Mar 4, 2010

Masculine Mandate Reviews

4 Min Read

“A Good, Needed Book”

Several bloggers have taken time to read and review the new release from Reformation Trust Publishing, The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men, by the Rev. Richard D. Phillips. We thought you might enjoy and perhaps benefit from some of their comments:

If you have read Rev. Richard Phillips’ earlier book, Jesus the Evangelist, you know that instead of developing his own theories, passing on worldly wisdom, or even quoting great theologians, he teaches straight from the Bible. His new book is no exception. There is almost enough Scripture in The Masculine Mandate for it to be called a commentary.

What is the masculine mandate? Phillips says that, “Rather than following the American stereotype of cold, macho masculinity, Christian men should seek to grow in their ability genuinely to bless others.” He points to this mandate in Genesis chapter 2, which “shows that God created man for a purpose. God ordained that Adam would bear His image both in his person and in his work, and God put Adam in the world to work it and keep it—to be a cultivator and a protector.” . . .

The Masculine Mandate has several strengths. The author is clear about where he stands on issues. He writes with authority. If men want to learn to be leaders, they need strong leaders. Richard Phillips fits that role. And he does so with humility. It’s clear where Phillips derives his authority. Nearly every idea is backed up by and flows directly from Scripture. There are few quotes from other books (only 25 total footnotes), but there are Bible passages on nearly every page (the Scripture index is four pages long). And Phillips has the gift of teaching and applying them. . . .

This is a good, needed book. I recommend it to men, young and old. And I plan to read it again. I’ve already identified several areas of manhood that I need to work on. In our culture, we have a messed up idea of what it means to be a man. We need books like this to point us back to what’s important.

—John Bird

The reader of The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men, will be pleasantly surprised to find a book on biblical manhood that does not simply explain the theology of biblical manhood, without telling us how to live it out. Part one is “Understanding Our Mandate,” while part two is “Living Our Mandate.”

Another thing that attracts me to this book is that it does not set out to define a man by the world’s definition of manliness, that is, an outdoorsman skilled in hunting and fishing; a builder; or some tough guy.

Taking his definition of masculinity from the Bible, Phillips explains who and what we are—spiritual creatures, lords, and servants who are made to obey the Lord. In contrast to Wild at Heart (the top book on manhood since 2001), Phillips explains that man does not find his identity in wilderness quests, which serve to satisfy the ego, but in the glory of God, which satisfies the soul.

Phillips offers eight practical chapters (preceded by five theological chapters), making this book a tremendous aid to men who may know their biblical calling, but struggle with living that calling out. These practical chapters include three on marriage, one on work, one on parenting, one on friendships, one on their work in the local church, and the last chapter on living as servant-disciples. Each chapter highlights the important topics of joy and grace. The book also offers a section at the end, which includes thought-provoking questions, making it suitable for men’s study groups or personal reflection.

Both the mature Christian man, as well as a beginning Christian man, will find this book helpful in personal growth. The Masculine Mandate will call you to be a real man in work, marriage, parenting, and church—all the subjects that we as men struggle with. . . . The Masculine Mandate is a far better gift for Father’s Day than a tie or a ride in a stock car.

—Brian Mann

This book surprised me, as I wasn't all that excited to read it. I (and I am sure others as well) have been told . . . that men are to lead in the church and at home. The reason I found this book to be refreshing is that not only is there a calling for men to lead, but Rev. Phillips takes the time to flesh out what it means to lead, and how we are to do so. . . .

I recommend this book to all men, in all stages of life. If you are single, than this book is important so that you might understand your current roles in church and in friendship, along with your future roles in a family. If you are recently married, I recommend this book that you might learn how to lead your wife, and if you have been married for a while, then I still recommend this book so that you might be reminded that you are the head, as Christ is the head of the church.

—David Dressler

The author did good research and presented his work in a very understandable format. I have already recommended this book to several friends. I appreciated the balance between theology and practical application. The author is a pastor who also happens to be a theologian. His church should be glad to have him as a pastor. If he practices what he preaches, his family, his church, and the community where he lives will be blessed. I hope this can be said of him: “I perceive a man of God has passed by here.”

This is a good book and well worth the time to read, study, and apply the material within it. There were times during the reading that I had to stop and pray. Sometimes they were prayers for forgiveness and sometimes they were prayers of praise. I have decided that this is one of the books I want my adult sons to read. There is much for any man to learn here. Well done, brother Phillips!

—Bill Mazey

Learn more about The Masculine Mandate.