The Witness

Manhood: Representation and Responsibility

The Witness

Recently, Pastor Eric Mason released his new book entitled Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole. I’m excited about this book and I intend to spread the word about it to every man I know. Dr. Mason has proven over the years that he is theologically sound and that he can be trusted.

Over the next few weeks, we will bring you excerpts from the book as well as a book review. If you’re a small group leader, teacher, pastor or father, consider purchasing Dr. Mason’s book and kit to read for yourself and share with the men the Lord has put in your life.

Excerpts from Manhood Restored by Dr. Eric Mason

As an image bearer, man was to reflect God’s heavenly reign on earth. In other words, man represents God by virtue of being in His image. In representing God, man was to glorify the God who created him.

This is an incredible responsibility. Both Genesis 1:28 and 2:15 describe this responsibility as the act of subduing and caring for creation. The general meaning of the verb in those passages appears to be “to bring under one’s control for one’s advantage.” In subduing creation, man is given the ability to use it for his personal benefit on God’s terms. In that light, the command in Genesis 1:28 might be paraphrased like this: “Harness its potential and use its resources for your benefit.” Since God would later create the woman to come along side the man in this task, it’s understood that they together would understand and embrace their role and pass this understanding onto their children.

The word care in Genesis 2:15 (NIV) carries a similar sense. The man is called “to work it and keep” (ESV) the garden. In essence, this responsibility was a job. Grudem states,

Immediately upon creating man in Genesis 2, God puts man to work, stewarding and ruling in the world that is God’s own creation. Man is given responsibil- ity to cultivate the garden, and man is called upon to name the animals. So, while the garden in which man dwells is God’s, God gives to man the responsibility to steward it. And, importantly, while the animals are God’s, God gives to man the right and responsibility to name them (note especially the statement in Genesis 2:19 that whatever the man called the living creature, “that was its name”).

Whenever we talk about this at Epiphany Fellowship, the women go crazy. They love hearing that the man got a job before he had a woman! Work was good in those days; more than good, in fact. Then and now, in a redeemed sense, work is a key part of who we are as men.

Man was called to subdue. And he was called to care. But he was also called to rule. In ruling they would serve as God’s vice-regents on Earth. This rule was not to be done with an iron fist. If humans were really going to reflect the image of God’s rule on their own, they would accept the responsibility of seeing to the welfare of that which is put under them and the privilege of using it for their benefit. Man would have led the effort in that he was the first created and the first to receive these instructions from the Lord (1 Tim. 2:13).

Eric Mason, Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2013), 7-9.

Note: The link above is directed to our Amazon Affiliate Store “The Book Shelf.” We encourage our supporters to buy from us. We don’t have something you want? Contact us and we will get if for you ASAP. If Amazon has it, we can get it. This is a great way to support RAAN at no extra cost to you.

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