Tag Archives: the abolition of man

No Swords (or Pruning Hooks) Allowed

This article in TIME by Christina Hoff Sommers is well worth a read:

As school begins in the coming weeks, parents of boys should ask themselves a question: Is my son really welcome? A flurry of incidents last spring suggests that the answer is no. In May, Christopher Marshall, age 7, was suspended from his Virginia school for picking up a pencil and using it to “shoot” a “bad guy” — his friend, who was also suspended. A few months earlier, Josh Welch, also 7, was sent home from his Maryland school for nibbling off the corners of a strawberry Pop-Tart to shape it into a gun. At about the same time, Colorado’s Alex Evans, age 7, was suspended for throwing an imaginary hand grenade at “bad guys” in order to “save the world.”

In all these cases, school officials found the children to be in violation of the school’s zero-tolerance policies for firearms, which is clearly a ludicrous application of the rule. But common sense isn’t the only thing at stake here. In the name of zero tolerance, our schools are becoming hostile environments for young boys.

Exhibits X, Y, and Z in the Ongoing War on Masculinity. ‘Cause boys are just so freaking violent. If you see one behaving, y’know, the way boys normally do (wrestling, sword-fighting, playing army, etc.) be sure to call 911. We’ll send a squad car and a straightjacket right away.

What was it Lewis wrote in that magnificent little volume The Abolition of Man? “In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Even this scathing indictment is too generous for us. We remove the organ because we hate the function. We make men without chests because we’re scared of what they might do if they had them. We laugh at honor because we know that honor is an antiquated notion best left to the Victorians. We castrate because the last thing we want is fruitfulness.

In Future Men, Wilson argues that “men who follow Jesus Christ, the dragon-slayer, must themselves become lesser dragon-slayers. And that is why it is absolutely essential for boys to play with wooden swords and plastic guns. Boys have a deep need to have something to defend, something to represent in battle. And to beat the spears into pruning hooks prematurely, before the war is over, will leave you fighting the dragon with a pruning hook.”

Let us have our way, and pruning hooks will be banned, too.

Books Every Guy Should Read (Pt. 3)

This part of this list focuses on Theology/Christian History/Apologetics. It’s not exhaustive by any means, but these were a few of the titles I came up with off the top of my head…


Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle
A scripture-saturated exhortation specifically aimed at young men from the timeless pen of J.C. Ryle. A must-read.

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
A thoughtful, eloquently-written defense of the Christian faith. If you haven’t read it, you must.

The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
I’m about half-way through this one now, and all I can say is, Wow. Go read it for yourself. As James Boice said, “It may be a bit early to call [it] one of the classic theological works of our time. But if it does not have that status yet, it is well on its way to achieving it.”

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs by John Foxe
No explanation needed whatsoever.

Holiness by J.C. Ryle
A superb handling of subjects many evangelicals today wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, including the power and depth of indwelling sin, the necessity of holy living, counting the cost of following Christ… and that’s just for starters.

Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin
This is one I have yet to read myself, but I’ve heard so much about it that I have little doubt it should be on this list.

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis
Despite purporting to be about public education, this Lewis book is primarily a razor-edged attack on relativism that simultaneously presents a superb argument for the necessity of recognizing objective values.

Tactics by Gregory Koukl
Essentially a game book for discussing your Christian convictions, specifically with non-believers. Koukl – who holds MA degrees in both apologetics and philosophy – introduces various techniques that will help you share your faith with others more confidently, graciously, and effectively.

All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Kenneth Meyers
Fantastic stuff. A thoroughly worthwhile read on how Christians should relate to pop culture.

The Christian Life by Sinclair Ferguson
One of the clearest, most concise overviews of the fundamentals of the Christian faith I’ve ever read. It’s short, but filled to the brim with rich, scriptural doctrine that you can really sink your teeth into.

Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand
One of those books that, once read, is impossible to forget. And there’s no hyperbole in that statement, either.

Have any recommendations of your own? Any book you think should be featured in future installments of this list? If so, be my guest and share ‘em down in the comments section.