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Biblical manhood exhibited in the lives and leadership of three Civil War generals

December 13, 2012

By Jeff Robinson

Biblical manhood is often easier written about than acted out. What does biblical manhood look like? We read the imperatives of the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 16:13-14 seem clear: “Be watchful. Stand firm in the faith. Be strong. Act like men. Let everything you do be done in love.” God’s man is lion hearted. He is lamb-like. He is like our Lord Jesus Christ. But what does that look like in the heat of battle?

With his unique and insightful teaching series “Christian Manhood Illustrated,” author, speaker and pastor Harry L. Reeder III provides men and their sons a compelling look at manhood under duress in the lives of three well-known Civil War generals: Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from the South and Joshua Chamberlain from the Union army. Reeder unpacks 1 Cor. 16:13 through the battlefield and real-life heroics of three men who differ profoundly in temperament and personality, but three men who were driven by a rock-ribbed faith in Christ.

The six-part series examines the character of a Christian man, the two virtues of Christian manhood, the five traits of Christian manhood and the indispensable doctrine of Christian manhood on six CDs.

On the character of a Christian man, Reeder demonstrates through the lives of his historical heroes how a man’s true character emerges during times of duress:  when a man is squeezed, what is on the inside comes out. Chamberlain, Lee and Jackson developed Godly habits through a deep commitment to private devotion and corporate worship, habits that became default-settings for leadership of their respective troops on and off the battlefield. These men serve to demonstrate Reeder’s maxim, “circumstances do not dictate your character, they reveal it and provide opportunity to refine it.”

Reeder serves as pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Birmingham, Ala., is author of several books, a conference speaker and regular contributor to various evangelical periodicals and journals such as Tabletalk. He is also one of America’s foremost historians of the Civil War. The CDs are available for $19.99 through the Briarwood Christian Bookstore by phone at 205-776-5210. The addresses are part of biblical manhood conference

Reeder’s series makes an excellent study for fathers and sons to do together. My 10-year-old son and I have been listening to them in the vehicle and then discussing them over the past few weeks. He is a homeschooler studying the Civil War period this year in history, so it has provided an opportunity for him to learn about both a critical moment in the history of our country and, more importantly, about the virtues of biblical manhood.

(Jeff Robinson, Ph.D., serves as elder of preaching and pastoral vision of Philadelphia Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. He is also editor of Gender Blog.)

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