Title: Act Like Men: 40 Days to Biblical Manhood
Author: James MacDonald
Publisher: Moody Publishers, 10/1/2014
272 Pages (Paperback)
Blurb: Man up; it’s the best thing you can do for others—and yourself
Men are so busy doing so many different things; when not working, their free time is often full of the trivial or sinful. But what society and church so desperately need are men who embrace all that God created them to be, who long to follow God without limits and meet the needs of those around them without hesitation.
To get there, we need what Pastor James MacDonald calls “radical surgery”—a deep, probing exploration and reparation of all that it means to be a man.
In his definitive, bold voice, MacDonald calls men to be watchful, firm in their faith, strong, and loving. This isn’t a call for bravado and bluster. It’s a call for men to mix tender and tough, to be humble, to follow Jesus. It is a call to be leaders, men of God, husbands who are present and caring and strong. It is straight talk—no posturing or posing or beating around the bush—inviting men to redemption and restoration in their manhood.
Read Act Like Men and take bold steps toward being all that God designed you to be.
**Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this
My Take: I needed this book. As a Christian man, this one hits some deep truths and hits them hard. The whole forty-day journey is based around, and continually points back to, two verses in Scripture that sum up what a man should strive to do and to be: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (ESV). By focusing the central messages around these five points, Dr. MacDonald delivers a practical, easy-to-remember set of principles for every man to live his life by.
The early entries are laced with humor, the type of jokes and situations that every man can relate to on some level. I felt like the first ten or so entries really did a great job of welcoming all men into the study, breaking down any walls or barriers they might have to hold them back from plunging into the heart of the material. But once it hits the heart, oh man, does it hit home. Men in general do not like to admit they need help, guidance, direction. But Dr. MacDonald cuts to the core of what men truly need to grow in their biblical manhood, pointing out those stubborn habits that usually hold us back from accomplishing those objectives. The importance of deep, meaningful friendships with other men comes in the closing chapters. It is a topic important enough that, had he devoted the entire 40 days to that it wouldn’t have covered the topic enough to emphasize its importance. It is an area that I need to continue to grow in, surrounding myself with the right men and praying with/for them and having a deeper fellowship with.
Looking back I wish I had been graced with time to approach this in the intended manner: as a 40-day devotional where one chapter is tackled each day. I plan to keep this one on my shelf and, in a year or two, pull it back out and revisit it in that manner with a group of men. Because there are questions at the end of each day, along with a prayer, that really drive things home and I know that diving in and answering those questions (and discussing those answers with other men) would enhance the experience to its fullest potential. But even for those who approach it as I did, as a book to read and absorb the biblical principles, this one stands tall among the crowd of books geared toward men.
The ten podcasts at actlikemen.com add an additional level of depth and really drove home some of the points being made in the pages of the book. I would highly recommend listening to those, as well, during the 40-day journey to biblical manhood. All in all, I don’t know that there is a single man out there who couldn’t gain some great benefit from studying this book alongside other men. If you are looking for a book to help you in your own walk to biblical manhood, or are looking for something to study in your men’s group or with a group of men, this is the first one I would recommend.