Archive for May, 2017

The Masculine Mandate

May 5, 2017

By Richard D. Phillips
2016 by Ligonier Ministries
220 pages

What does a former Army Tank Commander turn Theologian do when he wants to help men become better men, husbands, fathers, friends, and church leaders? He goes by the book. That book, of course, is the Bible. I believe all good theology begins in Genesis and that is where Phillips lays his foundation of what it means to be a man. God created both male and female in His image. God placed the man and the woman in the garden as the ultimate reflections of His glory. God gave to each joint stewardship over creation, but each was uniquely created to fulfill their assignments. It is in this job description that Phillips finds “the masculine mandate.” Men are to work and keep. We exercise our God-given influence by working (i.e. growing, increasing, building what God has assigned to us) and keeping (protecting and sustaining it).

This work/keep motif of the early chapters of Genesis extends to all areas of a man’s life. Men relate to God as both a servant (work) and lord (keep). Men relate to their wives, their children, their jobs, their church in the same way. Obviously, these garden assignments in Genesis one and two are impacted by the curse of sin in Genesis chapter three. This reality of our sinfulness and the sinfulness of others makes fulfilling the masculine mandate that much harder, but men must not shirk their responsibilities.

Phillips does an excellent job of bringing Scripture to bear on the masculine mandate. He writes in an engaging and understandable style. There are thirteen chapters which can be easily used in a group setting, but this book is also valuable to individuals. I highly recommend the book.