Chanski says there are essentially two types of Christian men: those who, like the purple number four ball, get passively knocked around the table by the other pool balls, and then there are those who are like the cue stick; they do the knocking around.
What do biblical manhood and billiards have in common?
Mark Chanski says there are essentially two types of Christian men: those who, like the purple number four ball, in life’s circumstances get passively knocked around the table by all the other pool balls, and then there are those who are like the cue stick; they do the knocking around.
In his new book Manly Dominion in a passive-purple-four-ball world (Calvary Press, 2004), Chanski calls Christian men who are prone to pusillanimity to reclaim the biblical roles to which God has called them in the home, the church, the workplace and all of creation.
In the opening chapters, Chanski, pastor of Reformed Baptist Church of Holland, Mich., since 1994, analyzes the unbiblical mindset into which many Christian men have fallen. Many men have embraced the pathetic victim mentality that so thoroughly pervades our modern-day, therapeutic culture, and in so doing, they have abdicated their roles as husbands, fathers, churchmen, laborers in the marketplace, decision makers, and as, well, just plain men, he asserts.
This ethos has left men anemic and paralyzed–unwilling to assert authority in the many spheres in which God has called them to do so, he argues. Chanski compares these men to the purple four ball in the game of pool which is passive and exists merely to be pushed into a corner pocket by the one wielding the cue stick.
Chanski is not calling men to a chest-thumping Neanderthal ideal of manhood; rather, he points out that God has called man to exercise dominion over creation in the early chapters of the Bible. He shows that this is a mandate that serves as a foundational principle for authentic biblical masculinity.
“Man is to aggressively dominate his environment, instead of allowing his environment to dominate him,” Chanski writes. “I am not to be a passive-purple four-ball! I am rather to be a stick-carrying player! In the spheres of my life, I must subdue and rule, and not permit myself to be subdued and ruled.
“We have been commissioned by God to go out and aggressively assert ourselves as masters over every realm of our lives. I have not been assigned to stare out my bedroom, living room, or office widow, passively daydreaming about what I might do, if only there weren’t so many obstacles. Rather I am to get out there, so help me God, and plan it, clear it, and do it, with all my might, to the glory of God.”
Chanski’s work is rife with biblical exposition and gives scores of biblical examples of men of God who took their God-assigned dominion in every sphere. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul is one clear example, he says, but it is the Lord Jesus Christ who provides the ultimate example of one who exercises manly dominion to the nth degree in his life and atoning death.
“In the Lord Jesus Christ, the Christian finds his ultimate model for subduing and ruling over the opposing circumstances of our sin cursed world,” he writes.
“In Him, we find a hand to put over our mouths when we begin to spout rationalizations and blame-shiftings. In Him we find a holy rebuke to our every excuse for not doing our biblical duty in every difficult situation. In Him, we find a sacred reprimand to our cowardly claims of ‘I’m a victim, so I can’t.’”
Manly Dominion provides biblical insight the Christian man and his calling to action within vocational labor, husbanding, church leadership, child rearing, spiritual living, decision-making, and romance.
Manly Dominion as available through The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood webstore at https://www.cbmw.org/cgi-bin/store?show|535|Men.
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