An evangelical organization that advocates distinct and separate roles for men and women in the church, home and society has announced a leadership change.
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood announced July 20 the selection of Denny Burk, professor of biblical studies at Boyce College, the undergraduate school of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., as ninth president of the organization founded in 1987 to oppose the influence of feminism in the church.
Burk succeeds Owen Strachan, who resigned July 12 after two years on the job, citing responsibilities of his new job as a professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., that limit the amount of focus he can devote to fundraising for the CBMW.
Strachan, who served as CBMW executive director for two years before assuming the presidency in 2014, said he has been thinking about his role for about a year but wanted to leave the organization in a strong financial position. With a successful Together for the Gospel pre-conference completed in April, Strachan said he could leave with a clear conscience.
According to a news release, giving to the Council on Biblical Manhood increased by 250 percent — from around $85,000 to just shy of $300,000 — between 2012 and the end of 2015.
Burk, who will continue in his role at Southern Seminary, reaffirmed commitment to the Danvers Statement, the council’s founding document which outlines a theological basis for a “complementarian” reading of Scripture that affirms that men and women are fundamentally equal before God but assigned complementarity roles of male headship and wifely submission in the church and home.
Burk, sponsor of a 2014 Southern Baptist Convention resolution “On Transgender Identity” in 2014, said he believes the CBMW also needs “a new statement of conviction” addressing issues that weren’t on the radar when the Danvers Statement was written nearly 30 years ago.
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said he is excited about Burk’s selection and looks forward to “working with CBMW to serve the church toward a biblical view of God’s good design for men and women, girls and boys.”
Strachan, associate professor of Christian theology and director of the Center for Theological and Cultural Engagement at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., is quoted in a July 20 Washington Post article about religious conservatives — with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton poised to become the Democratic nominee for president — who are questioning if it is God’s will for a woman to rule as a head of state.
“A good number of evangelicals would probably prefer to see men lead in the political arena, and I would be one of them,” Strachan said. “Many evangelicals would say that men need to be the ones who step up and take responsibility, not simply for the home and the church, but also for the community.”