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Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families Paperback – April 30, 2012
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About the Author
Douglas Wilson is a senior fellow of theology at New Saint Andrews College. Wilson isthe author of numerous books on education, theology, and culture, including: The Case for Classical Christian Education , Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning , Mother Kirk , and Angels in the Architecture , as well as biographies on both Anne Bradstreet and John Knox.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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?
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This work makes a significant input into the definition of masculinity and manhood. Wilson is unequivocal in his declaration of the centrality of the Divine and that from Him... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Dwight Pennycooke
Good, informative read about God's plan for fathers in modern families.Published 21 months ago by Richard Cassalata
Do fathers really matter? Douglas Wilson points his readers to the baptism of Jesus and the proclamation of God the Father loving His Son as being the archetypal portrait of the... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Peter Butler Jr.
Very well written. Wilson is one of the best writers around. The book lays out general principles, you won't receive any step by step instructions on fatherhood.Published on December 9, 2014 by JenniandJosh
I wouldn't agree with every idiosyncrasy in the book but the basic premise I believe is spot on! Our culture is in a mess, a reflection of our worship.Published on April 10, 2014 by H. Ouellette
Doug Wilson produces another classic, that if read with integrity, will get men to think and re-think their roles in society, especially the roles of being husband and dad. Read morePublished on February 18, 2014 by Grant
This book is hope for the fatherless. I know Doug Wilson, I know his children, and I know his passel of grandchildren, and they are all hearty, jolly, God-loving proof that he... Read morePublished on November 8, 2013 by GMBurrahobbit