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The Masculine Mandate: God's Calling to Men [Kindle Edition]

Richard D. Phillips
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)

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Book Description

There is a crying need in the church today for men to be men. But competing visions for what a man is to be some growing out of popular culture and others arising from flawed teaching in the church are exacerbating the problem. Richard Phillips believes it is possible to cut through all of this confusion by consulting the Bible. Only in the pages of Scripture, he asserts, can men find a clear explanation of their God-given roles as leaders, husbands, fathers, and churchmen.

Beginning in Genesis, Phillips shows that God commissioned Adam to work and tend the Garden of Eden. In these twin tasks, he perceives a template for manhood, one that, when carried out with diligence, provides dignity to men, service to mankind, and glory to God. He then goes on to show that men are called to lead, to love their wives, to discipline their children, and to serve the church of Jesus Christ. Here is biblical exposition of the most practical sort teaching that reveals not only what men are to think but what they are to be.

Editorial Reviews


Egalitarian and chauvinistic thinking have corrupted our ideas about godly manhood. With boldness of heart and pastoral wisdom, Rick Phillips leads us back toward biblical manhood- masculinity grounded in the cultural mandate, the cross, an the ordinary means of grace. May men of the church answer the call of this mandate to stand up and be counted, and to live out their faith courageously as workers, protectors, nurturers, and leaders for Christ. --Eric C. Redmond: Senior Pastor, Reformation Alive Baptist Church, Temple Hills, Md. Author, Where Are All the Brothers? Straight Answers to Men's Questionas about the Church

In the face of the widespread confusion in our culture, Rick Phillips lays out the biblical mandate for men to work and keep the world around us. This book carefully avoids stereotypes and legalistic rules, while unfolding with clarity and practical simplicity the biblical vision of men as individuals and in relationships to other men, to our wives and children, and to the church of Jesus Christ. I learned much from this book and look forward to sharing it with my sons. --Iain M. Duguid: Professor of religion Grove City College, Grove City, PA.

About the Author

Richard D. Phillips is the senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Greenville, S.C., and he also serves on the board of directors for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He has written numerous books including What's So Great About the Doctrines of Grace, Jesus the Evangelist, Holding Hands, Holding Hearts, and The Reformed Expository Commentary: Hebrews.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1219 KB
  • Print Length: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Reformation Trust Publishing (January 29, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003AU5DRM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,729 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 196 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unbalanced September 19, 2011
While greatly benefiting from Richard Phillip's fine exposition of The Fourth Gospel as it applied to Christ's Gospel witness in his book Jesus The Evangelist, I was quite disappointed in his topical treatment of God's design for men in The Masculine Mandate.
After laying down a theological foundation in the first 5 chapters, based primarily upon Genesis 2, the author then addresses the practical implications in chapters 6 through 13. This section of the book contains many solid truths and wonderful practical applications on being God's man in roles as a marriage partner, father, friend and servant in the local church.

The problem is within chapter 6 where he attempts to convince his readers that marriage is paramount to Godly Manhood. In my view, the title of the book should be properly changed to: The Masculine Mandate for Married Men. The author needs to drop all those extra biblical imperatives to single men in chapter 6. Instead of addressing singleness in an extremely marginal and biased way, he should have left this subject to another treatise or author.

Here are some quotes from the author and my take on them:
"it is imperative for your well being that you be married, to move beyond the "not good" status of single adulthood" (pg59).
This entire presentation in chapters 7 through 13 is based upon the false assumption that marriage is the foundation in becoming God's man.

"And the first step for many of us in becoming the men God wants us to be is to become married, so that we will leave behind our selfish ways and begin fulfilling our masculine calling through our relationship with our wives." (pg64)
He has this wrong, we should leave behind our selfish ways before marriage.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Biblical and Helpful January 29, 2010
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."

Men today, like Adam in Genesis chapter 2, are called to "work" and "keep." "God put Adam in the garden `to work it and keep it' and the only difference between Adam's calling and ours lies in the details of how we seek to fulfill it." What are some of the areas where men are called to be workers and keepers? The author concentrates on five: employment, marriage, children, friends, and the church.

Men have the responsibility to work hard to glorify God through employment. They are to be good husbands, loving their wife "as Christ loved the church." They are to be godly fathers who both disciple and discipline their children. They are to be friends to the men whom God has put in their lives. And they are to serve and lead in the church.

Though all are good and helpful, my favorite chapters are the two that deal with a man's responsibility toward his children: "To Work: The Discipling of Children," and, "To Keep: The Discipline of Children.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biblical, masculine, a must read! January 22, 2011
In Chapter 1, "Man in the Garden," Phillips begins with Genesis 2 as the foundational chapter in Scripture to describe four essential things about man. First, man is a spiritual creature, uniquely created with "hands-on" care. Second, man was "put in the garden, into the world of covenantal relationships and duties, in order to gain and act out his God-given identity there." Third, man was put in the garden to be a lord and servant. Fourth, man was to obey God by working and keeping. In 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 2, "The Masculine Mandate," introduces us to the masculine mandate of working and keeping. To "work" is to cultivate, build, and grow. Whereas to "keep" is to protect, stand up to, and keep safe all that the Lord has put under our care.

In Chapter 3, "Man's Sacred Calling to Work," Phillips develops a good biblical purpose of work. Since we are made for work, "we are able to enjoy work and find a significant part of our identity in it. In fact, as we keep work in proper balance, retaining our primary identity in Christ, God wants us to invest significant passion in our work and find true meaning in it." Phillips provides helpful questions and expands on them to consider regarding our work:
* Does this work glorify God?
* Does it benefit my fellow man?
* Do I consider myself called to this work, or can I at least do it well and find enjoyment in that?
* Does it provide material needs?
* Does it permit me to lead a godly and balanced life?
The author then ends the chapter on what it looks like to please the Lord in our work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent Book
Published 18 days ago by Terri Robblee
5.0 out of 5 stars Act Like a Man
Fantastic book that looks at masculinity totally from the whole Biblical story. This book give clear scriptural support to how men are to live life. Read more
Published 21 days ago by william weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Excellent Book. Half way through.. But I did not appreciate the author's attitude on "Wild at Heart". Read more
Published 24 days ago by Eun M. Namkung
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is a great book for any man to read, the sooner the better. It was both encouraging and convicting. Phillips writes with wisdom and authority on such an important topic. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars Best book of this kind I have read. Doctrinally sound.
I received a free copy of "The Masculine Mandate" by Richard Phillips a week or so back from Ligonier Ministries. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rev-Run
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading title. Not intended for singles!
One has a fair expectation when picking up a book called "The Masculine Mandate: God's Calling to Men" that it will be for MEN not just HUSBANDS/FATHERS. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M Vrba
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Good biblical instruction for men. Sound and practical instruction from scripture that is lost or disregarded in our current culture.
Published 3 months ago by PAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. A must for every father to hand ...
Great book. A must for every father to hand down to his son! This is who we were designed by God to be.
Published 3 months ago by mike kelley
4.0 out of 5 stars Men: Take Up and Read
I have read it a few times and have used it to disciple a number of young men. Insightful, winsome and challenging. Highly recommend.
Published 4 months ago by Ryan Boyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great perspective on manhood and the first 3 chapters of the Bible...
"The Masculine Mandate: God's Calling to Man" is an interesting and refreshing look at manhood and Christianity based on principles from the first three chapters in... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Charles Franklin
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More About the Author

Rick Phillips was raised in an Army family an grew up on posts around America. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he followed his father and grandfather by serving as a tank officer. While in graduate school in Philadelphia, his mother urged him to start attending church again, so Rick visited nearby Tenth Presbyterian Church. The message he heard that night changed his life, a sermon from the Old Testament book of Hosea about God's redeeming love for sinners through the cross of Jesus Christ. Surrendering his life to the love of Christ, Rick became active in Officer's Christian Fellowship during the years he was teaching leadership at West Point. He began leading a Bible study for students, then was asked to write a daily devotional, and then to preach at Christian meetings. Through these experiences, he and his wife concluded that God was calling Rick into a full-time pulpit ministry, so they left the Army and embarked on fulfilling God's call to the ordained ministry.

Rick tries the write the kind of books that have ministered so powerfully in his own life. Mainly, these are books of biblical exposition. His writing heroes are James M. Boice, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and similar writers of biblical teaching. Some of his books seek to provide clear biblical teaching to important matters of practical living, such as manhood and relationships. He is grateful to God for the privilege of ministering to so many people through his books, desiring above all that God's Word would be clearly, faithfully, and passionately set forth.

Dr. Phillips serves as senior minister of Second Presbyterian Church in downtown Greenville, SC. Previously, he pastored in Coral Springs, FL and Philadelphia, PA. He usually preaches morning and evening and his sermons can be heard on Sermon Audio and on the church website: (Live services are also available on video.) Rick frequently speaks at conferences on the Bible and theology and is active in overseas missions, especially in East Africa. In addition to his ministry duties, Rick likes to spend time with his wife and five children. He is a loyal follower of his alma mater, the Michigan Wolverines, and is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox.

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