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Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families Paperback – Illustrated, April 30, 2012
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About the Author
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Wilson, in his, Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families, takes his readers on a thought-provoking look at the call of being a father – beginning – as noted, with the archetypal Father being God.
In the second chapter, Wilson argues that men and women are different, and he takes a complementarian position about men and women – not denying their equality as bearers of the Image of God, but denying egalitarianism, which denies the necessary and good differences between men and women – denying that a man and a women can only come together to be a while and take on the responsibilities of father and mother.
In chapter three, he turns to Jonathan Edwards to show the connection between rightly worshipping God the Father and having a right view of the authority of the human father.
In the fourth, he makes the point that the Scripture’s calling God a masculine being has nothing to do with genitalia, but with the role, authority, and responsibility of a father – which is different from that of a mother (38). He defines masculinity as “the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility” (41).
He argues that the analogy and knowledge of God comes through seeing that Image portrayed in the human father, and it is the lack of human fathers which has bolstered the growth of atheism (53).
In chapter six, he looks at education being the desire to be like someone else. And he ties the Lordship of Christ to the father’s educating of the children.
In the seventh chapter, he argues that statism is set-up to sponsor absentee fatherism, and Christians must put the will of the state under the will of God.
He turns to economics in the eighth chapter, turning the reader away from what he calls “crapitalism” (92) to the biblical view that all forms of work are given as calls by God – “church” work is not a higher or better call than the milk-maid – and the father rightly shows how work is done by working heartily and in pursuit of excellence, not merely to please the boss, but the glorify God and to thank Him.
In the ninth, he looks at marriage, sexual sin, and joining gangs in search of a father.
In the tenth, he shows that those who hold church office must be men – fathers (normally) – who meet the standards of the Scriptural call.
These are the “fathers of the church” who bear the Image of God the Father to the flock.
In the eleventh chapter, he looks at the doctrine of creation and shows that believing the biblical account of Creation is necessary to understand value. He bears this up by examining the Eucharistic connection between the elements and the staid provision of a father.
In chapter twelve, he argues for the normalcy of men being fruitful in – and only in marriage. And he discusses the failure of pornography and adultery on the basis of incapacitating fruitfulness.
In the thirteenth chapter, he stresses the father requiring obedience of the children and the necessity of the father being an exemplar of obedience to his children for them to respond rightly. He draws in themes of accountability and the real portrayal of what it means to be content in Christ.
The fourteenth chapter examines the evangelical (in particular) problem of forgetting God the Father – evangelicals stress salvation in Jesus Alone and sanctification by the Spirit, but the Father is relegated to the corner. He argues the Father must be brought forward in the Trinity, showing that the Fathers chief purpose – as with the Son and the Spirit – is to be glorified (191). In this, the Father is known – and Wilson spends several pages going over Scripture about the Father.
In the final chapter, Wilson warns that fathers must not abandon their responsibilities, nor cling to them as a legal document, but live them out in relation to the worship of God the Father as exemplifying this to his children (200-1).
Each chapter ends with a brief series of question to continue reflection on the main issues of the chapter.
The book has an appendix which statistically looks at the economic loss caused by delinquent fathers.
The book ends with a bibliography and a recommended reading list.
I have read a number of Wilson’s books, and I was very impressed with his tying the responsibility and role of the father in the family to that of the knowledge and worship of God the Father. I highly recommend this book and will likely give it to newly married men and new fathers to help them being the fathers God has called them to be.
[I received this book free for an honest review from Tyndale Publishing. This review appears on my blog and Amazon.com.] #FatherHunger http://smile.amazon.com/Father-Hunger-Calls-Their-Families/dp/1595554769/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425343160&sr=8-1&keywords=father+hunger
Top international reviews
Wilson shows how many of the systemic and perennial problems our society battles actually stem from weak, disengaged, abdicating, abusive or non-existent fathers. He shows how the effects of father-hunger are broad and deep, and are measurable in many ways including ultimately contributing to higher crime rates, lower education standards and achievement, lower average earning ability of kids who grow up and move into the work force, lower overall societal morality, lower levels of personal responsibility, etc. Wilson discusses how government programs are not and never will be the answer to this problem. State programs are simply an impersonal attempt by the state to step in and father children in the absence of their true fathers. Many families then become reliant on the state, even many families with a father who is physically present at home but who is emotionally and provisionally tuned-out to his role of caring for his family. But the state cannot be a real father to children because, while it might send a cheque every month for groceries and day-care, such "provision" is effectively the same as an alimony payment; it is a reminder of the father-hunger, not a solution to it. The child needs more than a cheque in the mail. Children need the love and care and security of a responsible man who loves them and loves their mother in front of them.
The author traces the problems of societal and individual father-hunger to the root cause of abandoning our belief in a Father-God. When people no longer recognize that there is a God-the-Father and that his nature and works are spelled out for us in the pages of the Bible, and when people no longer recognize that this is the example after which all human fatherhood is supposed to be patterned, we are set adrift with no true model to base human fatherhood on. Wilson calls fathers back to Biblical faith and imitation of God the Father, in practice and not just in word. Only when the fathers in our society repent of the abdication of their proper roles and of the abandonment of their wives and children (even abandonment where the father still physically dwells with his family), and only when fathers turn to the one true pattern of Fatherhood, God the Father, in confession and faith, through the saving work of God the Son...only then will father-hunger begin to be repaired.
One issue with this book: I think that readers who are familiar with Wilson's other written works, whether his books or his blog, could get more out of this than those who have never read anything by him before. Wilson has a unique way of stating things and he can bounce quite quickly back and forth between serious and sarcastic. He can also sometimes assume too much of the first time reader of his works, for example that they know more of where he is coming from or share his presuppositions. Many do, I'm sure, but many more may not and for them, this book will not be as convincing or helpful as it could have been if it had been written from the perspective of speaking to a particular audience for the first time. Personally I don't find this a drawback or distraction as I am quite familiar with his works and communication style, but over the years I have received feedback from folks who have never read anything by Wilson before, and this has been a fairly consistant critique. However, it is not a major issue and in no way would I want to disuade anyone from reading this timely, helpful, and to be frank, crucial book for fathers as they fulfill their critical role in the home, the church and the world.
I highly recommend this book to all current and future fathers!
I loved this book. I am a new father (1 and 3 year old children). There is not a subject in this book that I have not wrestled through on my own in the past 3-4 years. I have made many major decisions regarding my role in my family, work, education, and outreach beyond the church walls. Wilson touches on all of them, and confirmed that I had made many good decisions. He offered a lot of insight and advice into things I have not settled on.
If you are a father struggling with your (un)fathered past, your place in your own family, your place with God our Father, work, education, or preparing your children for (wo)manhood then this book will be a great help. He doesn't give you every practical step you need. But he gives you a solid foundation to 'be your own man,' so to speak.
I would think that people from different denominational backgrounds will find this book acceptable.
I will say that it is for fans of CS Lewis, apologetics, Christianity and culture, existential philosophical struggle, and fatherhood.
Ladies should read it too.
Skim as much as you can, and buy it if you're hooked!
Hope this helps.