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Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World

A Book Review

Carolyn asks us to consider the missing chapter between Genesis 2 and Genesis 3 in the Bible. What was it like for Adam and Eve to live and cultivate together prior to the original sin?

An equally important question of consideration is: How does God use and shape men who have hearts devoted to him in the midst of our fallenness? Instead of bashing men, Carolyn takes time to elevate the stories of six men whose hearts God transformed through the Bible’s history, and highlights their faithfulness to respond in obedience in a manner that did not make sense in their culture. The featured men of the book are Abraham, Judah, Barak, Boaz, Matthew, Joseph, and Jesus.

The patriarch Abraham made a counter-cultural move against patriarchy to leave his family and land and go to the land God showed him. Abraham obeyed this calling.

Although Joseph was prominently featured as the favorite son, in his shadow Judah underwent drastic transformation and was delivered from the father wound of not being the favorite son. He called Tamar righteous and offered his life in exchange for his brother.

Barak was the mighty warrior who wanted to know without a shadow of doubt that God was with him in battle. For this reason, he asked the prophetess Deborah to accompany him.

Boaz stepped up and assumed the role of kinsman-redeemer, which not only removed the risk of insecurity and danger for the widows Ruth and Naomi. His actions also redeemed the lineage of Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, and were taken at great personal risk to his own estate and finances.

As a tax collector hated by society, Matthew wrote as an outcast. In spite of his former occupation, he wrote to a Jewish audience about the transformation and miracle of hope that is found in Jesus. The hope of the gospel is that Jesus has come for everybody, including sinners like tax collectors.

From the beginning of his introduction in the New Testament, Joseph was presented as an honorable man. Once he became aware of Mary’s pregnancy, he decided to quietly divorce her instead of calling for public persecution and shame, maybe even death. Once the angel spoke to him about the child that was to come, Joseph threw himself wholeheartedly into Mary’s call to mother the Savior of the world. He then humbly took on the role as earthly father to the divine King.

June25, 2015 at 8:00 AM

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