Review: The Masculine Mandate

Phillips, Richard D. The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men. Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2010.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

To put it simply and with exaggerate: every man should read this book. Pastor Richard Phillips has written a easy to read, yet powerfully convicting exploration of what it means to be a man. It doesn’t take much looking around at our culture today, even within our churches, to realize that manhood is in sorry shape.

Unlike many books on manhood, Phillips keeps things in balance (because he stays true to Scripture). You won’t be guilted because you missed son’s baseball game working late once, but neither does one get off the hook. Phillips brings a wrecking ball to our often hard hearts reminding us that our sin is the most serious threat to our families.

The book divides into two parts. In the first, Phillips goes to Scripture and expounds on God’s calling there to work and to keep. In the second section, the author unpacks what in means to live out our mandate to work and to keep in the various roles we find ourselves in – husband, father, friend, church member, etc. Throughout it all, Phillips remains grounded in Scripture and centered on the gospel to bring transformation in our lives.

Hands down, this is the best book on manhood I have read. I highly recommend it to ever man. Here is a little sample to whet your appetite.

I used to think that if a man came into my house to attack my wife, I would certainly stand up to him. But then I came to realize that the man who enters my house and assaults my wife every day is me, through my anger, my harsh words, my complaints, and my indifference. As a Christian, I came to realize that the man I needed to kill in order to protect my wife is myself as a sinner.

Jesus reminds us that when we stand before Him, the great issue of our lives will not be what achievements we compiled, what honors we won, or what riches we amassed, but how humbly we glorified God and served our fellow man day to day.


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