Recently on The Rabbit Room, a discussion arose around the subject of Ron Block’s mustache (with attached beard.) This gave rise to an involved discussion in my head of theology and its relation to facial hair.
The question: Does facial hair enhance theology?Points in favor:
A) relative lack of female theologians
B) Prevalence of bearded theologians
C) association of bearded appearance with wisdom
D) George Macdonald.
A) Not necessary
B) C.S. Lewis and Rich Mullins
Elaboration of points:
A) There is an observable dearth of female theologians. There are some, but not many. Women do not/can not grow beards.
B) An observably large percentile of theologians had/have beards. For example: Apostle Paul, Athanasius, Michael Card, St. Patrick…
C) When our culture thinks of wise men, they invariably have long beards. This is not a coincidence.
D) George MacDonald. No elaboration necessary.
Against and refutations:
A) Not necessary; you are not required to have a beard in order to theologize.
Refutation: Of course it’s not necessary; just as it is not necessary to have ice cream with your brownies.
B) C.S. Lewis and Rich Mullins; great theologians the both of them. On further reflection, Rich Mullins had persistent stubble, so he is discounted for the purposes of this discussion.
Refutation: True, Lewis was an excellent theologian (for the most part.) However, he came to faith late in life, and just think how much more excellent he could have been with a beard! He even wrote in favor of beards in That Hideous Strength. Thus, his beardless state was not a good point.
Conclusion: Beards are not necessary to theologians, they are simply very helpful. Therefore, if you wish to be a reputable theologian, grow a beard.