Classic gifts for Father’s day include tools, grilling utensils, and maybe some socks. If you are thinking of doing something different this year, consider buying your husband a book. Yes, I realize that for some guys that doesn’t sound like a gift but more like a flashback to their days doing ninth grade reading reports. So you might want to include those socks after all. But if you think your husband or dad may appreciate a book, give these five books some consideration.
Knowing God by J. I. Packer should be on everyone’s shelf. It is a modern classic and has been rewarding diligent readers since 1993. In this popular level book Packer lays out a feast for hungry souls who are tired with the fast-food meals of surface Christianity. But at about 300 pages, it is a feast that will require some perseverance. There are not too many books that I would recommend for believers before this one.
The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning To Our Jobs by Greg Gilbert and Sebastian Treager is an excellent book that will challenge and encourage your husband or dad where he spends the vast majority of his time and effort. Work is often hard, unrewarding, and full of frustration. Yet it is a gift of God. From the back cover: “Many Christian fall victim to one of two main problems when it comes to work: either they are idle in their work, or they have made an idol of it. Both of these mind-sets are deadly misunderstandings of how God intends for us to think about our employment. In The Gospel at Work, Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert unpack the powerful ways in which the gospel can transform how we do what we do, releasing us from the cultural pressures of both an all-consuming devotion and a punch-in, punch-out mentality—in order to find the freedom of a work ethic rooted in serving Christ.”
The God Who is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story by D. A. Carson. This has been one of my favorite books to read again and again over the past five years since it was written. This book is a guided tour of the entire story of the Bible by one of the world’s best (and I do not exaggerate) biblical theologians. Every time I read this book I come away humbled and rejoicing before my great God and all that He has done for sinful people. His incredible wisdom, sovereignty, mercy and grace are evident throughout. This is also one of those rare books that I enjoy giving to thoughtful non-Christians who are interested in understanding at what the Bible is all about. It has provoked wonderful conversations and gospel opportunities. Know your God and His Word better through this book.
The Dude’s Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits by Darrin Patrick is the book for the man’s man. It is punchy and fun in all the right places. Besides, the cover is awesome. Eye glasses and some serious facial hair may not make you a man but it is a pretty good place to start….right? “It is filled with timeless wisdom, accessible insights and practical guidance, The Dude’s Guide to Manhood issues an encouraging and doable call to all men, whatever their age or stage. It challenges men to not settle for wandering aimlessly through our days, wounded, weak, and passive.” But instead, encourages us “to get back on the trail, embrace our gifts while facing our imperfections, and trust the God of new beginnings to lead us into all that we are destined to become: forgiven, connected, determined, teachable, content, heroic, and so much more.” This is a great book to get the men in your life. And besides, that cover is great. But I digress.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand is a fantastic read. This is a well written biography of the life of World War II Veteran Louis Zamperini. I haven’t seen the movie, I am not sure if I will, but the book was amazing! You can’t help but appreciate the sacrifice of so many for the sake of their country. Zamperini displayed true grit and determination when all seemed lost. His is a powerful story that ends with a clear and powerful witness to the work of Christ in his life. Skip the movie and read the book this summer. It will be well worth your time.