Men’s books, whether they are Christian or secular, tend to paint a similar picture of men: rugged, individualistic, tough, macho, responsible, and providers. While this ideal has aspect that are worth embodying, there is a lot that is problematic. What if a man isn’t those things? What if a man is gentle? What if he isn’t a warrior? Does that make him less of a man?
The question for us as Christians is, “Is there an ideal man?” Is there one way for men to be men, or can being a man look very different depending on the attitudes and aptitudes wired into you by God?
It’s easy to say Jesus is the picture of the ideal man, but we have to look carefully at how we interpret Jesus’ masculinity. We all read our cultural understandings of masculinity onto Jesus so that, in the end, Jesus looks suspiciously like an American man. Man Enough helps you see those cultural ideals clearly so that you can see Jesus more fully.
I talk about this and so much more in this book and hope to offer an alternative vision for masculinity to the hyper-masculine ideal that pervades much of the church.
Man Enough will be a great book for men’s groups to study together. Send me an email when your group is ready and I’ll send you a free PDF study guide to go with the book.
Also, Women will want to read this too. My hope is this book will help both sexes to embrace the fullness of our humanity. After all, Jesus, Son of Man, calls both men and women to be like him.
So order away! If you are a guy, love a guy, or know a guy, I hope this is helpful to them.
Man Enough is a fearless and faithful clarion call for the children of God to conform to the image of Jesus Christ, not to cultural or religious stereotypes around masculinity. With his trademark wisdom and humility, Nate Pyle assesses harmful misconceptions about what it means to be a man, shares his own story and the stories of others who don’t necessarily fit the mold, and returns to Scripture to forge a better way forward – a way of freedom, truth, and grace. This book is a must-read, one I’ll be recommending to friends and readers for years to come. Every page is an invitation to liberation.
-Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and A Year of Biblical Womanhood.
“Blessed are the tough, muscled and masculine.” Jesus never said anything remotely like this but some modern believers act as if he did. Some Christians have transformed Jesus into John Wayne to promote culturally-driven ideas about what it means to be a man. Thankfully, Nate Pyle dismantles false notions of manhood and replaces them with a more Biblical concept of being human. If you read only one book on biblical manhood, it should be this one!
-Jonathan Merritt, author of Jesus is Better Than You Imagined; senior columnist for Religion News Service
This book sets men free from the culture-driven standards of masculinity and welcomes us into a Jesus-shaped humanity. Going beyond the tired old stereotypes of manhood, Nate gives us a redeemed vision for what it means to be a man after God’s own heart. Deeply pastoral, well-written, and insightful, this book will bring healing to many.
– Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist
Wow! Nate Pyle has written a brilliant and much needed book. He has exposed all our culturally driven views of ‘manhood’ that conflict with who Jesus calls men to be. The self-made, independent, muscle-bound, don’t-take-nothing-from-no-one American man shares little in common with Jesus as he’s revealed in Scripture. Thank you Nate for writing this book!
Now I don’t have to.
-Preston Sprinkle (Ph.D.), Vice President for Eternity Bible College’s Boise extension and author of Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us and Fight:A Christian Case for Nonviolence.
Nate Pyle’s Man Enough offers a surprisingly unique take on the topic of biblical masculinity. By centering the conversation on the ideals of Jesus, Pyle not only challenges many of the stereotypical concepts regarding evangelical masculinity but also offers a broader and more varied perspective for what it means to be a man in light of the Gospel. Pyle’s delivery is gracious and thoughtful, tackling “manhood” without ego and arrogance. Through a pastoral lens–using both theology and self-deprecation to his favor–Pyle expounds deeply on what it means to be both Christian and man.
-Matthew Paul Turner, author of Churched and Our Great Big American God
In a world where so many of us wrestle with chronic feelings of inadequacy and engage in a constant state of comparing ourselves to both others and invented ideals, Nate Pyle’s Man Enough speaks much needed words of healing and validation. With the heart of a pastor and the pen of a poet, Nate invites us to reconsider the source of our cultural concepts of masculinity and helps us to rediscover a manhood beyond some of the not-so-helpful messages we’ve received over the years. This book is one that I found to be soothing ointment on old wounds— a message I wished I was given before I transitioned into adulthood, but am tremendously grateful to have now. Rarely does a first time author hit it out of the park on their first swing, but that’s exactly what Nate has done— Man Enough is one of those books that needs to be moved to the top of the pile.
-Benjamin L. Corey, author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus
When we talk about “Being a man” in Christian circles, the conversation often centers around a distorted image of masculinity that doesn’t represent the life, ministry and calling of Christ. To put it bluntly, the church needs a bigger dose of Jesus in its dialogue about manhood. Thank goodness we can count on Nate Pyle for that. In his book Man Enough, we’re finally offered a refreshing perspective on male identity – one that is centered fully on the depth of Christ, rather than the one-dimensional, cage-fighting model of our culture. As a woman married to a man and a mother to a son, I’m so grateful for Nate’s brave writing & leadership in these pages. This is a must-read for both women and men in the church & I can’t recommend it enough.
-Nish Weiseth, author of “Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World
Man Enough breaks from the pack of man-books to liberate men from false conceptions of masculinity. Male readers will not come away with a deflated sense that they are never man enough. Women readers will encounter a brand of manhood here that gives hope to the men they love. Nate Pyle’s search for answers recaptures a gospel vision of manhood that is good news for both men and women.
-Carolyn Custis James, author of Malestrom: Manhood Swept into the Currents of a Changing World
Nate Pyle has brought charitable and generous consideration to a topic marked by hostility and resentment. A fine work of biblical meditation, cultural critique, and prayerful study, Man Enough challenges conservative and liberal notions of gender norms while encouraging meaningful dialogue between the two. Pastoral, convicting, Pyle has authored a book well-suited to the needs of our time.
-Preston Yancey, Canon Theologian and author of Tables in the Wilderness: A Memoir of God Found, Lost, and Found Again
Nate’s book is a timely contribution to a sadly one-sided conversation on masculinity. Through an engagement with scripture, sociology, and honest self disclosure, Nate invites us not to conform to some contemporary ‘muscular’ version of masculinity, but to the vulnerable Lamb, in whom we need not strive, perform, or prove ourselves. His chapter on Jesus is worth the price of the book alone. I pray that it is used as a pathway to freedom and vulnerability for men.
-Dr. Chuck DeGroat – Associate Professor of Pastoral Care at Western Theological Seminary and author of The Toughest People to Love
The Spirit of the Lord brings freedom, and I can sense the Spirit of the Lord all over the pages of this book. Men will find freedom from their insecurities, the standards of others, and the combative manliness that has taken hold in some Christian circles. Nate Pyle leads the way toward Christ-centered manhood with vulnerability, gentleness, and a sharp focus on the example of Jesus.
-Ed Cyzewski, author of A Christian Survival Guide and Coffeehouse Theology
Vulnerable. Honest. Humble. Not words you usually associate with a book on manhood, but Nate Pyle nails them here. I love how Man Enough points us to Jesus, and insists our thinking must ultimately be centered around him. While Nate and I don’t land in all the same places, I was refreshed by his boldness in declaring we must allow Christ to critique our cultural assumptions around what it means to be “man enough,” because he is the One who is more than enough, and frees us from our posturing and pretending to become more truly human.
-Joshua Ryan Butler, Author of The Skeletons in God’s Closet
Nate Pyle’s heartfelt exploration of Jesus-shaped masculinity is both a confrontation and an invitation. It exposes all the places I attempt to hide, but it also beckons me to come out of hiding by choosing the road of risky vulnerability. I have nothing but high praise for Man Enough.
– Steve Wiens, author of Beginnings (NavPress, January 2016), and Senior Pastor of Genesis Covenant Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
In our sexualized society where confusion reigns, Nate Pyle has written a much needed book. Through powerful, vulnerable story telling of his own journey into manhood, he offers a solidly biblical look at the journey that every man must take. He draws illustrations from academia and popular culture in a book that is both profound and easily readable. I highly recommend this book.
-Jim Herrington, Mission Houston