The Resolution by Stephen, Alex Kendrick, and Randy Alcorn.

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by Stephen, Alex Kendrick, and Randy Alcorn.

Becoming a real man and practicing Biblical manhood are topics which I’ve blogged about and have read multiple book titles concerning within recent times. If you have been paying attention to my previous work, yes this will be the third book I’ve read which addresses the question “what makes a man, a real man?”. However, I originally started reading this due to my appreciation for the movie Courageous, and me being curious about what they actually had to say about manhood came later. Then I also realized that one of the authors for The Resolution was Randy Alcorn; yup this is also my third Randy Alcorn book too!

The Resolution is as I previewed, a book about being a man in a Biblical sense. This goes over a variety of topics like how to treat a lady, how to treat your children, the importance of teaching your children about Jesus Christ, the great need for you to be a prayer warrior, why it’s important to work hard, the importance of integrity, and other topics. This book goes over various verses and parables which are designed to inspire the reader to pursue Biblical manhood and to flee from what the popular, unsaved, cultural idea is for being a man. But the big question one must ask is… are the ideas which each author present throughout the book correct and let alone are they even possible? The Resolution, prior to actually reading the book itself, sounded pretty cool; keep in mind this was after watching Courageous.

I thought it was so cool that I actually bought the plaque from my local Christian bookstore and had my Pastor along with a Bible Study buddy co-sign it. After completing the book, I am glad I signed the Resolution because this is an extraordinary book which ought to be beneficial for all men; at least the ones who take it seriously. Are there some ideas which in extreme application equate to legalism? Yes, but frankly all theological books have that danger for the reader thanks to our sinful flesh. Even though the other two books on manhood I read earlier were good, there was something about The Resolution which was an even stronger eye opener. The way the authors presented this book was full of scriptural references, deep descriptive language for readers to imagine, ideas and questions which most men can relate to, and the lack of a need to heavily rely upon personal anecdotes or gimmick scenes from the movie. Certain chapters really hit me hard, and actually have inspired me to look at life differently. I am glad to have read this and if you’re a guy (whether young or old) reading this review right now I strongly advise you to read this too. I now take Joshua 24:15 much more seriously now, and for my need to become the man God wants me to be.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

P.S. Here is a picture of my signed Resolution Plaque which currently hangs in my study:


Heaven is Waiting: A DVD Review

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A Bridgestone Multimedia Group Film

I wasn’t always into romantic comedies, I guess I have my wife to blame for watching and liking some of them. Of course when it comes to movies in general, one of my favorite kinds of movies are the ones which make me laugh; people easily recognize me for my laugh. While searching for Christian movies online I found Heaven is Waiting, which described itself to be a romantic comedy. Since I’m primarily trying to find good and family friendly movies, with a variety of genres I decided to check this out for myself.

Heaven is Waiting is about a Dad named Ned who has been grieving for his dead wife longer than he should be. As a way of coping he has conversations with her, some of them are weird and some are humorous. His daughter is now in college and is coming home to visit, but is also bringing a friend. Ned learns his daughter’s ‘friend’ is a boy who might be more than just a friend. Ned struggles with not only letting go of his previous wife in order to start dating a neighbor named Carol, but he also struggles with the idea of letting his daughter go too…

Heaven is Waiting is certainly a movie which has romance and a bit of humor, but there is certainly more than that going on in this story. When there was humor I felt much of it within the movie was pretty funny, though I can definitely say there were times when they tried to be funny and it didn’t work. The story itself is clever and addresses several topics which men certainly have or are currently going through. I enjoyed the resolution to the story as well as some of the moral themes they presented. I also liked the acting and the video quality was very good too. Overall, I didn’t see as much humor in this tale as I wanted, but despite my expectation I felt they balanced out humor/romance/ the serious parts pretty decently and is a worthwhile purchase for the whole family.

TCP Movie Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

p.s. Does anyone else think the girl who played Ned’s daughter looks a little bit like Selena Gomez lol?

Courageous: a DVD Review

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A Provident Film

When I have mentioned other Christian based titles to people, they don’t always seem to know what I’m talking about. However, if I mention Courageous as of recent times, most people know what exactly what I’m talking about whether they’ve seen it or not. Because there is such familiarity for this film, the friends of mine who had seen it told me they liked it, and simply because I personally liked Sherwood’s other films I bought a copy of this and desired to watch this with my wife. My wife and I watched this together, because this is a movie about fatherhood and family; both are very important to us.

Courageous is about a group of men who despite their share of problems desire to become better husbands and fathers. Adam Mitchell is a cop who has a good relationship with his wife and does well with his work, but doesn’t have the best relationship with his children. Another police officer has a teenage daughter whom he worries will be dating the wrong guy and doesn’t know yet how to handle the situation. Javier and his wife are struggling financially to provide for their family due to recent loss of employment, but Javier has faith God will provide for their family. And a rookie member of the force has his own emotional baggage caused by a mistake he made prior to becoming saved. Together these men and others strive to make amends for their mistakes, develop a stronger relationship with the Lord, and to simply just become better husbands/fathers in the process.

Like many others who watched this film, I really liked this. At times this would be pretty funny, one example is Javier pretending to be a member of the “Snake Kings” in order to scare a gang member. There was a bit of action to keep the senses thrilled too, this is good because otherwise I would have been a bit disappointed; after all they are cops you know.  Yet as a warning, without spoiling a particular plot line, there are some sad moments within this film too; my wife cried. My one down side is most cops I’ve ever interacted with or have heard about are not like the guys in this film, but I hope that changes. What they promote within the film I cannot help but feel is fantastic. Society seems to encourage men to act like boys and it’s a horribly wrong trend. Grown males need to know how to act like men and to be men, I feel this is a great start on how to address this cultural problem. I have been personally inspired to kick it up a notch by also developing a stronger relationship with the Lord, and I desire to follow what the Resolution says; I have the plaque you can buy framed on my study wall. This was a great film, I recommend this for others, and encourage viewers to take the challenge and take it seriously! I don’t believe this is legalistic, because the primary objective is to simply develop a better relationship with the Lord so you can also have a better relationship with everyone else in your life.

TCP Movie Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

The Masculine Mandate by Richard D. Phillips

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By Richard D. Phillips

 “What makes a man a man?”, this is a question we ought to imagine more often. If this question were surveyed, it wouldn’t surprise me if answers varied from money, sex, appearance, skills/talents, being a provider, etc. Although all of those qualities can be important, they are only pieces within the puzzle of who a man is supposed to be biblically. Before reading this book, I noticed when it came to many of today’s guys and even when looking at myself, I saw there was something wrong with how we are operating as men and this book confirms my suspicions as truth.

The Masculine Mandate is a great book in addressing the question “what makes a man?” by sourcing various examples of scripture including Ephesians 5:22-33, the early days of Adam and Eve, and Colossians 3:18-25. I love how Mr. Phillips addresses manliness without purposely “out to get people” through outright condemnation; though I did feel convicted throughout many sections. As men we are supposed to work, be providers for our homes, defend our wives or girlfriends, be Christ-like towards our children, to be spiritual leaders, etc rather than be selfish lovers of ourselves, absent or unjust fathers, apathetic or abusive husbands, cowardly scapegoats of responsibility, etc. I absolutely loved this book and I encourage everyone whether man or woman to get this book! Of course I doubt some women will enjoy hearing certain analyzes like how they are ‘cursed by a desire to possess and control her man…‘ as quoted in chapter 7.  To be serious though,The Masculine Mandate helped me discover many biblical truths about being the man God wants me to be and that being a man is not based on something simplistic like being an Arnold Schwarzenegger or pro wrestler like muscle man.

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimer: Ben Umnus was given a free copy of this book by Reformation Trust Publishing, but he was neither paid for his review nor was he commanded by Reformation Trust Publishing to write a positive review. This review is the personal, written opinion of Ben Umnus.  This disclaimer is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”