Book Review: Good Man: An Honest Journey into Discovering Who Men Were Actually Created to Be, by Nathan Clarkson
Author Nathan Clarkson is a thirty-something actor, author, filmmaker, artist, poet, and full-time wannabe philosopher. In his latest venture, he sets out to tell men who and what they were meant to be. He identifies 15 characteristics of what he believes should be in every true man’s life.
In the Introduction, the author explains how he came up with his list.
For a long time, I’ve wrestled with this notion of what a good man is and how I can become one. Eventually, when it was evident the modern world didn’t have the answers it was looking for, I turned to the Creator of men to see if maybe there, in His words, I could find a more satisfying and complete picture of who I was trying so hard to become.
I went back to God’s Word and looked at what the Creator says, I went through history and looked at the men who made a positive difference in the world, and I looked at the men in my own life who I considered to be good men (there were not many). Then I began piecing together a new image of what a good man might truly be.
The author spends one chapter on each of the 15 characteristics in his list—Adventurous, Devout, Heroic, Honest, Brotherly, Healthy, Emotional, Authentic, Romantic, Wise, Ambitious, Fighting, Simple, Servant-Hearted, and Committed. He uses a number of stories from his own life and experience to illustrate his thoughts.
On the one hand, his list of characteristics is commendable. On the other hand, they are not necessarily biblical. They are good qualities to aspire to, but not ones necessarily commanded in the Scriptures. The early chapters are based more on personal experience and desire while the latter chapters do include some Scriptural content. Overall, however, the book feels more like Christian pop-psychology than a presentation of biblical manhood. While the author has some good things to say, I’m not sure a thirty-year-old single man has the needed life experience to speak authoritatively on the subject. But that’s just my opinion.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers www.bakerbooks.com/bakerbooksbloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.