An eclectic website about Women, Christianity, History, Culture
and the Arts--and anything else that comes to mind.
A lone figure outlined against the sky, preferably on a horse,
always male. Heâ€™s been played by many stars over the
years--Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood. An
outsider who doesnâ€™t talk a lot and doesnâ€™t quite fit
in. Heâ€™s the rugged individual.
A part of the American myth, he rides into town to right all
wrongs, then rides out again, leaving a grateful populace and
a few heartbroken women and children who dreamed that
heâ€™d stay. But heâ€™s the rugged individual, after all.
He canâ€™t bother to settle down and contribute to the
growth of a family, a church, a school, a society.
The people who do that arenâ€™t rugged individuals. Oh,
they may be individualistic, with minds and ideas of their
own. But they recognize the need, as my elementary school
report card used to put it, to â€œwork well with others.â€�
It takes a village to rear a child. It takes diversity to create a
society and the institutions that make it strong. As Roger
Rosenblatt pointed out in his Time magazine essay, â€œThe
Rugged Individual Rides Again,â€� you canâ€™t imagine â
€œan individual so rugged he could raise a roof beam on his
We need each other. Thatâ€™s the conclusion of most of
us, male and female. Itâ€™s the conclusion of city planners,
who encourage mixed development, neighborhood
empowerment, and public spaces. And itâ€™s the
conclusion of Jesus, the reason he put his followers together
into churches and charges us to worship, study, pray and
This issue of my website treats community, including an
article on the Pepperdine Bible Lectures, centered this year
on the theme of â€œLife Togetherâ€�; the biblical concept
of Koinonia or fellowship; and Tom Olbricht, whose book
on the theme of the Lectures and whose daily expository
study of 1 John formed the basis for our weeklong
consideration of our need to avoid the â€œrugged individualâ
€� mindset and cooperate in families, churches, schools and
Itâ€™s time to let that concept, and the man who embodies
it, ride off into the sunset.
Iâ€™d love to hear from you in response to the website. I
hope youâ€™ll suggest topics that youâ€™re interested in
and let me know if the site is helpful to you. This is my
website, but I believe in sharing. You can reach me at b.