Play the Man by Mark Batterson

This book is not a Bible study, not by a long shot.

Mark Batterson has a best-selling christian book on manhood that teaches men the seven virtues of manhood: Tough love, child-like wonder, willpower, raw passion, true grit, clear vision, moral courage.

How are those not virtues for women also?

Basically, the book is a pep talk based on anecdotal stories from presidents to astronomers to inventors. You won’t learn much about God’s mind as revealed in the Scriptures.

He quotes Malachi 4:6 in chapter 9 “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children”. Apparently oblivious to the fact that the text actually says, “fathers to the sons and the sons to the fathers”. Regardless, he joins with the multitude of pastors out there who say that the problems in society must be addressed beginning in the home and that it’s all the fathers’ fault and “they are the one’s who have dropped the ball.” I counter this with what I believe is more true, “the Church has dropped the ball, and feminized the men, and now they’re practically driving the nail into the coffin by blaming the men.” The break down of my own family is most definitely not my father’s fault. It was my mother who instigated and chose to break it to pieces. She, like too many women, didn’t realize what she was doing. To tell someone like my own father what Batterson is telling us is tantamount to shaming him. It is this very kind of ignorant attitude in the Church in fact that led to my father quitting on the Church and the Bible, and becoming a chronically depressed alcoholic, drinking himself into zen every day. The Church has got to stop this foolishness.

It’s pathetic for pastors to beat down on fathers when all that the pastors can do after going to seminary and procuring a degree in theology is come to men and tell them why they suck so much and give an anecdotal story of how tough Ronald Regan was when he got shot. All the while 70% of divorces, and subsequent breakage of families, are filed by women. A further 10-20% of divorces are filed by men forced to file when they don’t want the marriage to end. This means 80-90% of divorces are initiated or started by women. This is perhaps the single most ignored fact in the Church today, by far. On mothers day the pastors praise the mothers like angels. Come father’s day however they hammer down on the dads. What the hell is going on here?

For the shepherds are stupid and do not inquire of the LORD; therefore they have not prospered, and all their flock is scattered.  Jeremiah 10:21