The subtitle for this book is “Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul”. Well, what woman with husband and son wouldn’t appreciate knowing the secret of a man’s soul?! I was really looking forward to reading this book.
The main point of this book, as I see it, is that men and boys have the need to be the hero. They want to be brave and strong and adventurous. This is all well and good and it has helped me understand my husband’s “need” to go hunting each fall, as well as my son’s need to play just a little on the dangerous side sometimes. They want to be challenged, and know that they are up to the challenge.
However, the author went a bit overboard in my opinion. His tone throughout the book seemed a bit derogatory towards “nice guys” who go to church – suggesting that they are bored, and that you can tell this simply by going to church and looking around. Honestly, what is a man in church supposed to be doing that would make him seem more manly? In my opinion, simply being there and being a role model to his children, is manly.
He mentions Mother Teresa in a couple of passages. Once, when talking about the fact that many portraits of Jesus show him as being gentle and kind - “Kind of like Mother Teresa.” Then he writes, “Telling me to be like [Jesus as pictured], feels like telling me to go limp and passive. Be nice. Be swell. Be like Mother Teresa.” How limp and passive was Mother Teresa?? I found this very insulting, and also proof that the author knows nothing about Mother Teresa and her courage. How “nice” and “swell” was she in her Nobel award speech? She had to have great courage to go among the poorest of the poor, tending lepers and other outcasts. He does go on to say that Christ is the incarnation of tender mercy, but also brave enough to take on the Pharisees when they needed correction. This, I suppose, is what all Christians are called to be – tenderly merciful when needed and brave when needed. There were several things in the book that I felt were thoughtlessly written, but I don’t have the room to put them all down here.
The book was peppered with movie quotations and scenes, used to help explain the author’s view of what lies in a man’s heart… movies like Braveheart, Legends of the Fall, and Gladiator. I haven’t done a count, but I feel like he used movies much more often than scripture passages to make his points. It seemed a little strange to me that he would use movies made by fallen humans to describe God’s intention in creating men.
Unfortunately I can’t recommend this book, unless one is willing to skip over half of the nonsense in it in order to learn something worthwhile about the men in their lives.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending me a free copy of this book to review.