Thursday, May 10, 2012

Father Hunger

"Father Hunger" (Doug Wilson) - I read a lot of what Doug Wilson writes (second only to John Macarthur and related things from the Pyromaniacs).

Doug Wilson is a writer.

I don't just mean that he writes stuff.  He reads a lot, and writes a lot.  This shows up in his writing style.  He makes allusions to other writers, and he has a pithy way of compressing big ideas down and making them understandable and memorable.

At the same time, I disagree with Wilson on some pretty major theological points: he is a Presbyterian (a sort of uber-Presbyterian, called "Federal Vision") and post-millenial - while I am a Baptist, and pre-millenial.

If Presbyterians have any advantage, it is that their theology more naturally integrates the family - which is just the subject at hand.

This is a short book, at 207 pages (plus a short study, end notes, and an index) and Wilson starts right in.

First, he identifies our cultural problems as fundamentally theological - that bad theology leads to bad thinking and bad doing ("we become like what we worship", as he would say).

We have a father problem in our country, because we do not seek our heavenly Father.

Wilson covers this from every angle, with his usual insight and wit.  He makes a compelling case, and gives the Biblical solution - we need repentance, lots of it.

This problem affects every facet of life.  Children related to their parents, husbands and wives, even roles in the church.

He rolls the controversy of "The Shack" (where the Trinity is portrayed as two women with Jesus) into a one liner:
"You need a father?  Here, talk to your mother about it."

This book is excellent for anyone who wonders why things are so wrong, and is interested in making them better - whether it is a better father, or son, or wife, or daughter.

The appendix has an economic study on the impact of fatherless homes.  It shows clearly that divorce and abandonment by fathers is not zero, and not "better for the kids" (to avoid arguments).

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