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Book Review: The Good Dad by Jim Daly with Paul Asay

May 13, 2014

ImageAs CEO & President of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly is an obvious choice to write a book on being a father in the 21st century. While his book is readable, enjoyable and contains some good insights, this reader found The Good Dad to be nice, but nothing special in terms of its biblical insight, creative and practical ideas, or contemporary application. It was “good” though certainly not extraordinary in any way.

As Daly attests, it is a miracle of God’s grace that someone with his family background, and especially his “fathers,” leads one of North America’s most well-known organizations for strengthening families, and that he would be an author of a book on fatherhood. Significant portions of the book explain the tragic sins of neglect and abuse of his father, step-father, and foster father. While the stories consistently form a bridge to the positive, biblical responsibilities of a father, it seems there should be ways to express the concepts and principles without the constant contrast to the truly terrible context he was raised in. This is not to say the book was overdramatic or simply “therapy” for the author, but the repetitious examples of such poor father figures at times set the standard for a “good” dad pretty low. Daly kindly points out the rare occasions the men in his life did something right too, despite their many failings.

He also shares some of his experiences as a dad with two boys, now teenagers. Again, while beneficial and good examples of daily challenges that fathers face, they lack the authority of one who is a little further on the journey. Of course, they also only provide examples of being a good dad with boys, not girls.

I believe this is Daly’s first book and I trust there will be others to come as he develops in his role at Focus on the Family. The book is an enjoyable read and contains some good reminders for a Christian father regarding important roles and responsibilities and the daily actions necessary. Nonetheless, I have read other books on fathering that I would recommend more highly.

Note: The publisher (Zondervan) has provided the reviewer with a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers.

 

 

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