Reviews (1) Write a Review
Not too heavy on the Scripture, but saturated in true, gospel-centred, masculine Christlikeness January 26, 2014
Any book that sports a moustache, a pair of hipster spectacles and a `gospel beard' on the front cover deserves my attention right from the off. And rightly so. While character shows the world how much of a real man a bloke is, it is often said that his beard is the exclamation point. And while that saying only plays the role of an entertaining, anecdotal truth, the cover itself sets the book up perfectly in what to expect.
But the content of Darrin Patrick's new book is anything other than a mere exclamation point. It is in fact a resource by which all men, everywhere, are given opportunity after opportunity to read, relate, reflect and respond in a way which mirrors the obvious, yet often unseen - or more accurately, purposely ignored - level of masculinity portrayed by the Lord Jesus Christ.
It's worth noting that the book kicks off well before Patrick even starts writing. Rick Warren, who is amongst a host of well-known, respectable names who write their praise-centred comments for the book, simply states: `Men need help." How true is that of men today? In a world where the idea of true masculinity is distorted. In a world where `man up' is the only response from many to those who show any emotion or vulnerability. In a world where children are more likely to go to bed with a television in their bedroom than a father in their house. Whether it's the drunken, immature, `you only live once' depiction of single men in the `Hangover' trilogy, the comedic but completely clueless representation of the father figure manifest in character such as Homer Simpson, or the `sexually-charged teenage boy' culture seen in Greg Mattola's film `Superbad', men are at the forefront of a depressing picture painted by today's media; a picture which sequentially influences and directly reflects the ethos surrounding masculinity in real life today.
And this is the basis for the book being written. Patrick's words are built on the foundations of, quote, "Finding true manliness in a world of counterfeits". The reason Patrick opens with the need to find true masculinity in a world full of counterfeits is because we're looking at, and to, the wrong men. The men we see most today are those aforementioned, and these men are celebrated; more than that, they're idolised. For a lot of people, and especially the young and/or easily-influenced, these are `real men'.
So who is Patrick's `men of all men, masculine of all masculine' poster boy? Who's on the front cover of the magazine? Who's real in a world full of fakes? None other than Jesus Christ. And to a lot of people, `lowly' Jesus of Nazareth - Nazareth, remember, being the place used as the tail end of a witty put-down from Nathanael early on in John's gospel - might seem like a strange choice, seeing as though Jesus is often seen as a `meek and mild' character, which in today's culture equates to neediness, weakness and the like. So if that's the perception that many people have of Jesus, what `real' man would then in turn look to Jesus as their role model for masculinity? Who wants their hero to be weak? Who wants their idol to be pitiful? Who wants their exemplar to be scrawny and frail, someone who could never face up to the trials, difficulties and dangers of real life?
The answer is: nobody. And thankfully the Jesus who people see as petty, trivial and insignificant isn't the Jesus that is taught in the Bible, and isn't the Jesus that Patrick specifically portrays here as our masculine superior. And while Patrick doesn't explicitly mention Jesus in each individual paragraph, he doesn't have to because the advice given throughout the entire book is saturated in true, gospel-centred, masculine Christlikeness.
And what I like most about Patrick's book, alongside the great insight and teaching, is his real-world illustrations and applications. There'd be nothing worse than a book on tackling counterfeits filled with counterfeit stories. Oftentimes he will relate back to a time in his past, a friend he knows, or even himself. These stories and friendships show a real life level of intimacy and vulnerability of which we can all relate to. Couple that with the numerous `do-this-now' drills sporadically placed throughout each chapter in little grey boxes, and we have ourselves a practical, handy book which if read by the masses with exceptional humility, would make changing the hearts of the masses a real possibility.
Finally, I believe the intentions of the book can be summed up in this paragraph:
"Toughness and tenderness aren't opposites. They belong together in a man. True manhood takes both the strength to stand up against injustice and the softness to hold our children when they're scared. True manhood requires cultivating the passionate courage to protect those who are endangered and the sensitivity to allow our wives to pour out all their deepest yearnings to us. We need men who have both the tenderness to cry with those who are suffering and the toughness to tell those who are doing wrong to stop."
I would advise all men (and women too) to pick up this book and give it a read. It is a well written piece of literature, packed with many truths. And if you have a habit of listening to preachers like Driscoll, Chandler, Lecrae, etc. you'll see that a lot of the material in this book isn't exactly new. You might know a lot of it already. But don't let that put you off. The old saying goes, "If it's true, it isn't new. And if it's new, it isn't true." But what we do have here, however, is a man with a heart of teaching men the gospel truths of true masculinity, knowing full well that real Christian teaching has never changed. The only thing that has changed is the messenger. So let's praise God for this messenger, and the way he goes about addressing this much-needed message. Men: step up.
Review by Daniel Curry
Discover the path to true masculinity—to an adventurous life of strength, purpose, and clarity.
Didn’t we used to understand manhood? Wasn’t there a time once when it was clear and straightforward? Are we lost?
Dudes, look around you: The trail we once traveled from boyhood to maturity is now so overgrown, it’s almost impossible to trace. Our vision is blurred, rendering the map that previous generations followed unreadable. Our compass needles are spinning in circles, making navigation impossible. We are stuck in dense, dangerous woods, and our communities—the wives, children, friends, and colleagues we could be influencing—are suffering as a result.
It can be tempting to give up and, like so many men today, simply exist, but take heart: Now is not the time for men to abandon our quest. We can discover the path to true masculinity—to an adventurous life of strength, purpose, and clarity.
In The Dude’s Guide to Manhood, pastor, author and dude Darrin Patrick charts a course back toward real manliness, mapping out a vision to help men find significance and influence in today’s broken, mixed-message culture. Revealing his own frailties and missteps, Patrick doesn’t preach at you but walks with you on a journey toward healing and wholeness.
Filled with timeless wisdom, accessible insights and practical guidance, The Dude’s Guide to Manhood issues an encouraging and doable call to all men, whatever your age or stage. We need not settle for wandering aimlessly through our days, wounded, weak, and passive. Instead, we can get back on the trail, embrace our gifts while facing our imperfections, and trust the God of new beginnings to lead us into all that we are destined to become: forgiven, connected, determined, teachable, content, heroic, and so much more.
|Publication Date||January 7, 2014|