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Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families Paperback – April 30, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595554769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595554765
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Those of us who had absent, distant or even abusive fathers know instinctively that "father hunger" means living with longing and insecurity. It is imperative for us right now, as a society, to consider the role of fathers and the impact of fatherlessness. Will we bequeath the vision of a father's strength, generosity and wisdom to the next generation or leave only an empty, father hunger? Douglas Wilson addresses men on this topic and challenges them to become a father after God's own heart.

This book communicates graceful truths about many areas of masculine responsibility, from education to the workplace to church leadership. Wilson paints the picture of a high calling and urges men to "pick it up and put it on like a coat" (p. 199). At the same time, he is unflagging in his passion for a father's role which goes much deeper than behavior modification or preaching. "Gracious fathers lead their sons through the minefield of sin. Indulgent fathers watch their sons wander off into the minefield. Legal fathers chase them there" (p. 185).

The last several chapters, from which the quotes above were taken, contain the best stuff, in my opinion. However, I almost did not get past the sarcastic and argumentative tone in some earlier material. In his discussion of masculinity and gender roles, for example, Wilson labels egalitarianism a "poison" (p. 5), and defends himself against criticisms he imagines will be leveled against him by "humorless" feminists (p. 11). Although I do not consider myself either an egalitarian or a feminist, I was put off by his abrasiveness, and I can only imagine that sincere Christians with a slightly more liberal theology could feel genuinely insulted.

Taken as a whole this book has value, but I have to offer two caveats.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You won't find many books about fatherhood that are this comprehensive, convicting, biblical, and enjoyable to read. It's also unabashedly non-politically correct, which I thought was a breath of fresh (truthful) air.
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Format: Paperback
Coming to the final pages of Father Hunger, I find myself exhausted. Having taken pick and shovel into the pages of Wilson's book, I find myself looking at my still empty hands. Here there I encountered color in the paragraphs but assembling a coherent whole out of a sentence here or a paragraph here was simply beyond my abilities. Mining this book for its treasures takes dedication, time and a notepad.

And it shouldn't be this way.

Taking on an issue that is critical to the reversal of cultural trends, Douglas Wilson could have done much better. When I finished the book I would have liked to easily identify the next action step that I should take to address the problems discussed. Instead, I'm left scratching my head wondering what I just read and just what prescription will turn the issue around. Jesus seems to be the answer but the application is absent.

The author's style may lie at the heart of the readability issue. He veers unexpectedly from and academic voice to colloquialism to one-off humorous aside in the span of a few sentence. I didn't know whether to snicker or go to the notes to verify a fact. This is not to say that there are not strong chapters, there are, but their effectiveness is blunted by those that go nowhere. Perhaps an editor that enforces a single voice could have saved the book.

If the reader takes each chapter on its own merit and reads the scriptures referenced in context they will gain more from Wilson's work. The question is, will the casual reader be willing to commit to the extra work in order to find the nuggets?
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Format: Paperback
A lack of good fathers is an evident problem in America, even among Christians. Doug Wilson aims to help rectify that in his latest book. It is a comprehensive and challenging book written mainly for future and current fathers. It is mostly helpful, though difficult for several reasons.

There are some excellent chapters in this book, and Wilson can turn a phrase like few of his contemporaries. He frequently challenges readers in his characteristic forthright style. If one is familiar with Wilson's previous arguments and writing style, this book should be helpful. He has built up a capital, so to speak, that allows a reader familiar with his works to give him the benefit of the doubt. These readers can connect the dots from some under-developed arguments in this book to more fleshed-out arguments elsewhere.

Readers new to Wilson might have some trouble with Father Hunger, as the chapters seemed disparate and thrown together. That is, Wilson tackles seemingly every topic that contributes to the father hunger in America, giving a wide but not necessarily deep treatment to these topics. These chapters mostly stand alone, with no strong thesis interweaving them. "Father hunger" is mentioned in passing in several places, and there is some sociological evidence given in the first couple chapters, but the book is more a collection of essays on different aspects of fatherhood and the undermining of it by society. Chapter topics include education, politics, work, discipline, church leadership, economics, gender roles, and more.

His argument is difficult to follow at times thanks to rabbit trails, some obscure illustrations, and generalized conclusions.
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