The Hausvater Project

Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

Book Reviews

Man Up! The CHRIST-Centered Quest for Real Masculinity


Man Up! The Quest for Masculinity, by Jeffrey Hemmer (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2017)


I won’t lie to you. When I first read the title for this book, I wasn’t sure I would read it since “Man up!” has become such a clichéd phrase. Concordia Publishing House made an extremely wise move, though, in making Pastor David Petersen’s foreword available online before the book came out. His foreword convinced me to buy the book—and I am grateful I did.

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Pastor Petersen says, “It is quite possible that you are holding the very best book to ever be written on masculinity.” I will take it one step further: It is the very best book written on masculinity and one that every man should take the time to read. Man Up! is one of the most important books that CPH has published in recent years.

Pastor Hemmer explains everything from the basics of what a man is and what true masculinity is, to a clear picture of Christ as The Man, to practical, down-to-earth advice for men to follow. Along the way he clearly proclaims the Law and Gospel to you in your various vocations as a man. This includes excellent discussions of masculinity and contraception, as well as what it means for a man to be effeminate. And he is not afraid to go after feminism and the other evils associated with it that have been furiously attacking true masculinity for nearly a century.

It is no easy task for a man to write a book on this topic without coming off as a know-it-all who just wants to lecture other men to be more like him. Pastor Hemmer, with both his wit and his writing style, avoids this pitfall. But perhaps more than anything else, it is Pastor Hemmer’s focus on Christ throughout the book that keeps this from ever coming across as nagging.

Make no mistake, there is devastating Law clearly proclaimed throughout the book—and no man reading it will escape without being convicted of his sins and failures as a man. Pastor Hemmer makes sure to always point us back to Christ—not merely as an example of masculinity, but as the only source of forgiveness, life, and salvation for all men.

So, get it. Read it. Pass on its teachings to your sons and grandsons. The church and your families will thank you.

Andrew Packer is the pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. He also serves as associate editor for the Brothers of St. John the Steadfast.

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TAGS: Fatherhood, Manhood

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