I’ve read a lot of books for men and I have to say this one would be in my top five. I was disappointed that the author takes a shot at what I consider to be one of the best – if not the best – book for Christian men written in the past 10 years (Wild at Heart), but other this minor distraction I found the book very good. Unlike Wild at Heart, which in many ways explores some of the psychology behind why men are the way we are, The Masculine Mandate follows a much more familiar path in its outlook. He sets for this thesis in the beginning of the book and then spends several chapters talking about how men should act (3 as husbands, 2 on raising children, 1 on being a friend, and 1 on work).
Overall, though I found his foundation to be fairly strong. Phillips bases his entire view of how men should live on his understanding and interpretation of God’s original command to man in the garden to “work and keep” the world God gave us. Phillips expands on this original command to “work and keep” and applies it to the major areas in a man’s life: marriage, child-rearing, relationships with others, and work. He makes no apologies for his very traditional and conservative views and backs everything up by going back to the original mandate given in the early parts of Genesis.
As with just about every book I read I can’t say I agree with Phillips 100% of the time (just as I don’t agree with Eldredge 100% of the time in Wild at Heart). Still, there was more in the book I agreed with than not, and it was much better written than many books out there on the topic of the “Christian man”. Personally I think you need to read Eldredge’s work first (to have a better understanding of why men do/act/think the way they do) and then move on to to this book to understand some of the how of what should be expected of men. Overall, I’ll give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book free from Ligonier Books as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Cross posted on Reflections of a Christian Daddy