I have a difficult time viewing safety as a virtue. Resilience perhaps, fortitude to be sure, but not just safety. I want my kids to be safe, of course. I want them to take reasonable precautions when doing dangerous or risky things. Safety serves the risk; it serves a life marked by danger. It is calculated and reasonably weighed out. But danger, why, danger is the stuff that makes life worth living. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “As soon as there is life, there is danger.” To elevate safety above engagement is a cowardly and timid way to engage this world.

By Paul Koch

Sometimes it seems as if I’m living in some sort bizarre parallel universe, where the things I learned from my childhood, the things that have helped defined me up to this point no longer seem to matter. Or perhaps a better image would be that of a modern-day Rip Van Winkle. I often find myself wandering through my world, confused by what I see and unsure of how we got here. Perhaps I was asleep while everything was changing, or I didn’t keep up with times. Perhaps I didn’t really care. And now I’m at a loss to explain just what the hell is going on.

By Paul Koch

The raising of a son is a noble and daunting task. In these days of safe spaces on college campuses and SJWs arguing over proper pronoun use, it is easy to get overwhelmed as to what is the best course of action. The time-honored traditions handed down from a father to a son are now often portrayed as being out of touch with modern sentiments and no longer needed in a modern society. The traditional understanding of what makes a man a good man and what makes him good at being a man are viewed with a certain disdain and uneasiness.

By Scott Keith

(Warning: this blog represents a return to my cantankerous Jagged Word roots.)

I have been beating the drum of the loss of masculinity for years now. Writing Being Dad – Father as a Picture of God’s Grace and publishing The Jagged Word Field Guide to Being a Man have both been attempts to push back against the groundswell that has been rolling over men for years. I could again harp on the media and its tiresome portals of men as daft, inept, bumbling fools who know little and do even less. The fact is, it’s still bad. Commercial after commercial fails to show positive portraits of men and dads for our boys and young men to emulate. But I’m not going to put you through that again. I think that you get the point. I hope. I pray.

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

The Jagged Word has always been a place that encourages meaningful conversation about what is happening in the Church as it intersects with, reacts to, and challenges current cultural trends. The friends that make up The Jagged Word and have written every week for the last few years have found that there are some common topics that tend to come up over and over again. While we certainly see topics of all things church reoccur, such as worship or preaching, we have also noticed that there has been an ongoing discussion about what it means to be a man.

By Paul Koch

To say that I am not a fan of soccer would be a gross understatement. I am often befuddled by its popularity and cannot understand why parents continue to encourage their children, especially their sons, to participate in this strange sport. I am regularly reminded by passionate sports fans that this is the most popular sport in the world, and therefore, it carries a certain promise of common ground for conversation and experience in our global economy. It is commonly referred to as the beautiful game, and I must admit that when I watch a skilled athlete, there is a majestic beauty that is found in their ability to control a ball with such precision and agility with seemingly no effort.