Saturday, March 10, 2012

"The Masculine Mandate" Book Review

Richard D. Philips has done the world a great service by writing this book.  While many "men's" books cover all kind of masculine topics, Mr. Philips begins where any discussion should begin - the Bible.  This is a gospel primer on men.  Opening up Genesis and showing his readers how God formed man in the garden to "work" it and "keep" it, we see a true picture of the kind of men God has made.  Written in two major sections, the first section of the book helps us "Understand the Mandate" given to men by God.  In this section he explores the topics of "working" and "keeping" based on Genesis 2:15, these two words define for us how a man fulfills his mandate.  Ultimately, by fulfilling these two tasks we fulfill our complete God-given purpose - to glorify God.  "That is the Masculine Mandate: to be spiritual men placed in real-world, God-defined relationships, as lords and servants under God, to
bear God’s fruit by serving and leading."

The third chapter on work was very enlightening.  Being one who quite often hates his job, this chapter made me reflect hard on what I do and my attitude about it.  This chapter really caused me to re-evaluate my perspective on work and I was shown from a biblical point of view that I was wrong.  The scriptures Mr. Phillips uses reproved, corrected, and trained me towards biblical exegesis of work.  This was very rewarding.

The second section of the book deals more in the praxis of manhood.  Topics that are covered are marriage, fatherhood, friendships, and servant-hood in the church. The section on marriage seems to blow a fresh wind up on this age old doctrine.  We may have heard all there is on this subject, but Mr. Phillips does men a great service by reminding us in fresh language this mandate and its importance. 

The section on fatherhood reminded me some of Ted Tripps book Shepherding a Child's Heart.  If fact Mr. Tripp's book is referenced a few times.  Mr. Phillips has a very godly way of looking at fathering, much like Ted Tripp.  A view that is not shared by most modern parenting books, even the ones in Christian bookstores.  I say this as a compliment to Mr. Phillips and Mr. Tripp.  These men are godly-men who know the Bible and come at it this topic in a bibilcally strong fashion. 

The book contains group questions which I found to be very encouraging.  This caused me to begin to think about how I could use this book as a manual in my church.  I appreciate this addition to the book.  It makes the book relevant and applicable, and not just all theory.

I would encourage anyone to grab this book and take a read. 

This book was given to me by Reformation Trust in exchange for my fair review. 

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