Talk to many moms for very long and you will soon hear a lot of frustration about the role their husband takes in parenting. Wives often complain about their husbands and how they fill that role, too. (Men probably have the same conversations about women, but since I never hear those, I only know what I hear.)
So I was interested when offered the chance to review a new book by Ken Harrison, Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says About Being a Man. Harrison is the Chairman of the Board of Promise Keepers. While I haven’t heard much about Promise Keepers in the last decade or so, their initial call was for Christian men to step up and really be the men God has called them to be.
I have to say, this is one of those books about which I am truly torn. There are some amazingly great things about it and some things that aren’t so great. First, the good news. Harrison shares some things I think all men in our gender role obsessed, but confused society need to read. Christian men especially need a copy of chapter 12 on marriage.
Harrison, isn’t afraid to write what he believes is the truth he sees in scripture. For the most part, I think he has some very valid points. I do question one interpretation, however, from Revelation 2:20 about “Jezebel”. I have personally not read that this had anything to do with her role in general, but rather how she was seducing Christians to accept society’s lies and mix them with Christianity to form some sort of unacceptable (to God) hybrid. Harrison claims it is a direct criticism of allowing a woman to take a leading role.
He almost takes another leap when discussing the ever debated “wives be submissive” passage, but in the end adds a rather interesting take on it. (I won’t spoil it for you, but I do think it is worth considering.) He’s not the stereotypical Christian man suggesting men dominate, rule and control women. Rather, my take away is that he wants men to be the type of godly leaders that their wives will willing choose to follow as they lead.
Whether you like it or not, sometimes the scriptures mean what they say and there are probably a lot of very valid reasons God structured things the way He did. Unfortunately, instead of trying to really understand God’s wisdom in the roles of men (and women), we looked at the flawed men and women we know and start telling God how to do it “better”. That I believe is what Harrison is trying to fight.
For the most part, he does a good job. By that, I mean his points are generally solid and backed up with scripture. My problem came with how the book was written. The overall framework for the book is a bit unorganized. I can’t really explain it, except perhaps I think he is trying to write for too broad of an audience and so it feels like he’s jumping around from basics to more advanced truths.
He also tries to weave in some stories from his day as an LAPD police officer. The stories are interesting and fit the topic, but once again feel disjointed. It’s not that the book is boring, difficult or irritating, but the style issues can slow you down a bit as you read.
Over all, I would say read this book for some great content, but try not to get too distracted by the style issues. As is the case with several Christian books, I just wish the author had had a better editor.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.