I always find it interesting to pay attention to trends within Christian publishing. As certain ideologies appear within wider society or as certain questions are brought to the surface, the publishing industry inevitably responds with books on the subject. In the past couple of years, we have seen a good number of titles dealing with masculinity. And no wonder, for masculinity is now hotly debated.
Fuller’s burden in this book is to provide a positive vision of masculinity—to offer an answer to the question “What kind of man does God want you to be?” A good answer will necessitate setting aside the cultural assumptions of the 20th century as much as the 21st and instead allowing the Bible to guide us in its timeless way. And Fuller does this through seven principles “that describe a biblical, healthy, confident, helpful masculinity.”
The first of these is “men and women are different (but don’t exaggerate).” From the inner person to the outer, it is clear that God has created men and women to be different from one another, even as they share a common humanity. The second principle is “take responsibility.” Though men and women have much in common, God has assigned certain responsibilities to men and he means for them to embrace these. Though this is most often displayed in marriage, there are other ways in which men need to grab hold of their God-given responsibilities.
Next is “be ambitious for God.” Men are tempted to aim their God-given ambition at power or video games or sexual conquests, but God has something better for them. Men are to be ambitious in life, ambitious in work, and ambitious in godliness.
At the end of all this, being a godly man means “taking responsibility to lead, being ambitious for God’s kingdom, using your strength to protect the church and serve others, investing in friends, and raising ‘sons’.” Men who commit themselves to this kind of life will be displaying God’s design and living out God’s purpose.
At a time when confusion about masculinity reigns within the church as well as without, I am grateful for books like this that offer clarity—clarity grounded in the infallible, inerrant, timeless, and culture-transcending Word of God. I trust it will help many men live in a way that is confidently, biblically, and definitively masculine.