In Act Like Men, James MacDonald focuses on 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 as the basis for establishing what biblical manhood should look like. The book is organized as a forty day devotional separated in five large sections namely “Act like Men”, “Stand Firm in the Faith”, “Be Watchful”, “Be Strong”, and “Do Everything in Love.” Each section consists of eight chapters representing different angles in approaching each topic. The chapters are fairly short and contain practical illustrations from the author’s personal life and ministry along with Scriptural texts that bring clarity to the topic. At the end of each chapter, there are several thought-provoking questions and a prayer that helps readers ruminate on what was taught. The book’s main thesis is that biblical manhood can only be achieved by relying on the triune God for strength. Otherwise, our feeble attempts to take charge in leading at home, work, or church will end up in disappointment and failure. MacDonald’s advice and reminders are helpful and pragmatic allowing readers to resonate with what is being taught and how it can be implemented in everyday life. Although the book is fairly readable to a wide audience, I found MacDonald’s writing style to be slightly disorganized at times and somewhat repetitive. This however may be due to the fact that the material is largely based on past Act Like Men Conference talks. As a whole, the book is able to clearly lay out essential elements of biblical manhood that Christian men need to reflect and act upon.
I would recommend this book to Christian men looking for an accessible devotional on biblical manhood. Although there are Christian men who strive to be faithful husbands, fathers, and servants of God, many more are often passive, disinterested, or powerless in living faithfully to God’s call. MacDonald’s book is a timely reminder for men to realize the immense responsibility, duty, and privilege that God has given to men. The key to practicing biblical manhood lies not in doing more by our own power or initiative but to constantly seek God’s power in order to live according to His ways. May God empower and embolden more men to rise up and lead their families, churches, and communities for His glory.
In compliance with Federal Trade Commission guidelines, I received a review copy from Moody Press in exchange for a book review.