God’s Good Design speaks to some of the most pressing issues of our day. It is written for Pastors/Counselors/Christians active in ministry, as well as laymembers, to better understand & apply a Biblical Worldview to our current cultural context. This is not an apologetic book; Clary assumes his reader already has a working knowledge of Scripture and a desire to follow God’s design. He does a good job of explaining Biblical Principles and the context of the ancient world in which they were written. He carefully threads the needle of providing context without dismissing the commands of Scripture, and he avoids getting overly prescriptive for individual modern situations. Personally, I found the most thought-provoking and innovative portion of the book to be his chapter on Manhood/Fatherhood; if you are on the fence, I recommend reading the book for that section alone, if nothing else! One of my favorite quotes from the book is this:
“A boy’s masculinity develops by differentiating himself, becoming
more independent, and resisting his mother’s nurturing impulse to keep him dependent on her. This differentiation is necessary for him to take on responsibilities for a future wife and children. In a way, his mother’s nurturing virtues can be a hindrance to his masculine development. These motherly instincts are good in themselves but need to be counterbalanced by fatherly instincts that challenge him towards greater independence…What I am saying is that the virtue of masculine strength is oriented towards taking responsibility for others, which is something he must cultivate within himself.”
If you are a Christian seeking to faithfully apply scripture to your life and/or the lives of those you shepherd, I highly recommend you read this book! Read it, hold it up to scripture, discuss it with others, chew on the ideas. Even if you don’t agree with all of Clary’s points or conclusions, I guarantee his book will give you much to learn from and ponder.