Christian Husbands And Fathers

The Effective Father, by Gordon MacDonald (Tyndale, 1977, 256 pp., $3.95 pb), The Husband Book, by Dean Merrill (Zondervan, 1977, 194 pp., $6.95), and Fathering: Fact or Fable?, edited by Edward V. Stein (Abingdon, 1977, 190 pp., $6.95), are reviewed by C. E. Cerling, pastor of education, Hopevale Memorial Baptist Church, Saginaw, Michigan.

Is there a definite masculine role in the family? This question forces itself on us as we consider the effect of women’s liberation.

Betty Freiden launched the modern women’s liberation movement with Feminine Mystique. The evangelical response said, “I find fulfillment in the traditional housewife role.” Not until Letha Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty wrote All We’re Meant to Be did evangelicals really take up many of the themes of women’s liberation. Since then a number of well-written books such as the Boldreys’ Chauvinist or Feminist? and Jewett’s Man as Male and Female have presented an evangelical case for women’s liberation. Books on the woman’s role in the home have multiplied like so many gerbils. Alongside the books are the conferences such as “Total Woman,” “Philosophy of Christian Womanhood,” and the “Seminar in Basic Youth Conflicts.”

But what of the male role in the family? It was inevitable that this question should be asked, but the answers have been slow in coming. In 1974 a few books came out. Now we have more books on the male role. With the feminine role in the process of redefinition, it was inevitable that the masculine role should be redefined.

See pages 10 and 15 for articles on the same subject as the first two reviews.

At the heart of this redefinition is one basic question, “If men and women are truly equal, is there really a male role?” ...

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