Book Reviews -- By: Lilly Park
JDFM 3:1 (Fall 2012) p. 76
Douglas Wilson, Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012. 272 pp. $15.99.
The concern for functional fathers is as old as history itself. Yet every new generation must address rampant delinquency in the home. Douglas Wilson’s book Father Hunger includes an innovative perspective on the decline of fatherhood, new research to support the need for functional fathers in every home, and a fresh look on the effect of fatherlessness on the culture at large. The author serves as a senior fellow at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho, and is himself a husband, father, and grandfather (173).
The subtitle of Wilson’s book, Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families, suggests that the author will provide proof for the claim that men should lead in the home. Though Wilson does indeed structure his text to demonstrate the “why,” he also addresses many other aspects of manhood ranging from genetics, calling, and desire to politics, history, and theology. Each chapter is sprinkled with illustrations drawn from history, literature, pop culture, and personal experiences in order to illuminate Wilson’s argument and to connect with his readers.
Wilson argues that our understanding of fathers cannot be put right until we rediscover God the Father (13). Wilson points out that many churches today place undue emphasis on one of the three persons of the Trinity while practically ignoring the other two (198). Wilson observes that evangelicals emphasize having a relationship with Jesus, while charismatics place a similar emphasis on the Holy Spirit (198). To be sure, none of Wilson’s argument is designed to downgrade the place of Jesus or the Holy Spirit in the Christian life. It is intended to draw attention to a minimalized understanding of God the Father. Until a man can understand what God the Father is for, Wilson contends, his father hunger will remain (199).
Wilson looks carefully at egalitarianism, feminism, and their effects on culture (15-17). He continues to build his case for biblical masculinity (51), godly education (82-83), Christian marriage (126-127), and biblical corporal discipline (179), explaining how each has been negatively affected by egalitarianism or, more strongly, feminism. Recognizing the significance of the church in the formation of fatherhood, Wilson later returns to his argument concerning egalitarianism, suggesting that long before the first woman was allowed to preach from the pulpit, the pulpit itself became feminized as men subverted their roles in the pulpit, the society, and the home (142). Now, with a godly, biblical understanding of manhood surren...
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