Another New Position on The Masculine Journey?

Is it true that Promise Keepers is backing away from an enthusiastic support of Robert Hicks’s book The Masculine Journey? It may appear so at first glance. For an extended period of time, Promise Keepers provided a 7-page letter supporting The Masculine Journey to those who requested it. However shortly after our article “Promise Keepers Still Endorses The Masculine Journey” went to press last March, they replaced the 7-page support letter with a brief statement, which said: “Promise Keepers no longer distributes the book The Masculine Journey by Robert Hicks, published in 1993 by NavPress.”

After admitting that Promise Keepers distributed (gave) the book to every man that attended the 1993 conference, the rest of that statement simply talked about Promise Keepers rather than about The Masculine Journey. No warning, apology, or repudiation of the book could be seen.

As of June 17, 1996, Promise Keepers has begun to supply yet another position statement regarding The Masculine Journey. The current statement says:

Several passages in The Masculine Journey by Robert Hicks (1993, NavPress) could be understood in more than one way. Some of the content of the book has unfortunately lent itself to a wide range of interpretations and responses involving theological issues which Promise Keepers does not feel called to resolve.

The statement continues to say that they don’t want these unforeseen controversies to detract from the focus of Promise Keepers. After again saying that they no longer distribute the book, they state:

At the same time, we believe Mr. Hicks’s core theology is consistent with orthodox evangelical Christianity, and that The Masculine Journey was a forthright attempt on his part to deal with male issues from a biblical context.

Unfortunately, the organization only seems to be trying to avoid further controversy over the book. There is still no hint of warning, apology, or repudiation.

Any fair reader of Promise Keepers’ present statement on The Masculine Journey would have to conclude that Promise Keepers still supports The Masculine Journey! The fact that leaders of Promise Keepers were involved in the development of the book, identified it as a Promise Keepers book, and gave a copy to every man who attended the 1993 conference reveals the psychological foundations of the movement. Until Promise Keepers makes a definitive statement confessing the error of being involved in the development of the book The Masculine Journey, as well as of promoting and distributing it, they must be held culpable.

(From PAL V4N4)