In general, I’m a pretty big believer in eating the meat and spitting out the bones. There were two times in this book I nearly asphyxiated on some rather large bones I didn’t see coming:
First, Wilson espouses a form of covenant theology that seems to assume children will be in the faith by default. As a dispensational Baptist, I take umbrage to this. He doesn’t take this so far as to say children are automatically saved and don’t need to accept Christ, but I think he blurs important lines.
Second, in one chapter Wilson suggests that it is a father’s duty to teach his sons to drink and smoke responsibly. As a strong teetotaler, I found that a bit offensive (although not surprising.). It’s not a theme of the book, just know it’s coming.
With those two bones dug out and in open view, here is my summary of the book: it’s the best book on parenting I’ve ever read.. (And I’ve read many of them.) With the two exceptions already noted, this book felt extremely biblical and was unbelievably challenging.
For nearly twenty years, I’ve read at least one non-fiction book a month, very, very few have caused me to do anything. But Future Men isn’t the kind of book you can just read as a believing dad and then put on a shelf somewhere and forget about, it’s the kind of book that demands action.
Since reading this book I’ve taken a renewed interest and involvement in my children’s homeschooling, started discussing proverbs with my children every day at lunch and dinner, started reading the Narnia books to my son, and taken up taekwondo with my son. I’ve also really been burdened to teach more on parenting to my congregation, and started emphasizing parenting more in my Sunday Evening messages.
None of this is to brag, it’s just to say that if you read this book, be prepared to make some changes. It will change the way you think about boys, and change the way you think about parenting.