The Pitch of Fatherhood

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Fatherhood is a laboratory of life that helps us learn more about ourselves and our Father in heaven. At the baptism of Jesus the Father speaks and says that He is well pleased with Jesus. Doug Wilson in his work Father Hunger speaks to this:

So this is what fatherhood is like. This is where fatherhood reaches its ultimate expression. In human history, there will never be a more perfect father-and-son moment than this moment between Father and Son. This is the keynote-pleasure. This is the pitch that a father/son relationship needs to match -“well pleased.”

When we don’t match that pitch, a lot of things start going wrong. In fact, so many things start going wrong that we sometimes miss the source of tall the trouble. In our generation we are confronted with many social dislocations that all go back to a foundational father hunger. All men are the son of some man, and all women are the daughter of some man, but far too many of them have never heard their father say anything like what the Father said to His Son. (Doug Wilson, Father Hunger, p. 2)

Every morning I get to wake up and nurture two boys and a girl who would rather have me than any toy or trinket I could buy them. I don’t always match that pitch, but I strive to, and when I fail to on my end I apologize to my children for it. The thing about the pitch though is it requires fathers to be like their heavenly Father and that is imminent. This holiday season you are going to be tempted in several different areas, and when those temptations face you, you need to remember the pitch we are aiming for.

1) One temptation that many fathers face is the lie that our children want or need things more than they need us. I know there are fathers who are going to put in ungodly amount of work into making sure their kids get all the things they want. Let’s be honest our kids would rather have us at home than have the latest toy or the latest game system. No child looking into their dad’s coffin wishes their dad had spent more time at work so they could have had more toys growing up.

2) A second temptation is that we don’t have to say our doing anything for our kids. I know dads in my community that attend none of their children’s activities. The Father demonstrated his love for Jesus by drawing near at the baptism known and by making His loving presence known by speaking and by send the Spirit. Our kids to need to hear and see our love demons our words and our presence.

This holiday season let us be fathers who reflect the love, care, and concern of our heavnenly Father in the lives of our children.

Review of Dude’s Guide to Marriage

Of the writing of marriage books there is no end. One of the latest entries to this ever growing category is Dude’s Guide to Marriage by Darrin and Amie Patrick.

I came to this book with high expectations as I have a great deal of respect for Darrin Patrick and his work in the area of church planting. Unfortunately I find myself frustrated as this did not meet those expectations.

The greatest weakness to this book is that it seems to be more rooted in the author’s experience and what the author has gleaned from other marriage books. I find this a weakness in the book the places it below other marriage books such as Alistair Begg’s and Matt Chandler’s. It is only at the very end of the book where Ephesians 5 is addressed which is odd given how foundational the passage is for understanding marriage in light of the gospel. I think his appendix also shows a weakness of the church in regards to counseling, whereas the New Testament model is believers counseling and encourage one another in areas such as marriage whereas what is recommended is seeking “professional” counseling as opposed to biblical counseling. Which might explain why there doesn’t seem to be a clear prioritization of what the Scripture teaches in regards to marriage.

While the book wasn’t terrible it definitely won’t be one I recommend to other couples as there are other books out there that give the same practical advice while giving greater priority to the Bible.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson through the BookLook Bloggers program  for providing this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html.

Missions, Video Games, Action Movies, and a Nation of Wimps

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Bob up there and his 745,000 other friends and family members have never heard of Jesus, their Tukulor, Pulaar of Senegal and all Muslim. No man wants to go to them, but at least we have that  Jesus movie to send to them because we’re too lazy go. The Jesus movie replaces a real living witness to Christ with a video that requires no sacrifice, missions without sacrifice has no basis in the Bible.

Missions, Video Games, Action Movies, and a Nation of Wimps:
This week we had the privilege of having Dr. Akin the president of SEBTS speak on the topic of missions for two days from the Scriptures and the lives of three missionaries. He brought up something I knew about but never really chewed on, the lack of men going into missions and ministry in general. I’ve been thinking about things in our culture which serve as a hindrance to being committed to serving Christ among men. I say men specifically because these are things that have been directed at men.

We live in a country where around 62% of video game players are men and the average age of a video game player with the bulk of video game players being 18-49. As of 1999 Ninety-two per cent of boys played video games. Now let’s just assume that Christian guys fall in line with the statistics. If so many young men are being effected by video games then the question is what kind of influence are these video games having? what kind of examples do they set for the player? Do they promote Christlikeness?

Well to answer those questions let us look at what young men are playing, the following are the top 3 games in various systems.

PS2:
* Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (15 million,may include PC and Xbox versions)
* Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (14.87 million)
* Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (12 million)
* Grand Theft Auto III (12 million, may include PC and Xbox versions)

XBOX360:
# Halo 3 (8.1 million)
# Gears of War (4.5 million)
# Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (3.118 million approximately, 3.04 million in US,78,000 in Canada)

So the majority of these games on the most popular systems have one thing in common for the most part. They endorse violence and immoral activity. That’s the example feet or cars swift to shed blood and do evil. For charities sake we can even assume that all the Christian men are playing Gran Turismo 3. The question still remains does it promote Christ-likeness? I would presume the answer is no, while it may not promote negative virtues, it does not promote positive spiritual growth, and would seem to go against the command to redeem our time Eph 5:16.

Let us move on to action movies and shows and ask the same questions of them. Do the men in action movies and action shows promote godly character and Christ-likeness? Is Jack Baeur a good role model for Christian men? Does he reflect a Christlike character? What about Jack Sparrow, Jason Borne, James Bond, or various other action movies characters? Biblically I’d say no. If you disagree look at the portrayal of Christ in 1 Peter. There’s the sexual content in those movies to, but I guess compromise is ok in our culture.

What do these two influence give us? A Nation of Wimps. Men desensitized to violence, pain, and suffering. Men with seared consciences. Men who look up to those who do violence in their own name rather then endure suffering trusting in God. Not men like Jim Elliot and his fellow missionaries who laid down their lives knowing that the Auca were unprepared to appear before the judgement seat. If they were “manly,” which is really wimpy by Bible standards, they would have mowed down the whole tribe with machine gun fire, because that’s what our society sets as the pinnacle of manhood. God have mercy on us.

The only solution is for men to pull the plug, you’re shaped by what you take in and if you take in the garbage of our godless culture it’s no wonder you could care less about the kingdom of God and the souls of people who have never heard the gospel. There was a time when Christians saw this life as an opportunity to serve God and develop holiness, a time to prepare to be in heaven. Theater and games were vanity and unworthy of pouring our lives into them. Today we know better that’s why in West Africa there are 47 female missionaries and 3 male. We learned the ways of the serpent and today it’s the men who are being deceived and led astray. Some would call them men of old who considered the work of Christ and the care of their own souls so important fanatics and legalistic. The Bible says they were men of whom the world was not worthy, pilgrims, aliens, wanderers seeking a city whose builder was God, whose citizenship was in heaven and not X-Box live.