Average Joe

Average Joe
By Troy Meeder

The book’s subtitle reads, “God’s extraordinary calling to ordinary men.” The back of the book advertises, “The revealing truth is that God chooses ‘ordinary,’ faithful men to do His most important work – regular guys like Peter the fisherman, David the shepherd, Stephen the waiter, Gideon the farmer, Paul the tentmaker, and even Jesus the carpenter. In this engaging book, Troy Meeder blends stories about biblical characters and contemporary men to show that an ‘average-Joe’ life, an ‘ordinary’ existence, shapes a man’s integrity, moral stability, resolve, and strength.”

I really wish I got to read that book. That book I’d be interested in. Drawing the line that shows that God used ordinary men to do his extraordinary work would be a useful book to have. Peter was just a loud guy. David really was just a little brother who had something to prove. Gideon was a scared farmer. Showing their stories and then applying them to today’s men would be an awesome book.

Yeah. That’s not what I got.

What I got was good, but not what was advertised. Instead, Meeder tells about all sorts of “average Joes” who taught him about life, living, and sometimes God. A lot of the lessons have to do with plain old living with a spiritual sheen. For what it is, this book is fantastic. It reads like a slightly more spiritually-grounded “Chicken Soup for the Manly Man’s Soul.” As I said, fine for what it is – but not what was advertised.

We get some fantastic examples of normal men who greatly influenced Meeder. Some of these sing. Meeder’s first employer at college, the groundskeeper, teaches him about God’s cutting us to help us grow better. His description of training horses cause some deep thought. Some of the chapters didn’t work for me. He paints a vivid picture of deep-sea diving, but the lesson limped in that particular chapter. The bulk of the book focuses on modern men and then alludes to the biblical examples. I’d rather look at God’s Word and investigate those normal Joes first.

Again, for what it is, the book is fine. I just wish I’d gotten the book that was promised.

Legal nuts and bolts: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

If you want to check out chapter one, you can read it here.

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