Troy Meeder draws from his own personal stories and the stories of people he has known over the years in his book Average Joe. His stories serve as the analogies to a man’s life and how he relates to God. For this reader, some were more engaging than others.
The book felt as if it came across as written with two different world views. Section Two is entitled Guts, Grits and Sand. The overarching theme of these stories was that men who count are the ones who do good. It is good to be an average Joe who works hard, remains faithful to his wife and children, and possesses the qualities of courage, honor and perseverance. He says, “Words like covenant, honor, perseverance, and loyalty are the hallmarks of these men. Our nation is stronger, more moral, and steadfast because of them (71).” While that may be true, it is not what I expected to hear from a Christian author writing a Christian book. Isn’t there something more to being a Christian man?
Meeder answers that question in a little more depth in Section Three entitled The Carpenter And The Wood. He uses his stories to point more towards being a man who does not find satisfaction in entertainment but in God. He cites more Scripture for his appeal to men and in doing so presents a more compelling case. It still felt as if he could have gone deeper though in his appeal to average Joes to live a life worthy of the gospel.
The book had interesting stories and an important mission but did not go deep enough. I think readers would have been better served if Meeder would have relied more on what the Bible has to say to men about living average lives. From the book trailer I was also hoping that he would spend more time citing examples from the Bible of average Joes who were sold out for God.