The Virtues of Dominion

In response to Aaron Renn’s recent conversation starter over on the Theopolis blog, I’ve written on the subject of what is missing in many Christian approaches to masculinity.

What the manosphere and others of the teachers that Renn identifies recognize is the importance of manliness, of the traits that make a man apt for the exercise of dominion in various spheres of his life. A man who can act with mastery, competence, assertion, confidence, honor, courage, strength, nerve, and the like—especially if he acts as a skilled possessor of a behavioral repertoire, which he can deploy with discrimination, discernment, and self-mastery—compels respect as a man. Such traits, well-exercised, are manifestly attractive to women. Yet churches provide little training in, contexts for the formation or exercise of such traits, or purpose for their employment. This neglect results from and perpetuates a neglect of the broader, outward-oriented task of dominion. It also means that many Christian young men will turn to pagans to learn manly virtues, often picking up perverse notions of masculinity that glorify lording over others, or despising the weak, in the process.

Read the whole thing here.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Controversies, Culture, Ethics, Guest Post, Sex and Sexuality, Society, The Church, Theological, Theopolis. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Virtues of Dominion

  1. dpmonahan says:

    Because churches are horrified of St Paul’s teaching that husbands have legitimate authority over their wives. If men have no authority there is no point in learning the virtues that help him exercise it.

  2. Fantastic stuff, as always.

    Andrew Klavan has a series for teens that shows a young protagonist exercising these virtues: the Homelanders series.

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Jennifer! I hadn’t heard of that series.

      • Truth Seeker says:

        Hey Alastair, I know I’m being a bit persistent, but do you mind at least giving it a dab? I promise I won’t bother you after this, it’s just something I’ve been thinking and you would be the perfect person to address it; you could even do it in a seperate new blog post if you wanted to if that would be easier. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks like that.

  3. Pingback: The Virtues of Dominion — Alastair’s Adversaria – Out of Babel

  4. Salomon says:

    Alastair, good article. What are your thoughts on Marg Mowzko’s teaching regarding this topic?

  5. Howard Cole says:

    Alastair, I’m a doctoral student trying to get in touch with you via email to get some feedback about typology. How do I get in touch with you?

  6. I re-blogged this article at the time it came out.
    Just here to say, if you read fiction, please check out my recent indie novel The Long Guest. It’s about one of the family groups that was scattered from Babel.

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