I sat down this evening to review a 2012 book by Patrick Morley, “Man Alive”
In his 2012 book, “Man Alive”, Patrick Morley sets out to impact several of the most common issues facing men. Using tough man lingo that sounds a little more “manly” than something like 7 Realities, Morley calls these the “7 Primal Needs”. Over the course of the book, he outlines how these 7 Primal Needs will radically change the life of a Christian man.
To set the stage for these Primal Needs, Morley begins with a story that speaks to the inner hero within every man. He speaks of a hero in the ashes of the World Trade Center. And with that he sets in motion his quest for that “restless energy that’s different from women”. His call is simple – to call men out of the lukewarm, stagnant, and defeated lives that are all too common among Christian men. And readers will be encouraged by his starting point. For Morley, the journey away from stagnation to “Man Alive”, Morley immediately turns to the importance of the Word of God in men. And so the quest to become a “Man Alive” is rooted in the Word.
But from that foundation, Morley then moves to the fact that every man has a story. He turns to several different examples to exemplify men with powerful stories. The end goal is for men to open up their lives in order to connect with other men. I believe Morley does a good job in this chapter establishing this point.
The third chapter might appear to be about earthly father relationships and the joys/struggles of those relationships, but the key focus is on our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Morley utilizes that earthly father relationship to point to our Heavenly Father, but he doesn’t stay on the first for very long. This chapter is all about how the “Man Alive” focuses rightly on his Heavenly Father.
By the fourth chapter, Morley has turned to one of the key needs of every man – the primal need of purpose. This is a necessary and important chapter, but I do not believe that most readers will find any new information here by Morley. The question of purpose has been extensively written about.
In chapter five, Morley invites men to step out of the shadows and deal with their repetitive sins. He calls this primal need “Breaking the Cycle”. This is a discussion of more than personal sin. He dives into the discussion of generational sin and invites men to step above the sins of their past. Morley does a great job of speaking into a much needed discussion of breaking past patterns of sin. This is one of the chapters that makes this book a valuable read.
In chapter six, Morley discusses the need to encounter a transcendent God. For this discussion, I would recommend the reader defer to James MacDonald’s Vertical Church on the topic of immanence and transcendence. This would offer a much more thorough discussion of this chapter. I am glad that Morley chose to include this point though.
In chapter seven, the next to last need is to love and be loved. This chapter is practical and a great read. Morley shares personal examples that are a lot of fun to read. I love it – he paid his kids to read the Bible. There are lots of valuable tips in this chapter – read these!!
In the wrap up point, the final need is the impact of every man. I love that Morley closes by asking the question of the impact of a “Man Alive”. It’s all for the hope of living daily for the glory of God.
This book is accessible and practical, useful in a men’s small group or for personal study. A number of other commitments kept me from reviewing this book for some time, but I’m glad I took the time to preview the material and review it. I would have no reservation recommending this resource to any men’s ministry group in search of a biblically based and relevant material.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.