Archives For August 2014

Father Factor CoverIt’s been a long project, but my first book is available for pre-order. The official publication date is October 14, 2014… but if you order before then you can get 35% off the list price of the book. I posted an excerpt from the introduction here, but let me tell you a little about the book.

Father Factor is a collection of forty essays from forty American Christian men under forty years old. It is the fifth volume in the I Speak for Myself series of books. I was honored to serve as the editor for the volume and contribute a chapter. The idea of “father” and faith are so intertwined in Abrahamic faiths and have been explored in dusty theological tomes. This book, in contrast, seeks to set notions of fatherhood and faith into contemporary conversation. What does it mean today to be a father and a Christian? How does the Christian faith inform the idea of fatherhood for men who aren’t fathers? How does one’s relationship with one’s own father influence one’s understanding of God as Father (or vice versa!).

Written by ordinary men from a wide variety of ethnic and denominational background, it is my hope that this book gives readers a little peek into the beauty and complexity of fatherhood in America in the 21st century.

But, in the words of my childhood idol LeVar Burton, “you don’t have to take my word for it…”

Matthew Paul Turner, author of Our Great Big American God, says the book “will make you laugh, bring you to tears, and at times, cause you to rethink your approach to parenting. But most of all, Father Factor will fill you with hope.”

Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, calls the essays a “tender collection of stories from fathers opened both my eyes and my heart anew.”

I was honored that Richard Mouw, theologian & Past President at Fuller Theological Seminary, read the book and gave this assessment: “These wonderfully readable accounts of father-son relationships are both candid and inspiring, exploring issues that touch many of us in deep ways. But they prod to go even deeper, pointing us to the ways our relationships with our human fathers shape–and all too often distort–our conceptions of the One whom we have been taught to address as ‘Our Father who art in heaven.’”

Jamie Wright, Author/Blogger of, calls the book an “often humorous, sometimes heartbreaking journey of fatherhood and faith” through which “readers will feel inspired and challenged to examine their unique role as a parent, partner, and adult child as this book throws open wide windows for grace, forgiveness, and a Father’s love.”

One of my more recent heroes, Christena Cleveland, author of Disunity in Christ, wrote me to say, “This book inspired me to pray for fathers, encourage fathers and believe in the important work of fathering! Pulling from culturally diverse and compelling experiences, Father Factor gives voice to the strong men of faith who are shaped the Father’s love. This collection of inspiring stories affirms the various routes that fatherhood can take and shows that regardless of history or cultural context, men of faith can be powerful and vulnerable fathers. A true eye opener to the complexities and beauty of fatherhood.”

My friend Byron Borger, proprietor of Hearts & Minds Books, in Dallastown, PA  said that “these short narratives are a joy to read, a reader’s delight, getting a glimpse into the lives of others. There is wonder, loss, love, joy, pathos, romance and laughter, a little cursing and a lot of praise. But there is more: these are exceptionally brave stories from many different sorts of men reflecting profoundly about God the father, their own fathers (for better or for worse) and their own particular journeys into fatherhood. . . .Highly recommended.”

And Lisa Sharon Harper, Senior Director of Mobilizing at Sojourners, says “Father Factor reads like a jigsaw puzzle. Each story adds a puzzle piece to this aggregated post-modern picture of fatherhood, sonship, and the quest for wholeness. Not till the pieces were nearly all assembled did I realize I had borne witness to history—a moment when disparate Christian men joined together in common struggle—the fight to face and forsake the mirages of ‘manhood’ previously stalked and preserved by their forefathers.”

It’s not only Christians who have an appreciation for the work we’ve done here. Eboo Patel, author of Acts of Faith and Sacred Ground, writes, “I could not put this book down. It gave me whole new insights into both Christianity and fatherhood, and made me think long and hard about how my relationship with Islam impacts my relationship with my wife and two sons. In short, this book made me a better father, husband and Muslim.”

Similarly, Rabbi David Zaslow, author of Jesus: First-Century Rabbi writes that in “Father Factor you’ll get to meet fathers, dads, daddys, and papas, all of whom share their personal experiences from a deeply spiritual perspective. This book is a rainbow of personal reflections on the essence of fatherhood.”

I hope that this brief list of reactions and reflections on the book is enough to make you hungry for more. Do me a favor, would you? Share this post, share the link to the book’s pre-order page, “like” the book’s Facebook Page… And grab a copy for yourself!