Like Father, Like Son: How Knowing God as Father Changes Men
by Pete Alwinson
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If you don’t know what it means to be a “real man,” there are approximately 2,341 books waiting to enlighten you. But many of them will leave you burdened with a masculine to-do list, resigned to passivity in the face of impossible expectations, or convinced that your manhood has been indelibly marked by an absentee father. These miss the biblical mark.
Whether your dad was absent or present, passive or aggressive, positive or negative—you need to know the love of your Father in heaven in order to discover who you are and who you are meant to be. Forty years of experience in men’s ministry has convinced Pete Alwinson that knowing God’s fatherly love changes everything for a man.
Instead of outlining how to recover and reclaim masculinity, Alwinson invites men to recover and reclaim an intimate, growing relationship with their heavenly Father and live out of that identity in their particular calling as sons, fathers, brothers, friends. A man who is forgiven and accepted by his heavenly Father is free to become like him.
Like Father, Like Son is a refreshing message of grace amongst the voices encouraging men to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. By focusing men on their biblical, core identity—being sons of the Father by grace—it channels the thirst for adventure and freedom into a radical exploration of grace.
Like Father, Like Son is easy-to-read and conversational, full of personal stories and anecdotes that will encourage males to believe that God’s grace alone turns them into real men. No bootstraps required.
Pete Alwinson, MDiv, DMin, is Key Life Network's men's ministry expert and has pastored in a variety of settings for thirty years. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, teaching Communication and Theology of Ministry, and has written and spoken nationally for Key Life and Man in the Mirror. He has been married to Caron for thirty-six years and has two married sons and one college-aged daughter.
"Every once in a while a book comes along that is life-changing. Like Father, Like Son is that kind of book and it's that in spades. Pete Alwinson has given us a gift of profound biblical insight and he's done it with clarity, humor, and freshness. If you're a man, you'll 'rise up' and call Pete blessed. If you're a woman, you will too . . . because you'll understand about men and also about your heavenly Father. Give this book to everybody you know. They will thank you."
Steve Brown, Key Life radio broadcaster; author of Three Free Sins
"If ever a book deserved to become a bestseller it's the uplifting, winsome, and tightly written Like Father, Like Son. An ineffable feeling that I'm going to be okay swept over me as I read this book. I hope you will experience it too. You'll never read anyone who has a better grasp of the gospel of God's grace than Pete Alwinson. The result? He doesn't write to beat you up, but set you free."
Patrick Morley, Author; Bible teacher; founder, Man in the Mirror
"Imagine this. The God who created all things, visible and invisible, becomes the spiritual Father of everyone who believes in Jesus. Nothing is more reassuring and invigorating than experiencing how this is true. Pete Alwinson speaks from this experience. He knows God as his Father and he has charted a course for others to follow as they seek to live in the love of the Father as well. You want to read this book."
Richard L. Pratt, Jr, President, Third Millennium Ministries
"We guys struggle with what gnaws at us on the inside, what creates that edge, that fear of not measuring up. This book answers that question and shows us the answer to being who we were meant to be. Pete's book is crucial to our journey to be men. He illuminates our identity, our value, and our freedom by calling us into grace—a real relationship with our perfect Father."
Jeff Kemp, Former NFL QB; Vice President at FamilyLife; author of Facing the Blitz
"Pete Alwinson is onto something huge. The disquiet, the uncertainty, the insecurity that all men feel can be traced to an emptiness that only the Father can fill. In the pages of this book, we meet the Father again."
Nate Larkin, Founder of the Samson Society; author of Samson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood
"Although some fathers are distant or abusive, my father was not. He loved me and I knew it because he said it and he showed it. As a result I wanted to honor my father and not disappoint him, even though I knew whatever I did would never change his love for me. It was natural, therefore, for me to relate to my Heavenly Father the same way. God loves me eternally in Christ and I know that. As a result of his amazing grace, I desire to honor and obey him. Read this book to understand more about the motivating and freeing love of a good father, whether an earthly father or your Heavenly Father."
Robert C. (Ric) Cannada, Jr., Chancellor Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary
"Most men remember their fathers with a mixture of both fondness and disappointment. We could use help in constructing a healthy way to deal with both our past and our future, not just for ourselves but to better love those in our lives now. Dr. Alwinson gives us the spiritual and emotional empowerment to love others the way our heavenly Father has loved us."
Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed
"My twenty-plus-year friendship with Pete does not cloud my assessment of this compelling and practical book. He knows what makes a man a man; first because he's a man who is tough and tender. He also has wisdom from working with men, but most importantly he directs us to the True Man, Jesus Christ. This book is a compelling and healing message of the power of the Father in making men that we will recommend to all our clients and partners."
Tom Wood, President, CMM, Inc.; coauthor of Gospel Coach
"This is the book I wish I had written on fatherhood. No guilt, lots of encouragement, and appropriate challenges."
Larry Kreider, Founder, Gathering of Men, US; author
"In the high-stakes, high-performance, success-driven system that is American culture today, it seems that most men have one feeling in common: they don't measure up. The insecurities of men run deep because their identity is almost wholly performance based. For that reason, I believe Like Father, Like Son is a refreshing reminder men are desperate to hear. Pete Alwinson does a masterful job of connecting a man's identity to the fundamental nature of our heavenly Father, bathing the reader in the healing balm of God's grace. When a man reads this book, I think he will see himself with new, Christ-like eyes, he will hold his head up a little taller, and he will be more equipped to love and serve because he will be doing so out of a cup that is now full—the cup of God's gracious love."
David D. Swanson, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Orlando; author of Everlasting Life: How God Answers Our Questions about Grief, Loss, and the Promise of Heaven
"Pete Alwinson is onto something! The father wound runs deep in men leaving them ill-equipped for parenting, and their children are languishing for lack of father affirmation and engagement. As men are re-parented, however, by the Father love of God, old wounds are healed and grace is received to give their children. Like Father, Like Son is the right prescription for healing our culture's deepest wounds and unleashing dads to give the father love their kids crave."
Ray Cortese, Pastor, Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church
"In father and son relationships, there is always the good, the bad, and the ugly. What I so appreciate about Like Father, Like Son is the redemptive message without regard to one's earthly father or circumstances. Here's a formative and transformative book for men to live into authentic victory and to be on-purpose."
Kevin W. McCarthy, Author, The On-Purpose Person
"If you're a man—read this book. If you're a son—read this book. If you have a son and you want him to be a man—read this book. Pete has captured the essence of real manhood and how it flows from a man's relationship with his heavenly Father."
Bill Perkins, Best-selling author; speaker; president, Million Mighty Men
"Like a good father, Pete gives men permission to examine their sorrows, to understand why guys are the way we are, and to emerge from our isolation, strong and true, into the community of light and life."
Wes Yoder, Author of Bond of Brothers
"I've become exhausted by the many how-to books on being a man or fathering. Pete's new book, Like Father, Like Son, is a refreshing challenge to parent BY GRACE and swim in adventurous freedom. Such gospel-centric parenting is not only energizing for dads, but also able to captivate the hearts of young men. Pete's creative ideas and engaging stories are tried and proven. I should know. Pete's adult son, Jon, is an active, vibrant husband and leader in the church I help lead."
Alan Scott, Lead Pastor, Cumberland Community Church, Atlanta, Georgia
"In Psalms 32:8, the Lord says, 'I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.' In this book, Like Father, Like Son, Pete Alwinson has written how the fatherhood of God plays this out in the context of a man's life. The relationship that God desires with each of us is the same as God desires for each man to have with his son or daughter. This is an encouraging book for every man of God and his desire to make a difference in the lives of his sons and daughters."
Darrel Billups, Executive Director, National Coalition of Ministries to Men
"What is a 'real man'? With definitions hurled at us through every medium, where should we turn? Culturally, the idea of 'father' and 'son' have many connotations, which have a profound impact on how a man relates to God. Why then have men been burdened with behavior modification, generalized rules of what constitutes a 'real man'? Like Father, Like Son replaces the checklists with God's grace. By exploring men's biblical identity as sons of the Father, Pete Alwinson unpacks the greatest news proclaimed, the gospel. And the gospel changes everything about what it means to be a 'real man'!" "Like Father, Like Son is different from any book I have read in my own journey to become a better man and follower of Christ. It starts at the foundation of understanding the depths of God's love for man. It's not a self-help manual or quickstep guide; it truly begins to transform your heart into a new way of living under the grace and love of God." "For a father or son, Pete Alwinson encourages us to first know our heavenly Father, so our earthly father-son relationship will thrive. What a guide he has provided for dads to be godly fathers. And driving home the point that it is never, never too late to connect with God or our son(s)."
Mitch Todd, Senior Pastor, River Run Church
Jay Crouse, Founder, Men and the Church
"Like Father, Like Son is different from any book I have read in my own journey to become a better man and follower of Christ. It starts at the foundation of understanding the depths of God's love for man. It's not a self-help manual or quickstep guide; it truly begins to transform your heart into a new way of living under the grace and love of God."
"For a father or son, Pete Alwinson encourages us to first know our heavenly Father, so our earthly father-son relationship will thrive. What a guide he has provided for dads to be godly fathers. And driving home the point that it is never, never too late to connect with God or our son(s)."