Dr. Russell Moore on Biblical Manhood

russell-mooreDr. Russell D. Moore has served as the Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Seminary since January of 2004. Dr. Moore is also a preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, where he ministers weekly.

Dr. Moore writes frequently on topics such as theology, ethics, and the Christian life for various publications, including Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity, for which he is a senior editor.

He has written books such as The Kingdom of Christ: The New Evangelical Perspective and a forthcoming volume, Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches. Prior to entering the ministry, he was an aide to U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor.

Brent Nelson, teaching pastor at Five Points Community Church,  introduces Dr. Moore as a “David-like” character who combines the qualities of boldness and tenderness in his ministry and life work.

Genesis 2:15-24

Several years ago I was talking to a group of men who were thinking about whether God was calling them into the ministry – the pastorate, the mission field, or some form of service to Christ in the church. Some of the questions you ought to ask to determine if you are called to ministry:

1. Are you in a marriage that will prohibit you from doing ministry well? God is calling you to a life of unpredictablity. Do you have a wife that is willing to go anywhere?

Men complain about a lack of submissiveness in their wives when fundamentally the problem is a lack of leadership from the men.

It is very difficult to get an objective view of what it means to be a man and a woman because we are influenced by observing the men in our lives and the way in which the culture presents these roles.

We must allow the word of God to correct our understanding about the roles and design of men and women because the gospel is at stake.

There is a design and an order to the roles of men and women that is part of the fabric of the universe. The Scripture tells us what it means to be a godly woman or a godly woman.

[The power just went out here., WIthout missing a beat, Dr. Moore said, “Satan is a Feminist!”]

1. The Identity of the Man as an Earth Creature:

He has a name: Adam, a name the means, literally, mud. God is making you out of the ground. God breathed his Spirit into dirt. He forms Adam out of the dirt because Adam will work and tend the ground.

We have an unbiblical view of Eden. We think that Adam and Eve are lazing around feeding each other grapes. That’s not what’s happening in Eden. God is saying to Adam, “I want you to work the garden, cultivate it, keep it, and bring forth fruit.”

There is something within a man that is directed toward the ground – to produce, to provide and protect.

To provide and to protect is essential to what it means to be a man. When you have an absence of labor, that cuts at the core of who you are as a man.

It is an issue of leadership. A man is called to be a leader. There is no division in Scripture between wisdom and morality. If in your life you have a life that is falling to pieces because of poor decisions, that is a spiritual issue – of whether you are walking toward Christ-likeness or away from Christ-likeness.

Adam is to work the ground specifically for the task of his wife and offspring that God gives to him. One of the reasons why men find themselves in an adulteress sexual relationship is because they are seeking the illusion of being single again, free from the burden and responsibilities of a wife and children.

We have not been spending years in our church training young men and boys for the joy of what it means to provide for and protect a covenant wife and children. Do we spend time praying with our four year old sons about what their wife will be?

Adam is also a teacher. Even before the creation of the woman, God gives the instruction about eating to Adam. God is training Adam to be not only a leader, but a discipler of his wife and children. Every man is called to teach and instruct the gospel to the people God has put in your life. You are called to be teachers and instructors of the word of God.

Often our attempts at family worship are disasterous because we think it has to be a big somber event. Family worship is about sitting at the table, and talking about ordinary things in the light of the gospel.

In our culture manhood is so confused it leads either to a hypermasculinity – a kind of violence – or to a passivity in which you are constantly at that whim of events taking place in your life.

2. Eve is called Woman – her relationship from the very beginning is with the man. She is called Eve because she is seen in relationship with the man in her nurturing of children.

Eve is in need here of not just provision, but also protection. Eve is not called to work the ground. She is not called to provide. She is called to nurture, not because she is inferior to the man.

The woman cannot be put in a position of being a warrior/provider for her family.

We live in a culture that does not recognize the beauty and the glory of the nurturing aspect of the woman. Therefore, women today are seen today in relation, not to a man, but to men. Women are being used in order to appeal to men generally; to submit to men generally.

Eve is being prepared and given to her husband and to her husband alone to be protected and provided for.

In the background of this text is the Satanic distortion of these two roles.

The difference between men and women is not just circumstanial. Satan despises what manhood and womanhood are about. He wants to destroy you at the root of what it means to be a man and a woman.

How does he do this? He creates a situation in which you don’t know what is going on. Men who believe themselves to be leading who are not leading, and women who believe themselves to be submitting who are not submitting. When you have a situation in which you have a marriage where a man is being led by his wife, the issue is so catastrophic because of what man has designed a man for – to provide and protect. If the Satanic powers twist a man’s vocation in which he no longer sees himself as provider or protector, the woman will pick up the slack – she leads in some way in that home. That’s dangerous because you have in many Christian marriages men who are being nurtured by their wives.

In the beginning this will seem normal, because God designed women to nurture and men enjoy being nurtured. But this is a twisting of God’s ultimate design for manhood and womanhood. Women are designed to follow and respect leadership. When that leadership is not provided, she will resent it and you will come to resent her.

The first step to repairing this is a recognition that this is not the way it is supposed to be. Men must love their wives, lead their families, and disciple their children. Men need to repent of placing the burden of leadership on their wives.

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