on May 17, 2012
If you enjoyed Disciplines of a Godly Man, then you will likely enjoy Disciplines of a Godly Young Man, for the latter is largely a reprint of the former with a handful of illustration changes to engage a younger audience (approximately high school through college-age).
- Five chapters from Disciplines of a Godly Man have been omitted from Disciplines of a Godly Young Man (Discipline of Marriage, Fatherhood, Worship, Integrity, and Leadership).
- The Introduction and "Discipline of the Mind" Chapters from Disciplines of a Godly Man are further divided into two chapters each in Disciplines of a Godly Young Man, most likely to cater to shorter attention spans.
- Resources in the newer book have been updated (ex. Online Bible reading plans, apps, etc.) and are accessed online rather than in the Appendices at the rear of the book.
Ultimately, there is very little that distinguishes Disciplines of a Godly Young Man from Disciplines of a Godly Man. Although Disciplines of a Godly Young Man omitted chapters from its predecessor, it did not introduce new, relevant content in its place. (For example, marriage and fatherhood are removed from the section on relationships, a fitting place to discuss relating to parents and siblings.) Since there isn't really any new information (even the subtitles are the same, for the most part), I would simplify and purchase the latter as it will be useful to its reader for decades as opposed to a decade...unless you think that this new cover and title will have greater reading appeal to the young man in your life. ;)
As for the book content, both books contain concise chapters with practical advice and encouraging illustrations that will likely hold the attention of many readers. The Hughes utilize much Scripture and are theologically sound. Furthermore, they quote and recommend good reading material. These books would be helpful as a jumping off point for further reading and/or small group discussion. To this end, they contain helpful "Food for Thought" and "Application/Response" sections at the conclusion of each chapter.
The Disciplines... books maintain a narrow focus, emphasizing the things one must do to discipline himself for godliness. This narrowness provides a helpful challenge to the reader but can give the appearance of laying out a list of "laws" as opposed to genuinely getting to the heart of the matter and applying the Gospel. As a result, I would recommend that those reading Disciplines... have a solid understanding of the Biblical process of Gospel-centered change. (How People Change by Tim Lane and Paul Tripp is an excellent resource on this subject.)
I think the Disciplines... books will be beneficial for many men. However, it is important to know what type of guy will be reading this book. I would not recommend it to everyone! Personally, I am tempted to be more critical of this type of book in my current season of life because I can get so easily discouraged by all that I am not doing. A book like this that mostly gives me all the "to dos" without proclaiming the truth of the Gospel and reiterating God's work in me poses a definite temptation to crushing despair. I must continually remind myself that Jesus lived the perfect life that I should have lived and died the death that I should have died so that there is no longer any condemnation for me in Christ. In this season, I must also remind myself that God will be faithful to complete the good work which He has begun in me. While there is a chapter at the conclusion of the book titled the "Discipline of Grace", it is lacking of the Gospel presentation of the previous two sentences. This book could crush an already discouraged young man who is not well-grounded in the truth of the Gospel and God's role in sanctification. (A better solution might be to have such an individual read Discipline of Grace or Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges. ;)
All-in-all, I think many men will continue to be challenged by the Hughes and will benefit from a careful reading of either of these books.
*Many thanks to Crossway for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!
on January 29, 2012
Today's culture is fascinated with watching the fruit of other people's discipline while neglecting our own discipline. What do I mean by that? Take sports for example. We love to watch Dwyane Wade throw an alley-hoop to Lebron James. These two guys pour in hours at the gym each day. They are extremely disciplined and yet we can't remember the last time we ran for twenty minutes. This also occurs in our spiritual lives.
Today's Christian Young Men (I don't consider myself too far removed) are fascinated with podcasts. We love sitting and listening to Matt Chandler or John Piper as the fruits of these men's disciplines come alive. And all the awhile we are neglecting our own spiritual discipline. The truth is, most of us don't even know what it looks like to cultivate a godly disciplined life. This no longer has to be true.
Following the popular Disciplines of A Godly Man, Kent and Carey Hughes have teamed up to write Disciplines of A Godly Young Man. The book is written to young men around the ages of 13-18 and has provided them with a tool to cultivate spiritual discipline.
Discipline is a sweaty exercise. It comes from work, hard grueling and testing work. Paul says in 1 Timothy 4:7, "train yourself for godliness". The Hughes start their book discussing the importance of discipline, a Holy Sweat. This introduction provides a great framework for the rest of the book. Many of us are talented in an area of life and thus have natural advantages. Because of this, we expect it to translate to our spiritual life as well. On this, Hughes writes, "None of us can claim a natural spiritual advantage. In reality, we are all equally disadvantaged. None of us naturally seeks after God" (pg. 18). Thus, discipline in the Christian life is extremely important.
After the Introduction, the book is then broken up into five different areas of life. These consist of Relationships, Soul, Character, Ministry, and Grace. Under each of these headings consist further subheadings that dive deeper into the area of life. (for a full list of areas discussed, consult below)
The Hughes are clear and concise. The chapters are fast paced yet pack punch all the while remaining practical. At the close of each chapter there is a "food for thought" and "an application/response" time. The Hughes aren't concerned with just teaching a theologically sound disciplined life. No, they want to see students living a theologically sound disciplined life. It is one thing to know what that life looks like and another thing to live that life. This perhaps was my greatest encouragement concerning the book.
Overall, I believe this book is extremely relevant to today's young men. The Hughes are calling out young men and challenging them to become the man of discipline that God calls them to be. Young Men, be encouraged and challenged by this book.
Introduction - Discipline is Everything, Discipline for Godliness
Relationships - Purity, Friendship
Soul - Mind: Refusal, Mind: Filling, Devotion, Prayer
Character - Tongue, Work, Perseverance
Ministry - Church, Giving, Witness, Ministry
Discipline - Grace
I received this book free from Crossway Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
This book may be addressed to young man explicitly, but it implicitly applies to all believers in Christ. Using 'discipline' as the main operative word throughout the book, the author's conviction is that without discipline, one cannot grow up to be the mature man in God. Beginning with stories of mainly famous sports persons, the authors continuously hum the chorus:
"No manliness, no maturity! No discipline, no discipleship! No groans, no growth! No training, no triumph!" (22)
Written in 5 sections, the authors attempt to instil the need for discipline in relationships, in the soul, in character, in ministry and in grace.
Reading this book reminds me of Paul's instructions to Titus about young men.
"Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled." (Titus 2:6)
In that short letter, Paul has one of the shortest instructions for the young men in the Church. Self-Controlled. I see 'discipline' as a way in which Titus 2:6 can be practised. This book certainly goes wide in terms of reaching out to young men in very important spheres of their lives. There is something for the relational young man. There are many good ideas to cultivate the mental prowess. There are great stories regarding the building of character. There is also the responsibility to be a part of Church through serving, giving, and regular attendance. All in all, though the book is targeted at young men, it can benefit a wider audience. In fact, if all young men can read this book, and apply the suggestions in it, our future is bright. Our nations will be swarming with future leaders who will be strong, faithful, and will honour to home, to country, and to God.
The best way to use this book is to read it together with a group, or another person. Teach it in a young adult class, or read it as a group. Discuss it with a friend, a mentor or your pastor. Otherwise, it is easy for young men to be distracted. Due to the demands in this book, reading it will require a discipline in itself. Beware. This book is not for the weak and faint-hearted. It is for those who want to grow up to be godly and mature in God.
Maybe, for those of us who are older, and have missed out on the disciplines when we were younger, it is never too late to begin. This book may also be used to cultivate the inner man in us, regardless of how old is our outer man.
Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.
This book is provided to me free by Crossway Books and NetGalley without any obligation for a positive review. All comments provided are offered freely.
on February 24, 2016
If the purpose of the book is to lead a young person through the disciplines of the Christian life, and use this book for the purpose of discipleship…then this book hit the ball out of the park. Full review found here - (...)
on July 11, 2013
Because this book addresses issues that males of all ages should know and put into practice as Christians, this book is a must for all Christian men and youth. It is a great book to study with your teen sons. Don't just hand the book to them to read. Work together through the book, reading, discussing, and applying. One of the best available.
on April 9, 2013
I've been reading this with my 17 year old son. It's written in a very relevant way and does a great job of laying out challenges young men face (and older men), along with the importance of seeking answers in the Word and from God. I've enjoyed the read, and it's an impactful study with my son.
on December 24, 2012
As our sons moved out of our home to secular college campuses, I could tell that they were struggling to maintain the daily disciplines of Bible study, prayer, guarding their thought life, and managing their time spent on the internet and on their phones that we had practiced in our home. This book, written from a man's perspective, is engaging, honest, and convicting while still being encouraging. As they begin to stand on their own faith, this book provides a rubric upon which young men can identify areas in which he needs to set up hedges of protection for himself. The author asks the reader questions for evaluation which ultimately lead to the reader making specific decisions about how to handle each issue presented. A wonderful resource to support and encourage a young man, especially as he embarks on living independently in the world.
on November 22, 2012
Are you ever wondered how you can instill disciplines into your son who is growing up and starting to become more independent? How can you encourage him to read his Bible on a regular basis? How to make sure he chooses godly friends? How to ensure that in everything he does he will persevere and work hard? For a first generation Christian it can seem an enormous task to see that your sons are trained according to God's will. This book will cover every aspects of living - relationships, soul, character, ministry, discipline. All things that I consider essential is growing with God to become the man that He want my sons to become. Here's the chapters included in the book.
Discipline in Everything!
Discipline for Godliness
Discipline of Purity
Discipline of Friendship
Discipline of Mind, I: Refusal
Discipline of Mind, II: Filling
Discipline of Devotion
Discipline of Prayer
Discipline of Tongue
Discipline of Work
Discipline of Perseverance
Discipline of Church
Discipline of Giving
Discipline of Witness
Discipline of Ministry
Grace of Discipline
Initially written for youth in the hopes that they learn the ropes of Christian living, I think this book would be a great reading for parents and youth alike. It could also be used for a young men group study in your church. Each chapter are organized like this: read the text on a specific discipline, ponder on the food for thought, and apply what you have learn in your life by accepting the challenge at the end of the chapter. Sometimes you will also have the opportunity to check out resources from the website [...] - More specifically on the subjects of the mind, the tongue, witnessing, purity, and devotion.
I also think that this book is a great tool to include in your homeschool as it will help you train your sons to become what God has in plans for them. My two oldest sons already have the discipline of reading their Bible daily but I know that sometimes it could be easy to skip some days. Besides there are other disciplines that I want them to work on for the years to come. Slowly they are learning the discipline of working hard and of perseverance, the discipline of giving and serving whenever they can. I guess it helps that they are part of AWANA as well. I strongly believe that parents should be the primary teachers for this kind of things. Please don't take this wrong, I do find youth group important as well but if this is the only place where they get teaching on how to behave and be a man of God, that isn't enough. So I would like to suggest that parents go through this book with their sons as a way to connect and learn more about developing godly disciplines in their lives.
I strongly believe that developing disciplines in your day-to-day life is essential to stay on the right path. This book will give you tools to train your sons in doing so. God has a big plan for them and you are stewards in training them to become the man that He wants them to be. Will you take up the challenge and step up to the plate? If so, consider Disciplines of a Godly Young Man to be the tool you will use to do so.
on May 29, 2012
Disciplines of a Godly Young Man by the Hughes father-and-son team is organized very nicely and is easy to follow through. The book introduces discipline as a necessity for success and growth and then expounds on different areas of discipline such as purity, friendship, the mind, devotion, prayer, the tongue, work, perseverance, church, giving, witness, and ministry. Each of these disciplines heads up a chapter in which the authors give examples of what discipline in that area is, how to grow in your personal discipline in that specific area, and they lead you in questioning your own level of discipline and encourage you in how to improve on it. The final chapter, the grace of discipline is an encouragement for those who have understood that in their own power they are not able to be as disciplined as they ought to or wish to be. A quote from this last chapter reminds, "It is God's grace that energizes us to live out the disciplines of a godly young man. There is always more grace."
This book appears to be written for an audience of already Christian young men, not one who is searching. There is not a lot of emphasis upon what exactly it means by a "godly young man." I wished that it did include more of this.
This book is not exactly a book which a "young man" might just pick up and breeze through. I think it is written for late high school/college/young adults -- and is written in sort of a mentoring style. I think that the best application of this book would be in a mentoring situation -- an older guy going through it bit by bit (Bible study type setting) with a younger guy or guys. I think my own son would benefit from it when he is older. Not that he shouldn't be learning these disciplines at an earlier age, I just doin't think the book is geared toward younger ones.
I would recommend this book for fathers/sons or mentors/young men or Bible study leaders/young men. The topics covered apply to us all, and men of all ages could benefit from these teachings.
I received a free copy of this book from Crossway publishers for the purposes of this review. I was not required to write a positive review.
on May 29, 2012
Okay, I will start out by saying I am a mom of 3 young boys (8, 4 and 4 months - really young boys)so I was excited to receive this book from Crossway as a review copy. Now I would like to go purchase the others in the series!
I absolutely loved this book! I had to refrain from continuing to type excerpts on my Facebook page because so much of this book is quote worthy and easily applicable to the lives of children today. This author team has done an exceptional job of compiling information that is scriptural in such a way that young boys or teenage boys can read and understand and relate without feeling preached to.
Each Chapter introduces a new discipline: Purity, Friendships,Mind I, Mind II, Devotion, Prayer, Tongue, Work, Perserverance, Church, Giving, Witness, Ministry, Grace. It ends with food for thought and reflection. The depth in which they cover each discipline is amazing considering that this really is a small book. One would think it would be filled with water-down or diluted information, However, it is crammed with some really heavy truths presented in a very teachable way.
I think it would be easily adaptable as a father and son (or mother/son) study. This type of book opens the communication airways so that teens would be encouraged to talk about their thoughts on each of the disciplines. I got the book in the mail the same week my husband began a new ministry called Mighty Men - a ministry geared for fathers and sons grades 3rd through High school created to teach a core of 7 Godly principles to live by. As I read this book I kept going back to him saying "this is really good - you could use it with what you are doing".
Thanks so much for the review copy Crossway Publishers.