Larry Crabb, Silence of Adam – Discussion Questions

These are questions our men’s cell group used in our study of Silence of Adam. We found that reading only one chapter wasn’t enough content, and the material started to get redundant if we didn’t move quickly enough. The first several chapters are especially light on Scripture but it gets better as the book moves on.

Part 1

Intro and Chapter 1

Read over Gen 2:15-3:24
  • What are some of your observations about Adam’s role in this whole thing?
Read “Adam Remained Silent When He Should Have Spoken”
  • What do you think of Crabb’s assessment of Adam’s failure?
Read “Introduction”
  • What’s your favorite line from this section?
Read the three stories – Larry Crabb, Don Hudson and Al Andrews
  • Which guy could you relate to most? Why?
Read chapter 1
  • How would you summarize what Crabb thinks about the problem with modern masculinity?
  • Which aspects of his vision are most appealing to you?
  • How would our home church and our ministry houses look if we were living this out?

Chapters 2-3

Read Chapter 2. Possible questions:

  • What are things we notice Crabb expressing about godly men?
  • Do we agree that something has been lost? What is your reaction?
  • He’s criticizing patriarchal stereotypes of men. What are some passages in Scripture that describe manly qualities?
  • What is our reaction to what Crabb is saying? Do we agree or disagree?
  • How have we been affected by these people types?
  • What do you think of Crabb’s list of godly qualities? Are there any qualities of godliness you would add to Crabb’s list?

Read Chapter 3. Possible questions:

  • Why is discipleship and active involvement in ministry so exciting?
  • How can we tell if someone is living in the sphere of manageability or in the sphere of mystery?
  • What would it look like to be a player for our ministry as one who is acting out our calling?
  • What effects have we seen from recipe theology?
  • How do we reconcile doing the means of growth in recipe / systematic theology?

Chapters 4-5

Read chapter 4

  • What were some of the innate characteristics of man that he pointed out from Genesis 1-2? What relevance do those have for our lives?
  • What is your reaction to this quote from page 66:

Masculinity begins to grow when a man asks questions for which he knows there are no answers. No man can escape the sphere of mystery. If he lives in relationship and has any desire at all for the relationship to work, he will face unsolvable confusion. If a man is to be fully a man, he must learn what it means to move in darkness. And that will require him to admit “I don’t know what to do” with a despair so real that no recipe will help.

Read chapter 5

  • What stuck out to you from his analysis of these different creation stories?
  • What application does this chapter have for your life?
  • Other possible questions:
    • Lets compare and contrast a men who define themselves by the culture around them versus the men who define themselves according to God’s word
    • What are some good passages to turn to that can help us know who we are? What are some pitfalls of not knowing these?

Chapters 6-7

Read chapter 6

  • What are your thoughts on this chapter?
  • Why do you think it’s so hard to remember sometimes?
  • How might we be affected if we forget to remember?
  • What are some things we should remember and reflect on – in Scripture and our lives?

Read chapter 7 (the part about Judah and Tamar could be skipped if you are short on time)

  • Do you agree with Crabb’s argument that Adam was there when Eve ate the fruit? Why or why not?
  • What is your reaction to this quote from page 98?

Every man knows all too well that this world is dangerous. He knows the risk of sticking his neck out, whether it be relationship or work. Many men are convinced that the confusion of relationships and the uncertainty of the future can destroy them. So they remain silent. When men are silent, though, they deny the existence and goodness of God. That thought trou¬bles me. I count myself as one who believes in God. But when I am silent, I live as an atheist: I give witness to my belief that chaos is more powerful than God.

Finish by reading the “Conclusion to Part 1,” or read it to begin the next study.

Part 2

Chapters 8-9

Read chapter 8. Possible questions:

  • What are our initial thoughts, reactions, experiences to Crabb’s main point of being men who do not rely on a strict code to live life, but trust in god moment by moment? Also, his point where he asks “Do you have what it takes?”
  • What do you think would happen to our ministry if we failed to learn and apply what Crabb is talking about here?
  • How does this apply to us as men preparing for healthy, spiritual, and godly marriages?

Read chapter 9. Possible questions:

  • Initial thoughts? What stuck out to you?
  • What would be practical next steps to move people out of this rut?
  • How do we tell whether to focus on casting vision vs. confronting people on the negative things listed here?

Chapters 10-11

Read chapter 10

  • What stood out to you from the example of King Saul?
  • Let’s try to list the main problems with the “needy” man.
    • What relevance do any of these have for your life?

Read chapter 11

  • Now let’s try to list the main problems with the “tough” man.
    • What relevance do any of these have for your life?
  • Which do you identify more with? The tough guy or the needy guy?
  •  What stuck out to you from his analysis of Christ’s balance between these two extremes?

Finish by reading “Conclusion to Part 2”

Chapters 12-14

Read chapter 12

  • Which one of these do you crave the most?
  • Which ones do you feel like your dad did the best?
  • How do we get these from God if we didn’t get these from our own dads?

Read chapter 13

  • What excuses do people make to justify keeping secrets?
  • What things have you found helpful to fight these temptations to hide secrets?
  • If you have these types of relationships Crabb describes, what are some things they supply that you are most thankful for?
  • What are some practical steps we can take to these kinds of friendships?

Don’t read chapter 14. Just summarize it.

 

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