Men are getting as many mixed messages from society as women.Ungodly behaviors from many men have caused women to have a wide range of reactions. Some men and women have even called for an end to the idea of any sort of “masculine” behaviors, in favor of more “gender neutral” behaviors and even classifications.
Did God make a mistake when He created men? God doesn’t make mistakes, so what is a godly man supposed to look like? What are God’s expectations for a man’s behaviors? Is it possible to separate godly masculinity from ungodly masculinity?
The new book Dangerous Good: The Coming Revolution of Men Who Care by Kenny Luck attempts to answer those questions and more. Luck’s premise is that society is focusing on the negative behaviors and results of men who are acting in ungodly ways. The author believes the solution lies not in fixing behaviors, but in calling all men to truly be the men God created them to be.
As a Christian woman, first let me congratulate the author for acknowledging the role of Christian men who are “affiliated” and not “activated” Christians (the author’s terms). Many of the problems facing Christian families and the church itself are caused in part by Christian men who have somehow convinced themselves it is okay to act in ungodly ways towards women and others. I appreciate the author for not avoiding the topic and focusing only on men who aren’t Christian. It would have been an easier route, but in the end new Christian men need truly godly role models and there are a lot less than many Christian men are willing to admit.
As he addresses the problem from different angles, Luck touches on the various negative consequences of a lack of godly men in our world. On crime for instance, he ties it to “a dangerous male culture that trains young men to act selfishly and to separate their hearts from their heads when a decision they make impacts others negatively.” He also writes that the justice and trauma these men cause self perpetuates. “Emotionally unaware and socially detached, these young men cannot connect their actions with the feelings of others. This type of male compartmentalization provides the inner freedom and sanction to kill, make others suffer and then talk about it objectively.”
Luck makes a lot of important points as he calls men to be who God really created them to be – loving, protectors, defenders, etc. While I am sure there will be debate on some of his conclusions, I think it is a critical conversation all of us need to have more often.
Personally, my only problem with the book is the author’s twisting of the story of Deborah in Judges. Somehow the author totally missed the part of the story when Deborah told Barak that because he wasn’t trusting of God enough to go into battle without Deborah by his side, God would allow a woman to be the one who ultimately defeats Sisera – the enemy. Thus the story of Jael and the tent peg through Sisera’s temple.
The author somehow makes it a redeeming quality that Barak wanted Deborah by his side in battle, not a lack of faith in God as the Bible implies. The author continues to go along this faulty telling of the story for several paragraphs to prove a point about men and women working together. I’m really not sure why he didn’t re-read the scripture before writing that section and choose another story as a better example of his point.
In general, this is a good book to begin having important discussions about God’s role for men. If men are truly called and expected to be the men God calls them to be our families, our churches and our world would be a much better place. Whether or not you read this book, I hope you have these discussions with the men in your world. It’s long past time for them to happen.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An afilliate link is included for your convenience.