Jun 7

A Former Tank Commander to the Men

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Books

Update: At least for now, The Masculine Mandate is available for free as an Amazon Kindle download.


Here’s a book to keep in mind for Father’s Day: The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men, by Rick Phillips. Phillips, a former tank commander and a careful student of God’s Word, has written a very fine book for men.

Here’s the publisher’s 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.

Jonathan Leeman offers this comment and brief description in his review of Phillips’ book:

At the risk of undermining the reader’s confidence in my objectivity, I have to admit that I have nothing negative to say about the book. I believe that it provides a compelling, balanced, and pastorally-wise picture of biblical manhood.

  • He captures why a biblical theology of work—a hot topic these days—should make distinctions between men and women.
  • He explains how a father should conceive of his parental role differently than a mother, and what it means to give your heart to your children before asking them to give theirs to you.
  • He discusses how a husband should labor to understand his wife before he can lead her well.
  • He tells men to befriend one another, not just over beer and football, but like Jonathan did when giving his royal robe to David.

Here are some pastoral plans I have for Phillips’ book:

  • Read it with a couple of men I’m discipling.
  • Request that it be placed on our church’s bookstall.
  • Recommend that it be added to the four or five books we ask couples to read in our newly-married small groups, which couples join for the first two years of marriage.
  • Apply some of his lessons in my own life, particularly his advice to be more deliberate about what kind of time I’m spending with my children (he advises four things: read, pray, work, and play).

This book, along with other books for men, is available at the Book Nook and on Amazon.