So Sorry for Posting Late. Kinda Busy. Leave Me Alone.

Sharing Options
Show Outline with Links

Housekeeping

Greetings, Not addressing any particular post, rather a technical question—in my quest to get away from social media I’ve started using an RSS reader to keep up with sites that I follow. I distinctly recall seeing an RSS feed for this site in the past but cannot find it at this time; is the feed still available? Thanks,

Austin

Austin, if you open up the “read more” option on any post and scroll to the bottom, there is a subscription form there.

Trump, Naturally

I’ve thought that all your musings on Trump have been spot on, so I was excited to catch your latest Plodcast to hear about your Trump Theory. And, sure enough, you didn’t disappoint: that all of the good things occurring under Trump’s watch are due to God’s grace is a theory that every good Calvinist should embrace! Teasing aside, I too have been amazed at (and to your point should have given God more glory than I have for) the many scripturally-sound public policies that have emanated from an administration headed by a man whose life to this point hasn’t seemed too grounded in Scripture. I didn’t vote for Trump, in part, because I thought there was the possibility that he might turn out worse than Hillary. To date, I’ve been very wrong, and am glad to admit it. There is still the future to consider, though. You made the point that if the next president is a liberal then he will have much more to undo than we could have imagined because of Trump. Or if a conservative then he would be much further down the road toward reining in government. Yet we are only in year one of either four or eight years of a Trump administration so that prediction may only hold true if Trump continues to more or less replicate the achievements of his first year. The signs at the beginning of year two are not all that encouraging: tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels (i.e., fair and reciprocal—rather than free-trade), a $1 trillion budget-busting infrastructure package, paid family leave, etc. God’s grace abounds, so it could be that for His glory He has much more good than bad in store for us during the Trump administration. But I’d love to hear your thoughts about how your theory plays out in light of the not-so-great start to Trump Year Two.

Bill

Bill, my theory right now is still in “wait and see” mode.

Evolution

“The sun is not the moon. The land is not the sea. The evening is not the morning…” And for those who argue for deep time in the biblical record, the evening is not evening and the morning is not morning. You point to evolution as the root, but the unbiblical position of deep time makes the necessary space for evolution. You should move your argument one step further back. Either we believe Genesis or we knock down the first domino in this progression.

BJ

BJ, no argument. Deep time represents deep confusion.

Huguenoty Stuff

This reply regards Huguenot Hustle/State of the Church #5. First off, this is an excellent exhortation as it deals with the heart of Christian community as it involves the work of our hands and our wallets. Martin Luther once said, “There are three conversions necessary to every man: the head, the heart and the purse”—the purse or wallet being the evidence of the conversion of the mind and heart, for faith without works is dead. This not only applies to our own wallets but how we relate to our brother’s wallets (10th commandment), a potentially explosive area where offenses readily occur through misunderstandings, forgetful minds, covetousness, and outright defrauding. Having been involved in numerous business ventures and partnerships over the last thirty years, I speak from experience. This why I do not recommend partnerships between brethren as they are in fact business marriages, where assets and liabilities are pooled together in a legally binding entity. Like in a marriage, partnership squabbles and/or downturns often lead to all kinds of offenses, suspicions, accusations, and sorrows, a rich field for the wicked one to work division among the brethren. Rather, I recommend forming business alliances where two or more parties come to together to produce a product or service, but they retain their assets and liabilities to themselves. These are not as easy to form but work much better, especially when the time comes to end them. Yes, they have their own set of challenges and issues, but they don’t end in bitter divorces between Christian families, often splitting churches, that are more often than not resolved in the courts of men through lawsuits. Lastly, on a larger scope, what kind of economic system should a Christian community employ to build Christian culture? The means, as defined by Scripture, are most important. Are the debt-based, fiat currency economics that dominate the world today in accord with the commandment to use honest and just measures? “The mother’s milk of a pagan culture is pagan economics. Like a child that bears the unique physical features of its biological parents, so all cultures reflect the economic parentage (funding) that brought them about. Our overtly pagan, hedonistic culture is a classic example, as its colossal central government,” built and empowered by fiat currency and usurious debt sanctions, funds, and protects all manner of perversion, idolatry, and murder—all in the name of human freedom, of course. The economic DNA of our lawless culture points directly to the secular (pagan) economics of fallen man that funded and built it.” [Your Hard Working Dollar: The Delusion Of Debt-based Economics] Looking at the current state of American Christendom, I think we all can agree that we are definitely the tail (Deut. 28:43-44) within our ever encroaching pagan culture. This is due in part to being forced, as captives (by the Lord’s hand), to live out our daily lives under the enslaving debt-based economics central to American life today. In building Christian community that will grow and thrive generationally, I believe at some point we must turn from the ways of our secular (pagan) culture we have embraced and turn back to God’s law (Neh. 10: 28-29) as the standard for our economics. I realize this is a very touchy topic, as so many believers are trusting in our economic system to continue unabated (perpetually expand through debt) because their nest-eggs, retirements, and investments are totally dependent on it. Thomas Jefferson warned us of the very situation we Americans find ourselves in today, as slaves (to various extents) of a debt-based economic system, the same one that funded the overthrowing of our once Christian culture in the last one hundred years. “And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers.” I think we are far closer to this reality then we want to admit. Normalcy bias can be a big obstacle in smelling the roses. Oh well, there is some food for thought.

Thomas

Thanks, Thomas. Note to the reader. In transferring his letter over to WordPress, some of the punctuation got garbled and I had to guess at the reconstruction of it. Also, Thomas, are business alliances a standard thing state to state?

Re Huguenot Hustle (which I understand was a big hit in the French discos in the 70s): Surely you meant, “Navy Seals for Adonai (NSA)”?

Kyriosity

Kyriosity, yes, yes. That’s exactly what I meant.

Critical Comments About My Critical Comments on Critical Comments

“When we are critical of others, we are in it for one of two reasons. We are either critical because we are loving them, and are seeking their best interest, or we are critical because we are loving ourselves, and are seeking some way to compete effectively with them.” This isn’t true in the strictest sense. Off the top of my head, in any context in which your criticisms are open to a 3rd party, your interest can be in the third party. Few public debates are done with the intent of convincing the other participant. The interest is in the viewers coming to the better decision for the public good. If I were to be debating, say, Sam Harris on television. Communicating in the way most likely to convince Sam Harris of something is almost completely at odds with communicating in the way most likely to convince a third party. After all, solidly half of the basis of people’s following Sam Harris is a blind trust they have in the man’s credibility. A credibility he has achieved for very poor reasons. Pointing out that the credibility has been achieved for very poor reasons and proving that case is likely the best means of helping those who would otherwise fall for his song and dance. That same method would obviously fail at convincing Harris himself. Placing the listener above Harris in my priority listing does not necessitate “loving myself” as my only cause. This is especially true if it’s a “defensive” debate. By defensive debate, I mean a debate who’s premise is that a base idea such as Christianity is not necessarily provably correct, but merely a reasonable conclusion to come to, worthy of the same respect as other popular ideas. If the topic is “Resolved, Douglas Wilson is a nemesis of the common good,” my first concern in defending you will be in defending you to people in general. The last concern I would have is to convince the person slandering you, who is almost certainly inoculated to caring about what I have to say. It does not then follow that I’m only loving myself, after all, caring for and defending you would be my only interest. That said, I’ll more than admit that I fall into your negative category here far more than I should. Please don’t confuse my adding this point for disagreeing with your overall premise. I have the nasty habit of losing patience halfway through such conversations.

Justin

Justin, thank you. A scriptural example of the distinction you are making can be found in Acts 18: 27-28: “And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus” (Acts 18:27–28, ESV)

Always More on Theonomy

Sir, Appreciate your observation regarding law/gospel distinction in application vs. in texts. In “Theonomy is a Many-splendored Thing,” you asked, “with law in blue and gospel in red, what color would the Ten Commandments have to be?” Given that the preamble also established that all 10 commandments were in fact a response to God’s prior saving act, rather than the prerequisite for a contingent future salvation, I can’t help but think all 10 commandments would be some shade of purple. For that matter, given that one usus legis is to convict of sin in order to drive sinners to Christ, would not the entire Bible simply be various shades of Purple?

Daniel

Daniel, or to follow my point out, all red for one kind of person and all blue for the other kind.

The last comment about just passing through shows the dangers of the two Kingdom theology. We are called to have dominion over the earth. Just passing through seems to me like you keep your head down and out of trouble and maybe make it through with minimal effect. Sad. We have a glorious purpose, to glorify God in our lives.

Chuck

In light of your posts on the Roy Moore situation, I wanted to share the following link. The author shares many of your concerns and is probably one of the only (well-known) journalists in Canada who is willing to address this.

Tim

Tim, thanks.

Could you describe a bit more how case law Theonomy would work practically? From the post “Theonomy Is a Many-Splendored Thing.”

Avery

Avery, okay, just a bit more. In my ideal biblical republic a judge hands down a decision that women are not to serve in combat roles. Why? He cites Exodus 23:19. The argumentation is that biblical law prohibits taking something intended to nourish life and turn it into an instrument of death. Women are life-givers and should not become death-dealers.

In my SBC circles many are making the case that you are straining at a gnat. It is claimed that Moore essentially agrees with you but is using the term, “theocracy” in a more specific manner to refer to bad theocracies and especially to Robert Jeffries types in his denom. And, that in actuality Moore does believe the government should be in submission to Christ and the Bible. I grant that Moore should use his words more carefully, but is there anything to this. Are the two of you simply ships passing in the night?

Brandon

Brandon, that is possible. But it seems to me that it would be a very simple point for him to clarify.

RE: “Theonomy Is A Many-Splendored Thing” Pastor Wilson, I never tire of your writing, but sometimes I find alternate/possible titles in posts that you’ve either missed or left on the cutting-room floor—usually of the Wodehousian sort. Imagine the blowback if you had entitled it “Love Looks Like Leviticus.” Now wouldn’t that have been fun? Sounds like a good future book title to me. You can thank me later. Keep writing,

Matt

Matt, actually I agree with you. That was a swing and a miss on my part.

RE: Theonomy Is a Many-Splendored Thing Mr. Wilson, I have been a faithful reader of your blog for several years and greatly appreciate much of what you have to say as well as how you say it. It is encouraging to see the integration of your theology with all of life, for that is how it should be. So, let me get to the point. I think you have it backwards. Love does not look like Leviticus, but rather Leviticus looks something like love. The Old Covenant Law was a shadow and type of the love that was to come. The law points us to love and not love to the law. Love fulfills the law, not the other way around. That is why Jesus had to come. Law did not do it, it was not enough and in fact law was counter-productive to righteousness, according to Paul. Which leads to the beautiful Romans 3:21ff, justice and mercy unite in one magnificent act of love to God and love to man (fulfilling law though love). The contract of obedience to Moses is fulfilled in Christ and now we have a new authority (Jesus) in our lives as believers. In the Old Covenant, law was graciously given and was the predominant feature of covenantal life. In the New Covenant, grace is the predominant feature and law is written on the heart. Both grace and law exist in both covenants, but grace certainly is the main feature of the new covenant. I think your efforts in expounding the need for theonomy are misplaced. I am not sure how a fallen society needs more enforced law (sword); which somehow leads to love (though Luther’s use of the law is of course helpful to the gospel). The need is really for more gospel, more grace. The gospel is for individuals (not groups) to respond to and does not seem to be compatible with the sword. Yes, God sovereignly uses earthly powers and the sword to punish sin (Rom 13) but as Isaiah 10 illustrates, that does not mean that God is a fan of the king or the king a fan of God. I believe we may be diluting the power of the gospel by also advocating for the power of the sword (1 Cor 2:2). I also believe we can call sin what it is, from the Bible with “barrel chested” authority and also avoid advocating the sword as a solution. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this perspective.

Darryl

Darryl, two things. Of course I agree that love is ultimate in the sense that the triune God is love in a way that the triune God is not Leviticus. But this goes back to my point about the regenerate and unregenerate man. For the unregenerate man, the law is a slave driver. For the regenerate man, who sees God through it, the law is sweeter than honey. And I quite agree with you that the need of the hour is more grace, more gospel, more Christ. And that is why we need to preach the law more.

“Kyle, if we allow biblical rhetoric only if we are speaking to an issue where a requisite number of worldviews overlap and concur, then we have created a question about how this parliament of religions is to function. And which religions are excluded, and why? Again, by what standard?” Thanks for responding, Doug. Those are all good questions. Unsurprisingly, I have some ideas (and, perhaps surprisingly, I don’t think you would hate all of them). But one thing to notice about them is they push the debate away from boring and formal matters about whether anti-theonomy is incoherent, and towards more interesting and substantive matters about whether a certain form of it is feasible or desirable—like I think your most recent post does.

Kyle

Kyle, thanks. And yes, we do want to get to what we are advocating and not just what we are opposing.

Re: Theonomy, a many-splendored thing Thanks for the helpful overview of some positions. A “friend of mine” has the following position, possibly identical to creation/redemption theonomy—I was wondering if you could elaborate/clarify what you think about it. It is that the Mosaic law is in no way binding on Christians—it has completely passed away as far as having authority over a Christian. Nevertheless, because it is a complete and perfect application of “Love God and love neighbour,” applied to Israel, we learn not only the redemptive themes that are fulfilled in Christ, but how to structure a Christian society. As I say, I think this is similar to one of your points above, except that the law is a source for our Christian law, rather than still functioning in a modified form (which I think is more like Poythress’s view in The Shadow Christ and the Law of Moses). Thanks!

Paul

Paul, right, but at the end of the day we either have to say that we ought to follow this example, or that we have the option not to. If we ought to, then it is still law. If we can take it or leave it, what good is it?

I see that you’ve chosen to use the modern egalitarian definition of adultery, unknown in Scripture on in any premodern legal tradition. I can see some potential problems with altering scriptural categories to conform to current sensibilities. How long before Christian leaders adopt in similar fashion the recently expanded definition of marriage?

Barnabas

Barnabas, I assume you are arguing that the only way a man can commit adultery is by having relations with another man’s wife? But whatever you think of the Westminster Larger Catechism, I don’t think it is possible to dismiss it as “modern” or “egalitarian.”

139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?

A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections; all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton looks; impudent or light behavior; immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them; entangling vows of single life; undue delay of marriage; having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce or desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancing, stage plays; all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.

Already Baked In

In reference to “Already Baked In”, indeed anyone surprised by this accusation/revelation needs to return to the ostrich farm. On the other hand, we need to keep in mind that we might have it all wrong. The Babylon Bee via guest journalist Jim Bakker offers a more charitable possibility about pre-President Trump’s motives for meeting with Ms Daniels. This is entirely consistent with pre-President Trump’s involvement with the WWE to promote exercise and Christian competition and the goal of his casino to channel money into food programs for the needy.

Al

Al, thanks for sharing.

Throne and Altar

Money quote: “He wants evidence?  Shocking!  There’s a moral panic to go along with here. ”

When I read this, it reminded me of your stuff so much I had to send a link. It goes to show how low public discourse had fallen, when just the reminder not to blur categories stands out. (Disclaimer: I have no idea about the story this guy is reacting to here-I was just struck by his deliberate take).

Y’all keep it up.

Joey

Joey, thanks.

 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
61 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
-BJ-
-BJ-
3 years ago

Barnabas,

Quick question: Is Doug reading your post correctly? Or were you asking something else?

I have been reading attempts lately to justify polygamy among Christians by narrowly defining adultery in this way. I wondered if you might be leaning toward that camp. But, I didn’t want to presume.

asdf
asdf
3 years ago
Reply to  -BJ-

Who’s been *justifying* this? I know of people (such as myself) who really would like there to be a thou-shalt-not-polygamy verse, and think that the church should not conduct such marriages, but still believe that they are true marriages. (This has little bearing on the practice in the church, except for what you do in that edge case when Achmed the Haji and his four wives become Christians. Do you make him divorce wives two through four, or do you let them all in intact, but prohibit Achmed from being an elder?)

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  asdf

This whole argument is really interesting, I’m not very informed about it, and the thought expirement is fascinating

drewnchick
drewnchick
3 years ago
Reply to  asdf

Why would you think the church should not conduct polygamous marriages but also believe that they are true marriages?
If true then they must be in accordance with the Truth about Marriage, which can only come from Scripture. But if true, then why not conduct them?

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 years ago
Reply to  drewnchick

They can be valid but bad marriages; something that shouldnt be done, but once done is done. Like the blessing Esau got through cheating.

asdf
asdf
3 years ago
Reply to  drewnchick

The same way an unbeliever marrying a believer is possible, and the result is an actual marriage, but you shouldn’t do it, and the church should not conduct them.

lndighost
lndighost
3 years ago
Reply to  asdf

Well put, asdf. It’s hard to imagine the thought process of a Christian polygamist. Even if he got over the considerable hurdles of whether God permits it and whether it would be a harmonious domestic arrangement, how could he think himself able to take on the responsibility? Once it is understood that marriage is permanent, holy, a sacred trust, symbolic of the relationship between Christ and the Church, and that a husband will be held accountable for his leadership, must be sacrificial even to death, and so on, a reasonable approach would be to take one wife with joyful fear… Read more »

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 years ago
Reply to  lndighost

Yes, but the really interesting thing is what the church should do with polygamous people from polygamous cultures who convert. Force a divorce, or allom the existing multiwife family to continue.

bethyada
bethyada
3 years ago

Keep the family obviously

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Overall, I do not see continuing the status quo to be a general principle to be followed. In Micael’s scenario, I would agree with bethyada that the existing family should continue, because I do not have certainty that polygamy is sin today. But, for example, what should the church do if a “married” homosexual couple wanted to join? Force a divorce, or allow the existing family unit to continue? I would say force a divorce and require them to discontinue the homosexual relationship at least sexually, if not entirely. My reason is that I have no doubt that homosexuality is… Read more »

bethyada
bethyada
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

In Micael’s scenario, I would agree with bethyada that the existing family should continue, because I do not have certainty that polygamy is sin today. But even if polygamy is a sin today, he should still keep his wives. The OT allowed a man to take more than one wife, but it made him take a wife if he had slept with her (so long the father consented—he’d pay the dowry regardless). This law protects the girl. Why would you ask a man with two wives to divorce one if he became a Christian. This makes the divorced wife vulnerable.… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Bethyada, this is a nightmare for Catholics who illicitly remarry while their spouses are still alive and then want to return to full union with the church, especially if the invalid marriage has been blessed by children. Catholic teaching has been that if you cannot (or will not, for reasons of intellectual honesty) get a declaration of nullity, the remarried Catholic must live with the second spouse as brother and sister. What Francis took so much criticism for was pointing out that this arrangement destabilizes the marriage (to the detriment of the children) and compromises the chastity of the non-Catholic… Read more »

bethyada
bethyada
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Yes, though we differ on whether the new marriage is indeed a marriage. Even if they entered it illicitly I still think it is a marriage whereas you do not.

I think the advice of Francis (if I understand you correctly) is good in this instance. Living as/like a sister with your new husband is terrible advice, and I think an example of where trying to resolve a sin people make it worse.

(Of course, I am not so certain that there is necessarily a sin to resolve).

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

bethyada, I thought I had replied earlier, but it seems to have disappeared. Short version: You seem to believe that continuing in sin is okay if it prevents making the situation “worse for her” (aka it’s protecting her). Who gets to decide what is worse for her? If you apply the same principle to homosexuals, “married” or not, should they continue in their relationship because forcing it to stop is perceived to be worse for one or both of them? I think God wants sin stopped and lives will be better as a result (but life may be worse in… Read more »

bethyada
bethyada
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

@OKRickety No, you misunderstand me. I am not saying you have stabbed the man so you might as well kill him. Rather that some events are sin. And some responses to such sin seem to be to try and make the sin go away. But it can’t. Think the Israelites going up to fight after they had first refused. They had refused sinfully and nothing would right that. They tried to go up later against the inhabitants but God said no and they were defeated. What I am saying is that marriages may be entered sinfully but they are marriages.… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

bethyada, “Homosexual marriage is a different issue because they never were nor ever will be married. The attempt at marriage was a sin and the ongoing relationship is a sin.” If polygamy is sinful, then I would suppose that each extra marriage  is sin and the ongoing relationship is sin. In other words, your argument in the case of homosexual “marriage” also applies to polygamy (when polygamy is believed to be sin). I have no idea why I am not succeeding in communicating my concern about your approach. I suspect the primary obstacle is the involvement of “marriage” in these… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  drewnchick

drewnchick,

“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.”  [1 Cor. 10:23 NASB]

Applying this to polygamous marriages leads one to think they are allowed, but do they help advance the Kingdom of God?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

OK, this is a real head-scratcher. You don’t have to spend much time online these days to hear the following complaints: – it is hard for a decent guy to find a nice girl to marry, and even harder to find someone who is willing to be a good wife; – it is hard for an average guy to support a wife and a couple of kids these days, especially when she is determined to spend him out of house and home; -even Christian wives can be nasty and rebellious, and a man can’t say boo to them without finding… Read more »

adad0
adad0
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

POLYGAMY

No man can serve two masters.
-quoted in Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain,

Alex Ayers

Don’t worry Jilly!
For me, one wife is about all I can take! ; – )

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Yeah, you better be in a commune or somewhere outside the U.S., Canada or Western Europe to have a prayer of polygamy working out.

And I’m just speaking pragmatically–not endorsing polygamy.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
3 years ago
Reply to  asdf

Well … it was justified by some major names in the past:

Luther and the Bigamous Landgrave

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

The Lutheran version of “Is Paris worth a Mass?”

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

The compromise there was in the other direction.

In the case of Henry IV, politics bowed to religion.

In the case of Philip of Hesse, religion bowed to politics.

Jane
Jane
3 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

I’d suggest that in both cases, religion and politics were not nearly as distinct as we are in the habit of thinking them.

But I find the characterization of Henry IV odd. Henry IV relinquished his religious allegiances for the sake of power. How is that politics bowing to religion?

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
3 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Henry of Navarre, after winning the War of the Three Henries, marched to Paris to be crowned king. The citizens of the city refused him entry while he remained Protestant.

After a siege that killed 10,000’s of Parisians, and three years of trying, Henry gave in. His mistress, Gabrielle d’Estreés, persuaded him to become Catholic (for the third time in his life) so that he could be crowned Henry IV.

So, Henry changed his own beliefs rather than those of his subjects.

Philip of Hesse changed the content of his subjects’ religion rather than his own beliefs.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

He’s my favorite of the philosophes. I always picture him as looking like Kenneth Branagh in Henry V.

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

I dont think he changed his beliefs, only his formal church membership. He didnt do it only to gain power, but also to be able to protect his fellow believers through the edict of Nantes.

Jane
Jane
3 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Why was relinquishing his claim rather than denying the tenets of his faith not an option?

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
3 years ago
Reply to  Jane

It is difficult to look back at historical figures and fully deduce their motivations.

Certainly, the line attributed to him, Paris vaut bien une messe, implies that his decision was political one.

However, there is the possibility that his conversion was sincere. He did recognize the genius and holiness of St. Francis de Sales when they met some years later.

In fact, there have been many notable people over the centuries who have done the same. Many, like Henry, were laymen; but quite a few in recent times have been highly theologically trained.

John Callaghan
John Callaghan
3 years ago
Reply to  John Callaghan

Completely tangentially, I must recommend another post from the site I linked to above:

And then you hit a reminder that the sixteenth century was a very different place. For example, Schuerl felt very concerned that his younger son, Christoph, was still only drinking breast milk at age two. His older brother had started drinking wine and beer in addition to breast milk at four months old, and by age three had a decided preference for red wine (his favorite foods were fish, crayfish and calf brains). And suddenly the resemblance to the twenty-first century ceases.

kyriosity
kyriosity
3 years ago
Reply to  asdf

@asdf — Doug has addressed the hypothetical Achmed situation elsewhere (which I could probably cite if I were not too lazy to spend time searching for it). He goes with option B: Achmed keeps his wives, must provide for them, and may not become an elder.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  -BJ-

Hi BJ, I don’t know where he is going with this, but I do know a bit about the background of this definition of adultery. It prevailed in the Greco-Roman world, in the Tanakh, and in English common law, as well as in many primitive and pagan societies. It rests, of course, on a principle that the wife is the property of her husband so that committing adultery with her represents a very aggravated kind of theft. To that is added the injury done him by presenting him with a bastard child. This was the view of legal commentators such… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

I meant to add that there is a potential risk in seeing the harm of adultery as merely depriving the husband of his legitimate ownership rights. I knew someone in the long ago who agreed–in fact demanded–that his wife have sexual relations with his friends. Would anyone think that his consent negated the sinfulness of the conduct?

bethyada
bethyada
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

The Bible got around this potential abuse by allowing any unmarried female who the husband slept with demand he marry her. He could neither refuse this, nor divorce her.

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

Jill said: “I have come across a few arguments of this type. Sometimes it is in the hope of finding justification for plural marriage; more often it has been resentment that the view of a married woman as her husband’s property is no longer supported by law.” Understanding of the Scriptures is sometimes hindered by ignorance of the meaning at the time of the words in the text. Choosing one’s own definitions, whether individually or currently fashionable, allows false beliefs to be considered true. Do we want to know and follow what was intended in the Scripture, or do we… Read more »

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

OKR, if the church and the civil/criminal law had spoken with one voice about this over the millennia, it would be much easier to agree that the clear meaning of adultery should not be altered to suit today’s sensibilities. But this is not the case. The definition of adultery that considers married men guilty only of fornication if their lover is unwed, undeniably a part of common law until fairly recently, is directly opposed to centuries of church law which defines adultery as defiling the marriage bed no matter with whom. I think Barnabas is mistaken in thinking that clergy… Read more »

bethyada
bethyada
3 years ago
Reply to  -BJ-

He may not be defending polygamy as much as saying that because polygamy is sometimes allowed, an unmarried man can fornicate but not commit adultery and then marry the girl; therefore, cannot a married man fornicate with an unmarried woman then marry her? If he can take her as a second wife and not be committing adultery after the fact, why is fornication before the fact considered adultery?

There is no dispute that he sins, just what is the sin?

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Bethyada, I see the logic if the parties are living in a society which recognizes plural marriage as lawful. This has not been the case throughout most of Christendom over the centuries. If a man is legally prohibited from taking a second wife to live with the first, any protections his partner had under OT law do not exist. If we accept the view of woman as property, his actions are still a species of theft as well as unchastity; he is “stealing” a man’s unwed daughter and is making her unmarriageable. In other words, he has defrauded her father… Read more »

bethyada
bethyada
3 years ago
Reply to  Jill Smith

@Jill Smith , you make some good points. And I think that the move to monogamy is a good thing. I am cautious about seeing adultery as a form of theft. While marriage may have some similarities to property, a wife is not like property in many ways. You can pretty much do what you want with your own property but God does not permit free reign with your wife. She is your equal and your partner. So I don’t find theft analogies super useful, especially if they are used to claim too much. The interaction with what the secular… Read more »

Micael Gustavsson
Micael Gustavsson
3 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

If his marriage vows contains a promise of faithfullness he is an oathbreaker. Christian marriages thus make it impossible for a man to take a second wife (unless she is dead: ”till death does us part”).

kyriosity
kyriosity
3 years ago

@Micael — Right. But again, non-Christian marriage is still marriage. And a marriage formed that way must be redeemed, but may not be overthrown.

Jane
Jane
3 years ago

Or more specifically, “Forsaking all others.”

demosthenes1d
demosthenes1d
3 years ago
Reply to  -BJ-

I don’t want to speak for Barnabas, but his question doesn’t directly bear on polygamy. He is saying that the bible provides a specific definition for adultery and he is concerned that pastors etc. are redefining it to come into line with cultural forces. It can be seen as a kind of concept creep. I don’t agree that this position is completely new, Augustine seemed to stretch adultery to cover all sorts of sexual sins, and of course Christ gives us an expansive definition/application. But in formal hamartiology it seems that the different forms of porneia should be separated. Whether… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago

Re. article by Christie Blatchford related to Roy Moore and #MeToo, I found that she has many other interesting articles on that site as can be viewed here.

I believe the pendulum (of feminism?) has swung much too far and the consequences are likely to shake the foundations of the world so strongly that recovery will be difficult, if even possible.

Malik
Malik
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

It seems to me that all the pendulums are at extremes at the moment.

drewnchick
drewnchick
3 years ago
Reply to  Malik

Unless you’re clinging to a rope at the edge of a cliff that’s tied off on the other side. Surely, this particular pendulum, being already swung up to an extreme, is the best place to be and any attempts to “find center” will end with a lethal splat against the chasm wall.
Just finding the cloud to your silver lining… :D

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

First Jordan Peterson and now her. I never thought I’d be giving Canada so many accolades (no offense, Jill).

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

We need the good press from time to time. I have intended for some years now to write a book called “When Canadians Go Bad,” dealing with the demonstrable fact that our serial killers are among the worst (and most creative) on the planet. I have a new entry, a landscape gardener who has just been apprehended in Toronto. He buried his victims’ body parts in his clients’ gardens and potted plants.

Johnny
Johnny
3 years ago

I’d like to remind Paul’s “friend” that “love God and love your neighbor” are Old Testament Law.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago

I’m not sure what Barnabas was getting at, but if this is about adultery as grounds for divorce, I certainly wouldn’t use the Westminster Catechism definition. That’s almost like the feminized churchian definition of lust/porn/anything resembling it = adultery = grounds for divorce = there must be a better husband for me out there.

In Jesus’ actual words, he’s addressing husbands, telling them they must not put away their wives except for fornication/adultery/sexual immorality (depending on your translation).

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

I agree, JP, but the legal definition has not always kept pace with modern society. I read that the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled (I don’t know when) that a physical lesbian relationship in which one partner was already married to a man did not constitute adultery. In this case the breaking of the vow to remain sexually faithful should establish grounds for divorce, even if adultery is defined so narrowly as to make it impossible for two women to commit it with each other.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

When the WCF is too feminized and liberal, the Overton Window has fallen out of the wall.

Just out of curiosity, how many lust based divorces were granted by the Westminster Divines? I am pretty sure it was zero, but I stand to be corrected.

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago

Kilgore, my point is that in the current climate of the PCA and Evangelical Christianity, we have to be careful about words and definitions. I can easily see some “you go girl!” blogger saying that if “lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancing, stage plays” constitute adultery, then by golly, the sex-starved husband who starts struggling with porn is surely an adulterer. Take this article for instance. Every example is about men (“checking out beautiful women at the market,” porn, etc.). She never brings up female porn (romance novels, chick flicks) or husbands forced into involuntary celibacy (which is often a big… Read more »

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

JP, ‘ I can easily see some “you go girl!” blogger saying that if “lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancing, stage plays” constitute adultery, then by golly, the sex-starved husband who starts struggling with porn is surely an adulterer.’ If this is your first exposure to that belief, I’m surprised, because it is doesn’t take long to find this concept expressed when you do a search for “valid Christian reasons for divorce adultery porn”. Here’s how the argument is presented (from Porn Use as Grounds for Divorce) (Note: They consider it a “bad argument”.): “Bad Argument #2: Porn = Lust =… Read more »

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago
Reply to  OKRickety

Good for Covenant Eyes…or at least that author. It’s not a popular stance, as evidenced by some of the comments.

OKRickety
OKRickety
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

JP, I had not realized that there were comments. A quick look suggests that the vast majority of those who strongly disagree are women, most of whom have a vested interest in their belief. I am reminded of the saying that hell has no fury like a woman scorned. Their attitude seems to be the opposite of the teaching that Christians are to be ready to forgive and desire reconciliation.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
3 years ago
Reply to  JP Stewart

That I agree with. Twisting the WCF is not the same thing as “if this is about adultery as grounds for divorce, I certainly wouldn’t use the Westminster Catechism definition.” I don’t consider the Confession as a sole source either, but I do believe it is faithful. We also have to consider how the writers applied these teachings and it is simply not the way you implied in the original post. Thanks for the clarification. I will say that I am one who usually advises divorcees to stay single (a single mother with young kids is the one exception I… Read more »

JP Stewart
JP Stewart
3 years ago

For the record, I didn’t twist or denigrate the WCF. My point is expanding adultery’s meaning may be helpful for personal holiness, but not for determining the grounds for divorce. Again, I’m not exactly sure what the context was of Barnabas and DW’s discussion.

Robert
Robert
3 years ago

Regarding the tariffs on solar panels; it was in the news that suddenly a Chinese company is going to open a factory in the US to make solar panels

kyriosity
kyriosity
3 years ago

One more possibility on the criticism thing: The criticizer may be trying to compete not necessarily with the object of the criticism, but more directly with God: “I could do SUCH a better job of running this universe! THIS sort of nonsense would never happen!” In other words, a critical spirit is a control-freak spirit. Or, um, so I’ve heard. I of course know nothing about such things personally… ????

Jane
Jane
3 years ago
Reply to  kyriosity

I’ve heard tell of such things myself.