Under Construction – a book review

Post a Comment » Written on December 15th, 2013     
Filed under: Book & Commentary
Submitted by:
Jeff Ondrey, CBGE member

under const 2Under Construction: Reframing Men’s Spirituality written by Gareth Brandt is a book about the soul of a man.  It takes a very different view than much of what we have read about what it means to be a man. Different than books like Wild at Heart or Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, Brandt looks into the scriptures for an example a true spiritual man. Joseph, son of Jacob is his selected model. He uses his own occasional poetry and relevant scriptural passages to illustrate what he has labeled the various metaphors for constructing a men’s spirituality, including: beloved, dreamer, wounded, journey, sexuality, gifts, builder, reflection, reconciliation and legacy. So what does this have to do with Biblical Gender Equality. Plenty. It provides a different model of spirituality and character for men than our culture, even our western Christian culture would dictate. 

This paragraph is a great summary of Brandt’s thesis:

Christian male spirituality also sometimes goes against all the cultural norms. I have proposed that male spirituality begins with the recognition that we are the beloved. This is in contrast to a culture that says we should be the lovers, initiators, and aggressors. Men’s spirituality ends in compassionate community rather than with individuation and personal fulfillment, as our culture would have us believe.

The character of the spiritual man as modeled by the life of Joseph is lived out through the tragedies, elevations, temptations, imprisonments and ultimate fulfillment of the will of God, the salvation of Egypt and Israel from the many years of drought and famine.  Under Construction is a pretty good book, not too difficult, not too long.  Just about right.

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