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Two Bearded Preachers

Listen as Justin Larkin and Martin Bender talk about everything without researching anything! We discuss life, ministry, and family from a uniquely Christian perspective without getting all preachy. Like the Two Bearded Preachers facebook page and follow us on Instagram @twobeardedpreachers.
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Welcome to the Two Bearded Preachers home. Here you'll find our podcast and blogs as well as a few extras you won't see anywhere else.

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Apr 25, 2018
Martin W. Bender
 
A friend of mine asked me to read Powerful and Free: Confronting the Glass Ceiling for Women in the Church by Danny Silk. He was excited about the book, saying it would be impactful for me. I borrowed it and read it, mostly because I will likely want to place a book in his hand someday, but also because I’ve not read much on gender roles in the church written from the egalitarian position. I should have read another book.
 
I should warn everyone that I’m a complementarian when it comes to gender roles. I hold this position both within the church and the family, and to a lesser extent, society at large. My wife jokes that I’m a He-man Woman Hater like Spanky, Alfalfa, and Buckwheat. I don’t think that’s true but I’m sure some will label me seriously as such because I hold to a traditional view of gender differences. Silk’s book hasn’t changed my mind. In fact, it has solidified me more in the complementarian perspective.
 
Powerful and Free is by no means a scholarly treatment of the subject. It is an emotional appeal based on the experiences and opinions of the author. There is one chapter dealing with Paul’s writing about the role of women in the church and in the family. The author demonstrates a lack of consistency how he handles the English text as well as a laughable interaction with the original Greek. His argument is that because Paul says there is neither “male nor female” that all gender roles, even those he writes about, are null. Silk fails to interact with his primary text within its context and to tie it in with his other arguments. He handles Paul’s words with care like that of a chimpanzee driving a semi-truck.
 
I recognized when I started the book that the author was a Bethel devotee. I was not surprised that much of the work spoke of anointing and power and other such language rooted in that movement. It did surprise me that such high regard was given to a “word” received while the biblical text was treated in so shallow a fashion. Here is where I find my greatest difference with the author. When someone claims to have received divine revelation outside of the Scriptures, and in this case counter to it, I will err on the side of the text rather than some feller’s inwardly received word. Silk seems to go the other way.
 
Another issue I have with the book is its description of power. Power is always described in terms of authority and influence - usually in an institutional setting. This seems to be a rather masculine understanding. While the author does make clear the distinction between masculinity and femininity he fails to describe feminine power. In fairness, he comes close in chapter 7 while talking about Proverbs 31 but misses the opportunity and instead provides testimonials about women being empowered by their husbands to take leadership roles in business and the church. A biblical description of feminine power would be more helpful than examples of women in ministry positions.
 
At several points in the book, Silk comes close to espousing a complementarian position. This is because he recognizes the clear distinction between male in female both in the text as well as in his own experience. Despite this, he fails to see that an equal standing before God in Christ with regard to judgment is not the same thing as an equal standing in positions of authority in the church or family. He lacks a biblical anthropology and ecclesiology. As a result, seems to be influenced by secular, feminist views.
 
Never in Powerful and Free is there a reasonable description of those holding the complementarian view. He fails to interact with anyone holding the opposing position. I realize that a popular level book is not expected to deal extensively with the alternative view but gross mischaracterization, a charitable description of the author’s tone, is inappropriate. Silk should read Piper and Grudem’s Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to better understand the position he opposes.
 
I would also like to point out that making a comparison between the way biblical gender roles have been abused to the institution of slavery is dishonest. It is disrespectful to those harmed by slavery and misogyny.
 
Powerful but Free misses the mark in furthering the discussion in the complementarian/egalitarian debate in any meaningful way. It may serve as a starting point for those interested in the subject, but it fails to support the author’s position or level serious criticism to his opposition. I'd skip it.
 
 
Oct 31, 2016

Justin and Martin tell a spooky story that lacks consistency. Even narrative can be comforting which is why it is removed leaving only terror, turtles, and Dana playing the guitar. Enjoy.

Jul 4, 2016

Martin W. Bender

I find myself a little torn on what to blog about today. I feel like I should say something about the Fourth of July since its Independence Day and all, but I don’t really have a whole lot to say about it. Most of my thoughts on the subject are probably pretty obvious from the conversations I’ve had with Justin on faith and politics. So I’ll skip the whole patriotism and American evangelicalism discussion for now.

Another topic that interests me is the current debate on eternal functional subordination taking place in the blogosphere. The argument is essentially about whether Jesus’ subordination is an eternal position within the Trinity or if it is limited to the incarnation. My initial thoughts are that it is eternal because I hold to the impassibility of God. It seems that a change in position, whether functional or otherwise, would violate the concept of God never changing. I’ll probably write a little about it later after I have read more on the subject, but at first glance, it certainly seems Jesus eternally maintains a functionally subordinate position to the Father.

Lastly, I’m interested in talking a little bit about how Leia is doing in her work in China. As many of you know, Leia had the rare opportunity to go to China to teach conversational English for a few weeks. She’s just started and is having a good time with it thus far, but at the time of writing, she’s only had one day in the classroom. I hope to write a little about how she’s doing in a week or two since her absence is pretty heavy on my mind.

I’ll probably get to all these issues soon enough, but for right now I’m going to spend a little time with the kids before we run off to another Fourth of July party and then record and episode or two with Justin later on this evening.

May 4, 2016

Justin Larkin

Why do we learn how to read? Honestly I have never thought to ask that question. I have always loved reading. It has always been a major part of my life. I think that’s the reason I’ve never thought to ask that, because it’s is so essential to life.

Why do we learn how to read? Where do I begin? Lets just say it, reading is fundamental to function in today’s society. Reading develops the mind. Reading develops the imagination. Reading is the key to education. It is difficult to grow intellectually, psychologically, and spiritual without reading. It is the gateway skill that opens doors in life. It is the key to success in life.

It shouldn’t surprise us then that God has chosen the written word to communicate to us. By reading the Bible we can receive instructions to life. By reading the Bible we learn how to obey. By reading the Bible we get encouragement. By reading the Bible we can hear our Lord and Savior speak to us.

In ancient Israel, kings were instructed to copy down his own scroll of the law and to keep it with him to “read it all the days of his life so he may learn to revere the Lord his God.” This helped the kings stay humble, prevented them from turning from God, and ensured their reign for many generations. The kings who did this faithfully were proven to have ruled well. (King David and eight other kings of Judah) In other words, they had some measure of success.

Success doesn’t happen sitting in front of a TV. Maybe give your brain a little exercise tonight and pick up a book.

May 2, 2016

If you are a fan of satire and fads in Christianity head over to The Bald Prophet and read some of Shawn Smith’s articles. He deftly mixes pop culture, contemporary Christianity, and theology into delightfully funny articles. I’m pretty sure it’s all in good fun, but you can never be too sure. Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica.

Feb 6, 2016

The Two Bearded Preachers have moved to a new host in order to grow the show. You can still expect all the same great content with a complete backlog of older episodes. We hope you love it.

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