wilson, in these articles, goes a good bit of distance toward reforming, or, re-reforming this view, but it is still a fundamental plank in… Read more »

Jane
Member

“It is always interesting when you say something, and then someone comes up and says, ‘are you suggesting’ (or implying) and then states something you never said, and never would say.” But I cannot know what you never would say, without asking. And to my mind, what you wrote potentially contains that suggestion. So I asked. The reason I thought it potentially contained that suggestion is that you include “a girl” as someone who may be someone who could turn down the marriage, in a context in which you seem to be decrying anyone else’s doing the same thing. So… Read more »

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

There is a big difference between ‘could’ and ‘should’. Courtship (and ‘Christian’ dating) tend to write long screeds on the three thousand different problems that *should* lead you to not marry someone. To say that a person ‘can’t’ turn down a marriage is to argue for forced marriages. That is a Muslim issue. The courtship issue… well, I have personally seen marriages where the man and woman wanted to marry, after her father gave permission to court, and then and only then does her father come along and say, “Well, there are these things about this young man, which I’ve… Read more »

Jane
Member

Okay, I meant “can’t morally” do so. Can you address my question with that understanding?

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

I would take ‘can’t morally’ to be linguistically equivalent to ‘shouldn’t’. Is that also your understanding? In which case I believe I’ve answered the question, but I’ll try again :) When anyone is faced with a decision and the question at hand involves the moral ‘should’, then the answer to that ‘should’ lies in going back to Scripture. In this case what has happened is twofold: 1) Many authors writing about courtship, Christian dating, and other forms of getting married have added greatly to the number of reason that a young man or woman ‘shouldn’t’ get married. 2) At one… Read more »

Jane
Member

How about if you just answer the question in the specific case, since you brought up the specific case (among others.) If you just keep throwing “principles” at me, without telling me how you might apply them in the complexity of life, then you haven’t really told me the principles with enough detail for me to understand them. If marriage is suggested to a young woman, and the marriage is lawful, are there any circumstances in which she would be morally free to reject it? Or must a young woman marry the first unmarried, unrelated, adult, male church member in… Read more »

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

I think you have a rather different idea of what a ‘specific case’ is. I consider ‘specific’ cases ones where there is an actual young man, an actual young woman, and actual facts of who they both are, etc. And I don’t actually believe anyone should, Biblically, ‘suggest marriage to a young woman’. Outside of rather non-normative cases such as a young widow (see Abigail). Nor do I think that a young woman, (or young man), if they were to be so approached, could fall under the ‘forbidding to marry’ or ‘let them marry’ jurisdiction, since it is their own… Read more »

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

>>you’ve given me no specific practice or principle or example that helps me understand your objection. Well, I have actually. Indeed you state it very clearly. What is wrong with courtship is, as you lay out clearly, “two people (or critters) who are sexually interested in one another go about getting together.” It implies that it is proper for a young man to look around his church, school, or workplace and find a girl he is sexually interested in; and for him to find out if she is sexually interested in him, and then for the two of them to… Read more »

valerieab
Member

“It implies that it is proper for a young man to look around his church,
school, or workplace and find a girl he is sexually interested in; and
for him to find out if she is sexually interested in him, and then for
the two of them to work out how to have sex together” It implies no such thing.

“Reading comprehension!” said the Professor half to himself. “Why don’t they teach reading comprehension in these schools?”

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

>>”Reading comprehension!” said the Professor half to himself. “Why don’t they teach reading comprehension in these schools?” Actually the quote is, ““Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?” so let’s look at the logic. You state, quite rightly, that courtship involves how “two people (or critters) who are sexually interested in one another go about getting together.” Let’s break this down: 1) One person is sexually interested in the other. 2) The second person is sexually interested in the first 3) There is a process for them getting together to have sex. Now lets add the logically implied bits:… Read more »

Jane
Member

Nice construct. How does it fit with the teaching in I Corinthians about those who desire to marry, should marry? St. Paul doesn’t say, “If they desire to marry, they should knock it off and just let somebody else worry about who they should marry.”

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

Not sure exactly what construct you mean, but I fully believe and teach that pretty much every young man or woman (and I put ‘young’ several years younger than Doug Wilson does, here) should marry. What the Scriptures don’t say, however, is ‘look around the church and find a woman to lust after. Once you have found her, find out if she lusts after you. If you both lust after each other, marry.”

valerieab
Member

Do you understand the difference between descriptive and prescriptive? If so, I will attempt again to respond.

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

Descriptive and prescriptive are terms often used to speak to the linguistic categories of didactic and narrative text. Or, to use their Biblical names: teaching and example. Example and teaching are two of the forms of text in Scripture. Other forms would include law, poetry, proverbs and prophecy. One good example of these can be found in I Peter 3:1-6. There Peter is teaching women how to behave toward their husbands, and in their general behavior and dress (verses 1-4). Then, in verses 5-6 we hear Peter bringing forth Biblical examples to further prove his point. Similarly in Hebrews 11… Read more »

valerieab
Member

Aha. This could explain part of our failure to communicate — I am not using the terms in that way. I am using “descriptive” to mean simply describing things the way they are, and “prescriptive” to mean prescribing how they should be. So when I say that the term “mating ritual” is descriptive, I mean that bird A ruffles his plumage to attract the lady birds or frog B croaks a certain way in hopes the lady frogs will ribbit back or the the North American homo doofusis douses himself in Axe under the mistaken impression that homo hotchickis will… Read more »

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

>>. I am using “descriptive” to mean simply describing things the way they are, and “prescriptive” to mean prescribing how they should be. Exactly what I said, only I used the terms in their Scriptural context. Narrative is ‘A certain man went down to Jerusalem’ and teaching is ”You have heard it said, but I say unto you…’ I have half a masters in linguistics, so am very familiar with descriptive and prescriptive linguistics. I would slightly differ with your definition, however, perhaps because I come from the Bible translation perspective. In our work we used ‘descriptive linguistics’ (ie this… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

bird A ruffles his plumage to attract the lady birds or frog B croaks a certain way in hopes the lady frogs will ribbit back or the the North American homo doofusis douses himself in Axe under the mistaken impression that homo hotchickis will find him irresistible. Let’s see… Calling promiscuous women “sluts” is a big no-no. Calling women who hire someone to kill their babies “murderers” is way out of bounds. But casually slurring several million young American men as “doofuses” is just fine. And, naturally, young American women are “hot chicks.” But you’re not a rabid feminist whose… Read more »

onerob
Guest
onerob

What about economic factors having an effect on the ideal age for marriage? The economy has changed over the last several decades, and now many men are not able to provide for a wife and family at age 23.

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

What constitutes sufficient provision?
What jobs are they willing to take?
Where are they insisting on living, and with what amenities?

Barring certain disabilities, any 23-year-old can work 2 or 3 jobs. My dad is 61, and he still does that. Why? Because it needs to be done.

Joseph Horro
Guest
Joseph Horro

Yeah, but you need to ‘find’ three jobs first, and that’s a lot harder when you’re younger. I got 4 younger brothers and I take them myself to interviews. I don’t know if you watch, but rent is through the roof. Home prices are outrageous (in most places), and in our wonderful economic ‘recovery’ the only jobs being created are bartenders and waitresses(http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-04/january-us-has-added-294000-waiters-bartenders-and-zero-manufacturing-workers – lots more can be researched on this). It’s kind of hard to live on so little money. Just where I live, average rent alone is close to $1000, and the vast majority of jobs don’t even… Read more »

Vaughn Ohlman
Member
Vaughn Ohlman

Our theology have lost sight of the fact that marriage is supposed to be a family affair, and that families are not supposed to be limited to you, me, and baby makes three.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I have a brother that has adopted some of the MGTOW philosophy, but think myself it is nothing more than cloaked cowardice.

Matt
Guest
Matt

I would love to see Mr. Wilson’s take on MGTOW. I hear it has quite a following.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB
Noramia
Guest
Noramia

Sad to say but these people have more or less won.

Sometimes I wonder why bother any more? Our forces have surrendered. The peace treaty has been signed.

I seriously doubt I will ever have a godly family with a loving wife and children.

Noramia
Guest
Noramia

Well when it comes to relationships Western women have a major ally known as the state. The state is very powerful.

Fearing the state is not cowardice. It is rational.

Matt
Guest
Matt

The reason I believe it to be cloaked cowardice is because it is giving an unbiblical reason to not even attempt getting married. Scare tactics propagated by people who have been “burned”( could it have been avoided, probably). It’s not like all of a sudden women have changed from being submissive to being feminist. Women have it within them to struggle with the same sin as Eve. There are biblical examples of women behaving in sinful ways that could be considered feministic ( Jezebel, mincing women, etc.) Nothing new under the sun. I see this philosophy keeping already fragile egos… Read more »

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

In sermon delivered at our little SBC church, I noted that Bible evidence, taken at face value, argues for youthful marriage and large families.

A space alien in a ’77 Chrysler Newport could not have looked more bizarre or anachronistic to them.

ashv
Guest
ashv

The other factor that needs to be discussed at some point is that the social and economic infrastructure that allow young men to plan for supporting a family at age 23 is much thinner than it used to be, and nonexistent some places. Time to start building organizations that can get young men of good character stable employment — just do it quietly and out of sight of the EEOC.

Joe Carlin
Guest
Joe Carlin

200 years ago the term “master” meant that a person had worked (not studied in a classroom) as an apprentice (beginning as a young teen) for a person who had mastered a trade until he became a master himself. Now it means that he has not worked a day in his life because he was in government school until 18, and then college until age 22, and then graduate school until age 24-26. Then he gets a “Masters degree” before he has done ANYTHING. Then, after he pays the government a testing fee and a licensing fee, he earns the… Read more »

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

It’s also time to start telling young women that they’re not going to attend college (driving the cost of tuition through the roof) and then go out in the corporate world and double the supply of applicants for jobs, which 1) drastically lowers the incomes men would be receiving otherwise, making it very difficult to provide for their families, and 2) drastically shrinks the pool of men these very same women are willing to consider as husbands, because very few women are sexually attracted to a man who doesn’t make quite a bit more money than she does.

Joseph Horro
Guest
Joseph Horro

I would have been married years earlier if this was the case. Well, that and if my (now) wife didn’t put it off while she went through college… but that’s another story.

Joe Carlin
Guest
Joe Carlin

I blame the parents and the Church. The parents, even the homeschoolers, are following the pagan feminist culture and directing their daughters toward education, college and career in the same way they do with their sons, instead of preparing them to be wives, mothers and managers of their homes. Also, they are not taking wives for their sons and giving their daughters in marriage as we see in Scripture. Christian parents do not take a proactive role in finding spouses for their children. Instead, they follow the pagan dating culture. And for the record, I am not proposing forced arranged… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

My wife and I were homeschooled and this was our experience. Getting married felt like it took way more luck than it should have.

Joe Carlin
Guest
Joe Carlin

I’m not sure I follow. What was your experience and what do you mean by “took way more luck than it should have?”

ashv
Guest
ashv

Her parents and mine contributed very little to the process.

samuelweaver
Member
samuelweaver

Well said and thanks for the clarification, Pastor Wilson.

My only comment would be that the ratios you speak of can and do vary across all of “evangelicalism.” In a rock-singing megachurch it would be difficult to find a young lady of desirable character and many of the commenters’ comments would apply. But in a much more conservative or even Presbyterian church, that is quite the opposite. I have seen both phenomenons.

samuelweaver
Member
samuelweaver

Pastor, I would be interested in a post speaking to the issue of how similar a young lady’s beliefs, interests, and background should be. I’m in a situation where this would be helpful, so if this would be helpful for the readers at large, please write.

katie
Guest
katie

My husband and I differed sharply on infant baptism, before and (for a time) after we were married. We were of one mind as to how to treat potential children (i.e. not as small pagans in our home), however. I came to the conclusion that my conscience could rest in having our children baptized, though I thought it wrong, because God would be calling me to submit to my husband’s judgment. Thankfully, I came to hold the same position before the kids came along. But still. An older friend of mine told me she’d be happy to have her sons… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

Hmm. As a credobaptist, I definitely feel that the issue is a serious one for faithful Christians in marriage and parenting as well, though naturally I would hope the “conversion” would go the other way. :)

katie
Guest
katie

It was Wilson’s To a Thousand Generations that helped convince me.

KingAlbert
Guest
KingAlbert

How do families with young available ladies “advertise” that these ladies are available? (I’m assuming the local baptist church isn’t throwing sock-hops every month.) Is it like playing 200 questions with the potential suitor? Is there an application process? There’s so much focus in teaching young men on career/vocation and the training to obtain income, that the “readiness” for marriage is lacking. General maturity is lacking. And honestly, a “respectable young man” may find it inappropriate to jump from church to church asking if there are any single women lurking about. How long would a local church take to warm… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

A germane question for that young man is “Where are his parents?”

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

Probably on their third marriage, each.

Katecho
Member

Well said. I agree that the “scouting mission” is an obstacle for guys who refuse to picture themselves that way.

I think pastors and elders should know which specific young men and women in their congregation are ready and seeking marriage, and they should be actively communicating with other like-minded church officers in the area. I think this could be done without laying any expectations, as matchmakers, but simply to facilitate introductions. Any follow-up would be on the young man to initiate, probably preferably by talking with the girl’s father and seeing where it goes from there.

Jeremy VanGelder
Guest
Jeremy VanGelder

Two words. “Evening services.” You can worship with your own church on Sunday morning, and then visit another church in the evening. You keep up your covenantal relationship with the congregation you have sworn yourself to, and then you look for a woman to swear yourself to.

B. Josiah Alldredge
Guest
B. Josiah Alldredge

That’s how I met my wife. Born and raised baptist, but all my college roomies went to a CREC church. Started hanging out there for their night services. Took a while, and some serious distance (me in Afghanistan and she in Peru) but God brought us together.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Presbytery, Synod, Convention/Association meetings. Go to these meetings and meet the pastors, the fathers, and the friends that will then issue an invite/arrange a meeting between the two folks.

I also like Jeremy’s idea it is just a shame that so many churches have either cancelled their Sunday/Wednesday night services and those that do still have them are usually much lower attended than Sunday Morning.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Could it be that really most men want to go to the “bar” so to speak, but complain about what they are finding?

Brent
Guest
Brent

Sir, drop the mic; you have nailed it in both of these posts!

CD
Guest
CD

The logic and rhetoric of this one is significantly better than the last. It is generally advisable to take a little more time to be a little more thorough in your presentation of an idea to prevent the unnecessary alienation of those that may benefit from it. While I wholeheartedly agree on the underlying problem of delayed adolescence among men in my cohort, at the same time I strongly disagree with the flippant dismissal of singleness. Singleness is a gift. It is a gift because it is the dispensation of our life that God has seen fit to bless us… Read more »

samuelweaver
Member
samuelweaver

“You provide no rationale or biblical support for the above statement. I simply don’t understand what justification you have for saying this. What begins to make men less prepared as they get older?”

I have the same question.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I have friends who got married a few years later than my wife and I did; their experience was that there was a good bit more of their lifestyle they had to rip out and rebuild for life together.

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

I’ve cleverly devised to have no life myself, so that way I don’t have to change anything when she comes along :P

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

My sense is that the older we get as single people, the more me-centered we become.

Not that it’s inevitable…it’s just that we form such strong personal habits and traditions that we become more and more unlikely to abide intruding opinions.

Thus conflagrations over the doctrine of dishwasher-loading, the theology of laundry-folding, and other silly things.

CD
Guest
CD

Yet this rigid inflexibility and self-centeredness is completely contrary to Christ-likeness. I have found that as I’ve grown older I’ve become far more pliable under Christ’s guidance than when I was in my teens and early twenties. While it may be human nature, it shouldn’t characterize those reborn in Christ.

timothy
Guest
timothy

“laundry-folding”? What’s that?

Joe Carlin
Guest
Joe Carlin

–“from which marriage will naturally follow”–

Please do tell, how does marriage “naturally” occur? Does one simply wake up married one fine sunny morning after having fully ripened the previous day, as if young people are oranges on a tree? This type of thinking–that marriage just naturally occurs–is EXACTLY why there are so many unmarried Christian adults! It doesn’t naturally follow anything. Marriages are made and contracted. Wives are found, they don’t fall out of trees. Parents must actively seek out spouses for their children and stop sitting around waiting for a marriage to naturally occur.

CD
Guest
CD

Allow me to rephrase: which creates an environment far more suitable for a God-honoring marriage to be contracted and begin. However, I do wholeheartedly agree with you regarding the role of parents.

Semantics. I will be forthright in that I do not appreciate your patronizing tone.

Jeremy VanGelder
Guest
Jeremy VanGelder

“The nature of the pastoral problem is that of a large and growing population of unmarried women who would love to be married, and who would make good and godly wives. In the conservative church, it would not be unusual to find this cohort of women outnumbering the men in the same station of life by a factor of about 5 to 1.” I’m curious which churches you are talking about? My church, WPC PCA in Vancouver, WA, has a ratio of Godly single men to Godly single women of roughly 4 to 1. It seems like some of our… Read more »

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

“In other news, a sudden mass emigration of young men to different churches occurred after a local pastor revealed the presence of an abundance of young single women” :)

Jeremy VanGelder
Guest
Jeremy VanGelder

Yup, I’ve started visiting local churches where the ratios are more favorable. You can’t sit still and expect the problem to solve itself.

Kevin Bratcher
Guest

I went to a new church in college, and when the minister introduced the new members from the pulpit he made a note of the fact that we were single :P

Jeremy VanGelder
Guest
Jeremy VanGelder

And it works both ways. My brother got married after his wife’s parents heard about this ratio. They brought their daughter to our church and good things happened. Before that, my brother had been dragging us to evening services all over the place.

BPG
Guest
BPG

A wedding I attended last summer came about precisely because the young man found out there was another reformed church in the area with an abundance of daughters with wise fathers. He brought a few friends with him soon after visiting our church himself and we expect more engagement announcements shortly. :) Weddings are such good fun and I look forward to celebrating with these young people and encouraging them in their marriages.

valerieab
Member

Conferences are another good option. Sorry…you just missed the Christ Church Grace Agenda conference this past weekend. This place is teeming with young women who make me think, “Seriously? No one has nabbed her yet? She’s amazing!” The annual Auburn Avenue conference is another good place to go fishing. I’m sure there are others…those are just the ones I’ve been to.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

The annual Auburn Avenue conference is another good place to go fishing.

Unless you have some silly prejudice against people who’ve gone completely off the deep end.

Otherwise, it’s a great place to meet chicks.

valerieab
Member

“There are more options available than Mr. Collins or Mr. Darcy.”

Having just finished Persuasion again, I’ma put dibs on Admiral Croft. Is there a jollier marriage in Austen than the Crofts’ or a happier wife than Mrs. C.? #rabbittrail

Jane
Member

They are definitely the jolliest. And their carriage driving typifies their marriage, which is fun. Other heartwarming examples are the Harvilles, the John Knightleys (yeah, John’s a little prickly but we’re not being perfectionists here, remember?) the Westons, the Gardiners, and the Morlands. Even many of her heroes make the point nicely — Henry the goofball slob, Edmund who needs someone to patch him up after he makes a fool of himself, Wentworth, who is clever, charming, dashing, and needs to get over himself, etc. I read a book on marriage and family some years ago that advocated having your… Read more »

adad0
Member

I know I am not list shaped!
Although I have been better shaped than I am right now!????
One other thought about being a man. It has a lot to do with just slogging through the mire, with good humor if possible .

It has less to do with not having any mire to slog through!????

valerieab
Member

“I know I am not list shaped!”

But if you were, it’d be the “A” list. ;-)

valerieab
Member

Doesn’t Mrs. C. say something like “I’d rather be overturned by him than driven safely by anyone else”? I think that’d be a great marriage motto.

We see the other good marriages, but more peripherally, I think, than we see the Crofts’. Of course I may be forgetting some passages about the others, but ISTM Jane looks more directly at their marriage.

And you forgot the best quality of Wentworth. ;^)

Jane
Member

Actually, Louisa says that to Wentworth when Wentworth is telling her about the probability that the Crofts will, in fact, overturn on their drive that day. She says that if she truly loved a man, she’d rather be overturned by him, etc. Obvious Louisa being obvious, as usual. What Jane says about their driving is something along the lines of how he always drives, but tends to need a little help sometimes in missing obstacles, at which point she calmly takes the middle of the reins and makes the necessary corrections. Jane goes on to say that this is also… Read more »

valerieab
Member

Ha! I’m surprised to find myself quoting Louisa! But I still like the line. Maybe I just have a fuller picture of the Crofts’ marriage in my own head because I like them so much.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

After Charlotte marries Collins, we learn that she makes him an excellent wife. She conceals his foolishness, and promotes his understanding. She clearly makes him happy. But we know that this marriage is not based on Charlotte’s respect or natural love for Collins, even though she treats him with love and respect. Jane, what do you think of the morality of such a marriage? This is the flip side of the Bennet marriage where the lure was a pretty face. Can Charlotte’s actual conduct toward her husband compensate for the fact that she cannot possibly respect him? Is Austen suggesting… Read more »

valerieab
Member

I think it is flat out foolish, and therefore sinful, for a woman to deliberately marry a man for whom she can feel no respect. That’s not an issue of being romantic, it’s an issue of honoring God’s intent for marriage.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think I agree. But what about St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre? There, the question is whether marriage for a good purpose (going to India to convert the heathen) is justified in the absence of love on either side. There is mutual respect but there is no love. The possibility of love growing between them after marriage is considered and dismissed as a distraction to the work. Jane thinks such a marriage would be sin, but St. John Rivers thinks it is justified because it advances the Kingdom. At the time, some critics complained that Jane’s attitude was unfeminine.… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

But Jane’s objection to St. John was that he clearly and admittedly didn’t love her. Just as it would be foolish for a woman to marry a man she cannot respect, so it is foolish for a man to marry a woman he cannot love (and foolish for her to accept him).

valerieab
Member

A need is not a calling. St. John needed a wife. It does not follow that Jane should be his wife. If a husband’s first duty is to love his wife, then he fails right off the bat if he talks her into marriage for pragmatic reasons that serve only himself rather than what is best for her. Not that her withdrawing from that relationship is any excuse for her intentions to return to Rochester knowing that they could not lawfully pursue their romantic interest.

katie
Guest
katie

Hang on! You make Jane’s return sound unwise, when Bronte portrays her as being much more careful (and Jane is always, or nearly always, careful!). However unorthodox Jane’s hearing Rochester call, Bronte portrays it as a supernatural act, which Jane responds to with prayer and a simple determination to learn God’s will and get news of Rochester. I wouldn’t characterize that as her “intending to return to him.”

valerieab
Member

It’s been a long time since I read it, but even going by what you say, Bronte’s version of God is hardly orthodox. If I heard the voice of someone who represented a temptation to me, I hope I would not think it was a call from the Holy One. Supernatural it might be, but not divine.

katie
Guest
katie

Certainly. I wouldn’t take the plot of Jane Eyre as prescription for anyone’s life, and I don’t think Bronte intended such (although who knows, maybe she did set store on supernatural visions). I see it as a plot device. When Jane receives her call, Rochester is actually no longer a temptation to her, though she won’t know that until she responds to it.

valerieab
Member

If Bronte is not being prescriptive, she is at least failing at being descriptive. God doesn’t work like she depicts Him. Women’s hearts don’t work like that, either. If she’d found R still unavailable, I don’t believe for a second she’d have found him untempting.

I suppose I should visit JE again, though, since the details obviously escape me. I don’t think I’ve read the book since 9th grade, which was 35 years ago! And it’s never a good idea to trust the accuracy of an on-screen version, which I have imbibed within the Netflix era, if not extremely recently. ;-)

katie
Guest
katie

Do read it again! It’s at the top of the list of my favorite rereads. The strength of will involved in Jane’s leaving Rochester in the first place is no small feat. I’m convinced if she had returned to find him as he was, she’d have recieved news of him in the village, or from Mrs Fairfax, and gone away again. She comes close even to accepting a loveless marriage (“I could decide if I were but certain…were I convinced it is God’s will I should marry you, I could vow to marry you here and now- come afterwards what… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

PS no movie comes close to getting it right. :) But that’s a given!

Ian Miller
Member

True – all of the movies demonstrate a real disgust at the real religious feeling in the book (however heretical) (except maybe the Orson Welles movie? Which I haven’t watched all the way through) (actually, the William Hurt/Charlotte Gainsbourgh movie isn’t that bad on religion – it’s just kinda bland :)

katie
Guest
katie

I think the Stephens version is the best, only because it doesn’t leave as much out, or alter the storyline as much for time’s sake. Nothing quite scratches the itch like Bronte herself.

Ian Miller
Member

Completely agree. The Stephens version is the only one where you really get the Steventon chapters in any kind of justice. And it does justice to Jane’s joy at finding her cousins in a way that no other version does. It’s still got some omissions, and I have friends who really dislike all the Jane/Rochester makeout sessions after the failed wedding, but it’s the richest textually, I think. Not that other versions aren’t lovely – the Fassbender/Wasikowska is very pretty and clever, and I really like Charlotte Gainsbourg. But all of them have Janes and Rochesters who are way too… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

I feel absolutely embarrassed at Jane and R lying on a bed for their textually rich conversation!

Ian Miller
Member

It is definitely more than a bit silly. :)

valerieab
Member

It is now on my iPod and shall be my next at-home listen. ;^)

katie
Guest
katie

Enjoy!!

valerieab
Member

OK, I finished it. Here are a few thoughts.

katie
Guest
katie

Valerie, I love it! St. John is really such an enigma to me. He’s totally a manipulative jerk, but Bronte ends the entire book with him, and seems to respect him, so I don’t know what to make of him. Really puzzling. I think I’ll have to reread again, this time with an eye for why Rochester has all these haters. I really like him – maybe I’m susceptible to commanding personalities! Of course he’s flawed and sinful, but I buy Bronte’s excuse for it, and so enjoy seeing him cut down to size by Jane’s sharpening iron. She’s a… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Valerie and Katie, this is great. I wonder if how we react to St. John and Rochester is some kind of Rorschach test. I agree that St. John is manipulative and cold as ice, but I also found him a very sexy character. I would have been on the next boat to India with him, knowing I would be dead from heat stroke or cholera within the month. I like Mr. Rochester and I don’t even mind his not telling Jane about the mad woman in the attic. But I did mind his pretending to be madly in love with… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

Possibly? But Jane’s forgiving her regardless shows how far she at least has come, from a childhood ruled by passions – passions developed in great part through the cruelty she suffered. Which, now that I think of it, is a perfect contrast to Rochester’s having suffered life’s cruelty and yet not having grown to subdue himself.

Ian Miller
Member

Excellent review! I find I’m much less ambiguous about Helen and Jane, even though I do hate the extreme of their positions in Elsie Dinsmore. I don’t really see the Twilight comparison, having read those novels – they are almost identical to the late 1700s Gothic Romance literature like Ann Radcliffe, but not so much to the Bronte’s much tougher heroines and even heros.

And yes, Elizabeth Klett is a wonderful narrator for Librivox :)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I can’t argue with your reading of the text, but it is certainly not how I have always pictured the event. I see it more that Jane, being instructed that it is her duty to contract a loveless marriage, remembers what it was like to be really loved. She knows that her love for Rochester is unsanctioned and that her religious duty is to remove herself from temptation. She phrases it to herself that she must make sure her friend is well and that the supernatural summons bodes him no ill. Nonetheless, can we really doubt that had she returned… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

I absolutely doubt it! I think we can take Jane at her word at this point. She is aware of the temptation, but I think Bronte introduces this supernatural call as a way of bringing Jane and Rochester together by God’s hand (in a very unorthodox manner, of course). Bronte is the one finding an excuse for Jane’s return, and as the author she has that prerogative. Jane is not making excuses, but obeying a call. We can argue with Bronte that God does not behave in such a way, but I don’t think we can argue with Jane when… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

Whoops, you got to it before me! :)

Ian Miller
Member

I do doubt it – I think it’s not necessarily wise of her to return, but since she resisted his blandishments before, I think she could again. :)

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

If a husband’s first duty is to love his wife, then he fails right off the bat if he talks her into marriage for pragmatic reasons that serve himself rather than what is best for her.

Preach it, sister!

A man’s needs and desires should play no part in his decision as to whom he should marry. The woman’s wants and desires are what matter, not his. A man should never choose a bride for pragmatic reasons that serve himself.

After all, didn’t God create Adam to be a helpmeet for Eve?

valerieab
Member

I edited to add the word “only.” Now you can explain why a man should be allowed to marry a woman without intending to love her as God commands him.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

I edited to add the word “only.” Thereby completely changing the meaning of your original comment. Now you can explain why a man should be allowed to marry a woman without intending to love her as God commands him. I’ve never said or implied anything of the kind, so why would I try to explain it? I believe the wants and needs of both the man and woman are important and should be taken into consideration. I’m not the one who said that the wants and needs of both people aren’t important, and that one party’s wants and needs matter,… Read more »

valerieab
Member

No…only changing your uncharitable reading of it.

Good. Then you agree with what my original intent was.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Preach it, sister!

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Have you ever visited this church? I think it’s probably the next big thing in church architecture:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-high-heel-church

Ian Miller
Member

I think since Jane did not have a calling to missions in the way that St. John did, she was right – both partners in a missionary couple must have the calling, or the tension in the relationship does more harm than good. I’m not a fan of Jane Eyre as a novel, but I think Jane Eyre the character is mostly right on, except for falling for that utter backside-hat Rochester.

Jane
Member

Actually, though, Jane said she would be willing to go to India with St. John and live as his sister, as she already considered herself, but he insisted on marriage or nothing (for understandable propriety reasons.) She didn’t seem to need to feel a “missionary calling” — I think her attitude was, I can be content and useful here or there. I think the real issue was not that she could not marry St. John without romantic feelings, but that she could not marry him while having lasting romantic feelings for someone else. One has to be able to give… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

She did, but I never got the sense it was her calling – it was something she thought might be her calling, but never directly through her. Not that being content and useful is bad – I probably overstated my objections before – sorry.

I really don’t get why St. John was so into having Jane marry him. Seriously. The brother-sister thing made more sense to me, especially since he clearly was in love with Rose. But I don’t really understand any of the men in Jane Eyre. Tenant of Wildfell Hall made more sense to me :)

Jane
Member

“Tenant of Wildfell Hall made more sense to me.” Were you DRINKING when you read it? ;-) Seriously, he was concerned about appearance and temptation, living and working in close quarters with a woman who was not his wife, and who was not actually his sister. The sense I get is that Jane didn’t feel the need for a “missionary call.” As long as she wasn’t married to Rochester, nothing was ever going to be the thing she felt a “need” or “calling” to do — but she would strive to serve God and man and be content in whatever… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

Haha, that’s amazing. No, I was driving – I listened to the book on the way to teaching. :) Drinking and driving are not things Anne Bronte would approve of.

But they were cousins! Ugh. You have a good point about the appearance. I just don’t like him that much.

Yep, that’s an excellent way of summing up the last chapter of Jane Eyre. I just hate Rochester a bit too much (except when he’s played by Toby Stephens). :)

Jane
Member

They were cousins, but they did not grow up together. And cousin marriage was widely accepted. So “they were cousins” would have cut no ice with people concerned about appearance, or about the potential to be tempted by too close contact without supervision, with the person in question.

Ian Miller
Member

You are right. I’m just loathe to admit it. Because of my loathing of St. John (internal punning!) :)

katie
Guest
katie

I’d like to hear you elaborate on why Rochester is despicable. And Toby Stephens was great, but waaaay too good looking to be Rochester.

Ian Miller
Member

Yes, he was too handsome – but what I liked about him was that he was playful, so that his manipulations were more obvious to Jane, and less about mind games and more about mutual enjoyment. I hate Rochester’s dishonest and selfish heart. He’s not wholly wicked – I don’t buy the idiotic feminist reading of the “madwoman in the attic” as somehow representative of All Women In Evil Patriarchy, since I think Rochester was actually trying to do right by his first wife by preventing her from being thrown in an asylum (I’m reading The Woman In White by… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

Do you not think his treatment of Jane – who is poor, obscure, plain, and little – as having an equal mind, and not to be trampled on, is evidence of an underlying kindness? Jane thought so. I suppose you don’t buy into Bronte’s “life’s cruel circumstances made him this way” argument? Not that I would at all, either, in real life. But what a complex and interesting story it makes!

Ian Miller
Member

I mean, I do have a tiny, tiny part of me that gets swept up in Jane’s bird speech, but when they’re actually talking to each other, I’m not impressed by his “equal mind” stuff. Compared to her previous relationships with her adoptive family and her school, sure, he’s better – but a black eye is better than a broken leg, too. :)

It is definitely complex and interesting. It just doesn’t work for me – but I’m fully aware that it works for a LOT of people (especially most of my female friends in their teen years :)

katie
Guest
katie

Well. I didn’t expect a stinging insult from you, of all the commenters here! I feel the comparison to teenage girls severely. Ha. Anyway, I find their verbal sparring delightful, both in the way he’s an ass toward her to get a rise, and the way she remains master of herself throughout. I suppose Rochester also makes sense to me as the creation of an isolated, intelligent, introverted young woman.

Ian Miller
Member

Uh…I didn’t intend insult? Just that almost all of my female friends really loved the book in their teen years? I myself fell in love with Austen at 17, Dorothy Sayers at 14, Sherlock Holmes at 10 – so I don’t think that the fact a piece of literature resonates particularly with one age group or sex is a negative?

Rochester and Jane’s relationship do strike me as particularly Romantic (not in terms of romance, but the Romantic ideal of intelligent, suffering, complicated people who are surrounded by plebes).

katie
Guest
katie

Ha – no, I know it wasn’t an insult. But it could be…coughTwilightcough.

Ian Miller
Member

Whew, I’m glad. I have definitely heard folk insulting others (in this very comments section) for similarly stupid things, so I wouldn’t want to convey that at all.

katie
Guest
katie

I might could start using LOL to convey the lightheartedness I intended above, but so often it’s used as “LOL I laugh at you because you are an idiot,” so I won’t.

Ian Miller
Member

I just use a lot of smilies :)

Ian Miller
Member

Ah, the Twilights. I know Doug has fulminated against the Twilights, but I think that though they are definitely disposable literature, I think there is more in them than most give them credit for (now watch while all my friends desert me forever :)

katie
Guest
katie

Nice knowing you, Ian.

katie
Guest
katie

I forgot LOL and all the smilies.

Ian Miller
Member

nooooooo :(

Jane
Member

I agree with Valerie. And no, I don’t think Jane Austen wants us to believe that Charlotte could have made Collins respectable — all of his later appearances in the story depict him as intransigent in his folly. I think Charlotte merely gets a bit of credit for finding a means of contentment and duty in a situation she should never have created, in contrast to Mr. Bennet who merely retreated into cynicism and neglect of his husbandly/fatherly duties.

valerieab
Member

I certainly like Jane E
Much less than I like Jane A,
But I’d eagerly take Jane D
Over both of ’em any day.

Jane
Member

Not fair. There are no famous and admirable literary Valeries.

And then there’s Jane A’s Jane B-B, who is a lot nicer than I am.

Ian Miller
Member

Jane Bennet is my favorite :)

valerieab
Member

Yeah…I couldn’t fit her in.

You could try actresses:

Bertinelli
Is on the telly
And so is Harper,
But Kyriosity’s sharper.

(It would scan better with my real name.)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Who is that? My pulse is racing.

valerieab
Member

Mrs. Croft again. ;-)

Ian Miller
Member

Ciaran Hinds (an excellent Irish actor) in the 1995 film of Persuasion (an excellent film, with some sad stumbles at the ending, but at least it’s not the 2007 film, which seems to think that running a marathon is a good idea modern romantic comedies have that all Austen films must emulate).

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I have not seen that, but now I must. It is a comfort to know that I can still rejoice in handsome young men.

Ian Miller
Member

I’m just a few months shy of two and a half score years, but I rejoice in many of Austen’s characters on screen on page. :)

valerieab
Member

It was my Austen gateway drug. Friends showed it to me on my 30th birthday. I’ve been a Janeaholic ever since. It’s a faithful adaptation. And…Ciaran Hinds.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Yowie.

Ian Miller
Member

Wellllllll…it’s mostly faithful, but I still think the ending is pretty messed up. It doesn’t ruin it, but I think it should be acknowledged.

valerieab
Member

Yes…the ending is a little odd.

Ian Miller
Member

It’s just unnecessarily broad and frustrating.

valerieab
Member

Ohhhhhh…she meant who is the picture. Sorry! Yes…Mr. Hinds in his prime is the object of my aesthetic esteem. ;-)

Ian Miller
Member

Even now, in his twilight years, I find him a delight in all of his projects, even if the projects themselves vary in quality. :)

valerieab
Member

I don’t see him in much. Last thing I remember was “Amazing Grace.” Anything in particular you can recommend?

Jane
Member

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. He was also Rochester once!

Ian Miller
Member

Most of the stuff he’s in isn’t very good these days, sadly. But I did like him in the Above Suspicion cop show with Kelly Reilly, and he was a good part in the otherwise dreadful John Carter (along with Lynn Collins). He is pretty great in Amazing Grace, though! Even if I was sad to see Wentworth so anti-American and pro-slavery :)

Jane
Member

You mean the way she-who-must-not-be-Keira runs halfway to Netherfield before breakfast?

Ian Miller
Member

No, it was Sally Hawkins – otherwise an excellent Anne, but hampered by terrible hairstylists and a offensively lazy script – who dashed literally all the way around Bath before meeting up with Wentworth, then pausing for a massive breath-catching. (I have argued in the past that there is a thematic appropriateness to the choice of having Anne run in a circle, since her whole story is a second chance – circling around – to have her happiness with Wentworth – but the execution of the filming was…terrible is putting it mildly). Also – do I detect a hint of… Read more »

Jane
Member

Well, yes, I just meant the end of the execrable Knightly P&P version where she goes running across the fields and runs into Darcy. And instead of an awkward conversation during a staid family stroll, their engagement is a breathless affair of mutual gut-spilling. The running thing goes at least as far back as Anne of Avonlea (1987) where, when she learns Gilbert is gravely ill and expected to die, instead of tending to affairs at home while quietly grieving and ruing her previous rejection of him, then being given the news of his recovery by a passing farmhand, she… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

Oh, THAT part. Yup. The biggest problem for me in that scene is that they are in their nightclothes. In other words, COMPLETELY NAKED based on the conventions of the time. Ugh ugh ugh.

I think the running thing is really just trying to copy those stupid running in airports scenes in modern romcoms.

I liked the Death Comes to Pemberely miniseries because it was so much better than the drippy book – but it was definitely flawed. But Anna Maxwell Martin was pretty good other than that scene, I thought.

Jane
Member

Ugh, I had the completely opposite reaction to DCTP. I thought the book was an unfortunate sign that Baroness James should have quit before her faculties began to fail, but was not absolutely terrible.

But the miniseries was ugh, ugh, ugh. And Anna Maxwell Martin is a good actress but she Is Not Lizzie.

Ian Miller
Member

Fair enough. I just didn’t recognize Lizzy or Darcy at all in the book – they were both carbon copies of Dalgliesh and Cordelia – full of angst and guilt, and nothing like the witty and urbane characters I know and love. The miniseries captured a bit more of that.

Jane
Member

Oh, yes, James really didn’t get the spirit of Austen at all in the book. I totally agree. I just think it was not a terribly written book, just rather lacking. But the miniseries was terrible.

You think Darcy and Lizzie having a big fight over Georgiana and then the, um, makeup scene, captured them? Oh, dear, we shall have to disagree. :-) I found them just as angsty in the production as on paper.

Ian Miller
Member

It’s not terribly written – it’s just a terrible Austen pastiche or continuation. I’d have to rewatch the miniseries to really see if I feel the weight of your analysis, but I simply think that Matthew Rhys and Anna Maxwell-Martin were more sparkling and intelligent than their book counterparts. I’m happy to agree to disagree – though I hope we can agree that Mansfield Park has been traduced over and over again. :)

Jane
Member

Maybe. But the script was even worse, and the plot changes only weakened it.

katie
Guest
katie

Who was it who thought, “You know what Austen needs? A car chase. But without cars.” Get some dignity, 2007 Anne!

valerieab
Member

Y’all are making me gladder and gladder I never watched that version!

Ian Miller
Member

Eh, it’s not completely terrible. Anne is excellent, and Wentworth is pretty good. However, it doesn’t offer much that the 1995 film does, so it feels kinda redundant. But it’s infinitely superior than either of the Mansfield Park films made in the past two decades.

Ian Miller
Member

Not to mention the director, who seems to have said, “You know what I just watched? The Bourne movies! That’s what Austen needs! To feel like an amateur documentary!”

bethyada
Member

Depends on whether the list is, what I like; or, what I think a godly man should be. And whether one has check boxes to tick off, or just trying to maximise good qualities while willing to skip any particular one if many others line up.

bethyada
Member

Of course many of us here assume that Mr Dunsworth is at the level of Collins and Darcy.

We wouldn’t want you to have married below your station!

valerieab
Member

I sincerely hope he is not at the level of Collins!!! He’s not a Darcy, either, which is too bad, because filthy rich Dunsworths could come visit me.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If they still have Pemberley, you could go and visit them. I wish that Jane would tell us, but we will have to speculate in ignorance. I realize that Mr. Knightley is out of my class, but I think I could have been happy with Colonel Brandon. But he would have to give up dueling no matter how severe the provocation.

Ian Miller
Member

Awww, but it’s so much fun seeing him bash that Willhoughby a new one (in the 2008 miniseries) :)

bethyada
Member

Fixed it

Haven’t read Austin. Didn’t realise Doug was implying high and low here. (And its not really about money is it?)

Jane
Member

No, Doug’s contrast is definitely not about money. Collins was an unattractive (physically and in personality) middle class toady with an inflated sense of his own importance. Darcy was actually a (handsome and well bred) wealthy and important man who needed his ideas adjusted but eventually came to a more appropriate sense of his own importance, because of a capacity for humility that Collins lacked. Both men pursued Elizabeth (the heroine) and both initially failed. But Valerie is being cute about us visiting her, and part of the fairy taleish aspect of the story (which is a psychologically realistic story… Read more »

valerieab
Member

“Real men read Austen!” to quote Peter Leithart. Go and do likewise. I’ll allow the substitution of certain film versions (excellent adaptations of Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility were all made in 1995) if you need to work up to the books. ;^)

BPG
Guest
BPG

Ah, the dear Crofts. :) I need to read Persuasion again. Actually, the Austen story that has come to my mind the most this discussion (both posts) was Sense and Sensibility.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Why that novel in particular? I was wondering if a man in his early twenties would ever have the maturity to handle marriage with Marianne. A very young man might find her too emotional, too headstrong; I doubt that a very young man would have the maturity to restrain her impulsivity, or to help her not to be tossed about by emotion. And Elinor–so excellent, refined, and lovely–would scare the wits out of many young men just because she is so undeniably superior. What do you think?

adad0
Member

Don’t know that I have read any of these books. I will say that an excellent, refined, lovely and undeniably superior woman can be intimidating, though strangely enough, a grounded, albeit goofy guy would not be an inapropriate counter point to that sort of person!

Ian Miller
Member

I highly recommend them :) And a grounded, goofy guy is a perfect description of Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey!

adad0
Member

Speaking as a grounded goofy guy, I have found that we are appropriate counter points to lots of things!????
(As I expect you are as well Mr. Ian!)

Ian Miller
Member

Aww, thank you!

valerieab
Member

I think it doesn’t hurt a bit for a young man to be a little scared of the woman he wants to marry. ;-)

David Trounce
Guest

Amen to that. I found my wife’s godliness and the godliness of her family a little intimidating. It made me want to be a better man.

BPG
Guest
BPG

The sweet girl my son currently admires has a lot a scripture memorized. I was just telling him yesterday that he has some catching up to do if he wants to be worthy of such a wife someday. I told him to “Pursue your wife even now by following after Christ.”

BPG
Guest
BPG

Fun things to ponder, no doubt. :) I think the reason the novel came to mind was some comment on the first post on the subject. Something to the effect of, “If she wants to marry an established man she will marry an older man, if a young man than she must be willing to marry a man not yet established.” Mine is a terrible paraphrase, but I thought the original point a good one. I was quite happy to marry young and poor to a hard working, God fearing young man still in the process of establishing himself. It… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

But Pastor Wilson missed the perfect Austen example of the importance of knowing your own level: when Emma nearly destroys Harriet Smith’s marital prospects by encouraging her to look for suitors far above her station. “Vanity working on a weak head produces every sort of mischief.”

valerieab
Member

Yes!

Ian Miller
Member

Better to be without sense, than to misapply it as you ;)

valerieab
Member

In a world where reading comprehension is a hate crime, this rabbit trail has been a very fun act of civil disobedience. ;-)

Diana Johnston
Guest
Diana Johnston

Indeed. Though I haven’t participated, I am an avid Austen fan (I read all of her books at least yearly!), and have greatly enjoyed reading all of the lovely comments, applications, analogies, and etc. Bring it on!

ashv
Guest
ashv

Persuasion is definitely underappreciated.

To sidetrack this sidetrack, here’s some thoughts on why feminists love Pride and Prejudice so much: http://athriftyhomemaker.blogspot.ca/2015/08/the-inherent-liberalism-of-pride-and.html

valerieab
Member

In other words, they love it because they misunderstand it. Big surprise there.

Ian Miller
Member

It’s kind of hilarious that people today think Austen was all about the feelings, when the people of the day (Sir Walter Scott, as a specific example) though she was way too mercenary. Even a hundred years later, W. H. Auden was shocked by her open acknowledgement of the importance of money in marriage. I completely agree with Valerie – that blog is completely missing what Austen is actually writing.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Unfortunately, Doug has done little to clarify or address what he previously wrote. 1-The issue is not that some people want more emphasis on certain things or that people “want to normalize the abnormal”, but that his solution to real problems (lack of men seeking Holiness in churches, porn, men’s issues with responsibility, etc) is inadequate (get married young). Marriage does not answer any of these problems, and without addressing them at some level beforehand only hurts the marriage. As well, this sets an incredibly unrealistic situation that would bring more grief than flourishing. 2-Not only has Doug not pointed… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Tony wrote:

5 and 6-bash culture, bash women, yell at feminism, repeat….

bop Wilson, repeat…..

Tony
Guest
Tony

and you didn’t show how what I wrote was untrue…

timothy
Guest
timothy

At a certain point, it is enough to only know that you wrote it.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Well, when someone has already decided a point of view without actually looking at evidence (mainly because that belief is beneficial to that person) and seek to attack and condescend, it makes labelling and rejecting something sight unseen quite easy, doesn’t it…..

timothy
Guest
timothy

I took careful measure of your intelligence and reasoning and (unfortunately) I cannot take your opinion as worthwhile; it is a waste of time.

Tony
Guest
Tony

With all that you have said to me over the past few months, how you have insulted, dismissed and disagreed without any evidence or logic, it is clear to me that your opinion is not an opinion, but drivel repeated from conservative websites……..like a sheep….

Les
Guest
Les

Well said! It seemed Doug’s intent was pure. Yet, the communication of his ideas and solutions to his ideals seemed to be lacking. Unfortunately, it seemed his follow-up was more of defensive reaction than truly clarifying or proving his initial position.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

1. Marriage addresses (or more properly, is a means of addressing) all of these problems. A man who struggles with lust (we might perhaps distinguish him from a man who is completely given over to it) is clearly a man who needs to get married. He hasn’t the gift of celibacy. Marriage can help that situation. Right? I mean, surely you concede that. A young man who shirks responsibility clearly needs to take some on: marriage is an excellent and well-attested means of helping boys behave like men. And so forth. To talk as if Doug presents marriage as a… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

“Marriage addresses (or more properly, is a means of addressing) all of these problems. A man who struggles with lust (we might perhaps distinguish him from a man who is completely given over to it) is clearly a man who needs to get married. He hasn’t the gift of celibacy. Marriage can help that situation. Right? I mean, surely you concede that.” -no, it really doesn’t. If on is under the persuasion that lust, porn and sexual sin only envolves the sex drive, then it would make sense that marriage would fix that. However, these issues are 90% of the… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

Why did God make Eve?

Tony
Guest
Tony

To be a partner (in biblical terminology “help meet”) and not a sex toy for Adam.

ashv
Guest
ashv

Not “partner”, “helper”. “Help meet” is not a compound noun. The KJV translation says “I will make a help meet for him” — in modern English, “I will make a helper suitable for him”. Woman was created as a helper for Man.

Tony
Guest
Tony

I am rusty on my Hebrew, but how does helper translate into sex toy for the mans sexual needs?

ashv
Guest
ashv

Willful misrepresentations of other’s opinions deserve no response.

Tony
Guest
Tony

I am not sure how else I can interpret what you originally wrote when my point that you commented on was if you struggle with sexual sin before marriage and do nothing yourself to remedy that, you will during marriage as well.
The term help meet in the Hebrew simply implies “helper, assistance giver”.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

The accusation of “throwing mud” stems from your attacks, not on what Doug actually said, but on what you made up for him to have said. Doug never said that marriage was a part of our identity as Christ is, a fact you admit. Doug said nothing of the kind. Nor did he suggest it, nor imply it, nor adumbrate it. The thing is entirely the product of your own invention, and if you’ve any sense of honor you’ll retract it.

Tony
Guest
Tony

This is what Doug is implying , however. I have said may times Doug seems to talk out of both sides of his mouth, and this post is a good example. He spends plenty of time insinuating that it is imperative for the majority of young people to get married, citing porn, energy, false views of self, etc. as reasons. He goes on to explain that marriage will deal with these problems, even though they don’t. I never said that Doug wrote that marriage specifically was a part of our identity. I wrote, basically, that what Doug wrote leads to… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

If every word of this was accurate – and it isn’t, but leave that aside – that still would not imply that Doug thinks marriage is part of our identity in a manner comparable to Christ. I’m giving you a fair choice: either provide some evidence for your assertion beyond your own private feelings, or withdraw it.

Tony
Guest
Tony

Every I have written is true. And, I never said that Doug thinks that marriage is part of our identity on par with Christ. I HAVE written that marriage will not in itself make someone not commit sexual sin, and that marriage is not a command (as Doug suggests). As for me withdrawing my comments, like Doug, I am a strong proponent of free speech. It is fine that you do not like what I have to say. But I have the freedom to write what I choose, which I have. I have also provided evidence for my conclusions. Ignore… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You said “Our identity is based on Christ alone, yet [Doug] essentially places marriage as 1b, which scripture nowhere states…” This assertion is false; when I called you for evidence, you retreated to your right to free speech. Which is true enough: within certain parameters, you can say whatever you like. Likewise, I have the freedom to point out that you are talking nonsense, and apparently know it. Good day.

Tony
Guest
Tony

again, I never said Doug said those words, practically, that is what is being insinuated….read more carefully

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You made an assertion and I disputed it. I asked you to provide some evidence, some rational grounds for the accusation, and you have not done so. Two possibilities: either you have some basis for your claim and for reasons known best to yourself choose not to share it, or you haven’t got any evidence outside your own subjectivity. The first is unlikely; ergo, your conclusion is groundless.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

And look, with this “read more carefully” business – that’s just silly. It’s not like I and the rest of the people who disagree are going to do your thinking for you. You made the assertion – you defend it. Come up with some reasons – make an argument. I’m not your research assistant – I think your claim is wrong.

Tony
Guest
Tony

“And look, with this “read more carefully” business – that’s just silly. It’s not like I and the rest of the people who disagree are going to do your thinking for you.” -So, simply you want me to reiterate everything I have written simply because you can`t be bothered to…… The fact is, I have done m thinking, have written my thoughts and beliefs. If you disagree, show me where i am in error. But don`t be lazy and just make assertions simply because you don`t like what I have written but don`t have any actual reaasoned argument for why… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

It funny that in all your comments, you have simply made assertions, and yet are saying I have made an assertion (which is not true, because my original post explained (maybe brefly) my reasoning for making the statement). Is it possible (and I have seen this phenominon frequently) that you are unwilling to accept any information that does not coencide with your own worldview, or any belief that would paint Doug in anything other than a positive, majestic light? Now, I will give another reason for my claim that Doug puts marriage as an institution that gies identity and therefore… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Too lazy… to make your argument for you. Yeah, that’s probably it. I’d actually be happy to deal with any new information you provide, but you’ve been long on unsubstantiated assertions, and notably deficient in the matter of facts. When called on this, you then start sputtering about the first amendment. I am making an assertion, and my assertion is that you will not or cannot cite any evidence (you know, quotes and things) for your claims. My evidence for this point is your last three-four replies, which contain no relevant evidence, but a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

“Too lazy… to make your argument for you. Yeah, that’s probably it. I’d actually be happy to deal with any new information you provide, but you’ve been long on unsubstantiated assertions, and notably deficient in the matter of facts. When called on this, you then start sputtering about the first amendment. I am making an assertion, and my assertion is that you will not or cannot cite any evidence (you know, quotes and things) for your claims. My evidence for this point is your last three-four replies, which contain no relevant evidence, but a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Look, it’s been fun, but I’m getting bored. Do you seriously think that the statement “X is really important” implies the statement “X is almost as important as Jesus”? Really? Because I don’t believe you think really that. Yet you charged Doug with the latter statement, and have spent a small pond’s worth of pixels trying to dodge what should have been obvious from the beginning – that you haven’t got a leg to stand on. You don’t have to do what I say, but I think any objective readers can see what’s going on here.

katie
Guest
katie

Tony is nothing if not determined.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

It must be simply exhausting. Sophistry is a young man’s game.

Tony
Guest
Tony

determined over truth and common sense….of course…..guilty as charged

Tony
Guest
Tony

You misread what I wrote. I did not say “Doug said marrying young is really important”. I said that Doug placed an undue emphasis on marriage-more that the Bible does. He also did not state his belief as a preference, but as a dogmatic statement-“If you want to be obedient, fight sexual sin, have energy to take care of kids, etc., Get married young. There are maybe one or two exceptions, but as a general rule you should be married by your 23rd birthday” Choose to ignore and dismiss-its a free country and I can not make you do anything.… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

It is obvious to both of us, I trust, that the Bible doesn’t speak directly to the issue of how old the average age at marriage ought to be. This means that it falls within the proper domain of wisdom and good sense. Now, Doug clearly believes that a broad societal norm of younger marriage is wiser than the current system, for a variety of reasons, most of which you dispute, as is your right. But you are accusing him of more than being wrong. To make a claim that someone presents a thing with “undue emphasis” implies that you… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

“But you are accusing him of more than being wrong. To make a claim that someone presents a thing with “undue emphasis” implies that you know the right amount of emphasis and that the accused is clearly going past that. So how do you quantify that?” -If Doug were simply saying “i personally think it’s best for men to marry young”, there would be no problem, because that is simply an opinion. But by stating there should be a “baseline expectation” for men to marry by 23, and by presenting reasons as a “cure” or “help” (at some level, though… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

To answer your question: it is entirely possible to think something is a really good idea, without thinking it is specifically commanded by the Scriptures. Hence, there’s no contradiction between giving very strong advice and believing that no-one has an absolute moral duty to obey you. The horns of your dilemma, in other words, are not exclusive. Ergo, your critique is flawed. Besides the obvious point, which you continue to ignore, that Doug never said what you are alleging. He says marriage is important. He does not say it is a Christian duty, or whatever other words you are trying… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

“To answer your question: it is entirely possible to think something is a really good idea, without thinking it is specifically commanded by the Scriptures.” -First off, I don’t think I ever stated that Doug thinks marriage is commanded (though it is reasonable to assume that based on what he wrote), I have also stated responsibility and marriage being incredibly important and putting more weight on marriage than other things that ARE commanded. Second, Doug is arguing something much stronger than “a really good idea”. He is advocating a baseline expectation (with a few exceptions) of men marrying by 23,… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Yeah. I am demanding an exact quote in order to distinguish thinking something wise from establishing it as dogma. This isn’t that complicated: those are different things, you made the latter charge, and you have nothing to substantiate it besides airy-fairy “He spent two whole blog posts saying it was a good idea!” vagaries. A man abusing his children presumably does things that one could point to as evidence. If I accused you of abusing children, I expect that you would demand some actual instances of actual abuse, rather than simply “I have no evidence but he seemed abusive in… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

And PS – wise things should be a baseline expectation, n’est pas?

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

As a long time Christian woman, mother of 6, grandmother of 19 and great grandmother of two, I would not recommend any of my daughters or granddaughters marry any of these patronizing, condescending men who have been responding to this post, My husband us a pastor/elder/teacher and one son in law is an ordained Pastor. Neither of them has such archaic ideas about a woman’s place. No wonder there are so many unmarrieds.

adad0
Member

“patronizing, condescending men who have been responding to this post,”?
All of the men who respond are patronizing / condescending?

Seems like those atributes are not limited to just men! ; – )

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Sorry, but I would not want my daughters or granddaughters to marry such a wimpy man who demanded submission, the one daughter who did has lived to regret it.the tigers have healthy partnership marriages..

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

Aa Freudian slip. I meant the others

David Trounce
Guest

What am I missing here? Where is the demand for submission?

adad0
Member

Like the full context of Ephesians, right? (21 especially) 21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b]… Read more »

mikebull1
Member

Lack of comprehension might not be the problem. Hard words will only be received by soft hearts. Methinks Pastor Wilson might need to write another post explaining the relevance of the “two boats and a helicopter” metaphor.

Luke Pride
Guest

I wish I had married younger. I thought it best to wait until I had my “act together” and now I realize the best way to develop and get my act together would have been to have some responsibility and accountability.

Tony
Guest
Tony

You realize that was available before marriage, right?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

Doug, judging by the large number of comments on this thread devoted to Jane Austen novels, your blog is at high risk of devolving into a virtual women’s luncheon with dainty napkins and tea sandwiches. Is that really the direction you want to go in? If not, you might want to consider changing the focus and tenor of your posts to actively discourage this kind of thing. Personally, I don’t think a women’s Jane Austen fan club is really the kind of image you want to cultivate for your blog, especially given how rapidly things are changing these days, and… Read more »

bethyada
Member
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

The problem is, Doug’s a member

Thou hast said.

Jane
Member

I think OJ’s cutely hinting around at the ridiculous, agenda-driven slander about Jane Austen that some feminist academic tried to put over on us a couple of decades back.

Ian Miller
Member

Er, which one? There’s a lot of terrible theories about Austen, ranging from lesbian incest to moral nihilism to secret pervert…

Jane
Member

The first one.

Ian Miller
Member

Ah, yes, Terry Castle. Who then tried to make it all about gay rights, instead of say, oh, yeah, implying that Jane Austen was sleeping with her sister might have been stupid…

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

If I had to sleep in an unheated house during a British winter, I would have shared a bed with anyone who would have me. The more the merrier.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Good heavens! If that is how they talk about Jane Austen, what do they conjecture about Charlotte Bronte, let alone Emily?

Ian Miller
Member

I don’t think the Brontes are quite lucrative enough for them to make money off of that kind of intellectual and moral bankruptcy.

Jane
Member

The problem is, it’s not a “women’s fan club.” It’s a literary discussion about possibly the greatest British novelist of all time. OJ’s probably one of those unfortunate people who is so unfamiliar with Austen as to think she wrote romance novels.

Ian Miller
Member

Also, yo, not a woman, and Jane Austen’s my favorite author. I personally wish Doug posted MORE about books so we could get into these kinds of discussions without being off topic.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Greatest *female* British novelist, perhaps. She’s swimming in a big pond.

Ian Miller
Member

She is – but I think there is definitely a case to be made for her at the top. Not uncontested, but she’s in the running. :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Yeah, her and Dickens and Scott and Hardy and Lewis and Tolkien and Woodehouse and Wells… and I don’t even know very much about Brit. Lit.

Ian Miller
Member

And Elliot and Ford and Trollope! (Though I seriously question Wells being on that list. He’s a revolutionary writer, but not a particularly good one. But maybe that’s just my hatred of his Marxism shining through.) I’m not saying that she absolutely is (though I tend to think so), but she’s definitely up there. :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Criticism granted, but he was such a pioneer in the sci-fi genre – you get a lot of credit from me for basically inventing a new kind of story to tell.

Ian Miller
Member

Yup – I totally acknowledge that, but I don’t think that puts him in running for best Brit novellist. Definitely “one of the most important figures in literary history” though.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Amazing to occupy the second category and not the first.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

What about Joyce?

Ian Miller
Member

Totally Irish. :)

Kidding! Lewis and Tolkien were Irish and South African, by that standard.

Joyce is like Hardy for me – I acknowledge his importance, but have no desire to dive into him.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Far worse than Hardy in that respect. I find him profoundly irritating, and that’s only when I can make out what he’s saying.

Jane
Member

Eliot is strong competition. Ford I don’t know, Trollope is good but IMO a little too Dickensian (cartoonish characters and contrived plots) to be in the same league.

Ian Miller
Member

Trollope and Dickens people can fight it out. I prefer Dickens, but have only read one Trollope novel, and I have academic friends who devote their lives to Trollope as a great master, so eh. I don’t think all of Dickens’s characters are cartoonish, though – nor that cartoonishness is necessarily an artistic flaw if done in a way that highlights our own real tendencies in a morally enlightening way. After all, that’s what Collins and Mrs. Bennet are for! (Ford Madox Ford was a very interesting novellist – again, I’ve only read one of his books, The Good Soldier,… Read more »

Jane
Member

I think on literary merit, she beats Dickens and Scott and Lewis cold. Not necessarily on story-telling, though. I haven’t read Hardy — everything I hear about him makes me not want to, but that means I abstain on literary judgment. I don’t confuse taste for merit. :-) I don’t consider Wodehouse a novelist, but someone who wrote stories, some of which were really long. ;-) Besides, I think she gets bonus points for writing really good novels with developed characters, psychological realism, and credible plots when no one had really done it in English before. It’s one thing to… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

I’ll agree that in terms of writing quality and intellectual depth, she beats Scott – in terms of prosemanship, she beats Lewis, but I’m not convinced on Dickens. They are both towering masters. (I am the same as you on Hardy :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

prosemanship, huh? I think the idea of a greatest novelist is fraught, because those at the top are all doing such different things. Austen isn’t sentimental like Dickens, but she also isn’t a mythographer like Tolkien. She hasn’t got half of Scott’s brio…

and only apparently has the one story to tell in every single book *ducks*

Ian Miller
Member

You gonna tell me that Dickens and Tolkien didn’t have one story? “ALL OF YOU GUYS IN YOUR RANDOM PLOTS ARE TIED TOGETHER AT THE END!!!!” “Some jerk crafts an object of great power and it destroys the world except EUCATASTROPHE!” :)

I do agree that measuring novelists isn’t like measuring haircuts. :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

To be fair, Tolkien only wrote one book. And yeah, Dickens has a ton of different stories. Great Expectations and Tale of Two Cities are almost nothing alike in terms of plot, and neither is very like Pickwick.

Ian Miller
Member

Two books! And I totally count The Silmarillion!

In terms of structure, all of Dickens’s novels tend to hinge upon a coalescence that is very similar structurally to the marital denouement in Austen novels. (I also tend to disagree that all of Austen’s novels are the same story – because I disagree with the literal meaning of Tolstoy’s first sentence of Anna Karenina – “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Though I’ve heard Tolstoy was being ironic.)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Well, okay, Dickens’ stories have a plot and a climax. But basically all Austen’s stories are “a single girl who doesn’t want to be gets married”. Sometimes, for variety, she includes a second girl, usually a sister, who also gets married. C’mon, let’s hear the one-sentence summary of every Dickens novel. Here’s my attempt, and I know I’m leaving out three-quarters of it: “Some things involving finance, poverty, ghosts, revenge, or the French Revolution happen to every conceivable kind of person in the world.” Dickens is a galaxy; Austen a tea-party.

Ian Miller
Member

Dickens’s galaxy has a lot of matte paintings, and Austen’s teacups are as deep as the ocean :)

Every Dickens novel ever: Fresh-faced idealist (male of female) discovers that the world is a Very Big Place, and though Society has Problems, Things Work Out. :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

A Christmas Carol. Pickwick Papers.

ADDED: you’re right in saying that Austen’s teacups are extraordinary. Sense and Sensibility is an incredible book. But there’are more things in the world than teacups, and novels should contain the world.

Ian Miller
Member

Novels should contain an author’s world. Some worlds are smaller than others – my own, for example. :)

Eh, I’m not convinced that Pickwick doesn’t fit my sentence. I didn’t say “Young” idealist. :)

Christmas Carol is barely a novel – more like an extended short story or novella. And if that’s the case, then Lady Susan definitely stands against your summary of Austen’s plots. :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

A Christmas Carol is also Dickens’ most famous work, bar none. Which Pickwickian is idealistic, and about what? But your summary also fails against Tale of Two Cities – which is a story of revenge and redemption. Not many idealists, except, perhaps, M. Defarge?

And who on earth has read “Lady Susan”? When you’ve got to dig that deep into the back catalog to find a contrary example… well, I think you might as well concede the point.

Ian Miller
Member

Work – not necessarily novel :) I like the splitting of hair. I think Pickwick himself is often idealistic, probably unrealistically so. Um…the dude and chick that Sidney gives himself up for are pretty idealistic. :)

I have clearly read Lady Susan! And it’s getting a movie this year, so clearly other people have as well. Remember that literary merit is not a democracy – we’re talking about the worth, not the popularity or well-known status of the author’s works.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You’ll forgive me – I thought we were talking about plots and stories, rather than being genre-specific. I yield the point re: Carol. On Cities, though, you’re finding your ideal plot in people who are not the main character of the novel. That should tell you something.

Literary merit is not (exactly) a democracy – more like a republic. But to determine the applicability of a hyperbolic statement like “this is the plot of every Austen novel”, the best-known works surely ought to be accorded precedence.

Ian Miller
Member

Well, since I don’t think that the “universal Austen plot” really tells you anything useful about Austen, what can I do but quibble? :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I think it tells you a lot about the sort of writer Austen is – like saying that Dickens’ characters and climaxes are often cartoonish. That’s because he’s manipulating his cartoons to talk about the universe – the thread of his story would be broken if he stopped to give Mr Bumble a realistic interiority. Austen is kind of the opposite – the universe can go hang if only Marianne Dashwood can find happiness. And that’s not a criticism.

Ian Miller
Member

I tend to agree (though I actually think both Austen and Dickens are more complicated than that – I think Dickens did have more depth to his characters than many allow, and I think Austen does develop a wider understanding of the world than most see – the militia in Pride and Prejudice, or Emma’s development of the whole town of Highbury). :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Sure, small worlds are dandy. But they aren’t magnificent. Hence the difference between Austen and Dickens.

Ian Miller
Member

I disagree completely! I think Elinor’s story is quite magnificent.

Jane
Member

That’s purely a matter of opinion. I don’t think you can come up with very convincing reasons why others should agree with you that breadth is inherently superior to depth in the quality of a novel.

I think either plumbing the depths of a small world, or the breadth of a larger one, can be magnificent in its own way. It depends on the skill of the writer, much more than the category of the subject matter.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Playing defense is easier, isn’t it? That’s where I was when we started this conversation. The matter comes back to aesthetics. Some people think that a single blade of grass is equally as beautiful as a great mountain range, because there is detail and finesse and the hand of a master designer at work in the one, just as there is grandeur and power and that same hand at work in the other. Of course, this tends to make beauty (for which literary merit is a proxy) rather subjective, or else flat – if everything can be beautiful, then nothing… Read more »

Jane
Member

I’m just saying that “a novel should contain a whole world” is an assertion. I don’t mean that “everything is a matter of taste,” but making an assertion doesn’t make something so, either.

I’m not so invested in defending my view on Jane Austen that I’m still playing defense, it’s just that my opinion about that is based on reasons, and I don’t find yours any more convincing than you find mine. I’m taking issue with your reasons, not finding reasons to take issue with your conclusions. :-)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

My argument – really, an aesthetic axiom on which I’m pretty sure basically everyone agrees – is that mountains are more magnificent than even the most finely crafted grass blades, and (premise 2) that there’s a rough analogy between that and Dickens v. Austen. Although I don’t know that Dickens is the ideal novelist either; I just think he’s a decent representative of a very different type of novel. You know, the world of Melville and Manzoni and Tolstoy and Hugo. Austen just isn’t at that level.

Jane
Member

Mountains are more magnificent than grass blades.

But that hides a premise: is magnificence aesthetically greater than exquisiteness? I’m not sure you get universal agreement on that. In fact, I would say that they are equal values.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Touche. So it’s merely a matter of taste, then?

Jane
Member

No, it’s simply not clear that the more magnificent will always be the greater. Greatness would need to be weighed on grounds other than “magnificence always wins.”

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

My contention is that the quality of magnificence (which is to say, the effect achieved when a big story is well-executed) is decisive. But I agree that it’s not the only consideration.

Ian Miller
Member

I think the problem is there’s an element, conscious or unconscious, of condescension, when you say things like “Austen just isn’t at that level.” Those who find aesthetic greatness – indeed magnificence and scope for the imagination – in Austen have to continually justify the self-evident equality of her work to those works which are broader – in the big bow-wow style. I know I have a knee-jerk reaction when I read statements about Austen’s lack of passion, or wider society, or variety in plots. I think those judgments are shallow and lacking in true understanding of what Austen accomplishes,… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

I don’t regard it as condescension – I certainly don’t think I could do what Austen was doing as well as she did. I don’t think she’s a great novelist in the same sense as Dickens or the other fellows I mentioned in the post immediately above, in the same way that Petrarch isn’t as great a poet as Dante: even if the sonnets are exquisite, and they are, they can’t compare to Paradiso. And that’s not – I insist – a slight on Petrarch. In fact, it’s the comparison itself that is the problem, as if every piece of… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

I do agree that comparisons between novelists do, ultimately, break down along the lines you are talking about – but I do think she is a great novelist. I think perhaps our conversation is getting a bit past the hair-splitting into the the angels-dancing-on-pin-heads level, though. :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Perhaps you’re right. Dunsworth and I were agreeing elsewhere on the thread about the definition of magnificence as opposed to exquisiteness, and that Austen is a paramount example of the latter. Do you accept that distinction? Because it seems like you mean “really good” by the term.

Ian Miller
Member

Sure! I happen to think that Austen’s catalogue of the evils and good of the hearts of men and women is just as magnificent as Dickens’s enormous casts of characters, and Dickens’s managing of small details such as Little Dorrit’s love for Arthur Clennam is just as exquisite as Austen’s construction of families and relationships. :)

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

But if magnificence has to do with breadth, don’t you agree that the virtues and vices in Austen are constricted within a fairly narrow brand? I mean, sure there are some good guys and bad guys, and all well realized in a complex yet plausible fashion… but basically everyone in her stories is solidly within the norms lower upper class morality, with the bad guys distinguished by being dishonorable – the sort of sins that get you disinvited from parties, but not like being a criminal or a pirate.

Ian Miller
Member

No – we also have predators like Willhoughby. But I think the motivations and emotions behind those moral choices are as intense as Victor Hugo’s breadstealers or thieves.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

Sure, Whillhoughby’s a jerk. But he wouldn’t go to prison or be killed – his crimes are against social and religious mores, not the law. Doesn’t that seem like an important difference? It makes the stakes lower. Compare to Oliver Twist, say, where the gutter children are always getting beaten and starved, or the revolutionaries of France. But I think you’re getting at an important difference. Maybe Austen gets more credit for what we might call objectively less important situations (Elinor may not marry well, but she probably won’t starve) because she renders her characters so vividly. Even if the… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

Well said!

katie
Guest
katie

I think the word “magnificent” covers something other than “breadth vs depth.” Doesn’t it connote grandeur, or even passion? Austen lacks those things, but not everything that is excellent must be described as magnificent. Don’t know if that’s where Farinata is going.

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

yes, basically this.

Ian Miller
Member

Well, again, I must disagree. I find a lot of passion within Austen – the love between all of the main couples, but particularly Anne and Wentworth (though I have a soft spot for Emma and Knightley) – the desperation of Fanny Price, the rage of Lizzy, and of course Marianne. It’s decorous, but I think Elinor’s broken confession to Marianne of her hopeless love of Edward is incredibly passionate.

katie
Guest
katie

In saying Austen isn’t passionate I don’t mean it’s unfeeling, or without deep emotion. There is decorum and restraint though – emotion is filtered through societal expectations (that’s part of what Austen does so well). Charlotte Bronte disliked Austen’s books for that reason actually. (she’s ducking from beyond the grave now)

Ian Miller
Member

I disagree with Cornel West on many things, but he did a YouTube video on Jane Austen that I think is absolutely dead right about how she manages the tension between individual freedom and being part of society beautifully. But, to me, the deep emotion is passion – no difference in value or sincerity than Bronte’s crazy kids. And Bronte shall never dodge my aspersions! ;)

katie
Guest
katie

I’ll check it out. I don’t agree with Bronte, by the way!

Ian Miller
Member

I’m glad to hear it! Bronte is a great writer, but I find her work a bit frustrating sometimes, particularly in the age-old rivalry between Austen and Bronte fans. :)

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I love Jane Eyre, and I never tire of the first ten chapters or so. I couldn’t enjoy “Shirley” (which should have been called “Deadly”), and the rabid anti-Catholicism of “Villette” seriously got on my nerves. It is one thing to criticize Catholic dogma. It is quite another to dismiss practically the entire population of Brussels as liars and fools because they are Catholic.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

So eloquently said by the Old Sheep of the Lake District (thank you, John Mortimer): “Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room.” I think he was defending the sonnet, but it comes to the same thing.

Jane
Member

Emma doesn’t want to be married. But I don’t think “novels should contain the world” is really a defensible statement. That’s a certain kind of novel, and a novel that attempts to contain the world, had better do it. But by that standard, only Tolkien among the ones we’re discussing at the moment really qualifies. Dickens certainly does not, with the exception of a Tale of Two Cities, unless a few slices of British society in which no person is unconnected to at least two other people in the other slices, is “the world.” Trollope is very much centered on… Read more »

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

“with the exception of [his masterpiece] A Tale of Two Cities…” That’s a little like making an argument about Twain that requires us to forget about Huck Finn. If to write a novel means to weave together people into a story, then using more threads and telling a bigger story is more impressive – takes more skill – than using fewer threads and smaller. Now there are considerations of quality – the big story might be incompetent, and the smaller one amazing. But I think range is an important consideration that you can’t just wave away. ADDED: so to count… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

Ha!

Farinata degli Uberti
Guest
Farinata degli Uberti

You draw a distinction that is unclear to me: storytelling and literary merit. I would call the first a crucial subset of the second. The real issue, though, is that you seem to be equating “psychological realism” with “quality”. I agree that Austen is a great writer, and surely a master of characterization. But how can you possible compare a story that deals in such intimate, tender sketches with the grandeur and heroism of “A Tale of Two Cities”? Elizabeth Bennet is finely crafted. But so is Sydney Carton – albeit in a rugged style splashed like blood across the… Read more »

adad0
Member

He might have Jane Austen confused with Austin Powers!?????

timothy
Guest
timothy

/faceplant

timothy
Guest
timothy

The pattern is a familiar one. See an “austen” comment , scroll, scroll, scroll for 10 minutes…stop to see if the subject has changed…..nope…5 more have joined the sub-thread….scroll, scroll, scroll….”what the heck is this stuff?”….scroll, scroll, scroll…”they certainly enjoy this stuff”..scroll, scroll, scroll…ah!

Ian Miller
Member

Heh. Sometimes it’s more fun than all the other stuff. :)

katie
Guest
katie

These threads are more well-argued than the general trend, though, wouldn’t you agree? :)

Ian Miller
Member

They certainly have a more congenial temperament. :)

timothy
Guest
timothy

I scroll too fast. (:

I think it is wonderful that you are having such in-depth discussions about work you clearly love.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Thank you for addressing so eloquently in these last two posts what most of us in the church are thinking and teaching our children. May God continued to paint you wisdom and discernment.

insanitybytes22
Member

“…so I have a few additional things to say about all this. It should be relatively painless.”

I generally agree with much of what Wilson writes. All in good humor here however, I’m going to have to dispute that last sentence.

Guest
Guest
Guest

It seems Doug’s way of thinking is as follows…..

“Post controversial blog post responses about an ex church member. Get lots of attention. Get in trouble. Look bad. Can’t do that anymore. Chill out and post book reviews. Blog reading goes down. Attention goes down. What do I do? Ah, yes, go back to my old go to and start posting about women and boobs and feminists. That’ll up the attention.”

Well done. He now has his attention he is so addicted to and even got two blog posts out of it so far!

Moor_the_Merrier
Guest
Moor_the_Merrier

How shrewd of you to illustrate what the insecure response would look like. I would call this projection at it’s finest, but surely you are meaning it as satire or something. Bravo.

Jon Swerens
Member

No one is more addicted to attention than an anonymous commenter on a blog post his disagrees with.

wtrsims
Member

Indeed.

To accuse someone of attention whoredom by saying “‘What do I do? Ah, yes, go back to my old go to and start posting about women and boobs and feminists. That’ll up the attention.'” is a little self-unaware.

Ian Miller
Member

It’s actually kind of weird this time through. The people he attracted last time he posted about women and boobs and feminists were the women with boobs who called themselves feminists. This time through he’s attracted a couple of those, but mostly a persistent blend of alt-right/seduction community-fuelled commentators who apparently really dislike women.

insanitybytes22
Member

I’m rather grateful some from the alt right seduction community have at least come by and read Wilson’s words. My biggest frustration in the world are false teachings and false perceptions that create so much misunderstanding and chaos. The alt right seduction community is now heavy with scripture and using Christian culture as justification for some appalling things that simply aren’t true. It gives me grief because it is now virtually impossible to speak of marriage, submission, without having it linked to these lunkheads. So while I am talking to someone about the joys of submission, some yahoo will always… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

Yup. It’s really frustrating, since I keep getting called a feminist or an SJW, when in fact if I ever hung out with people who actually identified with those philosophies (and I could, since I work at multiple colleges), they would jettison me posthaste with a “Hate” tattoo on my face. :)

adad0
Member

A situation that calls for grounded goof ball guys, if ever there was one!????

Ian Miller
Member

I, for one, am grateful for conversations about literature and adaptations. Even when disagreeing, I’m not as stressed as when confronting misogyny in the guise of Christianity. :)

ashv
Guest
ashv

The terminology does get a bit muddied. People who hold the Victorian view of the sexes get called feminist these days, and not implausibly so, because it was the logical and institutional precursor to today’s radical feminism.

Ian Miller
Member

I seriously doubt people who call me a SJW intend to refer to my love of Dickens (though you are right about the history, at least my understanding of it).

insanitybytes22
Member

I hope you’ll forgive me for this Ian, but it’s rather encouraging and quite humorous for me to hear Wilson referred to as a feminist and you yourself a SJW. I’ve been trying to point out for sometime that rhetoric can make us stupid and that simply splaying ammo in the general direction of the enemy is a good way to create unintended collateral damage. And a backlash! It is the backlash that concerns me the most because I actually am not a feminist nor a SJW and my job of winning hearts and minds than becomes so much harder… Read more »

Ian Miller
Member

Oh, I definitely see the humor – it’s just when I look back at the people throwing those misapplied labels that I see the utter lack of reason or discernment, and I have a difficult time finding it funny again.

And I agree – being winsome is incredibly important (though I’m sure the erstwhile alt-righters who think I’m an SJW are convinced that I am as hateful and intolerant as the actual liberal fascists they imitate in methodology, though reversed in polarity).

Jane
Member

They find women terrifying. I find it terrifying that this is a thing, and a thing within professed Christianity. But yes, I’m glad they come out of the woodwork occasionally.

insanitybytes22
Member

Kind of interesting Dunworth, I’ve read some things that suggest what men fear and dread the most is being rendered insignificant, while what women fear and dread the most is men being afraid of us. I admit that is powerful trigger for me, one that does kind of rattle my cage. It’s all wrong, men are not supposed to fear women! We are often smaller, weaker, more vulnerable and if men fear us, than scratch all ability to provide protection, provision, and safety. They’re more likely to perceive us as a threat and do away with us accordingly, something I… Read more »

Jane
Member

I don’t fear the fact that men are afraid of women, though I regret it. I find it scary that Christianity is distorted in this fashion and that the distortion has some traction.

Katecho
Member

I suspect that many young men do not fear women directly, but they fear the level of responsibility that will be expected of them. Men may not be very good at taking on responsibility because most men instinctively (if unconsciously) understand what real responsibility and leadership ought to look like. I think women are more tempted to rush in to responsibility roles out of a sense of compassion.

Ochre
Guest
Ochre

I’ve enjoyed reading through your interactions with them here – an exercise in that proverbial wisdom of answering a man in his foolishness lest he be wise in his own conceit.

adad0
Member

Worse than that, his secret plan for world domination seems to be working on you!????

Julia Anderson
Guest
Julia Anderson

Okay, just a couple of thoughts as a wife and the mother of many grown “children”. 1. Yes, young men, sitting at home, entertaining themselves with their flat screen is not a good thing, neither does it prepare them for marriage! You can’t pursue worthy women by sitting on your couch popping pizza in your mouth! And what is this cheap business of “Wanna hang sometime!?” What is that?! 2.If you want to develope yourself, go to college, do volunteer work, serve others! 3.Take personal grooming seriously. In other words, be somebody a decent young women would want to be… Read more »

ashv
Guest
ashv

What did you and their father do to find them suitable spouses?

Andrew Lohr
Member

Women outnumber men 5 to one in churches where the pulpit man makes the rest sit down and shut up? Read Jim Rutz’s book “The Open Church” and “think it possible that you may be mistaken” about God’s preferred, or commanded, church structure.

ashv
Guest
ashv

If you’re looking for people open to the idea of throwing out all of Christian history, this ain’t the place for it.

Holo The Wise Wolf
Guest
Holo The Wise Wolf

“What’s the hold up? Go get her.” you DO realize a guy has to get a woman to LIKE him first right? This is not like going out and picking peaches, it’s a 2 way street…..

I do however find it interesting that in the other blog post you pressed the importance of men finding a wife that is “cute” and “sexually attractive” but here you tell women to “lower their standards”….. Just an observation that’s all.

Matt
Guest
Matt

There is nothing new under the sun

Matt
Guest
Matt

Rehashing the sins of our first parents, Adam and Eve. Nothing new.

Leslie Lea
Guest
Leslie Lea

You guys just can’t handle the fact that the tide has turned and you are no longer in charge. You now have to compete with women and you are very much whining about that,Life has definitely changed and co-parenting is definitely in. I think it a change fir the good, CSI instead if you guys being such wimosm man up and accept the new reality, it us really much healthier than Partiarchy.

Ian Miller
Member

1) Welcome! We have been missing the feminist perspective, and had to deal with the misogynist perspective instead!

2) Um. Could you take a bit more time in your posts? There are a lot of mispellings that make it difficult to respond to your point, as they make said point unclear.

3) The “new reality” is certainly not healthier for coherency. But then again, some of the anti-women posts in this thread have been just as poorly composed.

Leslie Lea
Guest
Leslie Lea

Not misspellings . Auto corrects .

Ian Miller
Member

The auto has sadly not corrected anything :(

Prefiero Figurados
Guest
Prefiero Figurados

LOL…so, above you complain about how men should be paying attention to the IT (information technology) deficiencies of the site, while you blame technology for the fact that you can’t post properly spelled posts. Yeeeahh.. OK.

Leslie Lea
Guest
Leslie Lea

I have seen that when men are in charge bad things happen, I have seen when women are in charge bad things happen, when men and women work as a team there is a balance . I think that is God’s intention

Femghazi
Guest
Femghazi

Patriarchy built every damn thing you see, it created Civilisation from the ground up. It protected you, provided for you. Patriarchy is great!

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Femghazi
Guest
Femghazi

And you wonder why men don’t want to marry you?! Damn, talk about a dodged bullet!

Leslie Lea
Guest
Leslie Lea

With all you clever men on this thread, I would think someone would have enough IT skills to do a better job on this website and comment thread. It is very discombulated . I.e.: doesn’t make sense . If you can’t figure it out maybe you should ask a woman to do it.

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“I would think someone would have enough IT skills to do a better job on this website and comment thread”

The issue is time not skill.

Ian Miller
Member

What’s wrong with the comments?

valerieab
Member

Disqus is the worst comment system…except for all the other comment systems. It gets completely impossible when a thread gets to this size.

Ian Miller
Member

Nice Churchill reference! :)

valerieab
Member

Ha. I’d forgotten who I was misquoting. ;^)

Ian Miller
Member

Well, it might have been someone else – Churchill liked his quotes as much as he liked making them up! But I liked it – well adapted!

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

If you can’t figure it out maybe you should ask a woman to do it.

Because women are far better at information technology and “figuring things out” than men. Let’s see:

Bill Caitlyn Gates
Michael Caitlyn Dell
Steve Caitlyn Jobs
Tim Caitlyn Berners-Lee
William Caitlyn Shockley
Bill Caitlyn Hewlett
Dave Caitlyn Packard
Larry Caitlyn Page
Sergey Caitlyn Brin

And so on, and so forth…

Yeah, if you want IT done right – hire a woman!

Femghazi
Guest
Femghazi

That’s cause you’re a woman.

Ian Miller
Member

Well, someone made it to 1000! Congrats, mystery person! :)

MISS CALVINISM 2016
Guest
MISS CALVINISM 2016

Yay! Congrats to them and Doug as well!

valerieab
Member

I’d be content with faaaaar shorter threads. Like back in the good old days when I actually used to read everything on this blog and every comment. It ain’t like it used to be, I’ll tell you that. #Curmudgeoness

Ian Miller
Member

Heh heh. I like a good long thread, but I admit, it is hard to follow sometimes.

TedMunch
Guest
TedMunch

I’ll gain a lot more respect for you old pontificators on marriage when you grow a pair big enough to address young women and their nearly universal unsuitability for marriage. But you won’t do that, because you aren’t brave enough. It’s easy to call men out on their sins and shortcomings. Not so for young women, who are nearly all so narcissistic, so self satisfied, so empowered, and so self justifying, as to be absolutely incapable of receiving criticism, and who react with fury at the slightest suggestion that their relationship problems might be partially of their own making.

Femghazi
Guest
Femghazi

Lol! Why won’t anyone marry these 30 year old, single career gals, already?!

Sorry Pastor Wilson, they’re not worth it. You know it, I know it, God knows it. Enjoy the gift of singleness men, marriage is simply no longer worth the paper it’s written on. It’s a con job and this man is in on it!

Femghazi
Guest
Femghazi

Blushing brides?!!! Yea, not any more, well… unless you mean the amount of men they’ve had before you, well yes, then they’ll be blushing…

mamazee
Guest
mamazee

Beautiful! As a woman, happily married for 22 years and mother to eight children 20 and under, i heartily concur with the statement most likely to get you in trouble, that men will always be dominant ;) – it’s not a bad thing, it’s a protection for women when men are strong on their behalf and on behalf of the children they have been granted. It is not a bad thing to be vulnerable (as those who are heavy with child are), when your man is ready and able to protect you. It’s a beautiful picture of Christ and His… Read more »

John
Guest
John

Where are all these unmarried godly women? Every church I attend is full of young men looking for young women who seem to get snatched up as soon as they wander in.