As I’ve wrestled with Scripture the past several years over the issue of manhood, Genesis 1-3 has remained foundational in the development of my theology of Christian masculinity. I find myself continually returning to this text in order to glean insights on God’s plan for redeemed manhood. It is my contention that an important feature of the narrative—one that provides insight into our calling as men—is the fact that Adam was with Eve during the entire time that Eve was tempted by Satan. Continue reading “Was Adam “With” Eve While She Was Tempted?”
According to Genesis 3, male passivity always leads to trouble for men and for women. When discussing biblical manhood, therefore, we often emphasize the need for men to shun their tendency toward passivity and embrace their God-given calling to pursue courageous intentionality in their homes, churches, places of work, and greater communities. For some guys, however, it is difficult to distinguish between meekness–an admirable and Christlike quality–and passivity. Continue reading “What's the Difference Between Meekness and Passivity?”
Rarely is humility exalted as a fundamental element of true leadership. Yet, despite what some popular leadership proponents may allege, an honest and discriminating look into contemporary business culture confirms what the Scripture proclaims: God is opposed to the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. Christian leaders, then, must make every effort to cultivate sincere humility for their task of leadership within the church an in other organizations they might oversee. Aiding in this endeavor is the goal of this article.
I recently pulled John MacArthur’s The Book on Leadership off my shelf to lend to a friend. As I thumbed through the pages, rereading underlined sentences and noting my nearly illegible comments in the margins, I was convicted by one passage in particular.
In his chapter, “How to Not Be Disqualified,” MacArthur emphasizes the need for spiritual leaders to remain disciplined in order to keep their personal and public life well-ordered and free from scandal. In the latter half of the chapter, MacArthur provides eight practices he has “found to be personally helpful to develop self-discipline” (154). Out of the eight, the one I found most challenging was his exhortation to “Find Ways to Be Edified than Merely Entertained.” MacArthur comments,
When you have time for rest and relaxation, do things that feed your soul rather than your carnal appetites. Listen to tapes of good preaching. Find music that uplifts and ennobles, rather than fills your mind with vanity and foolishness. Read a good book. Develop a hobby that has real value. Have an edifying conversation with someone you love.
This is a key component of true godliness. Give your private life to God. Devote yourself especially in your leisure time to the task of cultivating humility, holiness, and the fear of God.
A man’s ministry and leadership is developed or lost in the private hours. Sin flourishes in an undisciplined life where entertainment becomes the default. And a man who fails to cultivate holiness in his time-off will never move past spiritual mediocrity. Take heed and turn off the TV.
Pastors need to be courageous. Many of Paul’s exhortations to Timothy highlight this truth. Timothy, though sincere, gifted, and discipled by the most eminent of apostles, apparently lacked courage in some areas (II Timothy 1:7), and was perhaps even guilty of over-correcting and being too harsh with the way he instructed those who were not in step with the truth (II Timothy 2:24-26). Throughout the same letter Paul exhorts Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord (1:8), to correct opponents (2:24-25), to avoid religious hypocrites (3:6), and to preach the Word all the time—regardless of a presence or lack of popularity (4:3).