Forgot to Turn on Comments for this One
But I have now remedied that. Let the healing begin.
That Old Bisexual Problem
“And don’t give me any nonsense about relationships having to be limited to two. Being bi necessitates either alternating serial relationships, or a standing relationship that involves three at a minimum. This is not a complicated math problem. If you want to work it out, I’ll wait.” I won’t get into the polyamory issue, but being bisexual no more necessitates having two partners than being heterosexual or homosexual does. If you asked any bisexual person, they would tell you that. I have the pleasure of knowing several lovely bisexual people in committed monogamous relationships. It’s really disingenuous of you to suggest otherwise.
Christine, not disingenuous at all. I was talking about sexual expression. In order for bisexuality to be expressed sexually, or maritally, there has to be a minimum of three people involved. Of course a bisexual can be in a monogamous relationship—but only by denying, suppressing, or foregoing one aspect of his or her sexuality. If bisexuality as such is to be expressed, the options are what I have outlined. If it is hate to not allow a particular sexuality to be expressed maritally, then three is the minimum.
When are we going to see this explicit a condemnation of sexual predation on wives and children within the CREC?
David, when a massive segment of the church starts applauding such sexual predation against women and children, you can count on us. We will condemn it soundly. But nobody is doing that. The reason our armies are stationed where they are, and are fighting where they are, is because that is where the invaders are.
Thankful for this statement. However, permitting individual leaders to speak on behalf of the presbytery or denomination is too open to abuse. When the moderator of synod signs statements on global warming or immigration, their perspective goes not match mine, but there is next to no recourse.
John, when a presiding minister speaks on behalf of the presbytery or Council, he must include that action in his next report to his governing body. If they approve it, it remains an official statement. If they do not, it is overturned.
If the image of God is sexually binary, how are unmarried people in God’s image? Barth’s answer, cited by Wesley Hill at First Things is that we are all, each one, including single people like Jesus, male and female—that is, “male in relationship with female,” or vice versa. What do you think of that solution? Why do we need the idea of a sexually binary image in order to criticize that surgery? Aren’t creation structures enough?
John, I don’t think the overwhelming norm is set aside by the exceptions. Christ is the Word, and we reflect that when we speak. But those who are dumb and cannot speak are not excluded from the image–they belong to a race of speakers.
Comments on the Cavalcade
Your identification of the “+” as the catch-all at the end of the cultural pantheon of L, G, B, T, and Q reminds me of the Athenian altar “to the unknown god” in Acts chapter 17. Would you venture a guess at what the Apostle Paul’s sermon points would be to those who worship at the altar of “+” if he were present today? I have been reading G. K. Chesterton’s Everlasting Man and I have been thinking of the way he described paganism as: “. . . an attempt to reach the divine reality through the imagination alone; in its own field of reason does not restrain it at all” (Chap 5: Man and Mythologies) Would it be correct to see the sexual sins and confusion of our day both as purposeful blindness and rejection of God in a Romans 1 fashion, while simultaneously being a desperate grasp for some “divine reality” or transcendent meaning/purpose that the real Trinity actually offers through faith in Christ? Not so that confusion and sexual sin can be affirmed as good, but so we can preach towards the deep human desires that have their satisfaction in Christ only. Perhaps it is a stretch but I covet your though.
Yes. All idolatry is an attempt to squeeze out of a finite thing what only the infinite can provide.
I am in rural SC and my husband’s co-worker (a real redneck by anyone’s standards) was complaining to him at the end of last semester about a first grade boy at his son’s school wearing lipstick to school . . . So I don’t know if even the red states are safe anymore. The public schools are mostly run by women who are not only more likely to be deceived but also more afraid resist their leftist overlords.
Well, in the blue states, it would be blue lipstick.
I have to think there are frustrated, orthodox, right-minded thinking members of PCA congregations that simply do not know what do right now; bolt? Stay? Fight? So far the PCA hasn’t said squat (to my knowledge) about Revoice. How would you counsel the angry masses in PCA churches?
Todd, I would encourage them to petition their sessions to instruct their delegates to file a complaint or charges at presbytery.
My morning reading Revoice rebuttal: Psalm 66:18—“If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”
Christian, thanks and amen.
Weights and Measures
Re: “What Regulation Does” Are you saying that all regulation of business inherently corrupts government by making inappropriate connections between business and government? Or are you saying that in our current government system calling for such regulation will result in crony capitalism? Is this a universal principle or a particular case? If the government’s purpose extends to certain moral concerns, as Romans tells us and WCF affirms, then I don’t see how regulation is inherently corrupting, especially when it comes to preventing businesses from being unjust to their customers, whether through dangerously lax cleanliness standards, false advertising, or the like. Now, I’m not advocating for all the government regulation we see today, but surely there is room for some government regulation of business?
Carson, it all boils down to what you mean by regulation. I believe the government should set the standards—what constitutes a Troy ounce, what is meant by a liquid gallon, what counts as decent hygiene. But this means the government should define, not regulate beforehand. If someone sold someone else a pound of beef that was actually not a pound of beef, they could bring an action.
Little Video Thingies on Facebook
I love the parenting “moment” with Mrs. Wilson!! It is a great length—so shareable—good conversation starters. More of these please!!
Kat, more on the way.
Everybody’s a Critic
I don’t see any birch in that stand of poplar . . .
Desmond, I was a philosophy major. Leave me alone.
A Practical Dilemma
I’m seeking your thoughts on something not directly referred to in any of your recent articles. As a brother in Christ who enjoys your writing ministry from afar off, help me understand how it can be permissible (a conscience issue because the Bible does not say, “thou shalt not . . .”), for a Christian parent to attend, as a silent participant, their child’s wedding related to a so called “gay marriage?” A fellow Christian in my life was faced with this unfortunate scenario. I attempted to discourage him from attending. His response to me was, “who do you think you are!” I was very disheartened by this response. It almost became a source of stumbling because I had looked up to him. How could a Christian parent attend this? Do they clap when the two kiss? Do they hug them and shake their hands to congratulate them on their new and evil union? How is doing so not a grave sin? Others have challenged my dogmatism related to this by asking, “what other weddings would you discourage Christian parents from attending?” I certainly recognize that the precedent related to the compromise of (unbiblical divorce and remarriage) certain types of marriages upstream has resulted in the further compromise of evil marriage concepts downstream. Shouldn’t conservative Christians agree not to attend such a proceeding (doctrine of demons ceremony may be a better title?) as a silent participant? The reasoning offered is usually along the following lines, “I want to maintain the relationship” or “I see it as an evangelistic opportunity.” Doesn’t even Russell Moore discourage Christians from attending, as a silent participant, a wedding related to a so-called “gay marriage?” If you know of any Christian who intends on attending one of these so as to severely and vocally denounce the proceedings, please let me know, as I could use some fresh inspiration right about now. On a side note, please keep up your writing ministry. You greatly encourage me. There are very few people that can make me laugh, but you have accomplished that feat. God Bless.
Doug, a wedding is a celebration, and if the celebration is over the violation of God’s law, then Christians should not be there—whether the disobedience is heterosexual or homosexual. Russell Moore once made a statement that Christians shouldn’t attend the wedding, but could attend the reception, which completely misses the point. We cannot be celebrating when God is denouncing.
The PCA Really Needs to Do Something
Your “On the PCA Getting French-Kissed by the World” piece was a fine and appropriately probing essay, as usual. Another question that ought to be asked of the T-supporters among the brotherhood is “Can a person with two X chromosomes, who identifies as male, get behind a pulpit?” If the Church has begun to distinguish between sex and gender (which by my reckoning, is a prereq for this sort of thing), do the complementarian roles apply to the sex or the gender? Of course, I am concerned that the answer to such a question will be neither at the rate we are going now. Anyway, thank you for your faithful service to the Body.
Matt, what seems like a reductio argument now will be an actual argument in five years.
There are answers that leave one’s feet on a firm foundation and one’s mouth closed and heart at rest in the truth . . . even if that truth is hard. Then there are “answers” that leave one endlessly adrift, words multiplying, and heart completely restless. Only more questions (like the kind you’ve raised here) will come.
Matt, yes. As Van Til put it (I think it was Van Til), this is integration downward into the void.
Regarding Kavanaugh, in the words of Elizabeth Bennett, I’ve heard such conflicting accounts as to puzzle me exceedingly. He was Ann Coulter’s pick, AFA opposes him, he wasn’t in Mark Levin’s top 3, Hannity & Gingrich give him a big thumbs up, Michael Farris seems neutral (https://www.facebook.com/michael.farris.374/posts/1711074392323579).
Ginny, he wasn’t my top pick, but I still have good hope.
And Now, From the Left Field Bleachers . . .
Curious your take. I’m firmly in the life begins at conception camp and believe that abortion is the destruction of a human being. But is an early-term abortion (or early miscarriage) the death of an eternal soul? My tendency is to say yes, that when a child is aborted, a human life with an eternal soul is being killed. However, what about the case of identical twins, where one life becomes two lives? Did one soul become two souls at that point? Or does God assign an eternal soul to a person at some point post-conception? Forgive the poor wording of the query. Trust in God and keep your powder dry.
Roger, not surprisingly, this has been debated at an earlier stage of church history, and there are two basic positions. The creationists argue that God creates a brand new human soul at conception, which means, in your scenario, He would have to do it again when the one child became identical twins and separated. The other position was held by the traducionists, who held that we inherit our souls from our parents the same way we inherit our bodies—some from mom and some from dad. This would mean that when the identical twins form, the same thing is happening with them as happened with all of us, only they are identical in soul as well as in body. The Lutherans tended to traducionism while the Reformed tended toward creationism. And although I am Reformed, on this one, I lean traducian.
Abortion and Vaccines
As someone who has always been cautious about vaccinating my children I had heard references to vaccines being derived from aborted babies but only recently looked into it. It’s worse than that, I’m afraid—how can you continue to advocate for anything other than Christians abstaining from vaccines? See the link here.
Amanda, I looked into this issue a few years ago, and I am almost sure I wrote about it. But I can’t find it with the usual search terms, and will have to crowd source the search. Does anybody remember me writing about this?
Questions About Reading
Below are a few questions from us laypeople who don’t have the time to read Church Dogmatics or the Institutes twice a year while maintaining a healthy time of prayer and meditation upon God’s Word. 1. As a student of philosophy (for the lack of a better phrase), how do you see that education forming the way you read and understand other thinkers? Where do you locate the benefits of that sort of education, and how can I best glean the writings of arcane or seemingly distant thinkers with which I should be reckoning? I’m a student of Philosophy and Economics at UT Knoxville, so this is a sort of niche personal question. You wouldn’t believe the sorts of dancing professors do to dodge questions nowadays. 2. How do you go about reading several books at the same time, with limited time, and maintaining adequate time in each while keeping the contents of the arguments straight? Or, do you? 3. How do you go about reading the current influential bits of liberal theology, modern theology, analytic theology, and all the other fields that are having a decently wide influence in the admittedly modern theological landscape? Do you reject the study of non-Reformation theology entirely, or do you spend a lot of time reading the thoughts of modern writers (both evangelical and not)? I’ve seen through a recent study of John Stott’s life and ministry that dialogue with other aspects of the faith holds vast benefits and needed challenges. In Christ,
Andrew, I would too believe the kind of dancing they are doing. I do read multiple books at a time, but usually limit myself to a few pages at a go. I plod, I chip away, and I mark things as I go. And I do not limit myself to Reformed writers, and have learned a great deal as a result.
And Calvinism Last, As Usual
One commenter wrote: “And beside all that, the particular atonement is unnecessary for Calvinism’s other four points. People can still be totally depraved or persevere in salvation, for example, even if Jesus did indeed die for all mankind.” But—people cannot be totally depraved (really, REALLY TOTALLY – as in “I love my sin and would never love anything else,” dead-like Depraved) without limited atonement, because to overcome what we mean by totally depraved requires an act of God to reveal Christ, create a new love, a new creation, change the heart of stone into a heart of flesh, which change evidences itself in a decision, love for God and deeds of faith. The only other options are universalism (God reveals Christ to everyone & saves us all), or no one gets in. There are no descriptive statements in Scripture stating that we have ability to believe, but a number that say we have no ability (example: apart from me you can do no-thing . . . universal negative) Grace,
Craig, preach it.