Book Notes | Manhood Restored

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Every Saturday I share some notes from a book I just read. To see some past ones, click here. This week’s book is one I used for my sermons for Revolution Church’s Fight series. It’s Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole by Eric Mason.

Here are some things that stood out from my reading:

  1. Most of the devolution of our contemporary culture can be traced directly to the brokenness of men today. Whether the issue is faithfulness, crime, poverty, or a myriad of other social ills; at the core is the failure of men to become what God has created them to be.
  2. If the saga of a nation is the saga of its families written large, then the saga of a family is the saga of its men written large.
  3. Our gender continues to be steeped in a crisis of identity—genocide, self-preservation, spiritual anemia, role disillusionment, absence, perpetual adolescence, and emotional immaturity. We are deeply deficient in understanding and practicing how to relate to God and others in a healthy way.
  4. Whereas we were created to represent God’s reign in creation, we continue to invent ways to deepen our separation from God by rejecting Him in every area of our lives.
  5. We need fathers, and we’re only going to be fathers to our children when we see that true fatherhood is rooted and defined in God the Father.
  6. relationship is the most compelling factor driving what it means to be made in the image of God.
  7. There was much more wrapped up in that piece of fruit in the garden than just a bad decision. With sin, there always is. We talk ourselves into thinking that sin is just a bad choice; it’s not. It’s much deeper than that for us, just as it was for Adam.
  8. Instead of responsibility, representation, and relationship, things like chauvinism, violence, passivity, insecurity, and addiction would characterize generation after generation of men in a continually increasing way.
  9. As men, we must not become lethargic in our vigilance against things that would attempt to destroy manhood.
  10. Daddy issues have been a cross-ethnic, cross-socioeconomic, cross-generational problem that doesn’t discriminate.
  11. At the center of the father’s responsibility was the spiritual leadership that he exercised under the headship of Yahweh. This leadership would permeate every single area of the family’s life and function. Though fathers were to execute this role in partnership with the mother, the primary responsibility fell to the dad.
  12. As it is, though, young men are forced to wing it when it comes to manhood. This lack of clear expectations and standards has contributed to the crime rate, unemployment, depression, sexual confusion, and family decay. But if we are to have a return to some kind of cultural standard for fatherhood, it can only come through God, expressed through His people.
  13. So central is God’s role as Father those transformed through the gospel of Jesus Christ that one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to make sure believers know God as Father (Rom. 8:15–16). The Holy Spirit encourages us to relate to God as Father.
  14. Jesus is the means by which everything will be restored. Though the Bible has much to say about the subject of restoration, most of the uses of this word are connected to Jesus in both the Old Testament and New. Because of Adam’s sin, Jesus will restore all things for the Father.
  15. Restoration is the act of returning something to its original state. The Bible has a slightly different take on the word, because sometimes when it speaks of restoration, it is not returning something to an original state, but to a state it has not been in before. In either case, though, restoration is about being in an originally intended state—it’s about God’s holy intention for it.
  16. In a sense, this restoration is already fully accomplished by Jesus. The cross makes it a done deal. Through the cross, we have been fully reconciled to God in Christ, and our restoration is therefore a present reality: “For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life!” (Rom. 5:10). The greatness of the cross cannot be overstated. Through His death and resurrection, Jesus has restored all things. And yet this restoration is not yet fully realized. So Jesus is also restoring all things.
  17. Jesus has restored all things. Jesus is restoring all things. And gloriously, we are confident that Jesus will restore all things.
  18. Most men, if they’re honest, have something about themselves they want changed. Whether it is a physical feature or simply the kind of clothes they can afford to wear, men typically think that if something on the outside changes something on the inside will naturally follow. If we had the right suit, we would be more confident. If we had the perfect physique, we would feel more complete. See the problem? We assume that real change comes from outside in; it does not. Transformation goes the other direction, from the inside out. When men can avoid the mistakes of over individualization and unrealistic expectations, they can begin to experience this kind of true transformation. True transformation—real, long lasting, life change—is an overhaul of the soul first and foremost.
  19. This was one of my first encounters with sexuality. And because my first contact was a fallen one, I would need Jesus to reboot me and then teach me God’s viewpoint of sexuality.
  20. Most men’s first encounter with sex is a perverted one. Whether it was molestation, rape, porn, or playing doctor, many of us have had our “innocence” disturbed. As if being born as a sinner into a sinful world wasn’t enough, it is as easy as a couple of clicks on a keyboard for a young boy to move even further down the road of sexual corruption. When we look across the over-sexed landscape of our culture, there is something inside us that cries out, “It’s not supposed to be this way!” That’s entirely true. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
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