Dan Doriani, vice president of strategic academic initiatives and professor of theology at Covenant Theological Seminary, is well-known for his book, The Life of a God-Made Man (2001). This year, Doriani released a new version of the book with a special consideration for issues that werent as prevalent 15 years ago. ByFaith asked him about the updated book.
What did you want to address in The New Man: Becoming a Man After Gods Heart that you didnt cover in the earlier book?
I noticed that in mens literature, and in Christian literature as a whole, theres extremely low interest in the physical body. If you do a search on the body, what youll find is the body of Christ, the church as the body of Christ, incarnation of Jesus, and then a lot on sex. I wanted to write a couple of chapters on food and drink, sleep and exercise, and caring for your body. In a way, the book explores the implications of the incarnation and the resurrection of Christ for embodied existence.
I also added short chapters or discussions on topics that are pressing today, for example the legal status of marriage in the West, pornography, and a discussion on becoming a father because so many people now choose to be childless.
Being a godly man is not a list of things to do. It is knowing Christ and being conformed to Him.
How would you say this book is different from other books on Christian manhood?
Most books for men are loaded with to-do lists. Five ways to be a better husband. Six ways to be a better father. Seven ways to be a better worker. Eight ways to be a better friend. Nine steps to financial security. Whatever. This book tries to communicate that being a godly man is not a list of things to do. It is knowing Christ and being conformed to Him.
What particular lies are men today tempted to believe? And how do you address those lies in the book?
One of the big lies is that What I accomplish is who I am. Another is: If I follow certain rules, Ill be a good man. You can have all of the rules right and still not live a life thats faithful or fail to be a good husband. One of the most prevalent lies in our culture is so subtle that often we dont hear it the lie of expressive individualism: My life is good if I am growing as a man and expressing my identity, finding myself. But thats not the essence of life. The essence of life is knowing God and being conformed to Christ by His Spirit. We think, We will be real men when we develop who we are. But we also develop who we are by accepting where God has placed us (1 Corinthians 7).
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