As forewarned, it’s time for another book look.
Today, I want to point you to a book that I read what seems like two lifetimes ago: Tender Warrior by Stu Weber. It looks like this:
You can buy Tender Warrior from various websites, including the one named after a large rain forest that no longer has an affiliate program in Arkansas because the Legislature thought punishing me was going to increase tax revenues. You can also buy a copy from the publisher, Multnomah, here.
Or you can hunt down one of the 375,000 people who have bought it and borrow theirs. Which is what happened to my hardcover copy years ago when I first read this book.
Why would I read it again just for a review after several years?
Here is the hinge of Stu Weber’s book: it is not only possible but appropriate that Christian men be both compassionate and strong. The possibility of doing so is based in the power of God. The appropriateness is found in following the example of Christ, because we see both attitudes in fullness in Him.
Weber’s work is peppered with anecdotes and explanations, and has aged fairly well since I read it in the mid-90s. A few of the life illustrations will be lost on college students that read it now, because we are that much further from the Cold War and even the Vietnam War. Yet this is not a deal-breaker here.
Tender Warrior still challenges men to toughen up and soften up, and uses Scripture to issue that challenge. It is one of the few legacies that I see of the Promise Keepers-era, but it’s one that’s worth holding on to. If more of the “Man UP” preachers I read about would recommend this book instead of pushing their own hyper-machismo, the church would be better off.
Free book in exchange for the review. Which was good, because whoever I lent mine to back in 1999 never gave it back. Which is ok, if they read it.