Episode 81: Do We Need A Bigger Tent?

What exactly do people mean when they say a group need a bigger tent? How do we solve the problem of people feeling alienated?

From the sealed portion:

So, should you shelter your kids?

The Sons of Adam podcast is back. I (Bryce) have been long remiss in posting this episode. It got recorded over a month ago while I was taking my family to see the redwoods. It is therefore the first episode that has no “me” in it at all. Taking my place is David. Yes, the same David who was our very first guest. So, welcome back, David!

Anyway, I wish I had been in on this recording, as I have rather strong opinions about it. I think they still did a fine job without me, though.

This episode we’re talking about sheltering your kids. Some people say if you shelter your kids, you are stunting their emotional and mental growth, and someday they are going to crash. Others say that if you don’t shelter your kids, then you are failing as a parent. Often the two groups talk past each other.

As an experiment, I actually listened to the whole podcast before posting it (gasp!) and made real notes. Should I bother to do this with future episodes?


  • The Dangers of Sheltering – the article that started the conversation
  • Is sheltering always negative?
  • What it means to shelter your kids (5:00)
  • The World’s Strictest Parents (8:01)
  • Sheltering from exposure vs sheltering from topics (12:30)
  • When to introduce certain topics (13:40)
  • Boys and visual stimulation vs discussion (15:35)
  • Sheltering doesn’t save children (19:51)
  • Why to still shelter anyway (22:30)
  • David Mentions our podcast on Media Standards (22:55)
  • Should a parent keep same media standards he imposes on the kids? (24:05)
  • The domineering man (28:50)
  • Wrapup (32:00)

Fatherly Discipline

Inasmuch as Bryce has a 2 year old boy who is often destroying nice things, he has been think a lot about discipline. That’s Bryce doing the thinking. JP & B therefore discuss the father’s role in disciplining his kids, as well as the effectiveness and the morality of spanking.

Like two days after we recorded this, there was a post on the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood that mentioned spanking. It also came up as a topic on The Matt Walsh Blog.

If Bryce had more on the ball in getting this episode up, we would have totally looked like the trendsetters.

What Is a Man? (Part 1)

JP & B finally get around to discussing their “What is a man?” lists. Well, they discuss Bryce’s list, anyway. The full text of Bryce’s list is included below. It originally appeared on Bryce’s personal blog. Also, Bryce used different intro music on this one just to see if JP will notice.

What Makes A Man A Man?

Is it purely a biological function, or should it be something more?

A little while ago a friend of mine asked a group of guys, “How did you know when you were finally a man?”

I’ve thought about it off and on for a couple of weeks, and I came to the conclusion that there was no one moment where I thought, “Okay, now I’m a man.” Part of the problem is that the American culture doesn’t have a set ritual or event where a boy starts as a boy and comes out being recognized by his community as a man.

So I decided that if I didn’t have an event, I should at least know what it means to be a man. My buddy JP and I discussed this for our podcast and we challenged each other to come up with a list of responsibilities/traits/skills that a real man has.

You’ll notice that my list is quite small. Here is my reasoning: there are a slew of attributes and skills that all kids should learn before becoming an adult. Learning to handle money and a budget, self control, general cooking/cleaning, and becoming emotionally mature are all great things and they are not specific to gender. Maybe someday I’ll write a list about becoming a full functioning adult.

I may revisit this list and change it, but for now, here are the attributes that signal true manhood.

  • Protect and respect women.
  • Become a Righteous Father
  • Provide / Work for the household in which you live

I could go on about each of these, but I’ll keep my thoughts short.

Protect and Respect Women

I read recently that about 11% of girls have been sexually assaulted by the time they graduate high school. About 1 in 4 have suffered rape or attempted rape by the time they graduate college. I hate the fact that rape is so prevalent that I have to teach my daughters situational awareness and self defense against it. It’s appaling. A true man would never do that. Men need to treat women better, and also need to do something about their predatory peers.

And beyond that abomination, a man should cherish and respect the roles of womanhood and motherhood. Strong families are the foundation of strong communities, cultures, and nations. A man recognizes this, and is grateful to mothers who fulfill those roles. Through words and actions, he makes those roles both possible and attractive.

Become a Righteous Father

A man strives to build the skills, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable him to play his part as the leader of his home. A righteous leader is not a dictator. A righteous leader is an example setter who accepts responsibility over what happens in his stewardships.

If he is married without children, he should work to make himself ready for fatherhood and not seek to avoid it. He should aspire to fatherhood.

If he is not married, he should be working to make himself the type of man a righteous woman would want to marry. And he should be seeking a righteous woman.

Provide / Work

A man works for the household in which he lives. He contributes to the physical and financial upkeep of his home in whatever way is appropriate.

Even if he is not employed he has a responsibility to work. In this case he spends at least the same time and effort as a full time job in one of three activities: getting skills and education that make him employable; applying, networking, and otherwise seeking a job; or building a business of his own.

Social Media Bystanders

JP & B discuss “Clicktivism” and the Bystander Effect. Is using social media enough to enact real change in the world? Enough to perform Christian service.

Yeah, I bet you can guess where we stand on the issue.

Also, Bryce would like to apologize for being such a slacker and not posting episode which have been recorded for weeks.


Do we as Christian men have a responsibility to be openly Christian? Active in politics?