BOOK REVIEWS

The Way Forward: A Roadmap of Spiritual Growth for Men in the 21st Century – Joe Barnard (2020)

Joe Barnard, The Way Forward: A Road Map of Spiritual Growth for Men in the 21st Century (Geanies House: Christian Focus Publications, 2020), 165 pp.

The Way Forward: A Road Map of Spiritual Growth for Men in the 21st Century by Joe Barnard addresses the unique spiritual needs of men in a way that is thoughtful, engaging, and biblical. Much like a skilled surgeon, Barnard diagnoses the problem and offers a deeply encouraging solution.

The author holds that an accurate diagnosis is an essential ingredient in moving men forward in a way that honors the Lord. With that in mind, he presents seven factors that contribute to the weak spiritual growth that is epidemic among Christian men. In the end, Bernard points out that men are failing to achieve their potential in Christ for a variety of factors, which prove to be complicated.

The prescription is a process of spiritual development that includes five characteristics – captivation, clarity, competences camaraderie, and self-control. The sum total of these qualities will help Christian men move in a Godward direction.

The first characteristic, captivation is worth focussing on. The author adds,

“I am convinced that no man will make serious progress toward spiritual maturity until he is captivated by the glory of Christ … Being captivated by the glory of Christ is the secret to mounting a coup against a false god … no amount of willpower can shove an idol out of the heart.”

These statements provide the fuel for the remainder of the book as the author is set on moving men toward spiritual maturity. Additionally, Bernard is quick to recommend other key books that should be required reading for men on a trajectory of spiritual growth.

The Way Forward is a valuable book, one that should be in the arsenal of every man committed to growing in the Lord.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

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