My favorite book on Christian masculinity is The Masculine Mandate by Richard Phillips. Last Friday I began leading a book study on it for the men in my congregation. Here are the study notes for the first two chapters (Chapter 1, Chapter 2) which provide an outline and summary together with the most important quotes. I hope it will encourage you to think about leading a similar study with your men’s group. Feel free to edit them, add to them, re-arrange them, etc., Whatever it takes to make them useful for your group. I’ll post subsequent chapters as I get to them. The book already has helpful discussion questions.
To give you a tester, chapter one answers the who, where, what, and how of biblical manhood.
- Who are we? Spiritual creatures (Gen. 2:7)
- Where did God put us? In a covenant (Gen. 2:8).
- What are we? Lords and servants (Gen. 1:28)
- How do we obey God? Work and keep (Gen. 2:15).
SUMMARY: “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.”
Chapter two develops the two words, “Work” and “Keep” found in Genesis 2:15.
“Work” means to cultivate whatever field God has placed us in, to bring forth good fruit in our workplace, in our church, and in our relationships.
“Keep” calls us to protect as a sword-bearer. We to make our “gardens” fruitful AND safe.
SUMMARY: “Our basic mandate as Christian men is to cultivate, build, and grow (both things and people), but also to stand guard so that people and things are kept safe-so that the fruit of past cultivating and nurturing is preserved.”
The Masculine Mandate by Richard Phillips.