Stephen Mansfield’s new book Men on Fire is frustrating and disappointing. I appreciate Mansfield’s other writing and biographies, and his heart for the subject of this current book, men’s ministry, but he doesn’t bring much new to the table here. Be a prayer warrior. Set goals and fight. Gather with a band of brothers. Clean up your act. Maybe it’s new for the next generation, but I’ve heard it already.
What I struggle with most is what’s lacking from the book, the gospel. The book is full of thrilling man quotes, stories of testosterone and conquering, and there’s some mention of God in chapters 3 and 7, but no Jesus. No gospel. Muslim, Hindu, or Jewish men could benefit from Mansfield’s vague portrayal of God. Where is Jesus? Where is repent and be saved? Where is you must be born again? In his chapters on destiny and God (3 and 7), he talks a lot about God but not the crucial part on the only way how to know God, through Christ’s death and resurrection. Where else can true manhood start if not through being born again? Any other steps to take are not centered in God. Not declaring the gospel when he has such an opportunity is weak.
Disciplines of a Godly Man by R Kent Hughes or Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper would be better options if you’re looking for a book on manliness.
I received this book from the publisher at no cost for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review.