Wednesday, May 1, 2013

[REVIEW] What it Means to be a Man: God's Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes

What it Means to be a Man: God's Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes

Rhett Smith

First thing first: I do not belong to the book's target (or "intended", if you will) audience. I do not identify as a Christian, but since I do identify as a man I thought I could take something away from this book. I'd also like to mention that I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) for Kindle in exchange for an honest review. That follows now.

What it means to be a man is something that has changed - and will probably continue to change - throughout the years. For good, but also for bad. This book is an attempt to embrace and develop the good. Since it is a book written by a Christian for other Christians, it's heavy on religion (or, well, Christianity). Which is all fine, if it hadn't been for certain wordings, such as "there is some mysterious energy that passes from the male to his children," praise for a runner who finished a race on a snapped hamstring, talk about "the man who would have taught [his children] how to fix and build things, throw a football, tie a tie, cook a meal and drive a car" - like a mother, or another woman, would be unable to do that? I do get the point in the last example, though, that a father should be there for his children.

Another thing that jumped out at me was this: "What if depression is a gift that helps us conquer the emotions that weigh us down?" While being depressed, or having any other diagnoses for that matter, isn't something you should be ashamed of or feel bad about, I find it quite slap-dashed to say something like that. It's not a walk in the park to be depressed.

He also writes, on the subject of religion, that "[t]he grace of being pressed down to the ground is also simple: when we slip and fall, it is usually not fatal, and we can get back up." I don't particularly like the idea of God "pressing us down". *shudders*

There is also no mention of non-traditional gender roles, which I had hoped. But unfortunately there is not too much room for gender-nonconformists in traditional churches (or other religions, for that matter)

So no, this book was definitely not for me. But I'm sure there are many who can benefit from it.

2 bookshelves out of 5.

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