Tuesday, July 04, 2017

An Interview with Zeke Pipher about "The Wild Man" and "Wild Mountain Tribe"

It's a privilege to have Zeke Pipher of The Wild Mountain visit the blog today and answer some questions about his excellent new books The Wild Man and Wild Mountain Tribe which just came out last month (enter our contest to win a free set for yourself).


Matt: Tell us about yourself and your family. Who is Zeke Pipher and how did you come to write this book?

Zeke: I was transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ in 1990, during my sophomore year in college. I’m an EFCA pastor and author from central Nebraska. I’ve been married to Jamie since 1997, and together we have three children who are in the throes of junior high and high school. Those are the most important things about me. Some lesser important things I could mention are—I’m fanatical about hunting and fishing, I have absolutely no golf game, I love to butcher meat and chop vegetables, I just bought a motorcycle jacket to go with my newest hobby, I contribute to several national hunting magazines, and most of my books have been geared toward men and boys.

The Wild Man fable came from someplace deep inside me. One of my strongest desires is to be a faithful husband, father, and friend. A couple years ago, when my son, Aidan, turned twelve, I felt an awesome responsibility to pass on a concrete vision of manhood. I decided to write a story for him to provide him images of strong, courageous, faithful masculinity. Many men today are looking to society (celebrities, sports figures, politicians) to give them a definition of masculinity; my hope is to show Aidan through these two books how the Scriptures and his conscience can provide the direction. The Wild Man fable provides the vision of masculinity, and the Wild Mountain Tribe guidebook helps men—young and old—have conversations about how to live it out.

Matt: Why is The Wild Man a fable?

Zeke: I chose to write a fable because the genre fit my message perfectly. Fables are timeless, tapping into ideas that transcend any one culture. When we discuss masculinity, we are talking about ancient values that find their origin in the person of God and the order and nature of His creation. There are unique ways that each culture exhibits masculinity, but there are clear, timeless qualities that define it. These qualities are best exhibited in Jesus, “the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15).” I chose to write The Wild Man as a fable so that I could illustrate the timeless qualities God has built into the idea of being a man.

Matt: What are you hoping to accomplish by publishing The Wild Man and Wild Mountain Tribe?

Zeke: There are few things I desire more than to see older men – fathers, grandfathers, mentors, and father-figures – teach younger men how to be strong, courageous, and faithful to Christ. It saddens me how many times I’ve heard fathers and grandfathers say, “I’ve dropped the ball when it comes to my son/grandson.” It breaks my heart for that older man. It makes me sad for the younger man. And it grieves me for our society. Everyone in a community benefits when men—young and old—are strong, courageous, self-sacrificing, humble, and justice-seeking. We are experiencing a crisis in our America surrounding issues of sexuality, gender, end of life, beginning of life, finances, and our stewardship of creation. When men are faithful to Christ as men, including in how they pass on a vision for masculinity, everyone in society wins. I wrote these two books to help men be the “image and glory of God (1 Cor. 11:7b) as faithfully as possible.

Matt: Where did you get the idea for the “Ancient Symbol of the Deep Masculine” (from The Wild Man)?

Zeke: That symbol is the ancient Chi Rho christogram that the early church used to represent Christ. It is formed by the first two Greek letters of the word Christos, the chi and the rho. I chose that symbol because it is a way of connecting the fable and its presentation of masculinity to the person of Christ. All the qualities and characteristics of masculinity find their origin and perfect expression in Jesus, and so I wanted the “Ancient Symbol of the Deep Masculine” to direct the reader back to Jesus.

Matt: In addition to The Wild Man, you wrote a 14-week guidebook called, Wild Mountain Tribe. What is that guidebook for, and who is it for?

Zeke: Men often have the right heart and desires, but struggle to have deep conversations over important subjects. I wanted to help fathers, grandfathers, mentors, and father-figures have some of the most vital conversations with the young men in their lives. Churches, men’s groups, college ministries, and families can use Wild Mountain Tribe as a resource. The fable will help cast a vision, and the guidebook will help men see how to live it out.

Matt: What word of encouragement would you want to leave any dads who are reading this interview?

Zeke: Fatherhood is one of the most noble, challenging, and rewarding endeavors God has given us. To do it well, we’ve got to be intentional. We must spend time with our children, and we must have the right conversations and experiences with them. This isn’t easy. The best fathers in the world struggle with discouragement and uncertainty at times. One of my hopes for us older men as we use The Wild Man and Wild Mountain Tribe to teach young men to be faithful is that we never feel alone. We have an enemy who knows our souls well, and knows that if he can make us feel isolated, he’s got us on the ropes. We are not isolated. We are a part of a tribe of faithful men that stretches back to the first family God created. My hope and prayer is that you take your roles as a father, grandfather, mentor, and father-figure seriously. And as you do, I pray that you feel us—the greater tribe of faithful men—cheering you on in your journey.

Matt: Thanks, Zeke, for your time in this interview, but even more for writing this book. I pray that it blesses thousands of men and soon-to-be-men and their families.

Our giveaway contest ends Thursday at 11:59pm.


Great concept. Thanks for the interview Matt.