It’s Good To Be A Man, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant

It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity

A book for every man who yearns to exercise dominion as his Father intended, but doesn’t know how. Get a clear picture of the mission God made men for, how things have gotten so messed up, and how you can be part of correcting it by reforming your life, your family, your church, and ultimately your nation.

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Thomas Carpenter

Foster & Bnonn have been incredibly helpful and practical. This book is encouraging in both the comforting and exhorting way. This gives a challenge to young men, but it’s done with a hand on your shoulder. Good for all dudes, but I think it’ll be especially good for ones who didn’t grow up in solid, robust, Godly homes. Mine was good, but my dad passed away when I was in early high school, and that was preceded by four years of his battling cancer. This book (and the rest of their writing) has been really encouraging to me.

They say something like, “all the problems in your life may not be your fault, but it is your responsibility to stand and act.”

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Ramon Lago

Must read

Super fun to read. I couldn’t put it down, and finished it within 3 days. I’ve described it as a Handbook and practical theology for faithful masculinity. It’s worth every penny.

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Shane Anderson

Wholesome and clear, this book is a thorough and reliable guide for men wanting to know the basics of Christian masculinity. It’s deeply informed by historic Christian thinking and piety, biblically sound, and relevant to our current context. Buy a copy for guys who need some help and guys willing to help others.

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G.M. Burrow

One of the best books I’ve ever read. I devoured it like a novel. Biblical, bracing, powerful, gripping, easy to read, encouraging, and absolutely necessary. Everyone should read this book. If you are a man, or you want to marry a man, or you’re raising future men, or you’re writing about fictional male characters, read this book. Order it now. Put it at the top of your list. You can’t afford to go without it.

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McGeezy

Excellent, practical, well organized book

Authors have clearly thought deeply about this topic through the lens of biblical truth and have presented their case in a cogent, clear and concise way. Recommended timely manual for this age

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James Durham

Dynamite read. Makes good sense!

Four chapters in, and this book is dynamite! Brings the conversation on sexuality into sharp focus. Everything just makes sense. Super helpful read. Bought copies for the men in my family. This book would be a huge benefit for women, too.

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Benjamin

Simply phenomenal. Pick this up men and women and READ IT. For many it will be a paradigm shift in their singleness, marriage, etc.
“Men were made to rule. They always have and always will. Nothing can change that. Nothing will. It is not a question of whether men will be ruling, but which ones and how.”

Men take godly dominion! I love how the book critiques some of the pagan ideologies in the world right now (feminism, egalitarianism, etc.) but it mostly focuses on the man, and him being molded and shaped after the pattern Scripture lays out for godly manhood! I commend it. Will be revisiting.

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Daniel Stice

Rebuild The Walls

This book is pivotal for the culture of Christian men today in the best way. Society is against us, we’ve grown weak, ignorant, and unfathered; the walls are torn down and the society has suffered for it. Because our Lord Jesus Christ sits on His throne, through His strength we can rebuild. To rebuild what was lost, you need to start somewhere. The principles in this book is that place.

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Mac

Overheating

I can’t seem to read this book for more than 10 minutes because my devices keep overheating from ALL THIS FIRE!

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Joshua

As the authors intended, a timely book for a time when it is needed. I didn’t fully see every connection he made Biblically at the end, but since the chapters are topical in nature and the flow is very topical, it didn’t affect the benefit I got from the book. I would highly recommend this to a single guy (the chapters he discusses about gravitas and marriage are excellent for single guys), but it would also have much to say to married men.

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Florida

So good I read it twice.

This book is what Wild at Heart was meant to be. But instead of pop psychology, its filled with scripture. Instead of and step by step instructions its filled with guiding principles.

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SH

Amazing book

I love the high quality material the book is made of but much more than that I love the words within. An excellent read with a powerful and much needed message for today’s men.

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Tatiana Wright

My husband can’t put it down!

I bought this book for my husband, I wasn’t sure if he was even going to crack it open with how busy he is with work and life with 3 kids. I’ve seen him now multiple times reading if before bed.
Makes me so excited for what God is showing him through this book!

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John Rimmer

I was honestly surprised by how good this was. I have gotten a little burnt out on “men’s books” lately and wasn’t expecting this one to say anything that I hadn’t already heard somewhere else. And in many ways it doesn’t. But what it did do was put the most important parts of male identity and purpose and problems together in a way that seemed addressed to the “clueless bastard” that I am. Most men’s books do a great job showing you what manhood is supposed to look like, but they also do a great job of leaving you frustrated in one of two ditches: 1) here’s the recipe for being a man, that all you need to add to is your own personal discipline, character, and effort to accomplish, or 2) here’s the recipe for being a man, that you’ll never be because you’re broken, but that’s okay because fluffy bunnies and crying shoulders, and all is gravy grace baby. This one speaks to you like a man would, firmly but expectantly. It brings up your objections and excuses before you can voice them, running them out into the light for you to see just how ridiculous they are before you can open yourself up to ridicule for hiding behind them. It also doesn’t ask you to dig down and deliver on the manhood recipe. It pushes you to understand all that God has expected of you and accomplished for you by being both your Father and your Brother, and how those two roles are what free bastards like me from that identity and condition. Men need fathers and they need brothers, and if they don’t have them they’ll never become men, no matter how many examples, heroes, or men’s books you put in front of them. The gospel of God’s grace frees you from shame and failure, but also reconciles you to your Father and adopts you into the family of God. Trust in him and submission to his wisdom is the way, no matter where you’re starting from or what handicaps you bring to the endeavor.

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Jordan Tong

A timely, relevant, and outstanding book on Biblical masculinity

If your head isn’t buried in the sand, you realize there is a “masculinity problem” not only in our culture, but also in the churches. Many books have been written, but few are robust and direct enough to offer an honest and bluntly biblical solution. This book, however, does just that. And in my opinion, Foster largely succeeds in that aim. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. It will challenge you, offend you, drive you to Jesus, and raise the bar for men everywhere. And let’s be honest, this is what every man needs.

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Coleman

I had high expectations for this book. I’ve been following Bnonn and Michael’s work for a while now and I can genuinely say that I was still surprised by how powerful this book is.

This is a very precise work that brings an enriching and deeply theological understanding of masculinity and the role of men in the greater end of creation. It pulls manhood further up and further into ontology and purpose. I thought this was a nice treat near the beginning, but the authors are relentless to hammer this idea out in every chapter.

I have a lot of work to do. But this has not left me discouraged. I am heavy, but hopeful. Well done, men!

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mark

One of the best books for men out there, and it is different than your typical manhood book.

This is a much needed book for men today. This book points men in the right direction, but it is the responsibility of the men themselves to walk down the path. The wisdom of Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant is refreshing, challenging, and encouraging. If you don’t want to be challenged don’t read this book, but if you want to grow in wisdom in the ways of men, devour this book and read it again. The bible says: “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1st Corinthians 16:13, and this book will help you with that.

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John Weis

Foster and Tennant put forward a clear and helpful vision of God’s good design of masculinity. They outline some of the aspects of our current cultural crisis of sexual confusion and the individual responsibility we each bear in recovering what used to be “common sense” wisdom.

This book is extremely readable and practical, and I’m sure will help many Christian men navigate a path toward mature manhood.

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J. Stewart

Foundations matter

Go look at the foundations of houses and buildings that have stood the test of time and you will see the world has changed around them. Look at the godly men of the Bible and Church history and you will find that it is the world that has changed. The household is the center of every society on earth and at the head of every good household is a godly man. It started this way in the beginning and it will end that way. This book does a remarkable job of connecting so many pieces theologically and practically. I wish I would have had this book as a resource when I was in my teens. What the authors attempt to do is something that will stand the test of time. It will help young men lays solid foundations and seasoned men rebuild where there are cracks and the walls are crumbling.

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Anthony Barnhart

a much needed signpost

Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant have provided a down to earth, to the point, and concise treatment of biblical manhood. This isn’t a self-help book; you won’t find ten-step plans to live your best life now. Nor is it a flowery book; when three words work, you won’t find fifteen (I found this to be a masculine characteristic in a masculine book).

The book begins with the authors laying down the foundation of all that follows: God has created a world in which men are to rule. This rule is part of the fabric of the cosmos, and it’s unavoidable. Men are to have dominion over themselves, their households, and in the wider world. The rest of the book seeks to flesh this out in the various spheres of life. Subjects such as sex, marriage, brotherhood, discipline, and mission are covered. This book works well alongside C.R. Wiley’s “The Household and the War for the Cosmos” and Zachary Garris’ “Masculine Christianity.”

I won’t go into great detail on each of the chapters; other reviewers are far more suited to this task than I am. I will say, at least, that this book is sorely needed in a western culture that has not only rejected the goodness of masculinity but even masculinity itself. It is GOOD to be a man; it isn’t something to be ashamed of or to apologize for. It is GOOD to pursue manhood if you are a man. This isn’t to say it’s bad to be a woman, and the authors in no way seem to hold that view. This isn’t another red pill word dump. Nor is this book a reaction to feminism; the authors don’t seem interested in arguing against feminism so much as they are interested in promoting and praising godly masculinity. Our sons and daughters need to know that it is good to be who God created them to be, and in a culture - and even in a church culture - that has lost sight of this, it’s good to have some signposts showing the way. This book is one such signpost.

A four-star review is appropriate for a great book that gives lots of information. This book gets five stars because not only does it give lots of great information, but it also has a certain gravitas that strengthens and encourages you in your pursuit of godly masculine living. The chapter on mission, for me, was particularly engaging, and I’m sure I’ll be going back to it again. The book would be worth the purchase for that chapter alone.

I purchased this book on Kindle, and I have a copy coming from Canon Press. It’ll be a good and certainly well-worn book on my shelf.

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Lucas Dorminy

This book is a very helpful resource for young men especially. I personally found their work on gravitas to be helpful for my own life and ministry. I’d recommend it to most young men in our church.

I think there are certain points that are a bit overstated (ex., finding “the one” being purely pagan), but these statements do not overshadow the wisdom of the rest of the book.

IGTBAM is a timely work that helps men reevaluate their priorities, skills, and mission as Christians in the world.

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Robert L. Sands

Essential Reading for Both Men and Women Today

I listened to this book on the Canon App (which I highly recommend) and it is one of the best guides for understanding God’s will for His created order and the current cultural malaise in which we live. If you are not inclined to let God speak on the subject, then you won’t like it, but I hope you read it anyway and I hope you are convicted into at least thinking about why God made us male and female. I also appreciated the distinction between Godly and wicked patriarchy - that was a very helpful insight.

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Jay

Great book for men and soon-to-be men

This is such a good and needed book on manhood. I read it with my teenage sons, and it helped us talk about so many critical subjects. I highly recommend it for other men and boys, especially if you are unsure of your purpose in life, or are tempted to believe that masculinity is toxic or that patriarchy is bad for the world.

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Nathan

This book is a concise and timely book on manhood. It is built to be a starting point for a man to consume and then jump off from, and I believe the authors accomplish that. There are some items that may not fit exactly with ones specific views on a topic, but every man, in every station of life, can get something from this book and start doing that thing for the glory of God.

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Tim

What a refreshing book. Tired of all the hand wringing about what being a Christian man is supposed to look like? Then read this. Warning- massively anti politically correct-and it was all the better for it.

Very entertaining, very biblical, very practical.

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Coleman Barbour

Robust, Timely, Biblical

Finally, someone has provided a thoroughly Christian response to the secular resurgence and eclesiatical decline of masculinity. For years, the likes of Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan have been dancing around truths about manhood that crop up in nature without providing a true ontological root.

Bnonn and Michael have not simply fleshed out these ideas with the bible, rather they have built up a biblical view of manhood from the first pages of scripture to the last, thus revealing that the secular manosphere and darkweb heroes have simply stumbled around the truths that are readily available in the scriptures.

I was encouraged and sobered. There is so much work to do! I was left feeling heavy by the weight of the challenge of this book, but I was left with even greater hope. We were made to be men and that is worth celebrating.

If you are looking for a “Eat meat, lift weights, and shoot guns.” kind of book on manhood, this isn’t it. Nor is it effeminate or soft in any way. However, if you want to be seriously challenged by biblical insights into what you’re designed to be, then read this book. It really is good to be a man.

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K. VanGelder

Encoraging and inspiring!

It was so good that as soon as I finished it I went and bought 20 extra copies to give away to friends!

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Rich

It is good to be a man

The book builds from referencing Genesis and looks at a Gods eye view of manhood and contemporary difficulties men have. I enjoyed their analysis and their recommended route out of the male morass. Theologically it broke new ground for me, talking of dominion. It was a breath of fresh air. It’s time to get wise, get useful and get strong!

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Megan

Stellar book. Though it’s written for men, I read it because I have 3 sons and come from a family with a very quiet, withdrawn father who was dutiful and faithful but not overtly into leading, teaching, or shepherding his family. I wanted to understand more of what we’re shooting for in raising 3 sons, so I can see the vision and help my husband better as our oldest enters his teen years. This book was excellent for that. I think I’m better able to articulate ideas or intuitions about manhood that I had previously only been able to get as far as “this is just how it should be” in my thinking or conversation. This book helped put words and a framework to my thinking, and definitely helped me have a clearer picture of what we’re aiming for and what kind of large-scale concepts and virtues we can hang smaller-scale events, conversations, choices, discipline, etc. on as our boys grow up. It’s also given me helpful tools for talking with my daughter about what makes a good man, and I have no doubt that will be priceless as she gets older and starts considering marriage.

Four stars rather than five because I was a little out off by some of the language, but that may just be because it was written for men, not women, so I wasn’t exactly the target audience. But that was all really minor, and I could see how and why they were using their rhetoric the way they did, so it’s honestly a matter of taste. That, and because I usually reserve 5 star ratings for really spectacular life-changing or deeply moving literary masterpieces.

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Chad Bernick

Exceedingly Useful & Edifying

Listened on Audiobook. This book exceeds at being useful & edifying. The authors confirmed and reinforced some things that God led me to implement at a young age and drove home other lessons that I later learned the hard way. It showed plainly some of my very crucial errors. Whether you think you’ve got it all figured out about what it means to be a man, have no clue, or need some clear and organized thoughts to help you reevaluate where you are at… ‘It’s Good To Be A Man’ delivers what the title invites for the reader. It’s positive, strong, refreshing and GOOD.

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Emma Whear

Giving it four stars because I’m a female. It’s not for me, so it doesn’t hit the same.

Bought a copy for Ethan for Christmas. We both listen to the podcast and expected the book to be a tidy summary of what we’ve heard before. Pleasantly surprised by how much of it was new/re-framed.

Especially appreciated the chapter “Gravitas by Duty.” If you could only read one chapter, that’d be the one. Clear, concise, convicting (if you were a man, I assume).

I love bullet-points, and that chapter had the perfect smattering of them.

A timely, manly book.

(Also, the cover and weight of the book are aesthetically pleasing).

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Rusten

Helpful and refreshing. The negative reviews accusing Foster & Tennant of misogyny in this volume are so wildly misrepresentative that it is difficult not to see the critics as discredited outright. Is it a perfect book? Nah, but it’s one of the few books celebrating how God made men and recovering something incredibly important that the church effeminate has lost.

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Aaron C. B.

The book we’ve been waiting for.

I will keep this brief as many others have given accurate reviews.
This book on Godly Masculinity is what a lot of us men have been waiting for, for a long time. There’s been an aching in the heart for decades, of the decline in Biblical manhood, and many of us men resonate with the pages written here because the Spirit of God has been edging us towards repentance of abdicating the very fabric of our spiritual dna as men. This book is the foundation of future conversations regarding manhood, dominion and the future of the Christian Church. This book is worth buying, reading multiple times and discussing the ideas with your sons as they are trying to figure out how to be a Godly man.

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Mike Southerland

Very Needed Encouragement for Men to Fulfill God’s Calling in Their Lives

I loved the straightforward, and blunt at times, truth that is presented in this book. Foster and Tennant go to the scriptures and give direct guidance on how a man should order his life to fulfill his God given mandate to lead, according to God’s Word.

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Kevin D. Bogus Jr.

Essential reading for every young man.

This book is excellent and timely. This book should be required reading for every young mens discipleship or “youth group”. Young men need to read this in High School and then read it in college and then read it to their sons. It is definitely going on the list of books I intend to read with my four year old when he comes of age. Pastors and Elders should be handing it out to the young men of their congregations.

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John

There is a crisis in masculinity today that many have been working to address. Doug Wilson has written some good stuff on the topic, but nothing quite like this one. The closest comparison I can think of is Richard Phillips’s excellent work “The Masculine Mandate”. Comparisons between the two will be inevitable in my mind, as they are both written for the same kind of audience with much of the same kind of material.

The main strengths that resonated with me in this book is the visceral, creational normativity of masculinity. One of the things that is striking about this book is the way the authors work to unapologetically harness the way God made men. They do this by setting our masculinity crisis in the context of the feminization of the world.

God made men for specific tasks and so there is nothing disordered about man’s strengths. But man’s strengths need to be harnessed to fulfill God’s dominion mandate. Don’t fight against the way God made you–rather, use God’s gifting to accomplish his purposes.

This book is inspiring and uplifting. This is what men need to hear today. God gave you a purpose and you can do it! Man up!

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James L. Farrar

Words of wisdom for the functional bastard…

This book is, by far, the best explanation of biblical masculinity on the market today. Every Christian men’s group should read it. Every father should teach its principles to their sons. Faithfully points a generation of “functional bastards” to the only infallible source of true wisdom on how to be a man.

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Nick Solheim

Michael Foster and Dominic Bnonn Tennant’s It’s Good to Be a Man is the Christ-centered answer to red-pill Reddit, feminists, and limp-wristed evangelicals who refute men’s godly duty to exercise dominion over creation, communities, and families. This book should be a priority for every Christ-following man in the West.

The authors expertly weave Scripture, metaphor, and life-experience together to create a handbook to building a moral compass tuned toward Christ. Foster and Tennant reclaim dominion, masculinity, and headship for men without devolving into women-hating, misogyny, or carelessness.

One of the greatest things about this book is its order. The authors emphasize that to become a man, one must first have a mission, and a brotherhood with which to conquer the mission. Only then will your life be ripe for finding a wife. It’s Good to Be a Man is not a self-help book, it is not a guide to finding a wife, nor is it a guide to becoming a millionaire. It is a bright, flashing sign pointing men everywhere toward the headship of Christ Jesus.

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Joshua Hunt

What an intense read.

If you are a man, I think you should read this book. You may not like it or agree with all of it.
But I believe grappling with this book will make you better.

If the title alone makes you uncomfortable, you are a top candidate to contend with its content.

This is not a cozy one. Admittedly, the authors’ brazen statements had me squirming at a few points. But it spoke to me on a level that I hadn’t heard in a while.

Chapters 6–13 are superb. Underlines and highlights abound.

Four stars.

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Paul

Excellent

“It is good to be a husband and father. But it is good to be a man first.”
This book is a call for men to submit to God’s natural creation order, repent and embrace the gospel of Christ, find their mission and place in the kingdom of light, and gladly assume responsibility for themselves and others. Men were made for dominion and for keeping chaos at bay. Work and ambition are not a result of the curse. Women are helpers in mission, not a goal in themselves. Godly men fear their Maker, pursue excellence, and bring order to their lives and the lives of those around them. This is what men are made for.

“The Bible speaks of worthless men, you must be the opposite.”

Some concerns I had about the book: a repeated use of the idea that we “bring heaven to earth” through our fulfillment of the cultural mandate, and the collapsed distinction between worship and service (with phrases like “all of life is worship”). The book could have also used more editing in a few places.

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Caleb Levi

The style of writing today is to qualify the thesis to death, but not so with this book. Foster and Tennant’s candor and clarity is a breath of fresh air. I hope this book gets people talking about the passages in scripture no one preaches on.

There’s much in their theology and anthropology I want to dive into and study. Nonetheless, their criticism of secular culture and evangelicalisms capitulation to secularism is spot on.

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George Luke

Great book. This book is an excellent book to read in synthesis with CR Wiley and Doug Wilson’s family series. “Future Men”, and “Man of the House” all held similar lines of affirming a patriarchal story that our households are all part of. Godly masculinity means patriarchy (not woman bashing, but masculine power that generationally impacts reality and future generations), is inevitable. The question is what kind of patriarch you will be. Coming back for usable suggestions on virtues- strength, wisdom, workmanship, and practical goal setting recommendations for discipleship.

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Nick

Nonnegotiable

I have my oldest son reading this and will have all five of his brothers read it when they’re ready. This book fills so many gaps, is very easy to read, and is backed up with scripture at every turn.

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Justin

For those who have forgotten what it means to be a man

It’s good to be a Man is an excellent guide to godly masculinity. In a time where men are genuinely confused on what their purposes and goals should be as men, this book is a breath of fresh air. This book tackles this confusion from a biblical perspective, looks at how we got where we are, the very real difficulties in being a godly man, and how we can rebuild the walls of a crumbling society again.

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Spencer

In the beginning of the book, the authors express that in writing this book they did not wish to write a timeless work, but a timely one. This indeed is a timely book that every man of this generation should read. It is a refreshingly motivating and uplifting book that challenges men to be who God created them to be, without cowing to the pagan idolatry that is feminism. Great stuff.

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Timothy Smith

Much needed book for this day and age!

I talk to guys in their 20s all of the time who are trying figure out what it means to be a man. They’re going to a bunch of secular sources for help because they don’t feel the church or their fathers have adequately taught them the ways of manhood. This book adds a ton of clarity to understanding what it means to be masculine from a biblical perspective. Michael and Bnonn provide massive amounts of wisdom and insight that any man will find helpful. The book helped me to feel empowered and have a better understanding of who God created me to be. I sincerely believe every young Christian man needs to read this book.

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the Faz

A Systematic Theology for Manhood

This book is is a well-written and timely study on what it means to be a man from a Biblical perspective, particularly in light of modern society’s disdain for Christian principles and the roles that God designed for men (and women) ever since He placed mankind in the Garden of Eden. The book starts with a broad overview of what those roles are, how they were affected by the Fall, how Satan has obfuscated them, and the temptations that are common to all men. It contrasts varying, worldly views of gender/sex, and the natural voids that follow when deviating from our created design (and the men that try to fill them with advice from various sources from PUA’s to Joe Rogan and other secular influences often attempting to replace absent fathers). It details how the wrong influences have affected and imbalanced the modern church. It mentions how these imbalances have affected the pursuit of marriage. And finally, it prods the reader to make realistic goals and plans and walk in the common calling that God has given to every man as they plot their own course in life. It is not meant to be an exhaustive reference or a formulaic self-help book. It is not meant to be a steroid injection to your brain. But it is a systematic approach to Biblical manhood that connected a lot of dots in my own studies, after reading such other books as “No More Christian Nice Guy,” “Raising Men,” and a number of secular influences that seemed to get some things right but contrasted with the “Gentle Jesus, Meek and Mild” mentality that has pervaded the modern church. Go read your Bible, lift some weights, and get this book.

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Men were made to rule. They always have and always will. Nothing can change that. Nothing will. It is not a question of whether men will be ruling, but which ones and how. —It’s Good To Be A Man, chapter 1

If you were “under-fathered”…if you aren’t sure what it means to be a man in a culture that treats your God-given instincts as toxic…if you feel like you need to check your testicles in at the church door…if you sense that being more godly means becoming more feminine…this book is for you.

Our modern society has called for us to “smash the patriarchy,” and the church has not done much better.

Instead of telling men how they can hone and refine their aggressive traits, the church has told men that they should aspire to be meek servant-leaders—and when a man shows any signs of independence, he is shown the door.

This leaves most young men lost. They don’t know what to do or how to improve, so they watch Jordan Peterson videos on YouTube to learn how to grow in their masculinity and sense of mission.

In this book, we remind men that their natural aggressive instincts are gifts from God that are meant to be used for the kingdom. Men are supposed to found households, join brotherhoods, and work towards a mission.

It’s Good to Be A Man offers a quick guide, grounded in biblical exegesis and theology, to where you are as a man, and how you can move forward in the direction God designed.

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  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant
  • It's Good To Be A Man: A Handbook for Godly Masculinity, by Michael Foster & Dominic Bnonn Tennant

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Doug Wilson reviews It’s Good To Be A Man

Doug Wilson

Author of Federal Husband, Future Men and Reforming Marriage

“…a careful, balanced, scriptural look at the task that God has assigned to men…”

This book is an exercise in moderate extremism, or perhaps you might want to call it radical moderation.

There are truths out there in the world that—twenty years ago—everyone either knew or pretended to know. And, as you should know by now, an extremist in 2022 is a moderate of twenty years ago who refused to move with the times.

Written by Michael Foster and Dominic Bnonn Tennant, who has way too many n’s in his name if you ask me (seven), this book is a sane and measured response to the gender craziness out there. That craziness has seized the modern world by the throat and is squeezing us until our eyes pop out like they did in the old Tom & Jerry cartoons, and a response was called for. Because of all the crazy out there, not a few refugees (including Christians) have started to look longingly at Red Pill World, which is a world of reaction.

But a Christian should always act, never react. This book is a careful, balanced, scriptural look at the task that God has assigned to men, and is a celebration of God’s good wisdom. And God is willing to give men the grace and ability to do what they were created and called to do—so men should make sure that they know what they are asking for. This is not possible apart from looking to Scripture for our answers. A man is not a deficient woman, and a woman is not a deficient man. God’s calling and God’s gifting line up.

This book is highly recommended—for pastors, for parents, for teachers. If you have young men in your life, this book is essential.

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Owen Strachan reviews It’s Good To Be A Man

Owen Strachan

Provost at Grace Bible Theological Seminary, author of Christianity and Wokeness and Reenchanting Humanity

“…one of the best books on manhood ever written…”

Hard times make real men. In an age when masculinity is attacked from every angle, leading to a generation at equal turns passive and belligerent, Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant have given us a manifesto for manhood. This is a clarion call. It stands out all the more for the lack of such clear speech and precise biblical teaching in evangelical circles today. It’s Good to Be a Man anchors men in the Word, in the grace of God, in the truth. This is one of the best books on manhood ever written, period.

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Eric Conn reviews It’s Good To Be A Man

Eric Conn

Host of the Hard Men Podcast

“…solid food for the masculine soul…highly practical, but also deeply theological…”

What It’s Good To Be A Man has done is provide solid food for the masculine soul. Real, meaty, doctrinal, weighty sound teaching. It’s robust, and it answers societal problems that have been plaguing men for at least a century. It is highly practical, but also deeply theological. Many men’s books rely on milquetoast theology, with an overabundance of sports analogies and tired Christian platitudes that none of us really understand. “You need to surrender all to Jesus, brother.” What?

It’s Good To Be A Man is none of that. It features a clear assessment of the problems facing men, but also with an optimistic and tangible path out of such a mess.

Michael and Bnonn have made terms like household, gravitas, patriarchy and dominion great again. They do a masterful job of showing the necessity of older, more ancient concepts that once ruled the world, but have since fallen out of fashion. Maybe best of all, they show us how we as men can gain gravitas in pretty practical ways—how we can live as truly honorable patriarchs, and lead a meaningful mission with the gifts and calling that God has placed on our lives.

These guys are honest about the presence of genuine toxic sexuality, but one of the ongoing themes that I loved best about the book is that the most powerful things on planet earth are the ones that the enemy loves to corrupt—and so the best and most powerful things, like your masculinity, your sexuality, are also the things that when turned and corrupted can become so devastating and ruinous to all of society. It doesn’t mean that masculinity and sexuality are bad. It means they are powerful, and the enemy knows it.

It’s Good To Be A Man is an incredibly wise and helpful tool for rebuilding in the cultural ruins that we now face. It’s neither pessimistic, nor unrealistically positive, but realistically practical.

This is a highly readable book; it’s engaging, it’s pithy, the style is easy to digest, you do not need to have an advanced seminary degree. I’d happily give it to my 14 year old or my 12 year old, I’d happily give it to someone for men’s group, I’d give it to pastors—I think it’s fitting whether you’re 17 or 71. I’ve seen this subject matter highly prized by women too—women love to read about what men should be, and in many cases women have reached out to me to say, I’m so grateful, this book has helped me appreciate the godly, manly man my husband is. Praise God for that. I think you’d do well to give it to your daughters, to help them understand what they should be looking for in a husband, in a man—what should men be like?

I’m giving the book five out of five stars, and I’d definitely recommend it to you.

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Introduction

This is not a book about getting a girl. It is not a book about being a husband. It is not a book about being a father. It is a book about being a man. All of those other things are important to manhood, but if you don’t understand what men are made for, and how God intends you to become great at being a man, none of them will matter.

Chapter 1: The War between Patriarchies

Men were made to rule—it’s not a question of patriarchy v. something else, it’s a question of good v. evil patriarchy. Which men will rule? Wicked patriarchs, Pharaohs and Absaloms, want to harness, pacify, and destroy men. In response, the church’s own patriarchs—Nehemiahs with swords to defend and trowels to build—must rise up to shepherd our generation of fatherless men. As the church goes, so goes society.

Chapter 2: Masculinity Is Very Good

To understand what we’re supposed to do now, we need to go back to the beginning: The answers for our current culture’s masculinity crisis are found in Genesis and its plan for humanity. Why did God create man? God created him for productive, representative leadership. Men are given more aggressive instincts than women so they can be rulers in their work to subdue and fill an entire world. This is what dominion is. And this is very good.

Chapter 3: Sex Is Very Good

God could have made the task of exercising dominion asexual, but He didn’t. He made a man’s sexual desire, and a woman’s sexual desirability, central to filling the world with His image. A man alone achieves a little; a man and his wife a little more. But a man, his wife, and their children are the foundation of cities, states, and nations. It follows, then, that sex is the engine of dominion, as a man and a woman join together to form a household.

Chapter 4: The War on Sex

The devil wants us to ruin sex in two ways. His first stratagem is to spread the idea that sex itself is dirty rather than unifying and fruitful. His second is to claim that sexual promiscuity is the path to true liberty. The truth is that the devil hates the Creator, so he hates the Creator’s division between male and female. There is a war on sex itself: The enemy of our day is not male versus female (misogyny), or female versus male (misandry), but rather androgyny—unbelieving humanity against sexual distinctions.

Chapter 5: Spiritual War & Spiritual Worship

Satan’s goal is tearing down God’s hierarchy and frustrating the fruitfulness of his image-bearers. Thus, the devil’s project is androgyny. This is why androgyny has become a “religion” of sorts, and those who question the LGBT+ agenda are treated as “heretics.” Humans are built to worship, and modern pagans can no more stop worshipping androgyny than they can stop being male and female. The choice is stark: serve God to bring heaven to earth—or serve Satan to bring hell.

Chapter 6: Toxic Sexuality

Modern psychologists speak in terms of toxic masculinity, but the Bible describes sins that reveal toxic sexuality. When masculinity is oriented toward serving God, it is very good. When masculinity follows Cain instead of Abel, it becomes toxic—and the errors of toxic masculinity are obvious. True femininity is also very good…but evangelicals forbid you to talk of toxic femininity. Loud, immodest women (as Proverbs describes them) have led many soft men astray, even men as wise as Solomon. This is because, like Cain, they worship themselves instead of pursuing God’s dominion.

Chapter 7: The Church Effeminate

The Church, of all places, should not just welcome patriarchy (which is the rule of fathers to magnify the name of the Father) but should celebrate, cultivate, and teach it. But the Western Church is overwhelmingly comprised of women—of both sexes. This problem is the result of white-knight pastors desperate for the approval of someone—and equally desperate to avoid their disapproval. Usually, the approval they most crave is from women. The conflict avoidance of “nice-guy” pastors and influential women perfectly captures why our churches have become nests of false teachers, places unfriendly to the truth-telling of true shepherds. These problems are actually the result of good impulses that have been perverted: the masculine desire to elevate women and to defend them, and the female desire to knit a community together in harmony.

Chapter 8: No Father, No Manhood

Every boy is born male—but manhood is something you must grow into. And to mature, you need the love and discipline of a father. In other words, to become a father, you must have a father. Without fathers, sons remain boys. They grow up clueless about how to harness and aim their masculine natures. They are functional bastards, perpetually in a state of arrested development, and destructive to society. Even unbelieving sociologists can see this. But it’s not too late if your own earthly father has failed you—the formula is simple: Find a faithful church that will disciple you. Submit yourself to it. Grow up.

Chapter 9: No Gravitas, No Manhood

What does “grow up” mean? It means getting gravitas—a virtue which refers to a man’s seriousness, his dignity, his weight (translated literally). You can’t inherit it, and you can’t fake it. Gravitas is the result of having settled into your Christian identity as a man, when you become proficient at reflecting the glory you were made to reflect. This begins with the fear of the Lord. A good place to check your own maturity is in your speech: Gravitas means avoiding the pitfalls of either self-seriousness or mockery.

Chapter 10: Gravitas through Duty

Scripture describes virtues, duties, and traits that are integral to manhood. By focusing on these, you can more easily order your life around God to reflect His glory. There is a triad of masculine virtues: wisdom (your grasp of what is happening in your world and how to act accordingly), workmanship (your developed ability in the talents God has given you), and strength (your ability to work while bearing weight). If you combine these virtues, you get three masculine duties that show us what exercising dominion looks like. Our first duty is envisioning and planning (wisdom about workmanship). Our second is building and supplying (workmanship upheld by strength). Our third duty is guarding and fighting (strength guided by wisdom). And, when you combine masculine virtues with masculine duties, three masculine traits become clear: enterprise, constancy, and readiness. Pursue these things to get gravitas through duty.

Chapter 11: How to Bear the Weight

Today, the burden men must carry can seem crushing. Whether you are the son of an absent father or of a coddling mother, of a broken home or simply of our misandric culture, it is not a question of whether you have failed to launch but how much. A lot of men awaken to this reality only to stew on the raw deal they got: MGTOWs and brotherhoods of “red pill rage.” This is not taking dominion. The state of your life might not be entirely, or even mostly, your fault—but it is entirely your responsibility. Take heart: God did not err when He wrote the book of your life. He made you to take dominion here and now.

Chapter 12: Manhood through Mission

Christ equips you to man up when you focus on His mission. And the method He uses is to give you your own mission. A mission is your best effort at wisely integrating your interests, skills, and circumstances into a personal vision for exercising dominion over what God has given you, for his glory. To start finding your mission, evaluate your interests against the opportunities that such a calling offers: to provide for yourself, love your neighbor, glorify God. Write out ambitious spiritual, physical, economical, vocational, and relational goals, but don’t get hung up on perfection—the important thing is to have something to work toward.

Chapter 13: The Necessity of Fraternity

It’s not enough to be a man on a mission. Think of your mission as a train: it requires rails to run on, and the first of these rails is brotherhood. Without brothers, your mission will veer off course. Pursue deep friendships with other guys. This kind of nonerotic intimacy between men cannot and will not exist among opposite-sex friendships. It is also the kind of friendship that has been destroyed in our culture. But be careful: the only thing that kills mission as fast as isolation is crooked brotherhood. Avoid “crab mentality”—the envious companionship that prevents actual maturity and growth.

Chapter 14: The Excellence of Marriage

It is a key milestone for a man, and a massive step forward, when he finds a wife. She is the second rail, running parallel to fraternity, that supports him, carries him forward, and keeps his mission on track. However, since a wife is a complement to your mission, she cannot be the mission itself. It is good to be a husband. But it is good to be a man first. The correct order is to get on mission, then find a woman to complement you; but popular culture teaches men exactly the opposite. This idea has wormed its way deep into the modern Church. It is not so much explicitly stated as implicitly assumed that “true love” eliminates all loneliness, and that to find one’s soulmate is to become complete. Connected with this, true love takes on divine power, replacing the marriage covenant as the sanctifier of sex. But God designed sex to image covenant love—not romantic love. All this to say, if you don’t know what your mission is, you cannot really assess whether a particular woman will make a good helper for it. Do not be harnessed, pacified, or destroyed; rather, build yourself up, and start working to exercise dominion over yourself and your world. Everything else will follow from that.


You can get a preview of the first 8 chapters, plus introduction, in a preview PDF provided by Canon Press. You can also get the complete group study guide for free as a PDF, or $6 as a paperback:

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Nope. The book is influenced by church fathers like Origen and Chrysostom, stands self-consciously in the tradition of Reformers like John Calvin and John Knox, and develops the work of great theologians like C.H. Spurgeon, R.L. Dabney, Herman Bavinck, Werner Neuer and William Gouge. The authors are committed to historic Christian orthodoxy. Here is how they articulate their view:

  1. We believe the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God, our only ultimate and infallible authority, sufficient to fully equip us with wisdom for salvation and godly living.

  2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is limited by nothing other than His own nature and character, which is holy, righteous, good, severe, loving and merciful. He made everything that has been made, and all very good.

  3. We believe in the true deity and full humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ; in His virgin birth; in His sinless life; in His miracles; in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood; in His bodily resurrection for our justification; in His ascension to the right hand of the Father from where he now reigns over every created thing; and in His personal future return in power and glory.

  4. We believe in the full deity of the Holy Spirit, acknowledging Him together with the Father and the Son in the works of creation and redemption; and in His present ministry indwelling Christians, enabling them to live godly lives.

  5. We believe that because of Adam’s sin all mankind is in rebellion against God; that for the salvation of such men, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary; that this salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone; and that our works can add nothing to our standing before God, although faith without works is dead.

  6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved to the resurrection of life, and the lost to the resurrection of damnation.

  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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When you write a book like this, you look forward to receiving negative reviews from the obvious parties. Here is our favorite 1-star review, from one Stephanie Baer:

Stephanie Baer

Horrible, sexist, damaging ideology
This book and authors are absolutely horrid. The claims made here are awful. This book is filled with an extreme cult mindset and laden with sexism. That’s not God. That is a man with a toxic God complex.

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Aside from the unironic use of the phrase “absolutely horrid,” we were tickled to discover from Ms. Baer’s Amazon profile that she also gave 5 stars to a book by Rob Bell, and loved Juliet Diaz’s Witchery: Embrace the Witch Within—an “amazing and magickal book” that shows you how to practice witchcraft your way and “breaks down spells and rituals so simply.”

If you think you might enjoy a book denounced by a practicing witch who was “born and raised in the patriarchy of the Christian church,” why not grab a copy now?

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It’s Good To Be A Man the book is the result of a ministry by the same name. It is run by Michael Foster and Bnonn Tennant with the goal of bringing together, equipping, and being sharpened by a worldwide community of men. We want to reform and repair God’s house on a large scale by finding ways to build up large numbers of men into godly and effective patriarchs. Read more about us here »

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