This review, by Dr. Nicholson, has been provided courtesy of Desert Bible Institute http://www.desertbibleinstitute.com.
There are a number of positive qualities to Charles Stanley‘s new book Man of God: Leading Your Family by Allowing God to Lead You. Perhaps one of the most notable traits is how he is able to pick a topic, or metaphor, and carry it through an entire chapter. This gives his book a continuity that is attractive to most men. For example, in his chapter “Man of Steel and Velvet” Stanley explores how a man should be like steel in the first half of the chapter and like velvet in the second half. Additionally, Stanley offers a great deal of scriptural support and incorporates it into what he is saying smoothly and with practiced ease. This provides the Christian reader with a constant confirmation that what is being said is biblical and not simply rehashed secular thought presented by a well-known pastor.
Another striking element of Stanley’s writing is that he asks the reader questions. This not only improves the tone of the writing, making it sound more like a discussion than a lecture, but helps men think introspectively about the various issues Stanley is addressing. This is paralleled by Stanley’s simple point-by-point breakdown followed by a list of suggestions and/or examples for the reader to think about. This highly organized, interactive style will prove attractive to most male readers. Finally, Stanley presents himself as a fallible father and husband. This honest, realistic approach should engender trust and defuse resistance in his readers.
There are a few elements however that could be points of frustration in this book. First, the narrator seems to announce, or perform, more than he shares with the reader. This seems to run contrary to the natural, conversational tone that Stanley was going for. Furthermore, while the structure is advantageous to the novice reader, it can come off as a little formulaic to the more experienced reader. By the end of the book, I was becoming nostalgic for the days of Confronting Casual Christianity and other books by Stanley that were hard hitting and provocative but every bit as helpful and biblical as this book.
In the end, this is a good book for struggling husbands and fathers. There are also the occasional points of thought for the more successful father. Moreover, I would suggest this book to those people in the church who are counseling men and families but lack a formal education. This is an excellent starting point and could prove a good resource for men before their first counseling session. This is a good book even if it doesn’t live up to Stanley’s work from the 80s and the 90s.
Trent Nicholson, Ph.D., D.Min.
Desert Bible Institute, President
Dr. Nicholson is a member of the christianaudio review program. To learn more, visit their website at: http://www.christianaudio.com.