Douglas Wilson has a message many don't want to hear today: men and women are different, and each make important and unique contributions to society. Father Hunger is about the importance of men; particularly, masculine men. Men are a society's providers and protectors, and godly men will lead and exercise authority through gladly assuming sacrificial responsibility. When a culture destroys these aspects of malehood, men will ultimately destroy that culture.
Proper masculinity has to be taught to men. Boys and young men need positive male role models to look up to because being self-controlled and responsible is neither easy nor intuitive. When these youngsters are not taught how to constructively contribute to society, they opt for destructive behavior. Sadly, such destructive behavior has been politically encouraged in the West as a means of making people easier to control. Men are encouraged to be sexually lax, to beget but not care for children, to shirk their responsibilities and let the state take care of matters, etc. However, hope is not lost.
Christian men can make a difference in society by modelling godly manhood to others. This is done by fulfilling their God-given roles, by honoring and obeying God, by discipling children, by working for free markets, and by reclaiming the doctrine of vocation, etc. It is only by turning back to God and His ways that society can be healed and become free and prosperous again. The alternative is the totalitarian nightmare that looms on the horizon.
Father Hunger does a great job of outlining "Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families," as its subtitle states. I highly recommend this book to anyone seeking to understand the "whats" and "whys" of responsible manhood. What I would like to see Mr. Wilson do now is follow this book with one that answers the "how," giving men without godly examples some more detailed practical steps to take to grow in masculinity and their high calling of fatherhood. Many men around me have expressed the desire to have some "how-to" instructions, and Mr. Wilson may be just the man to help them.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÃÂ®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This book was provided to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing (Booksneeze) to review. I found it difficult to work through. I have had it for a while trying to read. I found myself not always agreeing with the tone used. Father Hunger, I found not always helpful to me as a father trying to be and do what is right in raising up my children. I took offense to the male superiority language. Although not stated, I heard that we aren't "getting our way" as men of God and we should take back fatherhood. I would've appreciated more the approach that we should be seeking more of a life of humility and brokenness. We have failed and we need help from God, plain and simple. Instead, retaliation against culture and feminism all around us crowded out any encouragement for me to be who I need to be.
I don't think we can make simple excuses such as it is the result of feminism of why we aren't being who we need to be as fathers. If anything, I have been challenged by the women in my life to be the man of God I need to be. I want my children to see their mother and the women of God He places in their lives, whether school teachers, other moms, and family members and friends, as ones leading them to be who God desires them to be. This is an opportunity that has been placed before each of us, men and women alike, to be there for our children.
I did agree with Douglas Wilson, the author, when he states, "The right kind of surrender means that we will be open to God's timing. When God delays our ambitions, it is not because He is saying no, but because those delays help shape who we are becoming." I as a father have failed in many respects with this. It is nobody's fault except my own. A daily surrender to God's work in my life enables my kids to see how much I truly trust in God and am living for Him. Honestly, I can blame all of society's problems concerning the family on the culture, feminism, the church or its pastor, the educational system, the government, or even my own parents, yet what needs to happen is that I daily step up and be a person who cares more about others than about myself.
Men, we need to embrace our role of fatherhood wholeheartedly and "pick it up and put it on, like a coat (199)." Let it become a part of you. Yes, it is scary and might even feel awkward at times causing us to fall down at times. But, stop making excuses and begin to believe and live for this great opportunity we have been created!
It's no secret fathers are a dying breed. Not actually fathering a child but being a father. Men who have been called by God to lead their families and their children according to Scripture.
In Doug Wilson's book Father Hunger, he addresses the call to being a father based on God's Word and His example as the perfect Father.
If you're looking for a how-to on parenting, you should probably consult a different book. What I really appreciated about this book is that it pulled the precepts for being a godly father from Scripture and didn't give step-by-step instructions. I have learned by being a father that since no two children are the same, step-by-step instructions would have to change with each child.
What really stood out to me from this book is how from page 1 Wilson has you hooked drawing on insight from the Bible. You didn't have to read through 2-3 chapters of filler to get to good content. From the first chapter on egalitarianism, he addresses the problem of this fatherless generation and it builds from there.
I don't always agree with Wilson's approach. He's never been accused of being timid or shy. In fact he's quite confident, bold and even a bit sarcastic at times but overall he is honest and diligent about his work. But that's why I like reading and listening to him.
Over all, while this book may not appeal to unbelievers or those who sit on the liberal side of the fence, it is a good,informative read for the diagnosis of a major problem in our culture.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÃÂ®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
Three months from yesterday, I'm due to be a father. And Wilson has me pegged when he writes, "it is likely that a number of readers have felt simultaneously encouraged and overwhelmed." (198)
In his book, Father Hunger, Wilson seeks to re-establish the "high calling" of biblical fatherhood by pointing our society's fathers away from the aloof "sitcom-dad" and back towards God the Father.
While this high calling of fatherhood is, at times, overwhelming, the strength of Father Hunger is in recognizing that a father's strength comes from the Father. "Theology undergirds everything," he argues, "how we think of God the Father will drive how we think of all fathers." (189) Therefore, Wilson contends, our culture's incorrect understanding and view of God the Father is the source of not just our familial but also our cultural woes (educational, vocational, financial, political, etc_).
Hope in Imitation:
Wilson writes with a pointed hope which finds its foundation in the good news of Christ. "Our comfort is that the author of this great disaster story wrote Himself into the very center of that disaster, that He might carry the weight of it Himself." (58)
Because "the way children really follow a father is by means of imitation" (186), we, as fathers, are to imitate God the father so our children (whether physical or spiritual) might see what He has done on our behalf (cf. 1 Cor 11:1; 1 Peter 1:16):
The hands of fathers are there for provision (which means openhanded giving), and also to protect. For the former we may read through the gospel of John again and see what the Father has done with His handsÃ¢â¬âHe gives and gives again. For the latter, we can look at the hands of Christ and see the nail prints still. (197-198)
Wilson's years of experience are clearly evidenced in his masterful writing. Having mastered the tools of logic and illustration, Wilson simultaneously simplifies and expands one's understanding of otherwise difficult-to-grasp concepts. Here he explains how treating men and women differently (as is done in a complementarian gender roles) does not diminish the value of either:
When two things are the same we tend to treat them the same. But if we treat two things the same, it does not follow that they are the same. If we found two hammers on the workbench, we wouldn't have any trouble picking up either one of them to do the jobÃ¢â¬âbecause we intend to treat them exactly the same. But it does not follow from this that if we should treat something the same (in a legal setting) they must, therefore, be the same. A man might be called up to take care of all his tools, treating them all with the same kind of respect. But treating a hammer with respect and a screwdriver with respect means treating them differentlyÃ¢â¬âyou don't twist screws with a hammer, and you don't try to drive nails with the handle of a screwdriver. (6)
While there are days I am overwhelmed by the practical implications of what it means to be a father, the encouragement of Father Hunger is in its dependence upon scripture and God as the only perfect father. My responsibility, then, is to seek Him firstÃ¢â¬âand make sure my children (and my wife) see me doing so.
I fully expect this book to become well-worn by the time I reach empty-nester status. I highly recommend it to future or present fathers of both physical and spiritual children (read: all men).
I received this book as part of Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze blog reviewer program.
"Fatherlessness is a Ã¢â¬Ërot that is eating away at the modern soul,'" according to Douglas Wilson. He did his research and listed many statistics which uphold his thoughts on how fatherlessness shows forth the symptoms of a "rotting" society. Douglas points to examples of the "fruit" of absent fathers in areas of faith, education, the workplace, government, poverty...as well as others.
Though I am not a man, I picked up this book because I agree that fatherlessness is one of the major ailments of our society. I was hoping to read it and pass it along to our pastor. Also, I wanted to see what someone else discerns regarding fatherlessness' effects. I agree with many of Douglas Wilson's conclusions yet found the book difficult to read. I can tell he is very educated and speaks as a scholar...and not to the common man (or woman). This book would be great for a college level class (and discussion) for those in theology.
I think that this is an excellent issue to bring to the discussion table in the Christian arena. Although I agreed with much of what he said, I give this book 3/5 stars because I feel the readability is for a narrow group.
This book was given to me by Thomas Nelson Publishing (BookSneeze) in exchange for an unbiased review.