Book Review: “Flight Plan: Your Mission to Become a Man”

Flight Plan
by Lee Burns & Braxton Brady
PDS Publishing, 2010

Obviously, I have little first-hand knowledge of the challenges that come with growing from a boy to a man, yet I am in charge of raising two boys who will all too soon be facing this transition. It is through those eyes that I eagerly read “Flight Plan: Your Mission to Become a Man.”

Written by Braxton Brady, the chaplain of Presbyterian Day School, and Lee Burns, headmaster of the same school, “Flight Plan” grew out of the curriculum of that school. The book is designed for boys age 12 and up. It offers Bible based instruction and reflection questions on many of the challenges facing teen boys.

What does it mean to be a man? “Every male becomes an adult, but not every adult male becomes, truly, a man. Growing into that man takes careful thought and planning. . . Man’s purpose in life is to glorify God in all he says and does.”

How does one do that? By making good decisions when it comes to friendships, dating, sex, family, and school and keeping one’s eyes and focus on God. Brady and Burns explore what it means to be a true friend, to actually love a girl (there is a wonderful list on what Christian girls wish guys knew!), to make discerning choices regarding music, books, and movies, and to maintain a good relationship with one’s family. They also cover the changes and challenges of puberty. They offer a wealth of good advice.

The only negative was in the handling of self-stimulation. They certainly condemn it, but acknowledge that it is likely to happen, and urge boys not to fear that this will cause God not to love them. While this is all true, in the Catholic tradition, these acts are sins and must be said in confession.

“Flight Plan” maintains that God has great adventures planned for men who follow Him. It encourages boys to trust in God and turn their lives over to them. I plan to have my boys read this book in a couple of years. Honestly, there are some men I know who I wish would read it as well. If all men lived by the principles in this book, the world would be a far better place.

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