A review of “Man Enough”.

by ggeurs

This is a review of the book Manly Enough by Nate Pyle.

As a Christian man interested in self-improvement, a book with a title like Man Enough: How Jesus Redefines Manhood would seem to be an engaging topic for a book. Admittedly, I was anticipating a 21st century rendition of John Eldredge’s Wild At Heart. While that is not exactly what I got in this book, I still found a challenging, engaging read on the topic of what it means to be a Christian and a man in today’s society.

Nate Pyle sets forth the thesis that the modern man is mistaken if being a man means being stoic, aloof, or overly macho and brutish. While he acknowledges that these are aspects of manhood, these are not all there is. In Man Enough, Pyle challenges men to accept those parts of themselves if they are there, but not at forsaking the other parts of being human: servitude, emotions, compassion, authenticity, and vulnerability. Pyle’s whole book could even be encapsulated in one quote: “If men are to fight, then we need to be clear what it is we fight for. Peace. Reconciliation. Grace. Justice. But let’s be clear: We are mad not for conflict but for action” (Man Enough, p. 76).

Though this is a book intended for a manly audience, Pyle does spend moments throughout the book acknowledging a potential female readership of Man Enough. Throughout, when he brings up points for how men should live in the light of the example of the human Jesus, he also brings up that these principles are not isolated to the Y chromosome set and that in reality all humans should step up to the challenge of doing things like standing for justice or for being a servant of others.

Man Enough is the addition to the conversation of what masculinity could/should look like in the modern Church. If I have one critique, it is that Pyle brings up the notion that there should be something specific that the word ‘masculinity’ denotes, otherwise the word is meaningless. And while Pyle does put forth a good argument for why men should emulate certain characteristics of Christ, Pyle never comes back to what gravitas ‘masculinity’ carries. Unless that is the point.

I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for publishing a review of it. I was not obligated to publish a positive review; the opinions contained are mine.

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