There is a great deal of discussion of “manliness” among Christians these days. Not all of that discussion is helpful, as much of it strays from the Biblical narrative. Some parts of the discussion that claim to be “Biblical” are based so loosely on fringe characters that they may as well be based on nothing.
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Patrick Morley’s How God Makes Men aims straight for the text of Scripture. Morley’s work examines the lives of ten men in Scripture. In doing so, he necessarily shortens the stories and does not draw every depth present. That does not remove the overall usefulness, it is just a reminder that this is not a full-out character study of each person involved.
The ten men included are: Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, David, Solomon, Nehemiah, Job, Peter, and Paul. These are stories which are generally known within the church, so there is not a lot of new ground covered. Instead, Morley reaches out for a specific point in their story and holds onto it.
If there is a negative here, the first one would be that rounding off the stories of these men misses their negative characteristics or kind of glosses the historical situation. That is why I recommend this more as an aid to group study than as an individual book. Groups tend to flesh out one-sided views.
Positively, though, How God Makes Men far outweighs the negative. I was especially pleased with Morley’s illustration of what he calls “Bible Time,” which we typically call “waiting on God.” The concept is made very clear.
The discussion guides add value to the work, but are not in-depth enough to stand alone for study. Still, they help spark discussion.
(Note: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for the review.)