Man Up! The Quest for Masculinity, by Jeffrey Hemmer (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2017)
I won’t lie to you. When I first read the title for this book, I wasn’t sure I would read it since “Man up!” has become such a clichéd phrase. Concordia Publishing House made an extremely wise move, though, in making Pastor David Petersen’s foreword available online before the book came out. His foreword convinced me to buy the book—and I am grateful I did.
Pastor Petersen says, “It is quite possible that you are holding the very best book to ever be written on masculinity.” I will take it one step further: It is the very best book written on masculinity and one that every man should take the time to read. Man Up! is one of the most important books that CPH has published in recent years.
It is no easy task for a man to write a book on this topic without coming off as a know-it-all who just wants to lecture other men to be more like him. Pastor Hemmer, with both his wit and his writing style, avoids this pitfall. But perhaps more than anything else, it is Pastor Hemmer’s focus on Christ throughout the book that keeps this from ever coming across as nagging.
Make no mistake, there is devastating Law clearly proclaimed throughout the book—and no man reading it will escape without being convicted of his sins and failures as a man. Pastor Hemmer makes sure to always point us back to Christ—not merely as an example of masculinity, but as the only source of forgiveness, life, and salvation for all men.
So, get it. Read it. Pass on its teachings to your sons and grandsons. The church and your families will thank you