By Jeff Robinson
Put a book before me that seeks to unpack biblical manhood while discussing sports at numerous points and quotes the Lord of the Rings, Band of Brothers, Teddy Roosevelt, Louis L’Amour and J.C. Ryle, and you have my undivided attention. Shawn Brower’s new book, We Became Men: The Journey Into Manhood (P&R Publishing), has all the ingredients to offer a delightfully readable challenge for young men to embrace God’s good design for manhood.
Brower proceeds on the truism that the Christian life is a pilgrimage, a journey of adventure, discovery, risk and revelation that is to be lived for one purpose: the glory of God in Christ. The book provides fathers and sons a clear vision and direction for the lives of future men in vital, life-changing areas such as performance, temptations, relationships, idols, boredom with life, and many more. Brower’s work is addressed both to young boys and to fathers or other men whom God has called to raise and mentor boys.
For example, Brower gives wise counsel on the necessity of a young man choosing like-minded, godly friends who will accompany him on the path to manhood, but you will need friends who are willing to help you deal with sinful blind spots such as pride.
Writes Brower: “Without a doubt, life is an adventure. As we journey on, we’ll enjoy the adventure even more when we’re joined by those who have the same interests, men we can slap on the back for a job well done or laugh and celebrate with. Yet, in the ebb and flow of our adventures in life, we run into battles and travel through valleys, facing trials and adversities that are almost too much to bear alone. In such moments, the strength that allowed us to climb mountains, swim oceans, conquer fears, and brave the elements now isolates us from others. We are shaken to the core and too embarrassed to admit we need help. After all, a man’s strength is his identity; it is what makes a man a man. Let’s call this response for what it is: pride.
Brower knows young men well. He served as a high school soccer coach for many years, winning several state championships, and is now principle of Chattanooga Christian School in Chattanooga, Tenn.
(Jeff Robinson, Ph.D.,serves as editor of Gender Blog. He also serves as elder of preaching and pastoral vision at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.)
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