Masculine Church Architecture

Masculine Church Architecture

Before the storm, my weekly routine included listening to the White Horse Inn. Hosted by Michael Horton, Rod Rosenbladt, Kim Riddlebarger and Ken Jones, the show features a regular roundtable discussion of Christian theology and apologetics. The stimulating conversation highlights sound theology as practiced in our contemporary context and often critiques American pop-evangelicalism.

Michael Horton teaches Apologetics and Theology at Westminster Seminary in California, serves as editor-in-chief of Modern Reformation magazine, and has authored several books including, “Putting Amazing Back into Grace.”

In January, I started trying to carve out enough time in my drastically altered schedule to listen into the White Horse Inn once again. A few weeks ago, Horton interviewed David Murrow, author of “Why Men Hate Going to Church.” In the discussion, Horton made a comment about church architecture that caught my ear. Listen to the 1 minute clip ~316k. Horton observes:

“You know, how about the architecture? When you walk into a church that has strong wooden beams, or it has stone, it has something that came out of the earth, you have that sense of strength, this is going to be around for a while. You walk in, you are quiet you feel sort of like your small. This is not the time to hold hands and cry and hug each other for the next hour and a half; exclusively. It is also a time to feel small.

“Now you walk into an evangelical mega church, the colors are definitely pastel or more gravitating to the soft, the friendly, warm the soothing, the light. The furniture is soft, pillowy. Carpet instead of stone. In fact there really isn’t any stone or brick or anything like that. ” (Kim Riddlebarger interjects, “or if it is, it is one eighth of an inch thick and glued to a wall”. laughter)

Right, a man can walk into a lot of churches and feel like he is walking into a ladies parlor.”

As Lakeshore Baptist Church rebuilds our storm flattened buildings, I want to take care not to build a structure that caters to an emasculated church culture.