Category Archives: Men

What does a real man look like? One author’s viewpoint.

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 program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Posted by on June 2, 2020 in Books, Men, Quotes


Character profiles of strong men

Book Review: Strong: How God Equipped 11 Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Power (and Can Do the Same for You), by Catherine Parks

Catherine Parks has written a series of short biographies of 11 men in her book, Strong: How God Equipped 11 Ordinary Men with Extraordinary Power (and Can Do the Same for You). Her goal is to profile a different kind of strength than we usually think of.

This is a different view of strength; one that doesn’t require large muscles or athletic ability. There’s nothing here about winning fights of never crying. This strength comes from outside of ourselves—from God. And we don’t get this strength so that we can win games or show off; this strength helps us do the things God has planned for us, hanging in there and being patient even when things are hard. The purpose of our lives isn’t to prove how strong we are; it’s to show His strength.

Each one of the stories about the eleven men in her book exhibited strength in different ways. Alvin York showed strength in generosity; George Muller in faith; Dietrich Bonhoeffer showed courage; Brother Andrew demonstrated obedience; Elka of the Wai Wai showed how to stand alone; Eric Liddell showed strength in knowing what matters; John Newton demonstrated godly ambition; William Carey showed humility; George Liele demonstrated compassion; Jim Elliot showed sacrificial love; and Jack Robinson demonstrated endurance.

The book is a very fast read as it has larger than normal font and more space and margin than usual. Each chapter ends with questions that can be used for discussion. Since the profiles are relatively brief, you may want to consult other sources to learn more in depth about the various men. The style of writing seems like the book is aimed at elementary or junior high boys. Perhaps it could be used in a Sunday School class or a father reading the book with his son.

Disclosure: I received this book free from B&H Publishing through the B&H/Lifeway Bloggers program The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Posted by on July 23, 2019 in Books, Men, Quotes


It’s time to act like a man

Book Review: Dangerous Good: The Coming Revolution of Men Who Care, by Kenny Luck

“How can it be that there are hundreds of millions of ‘Christian me’ and yet Jesus’ church is virtually indistinguishable from the larger culture when it comes to delivering God’s justice?”

For author Kenny Luck, the answer is a no brainer. Men have lost their spine. The author wants to help men regain their manhood by following the example of Jesus.

Jesus Christ entered a broken-male culture not unlike the ones that foster so much pain today. He promptly started breaking the rules. He was dangerous with his goodness. He had a spine. He spoke with the Samaritan woman. He had a spine. He told the disciples to let the children come. He had a spine. He defended the woman caught in adultery and stood between her and stones. He had a spine. The touched the physically unacceptable. He had a spine. He touched the ethnically unacceptable. He had a spine. He associated with the morally unacceptable. He had a spine.

The author explains the title of the book in the introduction. He quotes Luke 4:18-19 which itself is a quote from Isaiah 61:1-3.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.

Jesus announced to His community that He had been weaponized by the Spirit of God to be dangerous with goodness. He would start crossing cultural lines and breaking the rules of broken-male culture whenever God’s will or God’s Word called for it.

Jesus’ proclamation is ground zero of the dangerous good movement. Male culture changes over time and across cultures, but the core of it is constant: It has always been broken, just as it’s always been male. Men, enticed away or wandering off from the identity given to them by God, seek a secure identity in non-gods, which then gradually take over their expression of their masculinity, which causes others to suffer.

But the same Spirit that came upon Christ, and came out of Him in words and dangerously good actions, is now at work in you.

Rather than settling for what comes easy or natural, the author wants to challenge men to rise up and be dangerous with goodness. The book deals with the concepts of identity, morality, community, dignity, legacy, relevancy, ferocity, visibility, fervency, and bravery. The author combines biblical teaching, personal illustrations, historical examples, and current events in presenting his concepts. The book will help men rediscover who and what God has called them to be.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Posted by on June 20, 2018 in Books, Men, Quotes


Life Lessons from Football

Book Review: Always Fall Forward: Life lessons I’ll never forget from “The Coach”, by Todd Gerelds

“Outwork your opponent.” “Your stance is critical.” “Leave it all on the field.” “A proper handshake.” These principles and 48 others are among the 52 life lessons described by Todd Gerelds in his devotional book, Always Fall Forward: Life lessons I’ll never forget from “The Coach.”

The author has penned a 52-week devotional book using key lessons he learned from his father, the head football coach at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama. Each devotional thought is based on a verse of Scripture. The author begins with a story from his high school playing days, a principle that his father employed in coaching, or an account from personal experience. He then weaves a biblical principle into the story and follows it with another illustration from business or family life. Each devotional thought concludes with another Scripture passage and a few questions to think about during the following week.

The book is aimed at encouraging men to live the way Coach Gerelds lived—grounded in faith and willing to stand up for what he believed—no matter the cost.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Tyndale Blog Network book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Books, Men


Another book on manhood

Book Review: Play the Man: Becoming the man God created you to be, by Mark Batterson

As a culture, we lost our definition of manhood. Consequently, we have a generation of men and boys who are confused about their roles, responsibilities, relationships, and purpose. Pastor and author Mark Batterson has set out to fix that problem. In his latest offering, he challenges men to both play the man and make the man.

The first part of the book lays out Batterson’s definition of manhood. He includes seven qualities he believes men need—toughness, childlike wonder, will power, raw passion, true grit, clear vision, and moral courage. He challenges men to play the man and develop these qualities. In the second part of the book, he describes how he built those qualities into his own sons through a year of discipleship and a rite of passage. He encourages fathers to make the man and develop the qualities in their sons.

The book combines humor, personal stories, biblical principles, and encouraging thoughts. While the book was encouraging, after a while I felt like I could not relate or measure up to his examples of what he did with his kids. Having read several other books on manhood by John Eldredge and Robert Lewis and having gone through a video series by, I did not feel like Batterson’s book added anything new to the discussion.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Books, Men


A dad’s job

The job of a dad

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Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Men, Quotes


Fatherhood 101

Our Tuesday night Men’s Fraternity at First Central Baptist Church is working our way through Volume 6 of 33 The Series. This volume covers a man and his fatherhood. Here are the foundational principles for the first session which the rest of the volume will build on.


Five Foundational Truths of Fatherhood

1 – Family was God’s idea

Psalm 127:3–5 (ESV) Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

2 – Fatherhood is a God-given commission

Fathers are commanded to train up and discipline their children.

Proverbs 22:6 (ESV) Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 29:17 (ESV) Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

Moses told parents to diligently teach the commands of the Lord to their sons and daughters.

Deuteronomy 6:4–9 (ESV) “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

3 – Fatherhood takes intentionality

Authentic Men: Reject the cultural norm of the detached dad; Accept the responsibility of this sacred commission; Lead their families courageously regardless of setbacks or confusion.

4 – Wise fathers focus on the heart

The heart is the wellspring of life

Proverbs 4:23 (ESV) Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

Luke 6:45 (ESV) The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

5 – Wise fathers are grace-dependent

Authentic men recognize their own brokenness and need for forgiveness.

Romans 3:23 (ESV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Luke 7:47 (ESV) Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”

33 The Series: Volume 6—A Man and His Fatherhood; Session One: Foundations


Shepherd your child’s heart

PowerPoint Presentation

Adapted from 33 The Series: Volume 6: A Man and his Fatherhood; Session One: Foundation

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Posted by on January 30, 2016 in Men, Parenting


Good advice for men

Tierce Green quote - love your wife not fix your wife 2

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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Marriage, Men, Quotes


Make daddy brave

Studdert Kennedy was a chaplain during World War I. His role often thrust him into danger on the front lines of battle. One day while traveling through war-ravaged France, he wrote this letter to his young son:

The first prayer I want my son to learn to say for me is not “God keep daddy safe,” but “God make daddy brave, and if he has hard things to do make him strong to do them.” Life and death don’t matter … right and wrong do. Daddy dead is daddy still, but daddy dishonoured before God is something awful, too bad for words. I suppose you’d like to put in a bit about the safety too, old chap, and mother would. Well, put it in, but afterwards, always afterwards, because it does not really matter near so much.

Cited in Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us about the End of Days, by Dr. David Jeremiah

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Posted by on September 9, 2015 in Books, Character, Men, Quotes