Book Review: “Average Joe” by Troy Meeder (2011)

Troy Meeder writes this book for all the nameless, determined, hard-working, faithful Christian men around the world whose lives have panned out much differently than they had once dreamed as youths. And I think he does so quite well. While his chapters seem to jump irregularly from one aspect of being an “Average Joe” to another, the author keenly draws biblical truths from the characteristics of manliness and responsibility, from the relationships of mentors and wives, and from the anecdotes of gardeners and soldiers that seem applicable to all men everywhere, if we just open up our imaginations a bit.

Much in the style of John Eldridge, Meeder has filled his book with rough-and-tumble masculinity to which he writes all men must cling in this era of “feelings” and femininity. While there are many innate, manly characteristics we men would do well to shed (i.e. lust, pride, etc.), Meeder also brings to light so many more than we must hold onto until death: responsibility, loyalty, wisdom and resolve. By recounting his own Average-Joe story, the stories of Average Joes he has known throughout the years, and the stories of Average Joes from Scripture, Meeder expertly portrays these qualities as not only real but attainable for all men. Meeder’s eye for anecdotes and their deeper, richer meanings also makes this book a perpetually fun read.

I would recommend this book for Christians, middle-aged Average Joes or older who find themselves occasionally or often dissatisfied with how life has ended up. We have lived lives filled with experiences, and if we have learned anything from those experiences at all, our calling from God is to now teach those lessons to the younger men who will follow us.

© 2011 E.T.

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