Christian Nationalism, and Thomas Achord
First, an update: Thomas Achord has acknowledged the tweets as being his, and his statement is here. And Stephen Wolfe has a series of statements on it here. For my own part, I thought that Achord’s apology was lame but adequate, and would urge everyone to accept it. I thought Stephen’s response was magnanimous, although I wish he hadn’t used the language of “that’s not the real Thomas I know.” It was actually a dark side of the real Thomas, which is why it was sin in the first place. But Stephen did repeatedly note that the sin was real sin. And an additional comment of mine would be that Thomas sinned against Stephen (and all those who supported him in the controversy) much more grievously than Alistair did. So I am praying that the spirit of forgiveness can spread beyond Thomas. In the meantime, the arguments of the book are what should be on the agenda, and I would urge everyone to return to the topic at hand.
Re: Equal Weights and Measures Doug,
Isn’t it a little disingenuous to ask for a common courtesy, and then offer an explanation for why it won’t be given?
That section was strong and reasonable until you went and added those last 2+ paragraphs, which turned your request into an accusation.
Will, thanks for the letter, and I take your point. I went back and made my meaning clearer by reversing the order of the last two paragraphs, and adding something to the last paragraph. Sorry for my ambiguity.
Re:”My Part in a Delightful Little Proxy Row” This proxy war element seems to be essentially over what character the term “Christian Nationalism” will take on in the mainstream imagination. I see thinkers of all sorts trying to get out in front of it; there is a shared perception that no one has firm control of that ground in the dictionary just yet. But all recognize its strategic importance. I haven’t read Stephen Wolfe’s book yet—it is on my list for the near future—but it looks to me like there’s a real fear that his positions are actually defensible, and so the war has to be over the language rather than the points.
But something else occurred to me while listening to Jon Harris (Conversations That Matter) discuss the Thomas Achord situation. Jon pointed out that the personal consequences of this skirmish are very heavy for a man who is basically a regular guy who doesn’t have a large platform. That may be true in principle, but I would also point out that the headmaster of a classical Christian school has an influence far more meaningful, if less broad, than many of the Twitter-borne thought leaders of Respectable Evangelicalism could hope for.
Whatever else is going on here, it seems to me that much of the energy to wrest control of the term “Christian Nationalism,” is coming from the same place that sought/seeks control over institutions and education. So there is a doubly strategic value in going after Thomas Achord. After all, if he is as representative of Christian Education as he is of Christian Nationalism, perhaps we need more Responsible Oversight of such schools?
Wesley, yes. For example, Joel McDurmon has expressly linked the classical emphasis of Sequitur to white privilege, and so this whole thing is also connected—through Achord’s sin—to the classical Christian school movement. Look for others to try to make that connection stronger.
Long-time reader here, couple-time letter-writer, and very grateful for your life, ministry, and family. Thank you for your hard and fruitful work. I am also very appreciative of Alastair Roberts. (If Alastair should happen to read this—thank you, too, Alastair.) I have been distressed over the weekend by the Thomas Achord affair, which is overall just a great grief, but I’m writing in particular about the first line of the Canon Press statement that you posted on Saturday. (I don’t know if you wrote the statement, but as it appeared here I take it you ‘own’ it and can be addressed as a subscriber to it.)
That first line goes: “In an attempt to silence productive conversation surrounding the book, The Case for Christian Nationalism, or to cancel it completely, critics have recently focused a great deal of effort on guilt by association.”
No doubt some critics have indeed leapt on the Achord stuff because they want to dismiss Christian Nationalism out of hand. No doubt, as the statement later says, some have used this to try and get Canon Press to withdraw the book. But nobody is going to read that first line and think you don’t mean Alastair. He is the one who first drew attention to Achord, and the one drawing the most fire for doing so. No effort is made in that press release to distinguish Alastair from other critics. And I really think you should consider apologising to him.
This is, firstly, because you are imputing motives. I learned this principle from you! Your Justice Primer (again, thank you!) contains a whole chapter on “Imputing Motives and Justice”, in which we are told that “Motives can be known only if they are revealed by the evidence and not by mere speculation or imputation.” There is good stuff in that chapter on the difficulty of knowing motives, and the peace-keeping value of not assigning motives. This is your own teaching!
And secondly, the implication that the focus on Achord is an attempt to avoid serious engagement with the book itself seems very poorly founded. Alastair’s first mention of Achord on Twitter came in the context of a discussion based on his own wife’s detailed engagement with the arguments of the book! He and Shenvi were talking about how the dynamics of some of the book’s arguments are reflected in Wolfe’s immediate circle. This is directly relevant to the book! It was not “guilt by association”, unless all discussion of Luther is banned when we talk about Melanchthon and vice versa.
Like I say, the whole thing is a grief. But I would love to see peace between two men who have blessed me. I would really encourage a retraction of that opening line and an apology to Alastair.
May God bless you,
Peter, thanks very much, and we would like to see peace restored as well. But as you might well imagine, there is a lot going on behind the scenes in this. That said, I take your comments on board.
In your post “Canon Press With a Christian Nationalism Press Release”, you wrote, “Truthfully, Kevin Bacon says some reprehensible things. How many degrees of separation must we maintain from him?” It turns out that since you appeared on “Takeaways with Kirk Cameron”, of which the eponymous host starred in the 1995 remake of “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes” with Paul Dooley, who in turn was in “Telling Lies in America” with Kevin Bacon, you already have a Bacon Number of three. Which of course means that Mr. Bacon is only five degrees away at most from Mr. Achord.
Dave, the reference to Kevin Bacon made a letter like this simply inevitable. Nothing that anyone could do about it.
On “The Case for Christian Nationalism” . . . Someone sent me this recently. I did not write it but I wish I had.
“Moreover if your brother sins against the woke consensus, tell him his fault on Twitter. But if he refuses to hear your tweets, you shall raise spurious accusations against him, that in the mouth of two or three blog posts every word may be established. But if he will not listen to the internet multitude, tell it to his employer. And once he has lost his livelihood, let him be to you as a nazi, then see if you can get him audited by the tax collector.”
Nyle, words to remember. Although, as it turned out in this case, the accusations were not spurious.
Respectfully, sir, I believe that you have accepted the common liberal error of the superficiality of race in “My 360° Whiteness Review”. The scientific literature suggests that races are valid biological categories. I hope that this wealth of information is both necessary and sufficient for the increase of your knowledge: It is also regrettable that you missed a good opportunity to address the demographic elephant in the room. White demographic decline has been the cause of much angst for white people and even amongst white Christians, for it is possible for one to change his religion, but it is impossible to change one’s race, unless race is just a social construct. How should white people respond to this existential threat that is far more dire than some Portland professor’s opinions or even reparations, which has, on average, been ongoing under the name of L. Johnson’s “War on Poverty”?
Nathan, no. I have accepted no liberal error on this. Show me race in the Bible. You cannot. You can show me ethnicities, and biological diversity (can the leopard change his spots . . .), but race the way you guys use it is simply not in there.
Closing Song in the Doc
What’s the song at the end of the “How to Save the World” documentary? “Are you looking for the city . . .”, it’s really good.
J, thanks. That song is below.
Are You Looking for the City? (MP3)
Shall I explain what’s going on with these songs? I am in the process of emptying out the archives, and giving you all a chance to share in the joy. I will probably add this explanation to all the songs I add here.
Back in the seventies I was in a band called Mountain Angel Band. In the course of events, we cut an album, three songs of which I wrote. They will appear in the Mablog s…
Yes, a Great Failing No Doubt
In your “Thanksgiving 2022” post, you inserted eight unnecessary commas in one sentence containing a list of “tokens” for a proper celebration of Thanksgiving. Doug wrote, “Those tokens include pumpkin pie, and family, and singing “We Thank Thee,, (oops) Our Father,” and pecan pie, and turkey, and gravy, and hearts full of gratitude.” By using the same repeated conjunction, he’s emphasizing the long list of wonderful, Thanksgiving tokens we can and should enjoy.
However, when using this literary device called “polysyndeton,” which Doug does often, commas are not needed. Use conjunctions only: “Those tokens include pumpkin pie and family and singing “We Thank Thee, Our Father” and pecan pie and turkey and gravy and hearts full of gratitude.” Amen! (See how that is less disjointed and more impactful?)
Our Thanksgiving celebrations included all the aforementioned tokens except for, regretfully, the pecan pie and the singing of “We Thank Thee, Our Father.” I’m determined to add both to our Thanksgiving celebrations next year, Lord willing, especially the pecan pie.
I would be remiss if I didn’t thank you and your staff for all you do through Christ Church, Canon Press, Canon Plus, Blog and Mablog, the Plodcast and Femina podcasts, and so much more. What is preached and published and produced is edifying, challenging, and encouraging. Thank you very, very much for faithfully doing the work God prepared in advance for you to do. We are grateful and blessed. May God continue to richly bless you and yours.
Michelle, yes. Nancy has spoken to me before about this comma thing, sometimes quite firmly. But here is my feeble and no doubt ungrammatical defense. I try to write in a way that reflects the spoken word, or at least the way I would speak it. And what I am trying to do with the commas in such lists is to indicate a slight pause for emphasis. It would be even more pronounced if I used periods, which would be more emphatic but more of a pause than I wanted. “Those tokens include pumpkin pie. And family. And singing “We Thank Thee, Our Father.” And pecan pie. And turkey and gravy. And hearts full of gratitude.” That is a daisy chain of sentence fragments, right there, and it is like encountering a speed bump every ten feet. But there would be times when, if I left out the commas, my denotative meaning would be exactly the same, but that little pause wouldn’t be there.
A Book Recommendation
Thanks for all your work. We attended one of your HomeSchool Conferences—about 15 years ago in Covington, Kentucky—and enjoyed it…especially when you pointed out that if we can all use gerund verbs carefully, it can help us.
I’ve enjoyed the book “To Be Or Not: An E-Prime Anthology”—for the last 30 years, or so.
Have you read it? If so, what do you think of the language, “E”-Prime?
Thanks, again, for your direct nature.
Joel, thanks for the book recommendation. I like it when people recommend books. I just ordered it.
A Theological Question
I appreciate your work for God. I have a theological question that crops up for me from time to time. Though it isn’t something that really deters my faith in the saving power of Jesus, I have never heard any answers to ever make it plain in my understanding. Of course, God may just be like that in His ways.
So here it is: in the context of Christ’s crucifixion, the intention of being put to death was that He was a radical religious leader in the eyes of the spoiled Pharisees. The crowd joined in by some reason I do not fully understand (but that they loved darkness and their deeds were evil), and Jesus was a man condemned by Jews’ orchestration with the government to see Him to the cross. How does this situation translate to God’s requirement for a sacrifice once and for all? Besides His perfection, yes, besides His All-Godness, yes, besides His amazing timing in terms of the Passover . . . because His death was not clothed like some sort of ritual of voluntary sacrifice, but one of conspiracy to put an end to His successful ministry—how and why did we all get the idea that this was actually a sacrifice of the Lamb? How long do you reckon that took to solidify in the minds of those who even witnessed Him after His Resurrection and Ascension so much so that they went from figuring out His parables to going and telling it on the mountain?
Thank you for your time.
J, I think it was opaque to the disciples until just after the resurrection. Then the meaning of things He had said earlier became clear (“give His life a ransom for many”), especially as Jesus opened the Scriptures for them (Luke 24:25-26). As to why God decided to do it this way—a perfect sacrifice offered up by wicked hands—that is harder to explain. But I suspect it was because God wanted to use the agent of our Fall as the instrument of our salvation. So . . . if the rulers of this age had understood what they were doing . . .
The Periodic Postmill Question
You can add this to your weekly Postmillennial section:
A friend and I made a questionnaire aimed at understanding the average Christian’s understanding of eschatology and sent it to a few dozen people. One of the questions was an open answer “What is the gospel?” Interestingly, only one person mentioned the Kingdom of God in their answer. Granted this isn’t a large scale study, but we have passed the couple dozen mark and still, only one mention of it. There appears to be a knowledge deficit.
So I have started compiling some information to make a 6-week study answering Who, What, When, Where, Why, How in regards to the Kingdom. Problem is, I am kinda new to post mil myself. I’m going through Gentry’s book, which has been helpful, but I was wondering other books you may suggest on the Kingdom. Is John Bright’s The Kingdom of God any good? One quote I read that I liked is “Had we to give [the Bible] a title we might with justice call it The Book of the Coming Kingdom of God.” From the reviews, looks like he is not post mil, but I am also looking for a solid breakdown of the Old Testament understanding of the Kingdom.
Tim, sorry. I have not read Bright’s book. And I wish I had a good recommendation for you. Hey, you people out in the cloud! Any takers?
A Confession Question
What is your biblical take on repenting/confessing sin to parents? Specifically when the sin wasn’t against them. I’ve heard you say that boys who struggle with porn should confess that to their parents. Should you apply that principle elsewhere too? Is that just if your still struggling with it? And what if you have unbelieving parents?
Daniel, the answer to this one is that it all depends. For example, if you are thirteen, struggling with porn, and your non-Christian parents are encouraging it, then there would be no sense in confessing it. But in many other situations, there would be great help in confessing it. There is not a hard and fast rule.
I am not asking about any particular post, but interacting with thoughts on forgiveness. I have appreciated your recent teaching on forgiveness being a transaction that can’t be completed until the offender repents and asks for forgiveness. In your recent sermon, A Good Grief, you also taught that forgiveness is for actual sins committed and not for mistakes made. My question has to do with Jesus’ statement on the cross, when he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Who specifically is Jesus asking forgiveness for? Is he praying for God to bring to repentance the elect among the crowd? Is he asking for a blanket forgiveness for the particular sin of putting Him on the cross? How does this fit into your other teaching on forgiveness?
I am in the midst of writing a prayer liturgy and want to make sure I have the theology correct on this point. Thank you for your help.
L. K. the plea of the Lord on the cross (and Stephen’s, when he is dying), is a prayer. It is not a bestowal of forgiveness. I would place it in the same category as the Gethsemane prayer. “God, if it is Your will, forgive these people.”
Weddings and Wedding Liturgy
About your wedding liturgy in last week’s letters: I wonder if a little egalitarianism slipped in with the phrase “Her Mother & I.”
Ex 22 & Nu 30 both speak only of a father’s judgment in allowing vows. I’m sure it’s a small thing and debatable, but when I gave away my daughters I used the phrase “I do” for that reason. I guess it’s important to me because so many people seem to think that part of weddings is symbolic and not scripturally mandatory.
Craig, I have done a handful of weddings where the father says “I do” instead of “her mother and I.” I don’t object to it, and have no doctrinal problem with it. But as we use it, it is not egalitarianism, but simply manners. At the reception, it is appropriate for the father of the bride to welcome everyone, and say, “we welcome you to this celebration” even if he is the one paying for everything. It is simply a courtesy.
It was interesting to read through you / your church’s cadence for wedding services. It got reflecting on the weddings I’ve attended through the years. I’ve noticed a strange dichotomy. Most church wedding services I attend today are subdued. Soft music while the wedding party enters. Readings from Scripture. Encouragements for the couple. Vows. etc. Then you move to the reception. Turn down the lights and turn the volume way up. Bring in the way too loud music and MC. Open up the bar for drinks. Cue up a bunch of trashy music for everyone to dance away. I very well might be an old fuddy-duddy here. But it always strikes me strange when ‘Christians’ use weddings as an excuse to party like the heathen.
I don’t want to be in the place of Michal criticizing David for dancing. But Scripture also tells us that we are to be ‘thought strange since we don’t run to the same excess of riot.’ And it sure seems like modern weddings lean way into the excess of riot category. What think ye? As the pastor, I’m sure you are always invited to the reception. How do you handle it when the wedding reception you’re at turns into a rave?
Roger, my reactions are mixed. Sometimes wedding receptions seem to be teetering on the edge of an out-of-control rave, and I don’t like it at all. But in my experience, most of the weddings here— loud music and dancing and all—are just people being people, having a good time.
Biblical Chronology and the TR
James Jordan, in writing on biblical chronology, makes an argument that seems to show the Textus Receptus (TR) is in error, but the Alexandrian is not. To wit, Acts 13:20 in the TR puts the time from the Conquest to Samuel as ‘about 450 years’. However, 1 Kings 6:1 states that from the Exodus to the 4th year of Solomon was 480 yrs. If we take the TR’s 450yrs for the Judges and add 40 years for the wilderness period, 7 for the conquest, 40 for Saul (Acts 13:21), 40 for David, and 4 for Solomon we are already at 581 years and we have not yet added in an unknown number of years for Samuel. This is well over the 480 yr tether in 1 Kings 6:1 that is crucial to biblical chronology. In contrast, the Alexandrian text does not have this problem. James Jordan discussed this problem in good detail in p40-44 here, coming from a position sympathetic to the TR:
Do you think this is a solid argument against the TR?
Relatedly, there were indications >20yrs ago from James Jordan that he was writing a book on biblical chronology entitled ‘The Date of Creation’. I wonder if you happen to know if this important work will ever come to light, or might be able to ask?
Henry, I don’t know anything about that book. Sorry. And I think we should distinguish arguments for a particular reading of the TR, which can be legit, and the TR as a whole.
I hate to say it but I think you’re living in a bubble! We did have a red wave in 2020 when Trump won and in the 2022 midterms but it was circumvented through CHEATING! Massive premeditated cheating in both “elections!” Take a look at Arizona—blatant cheating! It’s hard to hear your take when you don’t seem to understand what is happening in these swing states. (Also, by not voting for Trump in 2016, you were effectively voting for HRC.) The RINO Republicans are not what we think of as Republicans. They are part of the uniparty and we don’t trust them at all! You’re losing me here on your “business as usual” political takes and it’s disappointing!
Rick, it is kind of plain that you must be new here.
Different Ways to Do It
You may have noticed the growing trend of collaborative Christian schools that split time between the home and school. Sometimes they are called hybrid or University-model schools. At school, the students receive instruction in a corporate classroom from a professional teacher; at home, they receive loving guidance and support from a parent, usually the mother. These schools claim to maximize the benefits of each type of schooling, while minimizing their disadvantages. What are your thoughts on this model? Can a classical Christian school with a collaborative schedule be as effective as a classical Christian school with a traditional 5-day schedule?
Anon, yes, I think this model can work. There is no one “right way” to do this.
My Father’s Legacy
Your father’s swan song was to get back to the basics of deliverance from the source of our sinfulness. Well, maybe not in those exact words, but the Protestant church has lost Paul’s heavenly gospel in the shuffle of other issues. God will not honor any other way of taking away the sin of the world except the way of Paul’s perfect position and resting there. Jim Wilson got it right. He kept the main thing the main thing.
Pat, thank you. Yes, yes, he did.
An Awkward Time
My oldest son is a good kid whom I believe to be growing into a godly young man. His major sin is that he tends to barrage his family with what I would class as minor discourtesies: invading personal space, coughing or sneezing without covering his mouth, chattering foolishly in a loud voice, banging plates and dishes around, things like that. We’re all getting worn down by it—especially one of his sisters. I am budgeting for the fact that the energy behind these follies can be channeled to good use, and that to a certain extent, his sister needs to accept that boys are boys. But even so, he needs to change, and has been resisting my efforts to train him in this area for years. Approaching the situation with humor seems to help. But my wisdom is falling short of the task, especially as he is now turning thirteen, and in many ways, his tendencies or sins are the opposite of what mine were at his age, making it hard for me to understand what is going through his mind. The window for addressing these issues seems to be vanishing.
Douglas, stay with it. Boys that age need constant regular reminders (that are not irritated reminders). As you say, humor is good. But stay with it.
Application for Today?
Deuteronomy 23:1, “No man whose testicles have been crushed or whose penis has been cut off may enter the Lord’s assembly.” Does this text have implications for our current gender/identity/mutilation culture?
Joel, yes, it does. It shows that there is a biblical definition of masculine “normal.”
That Tumble Down the Stairs
The Substance of Things Hoped was worth it just for your account of that interesting surprising tumble down the reformational stairs; surprising because it happened in just about the reverse of the order I would have expected. Just a few thoughts/questons as a non-postmillenialist considers postmillenialism: 1. The notes always include postmillenialism’s fall from 19th century grace after and because of the First World War. Many Christians would say the world has not moved in a direction that inspires postmillenial optimism since then. If postmillenialism is very apparent in Scripture it should be so apparent to Christians generally, any circumstances on the ground notwithstanding. What can be seen happening should not be different than what postmillenialism says is happening. Do you see any circumstances in the contemporary world that are reassuring to a postmillenialist, or is it a matter of walking by faith?
2. When I think of postmillenialism I can’t help being reminded of the secular myth of progress and it’s religious parallel, the social gospel. Isn’t the social gospel a form of postmillenialism, and evangelical postmillenialism’s third cousin once removed? Do you ever find that chagrining?
3. What difference does it make? Not a rhetorical question; I believe one’s eschatology should make a practical difference. What would you do differently if, instead of a postmillenialist, you were a premillenialist? An amillenialist?
John, since the First World War, for example, Africa has become Christian. It has been really messy since the First War, but that is just one example of many. I prefer to think of the secular idea of progress as a deracinated form of postmill thinking—what happens when optimistic eschatology forgets about Christ. And what difference does it make? I would hope that I would be doing the same things as now, but without any good reasons for it.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my letter. One of my (non-Christian) professors commented on the different versions of sola Scriptura taken by the Reformers. He mentioned that for Luther Scripture should be a check on tradition, whereas Zwingli restricts church practices to what is explicit in Scripture.
First, I am wondering if that observation is historically accurate. Second, what is the proper view of the relationship between Scripture and tradition/the Church? It seems to me that this is a chicken-or-the egg situation. What comes first? The covenant community or Scripture? Wasn’t Moses writing within an already-formed community? Even though God did speak first in Creation, the Exodus, etc, doesn’t the knowledge of that speech come down to us through the Scripture text which arises from a covenant community? Does this mean that there is equal authority between the Church and Scripture? That, of course, sounds fishy to me but I’m not sure how to argue against it based on this chicken-egg conundrum.
I would appreciate any answer, however brief. Thank you.
Isaias, thanks for the question. I would heartily recommend Keith Mathison’s book, The Shape of Sola Scriptura. It really is fantastic, and I think would answer all your questions.
Two brief points (and an exhortation) regarding your post some weeks ago entitled, “11 Reasons Why We Should Not Consider Thomism to be the Theological Equivalent of the Butterfly’s Boots.”
It was Dominic’s encounter with the Cathars, not the Waldensians, that led him to establish the Order of Preachers. As you surely know, the Cathars were hardly proto-Protestants, but rather latter-day Manichees.
Second, concerning the processions ad intra, Thomas was well aware of the frailty of human language, and adverted to this weakness on many occasions. That said, his tentative analogy of the Son’s procession with a conception of intellect, and the Holy Spirit’s procession with the impulse of love, is not unique to his teaching, and is a not unreasonable attempt to understand how generation and spiration might be understood with respect to immaterial realities; it dates back to Augustine, at least, and ultimately rests upon Scriptural exegesis (cf. his Commentary on the Gospel of St. John). Whether his exegesis withstands scrutiny, one may well ask; however, there is no doubt that Thomas, who spent the better part of his youth in a Benedictine monastery immersed in the divine office, regarded himself firstly as an expositor of the sacred page, secondly as a pupil of the fathers (particularly Augustine), and thirdly as an inheritor of the riches of the pagans.
In any event, I understand the source of your misgivings, but if you fear that Thomas leads to an un-Scriptural “slab of frozen-infinite-deity,” I simply (no pun intended!) urge you to read his commentary on the Gospel of St. John, wherein he remarks, for instance: “He [John] further says, ‘Only Begotten,’ to show that God does not have a love divided among many sons, but all of it is for that Son whom he gave to prove the immensity of his love”, or perhaps his Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, wherein he exclaims, “Now the mystery of the Incarnation has God’s will as its cause since he willed to become incarnate on account of his intense love for men.” Here is fire, not ice!
Abide in all that is good, true, and beautiful, as far as you are able, by the grace of Christ the Lord.
P.S. If you really want to grasp the heart and mind of Thomas, read the two part intellectual biography by Jean-Pierre Torrell, O.P., translated by Robert Royal.
Philip, a sinner
Phillip, you are right about the Cathars, who really were heretical nutjobs. But the Dominicians also went after the Waldensians, who were proto-Protestants. And thanks for the good quotes, and for the book recommendation.
Can a classical Christian school with a collaborative schedule be as effective as a classical Christian school with a traditional 5-day schedule?
Yes! Check out NAUMS UMSI | About the University-Model®
Our school uses this model and we have been going for 18 years.
Although we are not classical, many schools in the NAUMS association are classical.
There may be no race in the Bible described exactly as the kinists use it. But there is mention of families of nations in the Psalms, and the Israelites were encouraged to let the Edomites in after three generations because they were closely related to them. One could say without much contrivance that the Europeans are a family of nations, given the fact that they are fairly closely related, in addition to having cultural similarities. Though it is highly unlikely I would ever consider marrying a non-European girl, I think that to say that interracial marriage is a sin per… Read more »
With mistakes, forgiveness often is tied to the issue of restitution. The upstairs neighbor’s four year old left a sink running and the water damage destroys the neighbor’s apartment. Certainly, something not done deliberately, but when all of your things are destroyed, you are going to feel a real loss. Even if the insurance covers the loss, the need to not hold a grudge will be present.
Doug, I just saw this quote from your last article: “That said, I really appreciate the wariness that our men have about the kinists . . . The reason I appreciate this wariness is that we really need to police this border very carefully, because all it will take is some young CREC buck using the n-word at the worst possible moment—and he will undo the labor of decades.” I have to say, I’m a little surprised at how afraid you are of the regime’s ability to anathematize people and movements. This might explain some of the weird things you… Read more »
Race is unbliblical…because all men are descended from Adam “of one blood” to quote scripture itself. This is not a “weird thing.” All men fell in Adam, all find redemption in Christ. There is no further boundary.
Only from evolutionary standpoints does race as a concept make any sense.
Depends how you define race. No one here would deny that everyone can be saved through Christ, or at least Armin wouldn’t. That does not mean that there are no differences, and it does not necessarily mean that any Christian man and woman who are not immediate relatives can marry regardless of race, or that ethnic/racial restrictions on who may immigrate are wrong. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that interracial marriage is never good, or that all European countries should support white-only immigration, but that we are all descended from Adam way back at 12000-5000 BC does… Read more »
I appreciate the respectful engagement. I am curious though, so long as we are obeying the scriptural injunction against marrying outside of the faith, what other reason interracial marriage would be wrong. I agree crosscultural marriage might be difficult or unwise, but when culture is similar (as it frequently is in a melting pot like America) there is nothing inherent genetically that makes such a union unadvisable, or so it seems to me. And the same in terms of immigration. I easily see argument for restricting immigration to Christians, for instance, but how can one biblically justify restricting based on… Read more »
It is not so much for me that it is morally wrong, but that, after a certain point, it is unwise. There are some genetic complications from whites and orientals, whites and blacks, and orientals and blacks marrying, I don’t know about Europeans and non-European Caucasians, such as Middle Easterners and India Indians. There were a few instances before the law in which interethnic marriages were frowned upon, and it is hard to connect religion to those, as Rachel and Leah seem to be idol worshippers, and the Canaanites, who Abraham did not want his son to marry, were not… Read more »
God clearly approved of Moses ethiopian wife, and clearly disapproved of Mirjam’s and Arons complaining about it.
While we can’t know how black she was, she was not from a people closely related to the hebrews.
God did not condemn Aaron and Miriam because they didn’t like Moses’s wife, but because they used it to question his authority. He did not say anything about the wife. I think this wife is one mentioned by Josephus, who he married when he was prince of Egypt but who presumably died or left him before he fled Egypt and married Zipporah, who was a Midianite, and therefore descended from Abraham. This is before the spies, so Zipporah, who Moses had just reunited with, is assumably still alive, and if it is a recent marriage, it would have made Moses… Read more »
But if God had considered Moses marriage to her to be something wrong, they would have been right to question his authority.
You may be right about her being an earlier wife, or it may have been polygamy (which is not unknown among Old Testament saints), or Zipporah might have died. I don’t read Hebrew, so I can’t read the passages in the original, but I get the impression they are complaining about a current wife, not something in the past.
Just because someone did something wrong doesn’t mean that we should necessarily question their authority over it. David did quite a few foolish things and two very wicked things when he was king, which led to rebellions in later life, but those rebellions are not condemned in the narrative. I’m not sure if it was wrong for Moses to marry that woman, but it would probably have been wrong if it was current, because Zipporah was still alive when he had reunited with her a few months back, at most (this is before the forty years of wandering.), and it… Read more »
Is your argument about a swede and a pygmy based on cultural distance or something else. I am not sure I get it. What if a Pygmy had been adopted in a swedish family as an infant, and totally swedish in language, values and body language. Would the race matter? Would such a swedish pygmy not be closer to an ordinary swede than a frenchman or bulgarian.
The genetic difference would still be there, and it’s big enough to cause problems. Also, pigmies are less intelligent than most people, enough that there is probably some genetic reason for that. Besides, some things are just odd, just as there is no rule of modesty, but modesty is there, and it would almost certainly be a sin (or a stupid thing) to wear a bikini in church in any realistic circumstance.
Jonathan, a few things: 1) On the issue of exclusion based on race, the better question might be, what is the Biblical support for saying that excluding certain races from certain areas is morally wrong (acknowledging of course that we’re not talking about the church)? For example, if a particular private school said “We do not allow black students,” what would be the specific sin they are committing? I know a lot of people would feel bad about it, but I honestly can’t think of a specific Biblical command that this is violating. 2) Diverse areas have a… Read more »
What sin did Peter commit when he wouldn’t eat with the gentiles?
Judaizing. The gospel was at stake. I’m no Jim Crow segregationist, but I can’t accuse the Jim Crow people of Judaizing.
There was certainly that element to it but there was also the issue of fellowship. Many people who are pushing for segregation ignore the fact that the early church was diverse being full of Jews and gentiles. There wasn’t this separation between church life and community. They were Fellowshipping daily from house to house.
But that’s not the society we live in now, so that’s irrelevant. No one’s saying we should separate the body of Christ. We’re talking about society as a whole.
Had 0 idea about the Christian Nationalism flare up with Stephen Wolfe, so I went and checked out Wolfe’s associate Achord’s tweets, whom I’m never heard of before. I saw 1 tweet about “simping vs chimps”, which I’m not willing to chalk up to racism. My wife almost got exiled to Mordor once because she dared say that a class of boisterous, poorly behaved, predominantly young black kids was acting like a bunch of wild monkeys. This is an accurate statement of any class of ill-disciplined young kids. 1 tweet about sowing wild oats and going down fighting. Worldly wisdom,… Read more »
My grandfather would call us monkeys. We’re very pale.
One thing that surprised me with the whole Sequitur School scandal, is that apparently, the school did not have any sort policy regarding employees/teachers remaining in good standing with the school while filing for divorce without having Biblical grounds. I would have thought even if they didn’t have a formal policy written, there would have been pressure but on the offending employee to move along quietly over the summer. Is the situation regarding divorced employees at Sequitur the norm at Classical Christian schools? It is disappointing if that is the case.
Is this in reference to Rod Dreher or his ex-wife?
Not trying to go into the muck with those people, but I am genuinely curious about the policies regarding divorce while employed by the typical Classical Christian School. He wrote about her sanctimonious resignation after she found out about the Achord scandal. I was surprised as I would have thought this would have been addressed by the board already. Maybe they were allowing for some sort of transition period that would be the least disruptive for everyone involved including the students. To just carry on like this flagarant violation of Biblical teaching is acceptable would in my opinion compromise the… Read more »
Do we know that her divorce was unbiblical as determined by the elders in authority over her?
Dreher went to an E. Orthodox church and stopped going there because it was small and awkward post-divorce, apparently.
Rod Dreher’s divorce not going well – taking bets on his new religion! : brokehugs (reddit.com)
I’m aware of that — but it doesn’t really answer my question. I’m not defending Dreher, I have a lot of reasons to think that he’s not being honest and on the side of the angels here, but “his divorce was unbiblical on his wife’s part” is more than I know and more than I have sufficient information to judge. Therefore, I’m questioning Barnard’s assumption that the school acted wrongly in regard to her. Unless we know the divorce was unbiblical, which IMO most of us have no way of knowing, since Dreher has not been very forthcoming about the… Read more »
It sounded like you assumed she was in a Presbyterian or other Protestant church when you said “elders in authority over her.” That’s why I mentioned the church she attends.
All I am going off of are Dreher’s blog posts about it in which he says his wife initiated the divorce and admitted it was not for Biblical reasons. I am much more interested in the general policies of Classical Christians Schools than their personal situation. I can see where this might become an employment law issue and the schools don’t want to approach it unless they are forced to.
I’m familiar with a couple of lawsuits against Catholic schools for terminating the employment of Catholic teachers/coaches who remarried outside the Catholic church following divorce or who entered into legal same sex marriage. The schools ultimately prevailed but both cases reached the appellate stage. What might be relevant here is that employees must know what behavior is forbidden. If her own Christian denomination doesn’t forbid divorce, she might be unaware that the school’s Christian leadership does. Other issues were consistency and timing–were the Catholic schools winking at major violations because they desperately needed a winning football coach while coming down… Read more »
Thanks, that helps answer my question from that perspective.
She, Rod, and the children attended a small Orthodox church. I’m not sure the clergy would have a frame of reference for “biblical divorce.” The Orthodox churches really vary in their position on divorce although all are much more lenient than the Roman Catholic church when it comes to remarriage. The strictest Orthodox accept divorce in the event of adultery, abuse, and abandonment. Others accept it in the event of “permanent marital breakdown.” But, if it’s like the Catholic church, you don’t need your priest’s blessing before filing for divorce (although you’re certainly encouraged to seek his counsel). Merely filing… Read more »
You are a clergyman after all, so I’m not surprised but am a little disappointed that you apparently privilege revealed knowledge at the expense of natural knowledge. This isn’t even contigent upon Darwinism or creationism, because the research is based on current observations, not theories of deep time. At least you did not resort to strawmanning and posturing as you have in your NQN posts, but you still couldn’t resist impugning my motives (as one of “you guys”) and arguing semantics. The liberals are loath to acknowledge the reality of race, but nobody can deny the existence of biological and… Read more »
It seems that liberals are eager to make everything about race. That’s why All Lives Matter is so triggering to them… it acknowledges what they know to be true, and they wish it wasn’t.
Colorblindness is politically incorrect these days. In itself it is considered “white supremacy.” It is not pandering to the left in any way to take this position, which is biblically demanded.
Race is an evolutionary concept that does not have its roots in a biblical worldview, which demands “one blood” and a common ancestor about 4500 years ago.
Even time is racist!
lol This is why the Babylon Bee is having such a hard time these days XD
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Leftist race relations is categorically confusing because they believe that race is socially, but not biologically, real. For example, there was a recent National Geographic issue (which is actually owned by Disney) dedicated to asserting that race has no biological basis while also lamenting so-called systemic racism. The Left can weaponize race and racism against whites without believing them to actually be true because they don’t believe in truth. If by colorblindness, you mean equal treatments and opportunities, then I am with you. Leftists believe in equality of outcomes. That’s why they’re against gifted and… Read more »
I think I understand, and mostly agree with you (at least in this post). Obviously, as you say, there are genetic differences.
The question then arises whether that should be something we discriminate on, as opposed to the behavior itself. For instance, the role of men vs. women is clearly distinguished as very different by scripture, but there doesn’t seem to be a distinguishing of role between people groups in the New Covenant. If there is no longer the Chosen Nation of Israel, then how can we justify separating based on race and not based on behavior/religion/culture?
For the same reason we can and should forbid the breeding or ownership of pitbulls. Behavior (and in humans, culture, and a good bit of religion, too, I’m afraid) are downstream of genetics. I don’t want to wait until my kid’s face gets eaten to decide that *this* pitbull doesn’t belong in my neighborhood; I don’t want to wait until my kid’s face gets knockout-gamed by the 13%-do-60% crowd to decide that *this* dindu doesn’t belong in my neighborhood. And if that makes me racist, so be it. I prefer to call it loving my neighbor.
What if a “dindu”, as you call them, was a brother in Christ? You will have great problems in the great gathering before the Throne were all races are mixed together in worship. The Book of Revelation speaks of one group before the Throne, not many different ones.
No, the book of Revelation speaks of many groups before the Throne. See 21:24–22:2. Distinct nations into eternity, not an undifferentiated mass into eternity. You also find ‘nations’, plural, or similar (e.g. ‘kings’), in probably pretty close to all the OT references to the redeemed world. The fact that someone from another people is my brother in Christ does not have much to do with whether he will fit in with my people, or I with his. It will certainly make him a better citizen of his people—and resident of mine, should he find himself among them—but it does not… Read more »
Revelation 7:9 clearly talks about one group, taken out of every nation and tongue. One, not many. You are to treat your brothers and sisters in Christ as brothers and sisters. They are your family and your people. While there are passages in the New Testament that urges us to treat our relatives according to blood well, there are many who downplayes those natural bounds. Se how Christ reacts when people tell him that his mother and brothers are looking for Him. As CS Lewis points out in Mere Christianity, all christians belong to the same organism, and the difference… Read more »
This is what they used to call ‘immanentizing the eschaton’, along with a healthy dose of eisegetical reading of Rev. 7:9.
Well, it still is talking about one group before the throne, not many as you claimed.
I don’t think living together in the Church the way He commanded us to is wrong, call it immanentizing the eschaton if you like. Maybe abstaining from idolatry and fornication also is immanentizing the eschaton.
Hey, Buford ole buddy,
I have it on good authority that you and your buddies will be the ones washing the dishes and cleaning the toilets of the dindus in the great here after. But look on the bright side, you’ll get to spend eternity with Doug and all his buds on your smoke breaks on the back steps of those dindus’ mansions.
Eternity is a looooong time. Enjoy!!
Didn’t you post that non sequitur comment recently alleging that C.S. Lewis might have been a sodomite or at least had those tendencies? If so, you might want to seriously consider I Cor. 6:9-10 before pretending to be God and assigned jobs in the afterlife.
I must have touched a nerve. I’m sure the Almighty has a wonderful sense of humor. You should try to attain one. You seem to be chronically angry.
And a big know it all.
So this is your latest iteration? I realize you’ve gone through myriad names here, but couldn’t you come up with something more creative than “Jon”?
I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about. But hey, if someone else sees through your bluster, the more the merrier!
From the few posts I’ve read, you don’t seem have much joy or love for your fellow man. That’s the antithesis of Jesus’ message.
No, Jesus’ message wasn’t some hippy “just love everyone and be happy and tolerate whatever sins your culture celebrates.” That’s your awful modern take. Remember what Jesus said about the law in Matthew 5? Do you know what that law (and even the New Testament) says about sins your celebrate? Of course I don’t expect you to take that seriously, just like you said nothing about I Cor. 6:9-10. And no, you can’t detect anything meaningful about my joy or love levels from a few comments. That sounds a LOT like some of you comrades (and perhaps other personalities?) on… Read more »
Whatever happened to love your neighbor as yourself? There are no qualifiers in that passage. Right? I don’t know what you mean by “hippy love”. What’s wrong with letting someone else live their life as they wish as long as they are not hurting you or others. I don’t agree with your views on the scriptures or your how you treat other that don’t agree with you. I find your views repugnant and antithetical to Jesus, but you are certainly entitled to them. As for 1 Cor. 6:9-10, maybe Paul was having a bad day. Or better yet, since there… Read more »
In other words, make up verses (“I think it’s in there”) or claim inspired authors were having a bad day when they condemned your pet sins that lead to damnation unless you repent. Ok, cards shown. Please stop pretending to be God (like assigning roles in Heaven) or having any concern for his Word. And you can stop the armchair psychologist routine. I have more joy than any social justice whiner I know.
The sad part is we tell certain people they’re victims 24/7 and EVERYTHING (including made-up stuff like climate change) is whitey’s fault (never mind China and India), then are surprised when stuff like this happens. And it happens a LOT more than the media reports–they just show a tiny sample.
School takes action after physical attack on Gwinnett teacher goes viral – YouTube
Under normal circumstances, ethno-cultural separatism would not be subject to conscious disputation as we are having now, because there is a natural, non-sinful, in-group preference that white liberals have been brainwashed into turning upside-down. However, we are living in peculiar times, beginning with the Hart–Celler Act of 1965 that began the demographic transformation of the U.S., passed with lies that “the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset”, and also expressed by the prevalence of mixed-race couples whether in television commercials or on Time magazine covers. This displacement of European people and culture is driven in part by… Read more »
I was thinking about 1 Cor 7 in a different context – A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord – but in the context here a widow may marry whoever she wants, there is no racial or cultural qualification added. Jew or Greek distinctions have been done away with in the Lord.
Dominic Bnonn Tennant’s book ‘The Spine of Scripture: God’s Kingdom from Eden to Eternity’ might be the postmill book Tim is looking for. Though I’m not an impartial critic.
Hello Mrs Tennant! Where is your little avatar from and what is she (he?) saying? :)
I’m more impartial than Sarah, and it is an excellent book. I think when Bnonn produces a 2nd edition, chapter 5 could be strengthened with insights from Phil Kayser’s whole sermon series on Revelation.
Tim – here are 3 sermons to read that I found particularly helpful in putting the puzzle pieces of the kingdom together:
First and foremost: Rev 1:9b (23/8/2015)
And: Rev 1:2c (14/06/2015)
And: Rev 11:15-19 (23/04/2017)
The whole series is massively insightful. I prefer Kayser’s approach to what I have read of Gentry.
That book is awesome! I bought it by mistake, and then couldn’t put it down – loved it.
Henry, here is another approach to understanding the TR reading in Acts 13:20:
Christian, interesting – it depends on a re-translation. It would be good to hear if other Greek scholars affirm this is reasonable. I actually came across a different solution that seems to hit the mark, in p76 Floyd Nolan Jones’ book on chronology. Namely, add up all the years of servitude & peace explicitly stated in the book of Judges: 8+40+18+80+20+40+7+40+3+23+22+18+6+7+10+8+40+20 + 40 for Eli in 1 Sam. 4:18 = exactly 450. As per Acts 13:20 time period, these are the years recorded from the period from the end of the Conquest ‘up to Samuel the prophet’. Coincidence? Thus, the… Read more »
I should add, just came across this masterful piece of work by James Begon, he has a note on Acts 13:20 at the end which concurs with the solution above:
Ah, Keith Mathison. Great guy. He and I had a long discussion about his book on sola scriptura shortly after it came out. Unfortunately, the discussion is gone, but my review of the book is still available. If watching paint dry is too exciting for you, try this.
Any movement that continues to banish its allies to the shadows and tries to ruin their lives, rather than upholding them despite their indiscretions is not one that lasts long. Achord said some dumb things. But he did not deserve to be fired. Christian Cancel culture is as vituperative as any. Its truly discouraging to watch Doug castigate people who, like Paul, hold an affection for their tribe of people, as horrible antibiblical bigots.
This. And the worst part is Doug’s preening over it all. He thinks that dem debbil ‘kinists’ are ‘the soft underbelly’ of the Christian Right, and imagines that the Left would much rather be fighting them than ‘regular old conservative Christians [like himself], the kind whose grandfathers knew how to kick fascistobutt’. Okay, boomer. The reality is that the soft underbelly of the Christian Right are the pastors and pundits who police the Overton Window with ruination every bit as viciously as any bluehaired nonbinary would, had zir/xie/whatever doxxed first. And they follow in their grandfathers’ footsteps when they do… Read more »
“As vituperative as any”? Nonsense. Pastor Wilson is not contemptuously dismissing Thomas Achord’s apology as insincere evasion, attacking Stephen Wolfe with insults for not distancing himself more, or gloating about how much the Achord family will suffer this Christmas. Not even close. And those are only samples from Wolfe’s thread, never mind the numerous other incidents with even more horrendous vitriol. It’s also fair to point out that the headmaster of a Christian school needs to not say dumb, sinful things, especially joining in wicked movements; this impinges on their job responsibilities directly, in a way that few other jobs… Read more »
In response to the theological question about Jesus as sacrificial lamb, would Hebrews 7:27 plays in as well? If I understand it correctly, Jesus operated as both perfect priest and perfect sacrifice in that He offered Himself up as a sacrifice. I would take this to mean more than a willingness to be the sacrifice (which is how I’d typically thought of it), but in a spiritual sense the one both offering the sacrifice and being sacrificed. This could take care of some of the apparent visual that fallen man took any real part in the offering, especially when we… Read more »