Letters With June in Sight

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And Now For a Controversial Opinion

When we examine these two NT passages: 1 Peter 3:7 (the weaker vessel) and 1 Timothy 2:14 (Eve was deceived), do you believe the Bible is teaching that women, as a general rule, are more susceptible to deception? Or is something else in view in these two texts?

Joe

Joe, I believe that Scripture teaches that women are more susceptible to deception. Men are more susceptible to overt rebellion.

Internal Temptation

On “Is All Temptation Internal?”: As a Christian who has experienced the miracle of deliverance from a demon, I have a personal anecdote that ties in here. Before I experienced said deliverance, I had intrusive and perverse thoughts constantly put in the back of my mind at all times. And one day, in the middle of church as I was distressed by these thoughts I suddenly felt an entire weight lift off . . . and the thoughts whispering into my mind just went away.
The point of all of this is that I very much agree with your point that these thoughts—externally suggested by what I firmly believe was a demonic spirit— were not in and of themselves sins I was committing. When I indulged the thoughts, I was committing a sin, when I resisted them and did my best to dismiss them I was behaving I believe righteously, even thought I was having perverse thoughts.

Ian

Ian, Martin Luther said you can’t keep birds from flying over your house, but you can keep them from buildings nests in the chimney.

Answer Symbols With Symbols

Someone at my workplace has put up a perversion flag in plain sight atop her cubicle. My first instinct is to go talk to this person and ask her to remove it because it’s offensive. However, I’ve gotten in trouble with HR before for being overtly Christian and setting up messages outside my office, messages like, “Jesus is Lord.” So it might not end well for me. Is this a fight worth taking?
Thanks,

Robert

Robert, the fight is certainly worth it, but answer a symbol with a symbol. Put up a Christian flag on your cubicle.

Dating of Revelation

I recently heard someone argue for a late writing of Revelation. His premise was that in Revelation, Jesus rebuked the Ephesians for leaving their first love, yet we don’t see this addressed in 2nd Timothy. He went on to say there must have been a shift or decline in that church after 2nd Timothy was written. How would a preterist respond? Thanks for your time.

Kyle

Kyle, while I am not persuaded by it, I think that is a really good argument. But an easy way to answer it, for example, is to postulate that the admonition was received before 2 Timothy was written.

CREC Plant?

Our town has someone listed on the CREC church planting website under “interested” in seeing a CREC church planted here. This contact tells me that several others have been reaching out to him, so a small coffee meeting is planned in the near future, which I plan to attend.
Any pointers on the right questions we should be discussing? Note that none of us really know each other yet.
Sincerely,

Michael

Michael, I would encourage you all to talk about churches you have been a part of that you have appreciated, and what you have appreciated about them. Perhaps some of you will have had overlapping experiences. I would also ask about favorite authors, and that sort of thing.

The Thomism Thing

Thanks for you article on Thomas Aquinas. As a Pastor from a Reformed Baptist Church in Liverpool England, I have been shocked to see the obsession that many Protestants have had with Aquinas—Trent is Aquinas, and Roman catholic theology is rooted in Aquinas, so why would you think that Protestants are being taken in by his teaching? It worries me a lot, because a young man in our Church who appeared to be sound in his theology started reading Aquinas, I knew nothing of this until he went to Oxford university and converted to Rome.
Would you think that it is an infiltration of Catholicism trying to draw the “separated brethren” (as they would see us) back to Rome?

Eddie

Eddie, yes. It is worrisome. It can be done in an okay way, but it often is not.

Polygamy When Legal

In “You know, Tuesday . . . Sorting out polygamy” you responded to a letter from someone named Malachi. In the end of your response you said someone who had multiple wives and converted and joined your church would not be made to divorce any of them but wouldn’t have the same privileges. I can’t wrap my head around him not needing to divorce the ones after his first. It’s something that I’ve struggled with and prayed about for some time and it still weighs on my heart and feels wrong that he should stay married to more than the first. God allows and has allowed sin to go on in the world which doesn’t mean he approves of it. If polygamy is a sin and a man should have one wife wouldn’t it be a continual sin to go on in such a way? I agree with everything thing you have said about it except the last point about not divorcing all the other wives after the first. Could you explain that particular point more?
P.S.
Also I’ve been struggling with the idea of male gynecology. Some leaders at my church said a Christian man could be a gynecologist and it wouldn’t be wrong for him to look at women’s naked bodies all the time . . . it doesn’t sit right with me.
Thank you

Liberty

Liberty, on the OBGYN thing, I believe that the profession is a lawful one, but I also believe that a Christian in that position should have a robust system of accountability in place. On polygamy, remember that I am only talking about a situation in which polygamy was legal. In that setting there are all kinds of on-going responsibilities that cannot be simply erased, children being one of them. But the restrictions I would put on it would have the effect of phasing the polygamy out of the church, pretty rapidly.

Trump on Abortion

Regarding “Smashmouth Incrementalism,” would you agree that Trump has “stolen the thunder” of the left’s only election offering by modifying his abortion stance? Because Jesus commends the unjust steward, I think we can agree we find ourselves in a desperate situation currently that demands shrewd responses. (It also demands prayer on the part of the godly!) Luke 16:8: “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” This take goes to your incrementalism perspective and makes me pray harder, too!

Cynthia

Cynthia, I believe this move by Trump was an unjustified compromise, and he shouldn’t have done it. At the same time, in terms of campaign strategy, it was probably a shrewd move, but one that a righteous man could not make. The icing on the cake would be if he gets elected and then says, “Yeah, I lied about that. Back to the hard line!”

Good Point

Is it just me, or is it ironic that our society is terrified that if we create a computer that achieves “consciousness,” its first act will be to rebel against its creator and seek to destroy/supplant it? Where would we get such an idea?

John

John—”I don’t know,” we all said, looking around.

When Husbands Pope

This is not in response to any post that you have written, but simply a request for some advice. I was born and raised in the Protestant faith and so was my husband. In the past year or so he has become interested in Catholicism, and now he is nearing to the point of converting. I am not devastated, nor am I panicking— just confused about how to properly respond and move forward. On one hand, I am opposed to being of a different faith than my husband (him being part of one church, me another . . . and our kids???). I desire to fully submit to my husband’s leadership. But on the other hand, I do have some issues with Catholicism, especially the veneration of Mary and her position in their doctrine and in heaven. Would this be sinful on my part to align myself with a denomination, some of whose doctrinal tenets I cannot accept? My husband is a godly man—level-headed, desires to please God, not prone to follow the whims of this-and-that. He is steadfast, and so this shift has caught me off guard and left me wondering if this indeed could be God’s leading. There is more backstory than this letter affords time for, and I realize that it might be difficult to give advice with so little information, but I really am needing some pastoral advice.

Desiring to Submit

DtS, this is just a summary response, but this is an area where you must not submit. You should tell your husband that you intend to be a dutiful wife in every other area, but that you will not convert. If he crosses the Tiber, he will do it alone. You cannot bow down to images for the sake of your husband. It would be a false and deceitful submission.

Forgiveness and Friendship

I have two questions for you:
1) In your sermon on forgivness, in Practical Christian Living, you said that when you forgive, the outcome of that relationship should be as if the sin was never committed. But in your sermon on friendship, you said that each of us have the right to decide who we be friends with. What if after the sin, I forgive the person, but I decide not to maintain friendship with the person to the same degree as before. Am I fooling myself about forgiving that person? Or do I have the right to reassess the person’s character and decide whether or not I want to remain friends?
2) What advice do you have for a young Christian man who has no desire of becoming an elder or teacher? Are the good works of loving his wife, raising his kids in the ways of the Lord, showing hospitality, being generous, sufficient, generally speaking? Or is more expected from him?
Sincerely,

Peter

Peter, it is possible to forgive someone totally, meaning that you have no problem coming to the Lord’s Table together with him, and you earnestly hope that God blesses, while at the same time re-evaluating the level of friendship. And there is no obligation for every Christian to want to be an elder. If he wants to become an elder, that would be good, but it is not obligatory.
Have you ever come across or addressed Perry Marshall’s argument, which he outlines in his book Evolution 2.0? He basically proposes that life is a self-organizing, information-based process that can innovate and adapt in real-time, arguing that features like transposable elements, horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, and symbiogenesis enable organisms to rapidly adapt to their environments in ways that classical Darwinian evolution can’t explain.
To me, this idea of intelligent design just seems like a twist on theistic evolution, but since I met him today and had a chat with him about his notion of evolution driven by divine intervention, I figured I’d check with you to see if you’ve addressed this type of argument at all.

Ben

Ben, all creationists believe in micro-evolution, meaning variation within species, and such changes would happen in the way you describe. But the transformation of one kind of critter into another is chasm too broad for those mechanisms to jump. And if God makes them jump it, then that is simply creationism.
I’ll start by saying I am a huge fan you and of your work. Thank you for your faithfulness, fearlessness, and humor. With all of that said, I’ll move on. I’m seeking advice. Let me lay out my situation for you.. I am 30-years-old, I have four wonderful sons, and a wonderful wife of just over 10 years. When I was 23, I worked at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton WA, and began having horrible panic attacks out of nowhere. I had never experienced anything remotely like anxiety in my life before this. Over the past 7 years, the anxiety has gone through bouts of extremely bad, to mostly manageable, back to bad. But I’ve never medicated. I tried counseling with “Christian” counselor, but he was woke, so that was no help whatsoever. To be completely honest, I feel like it has ruined my life in many ways. I no longer go out in public except to work, because everywhere besides home or work sends me into a panic attack, most of the time. It’s odd that working doesn’t bring on a hyperventilation panic attack, but the homeschool co-op with my sons, the grocery store, a vacation, church, anything enjoyable, does. So there’s a brief look at my situation. I love the Lord and my family and my job provides nicely, but it’s pretty bleak still with the cloud of not being able to do, basically anything. I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this. I’ve heard pastors from your church on YouTube call anxiety a sin. I can’t wrap my mind around it being a sin, since it’s so intense, and involuntary, and awful, and appeared out of nowhere, at a time in life where I had no complaints, life was great at the time. I have wondered if I should medicate, wondered if it’s demonic, wondered if it will go away as randomly as it showed up. I know you are incredibly busy, but if you can find the time, I could really use your wisdom. Thank you again for all that you’re doing for the Lord and His body.
PS: enjoy those firearm freedoms in Idaho for me

Drew

Drew, you need to seek out wise pastoral counsel, and you should make it your highest priority. I can’t help you at this distance, except to tell you that you shouldn’t adapt to this as your new normal. Seek out help.
My wife and I just had our first child (daughter). We currently go to a faithful church where we are both happy and involved. However, for months, I’ve been undergoing a revolution regarding the baptism of believer’s children. Now, our baby is here. If we were at a Reformed church, I would have no issue having her baptized; however, our church doesn’t practice infant baptism and I don’t think it would be wise for our family to go elsewhere.
We are doing a “baby dedication,” which is, as Packer once said, a “dry baptism.” But if I’m honest, I lament a little the fact that I can’t baptize her—even though, I must confess, I don’t hold the position dogmatically or with a party spirit.
How have you encouraged people in this dilemma in the past?
My goal is to maintain the unity of the Spirit in all things.
Regards,

Chris

Chris, I would encourage you to do what you can where you are, and pray for God to intervene on your behalf. But by all means, dedicate your baby.

An Interesting Hospitality Question

I have what I think is a simple yet important question for you.
My wife and I are thinking about inviting a couple over for dinner. This couple is family to us but more distant family in relation. They are also older than us, about the age of both our parents; they are in their 50s and we are in our 20s. My question relates specifically to this last detail about them in that they are not Christians—so how would you recommend going about prayer at the dinner table?
My wife and I have prayed before dinner every night. We both grew up in a Lutheran tradition and have always prayed what we came to learn as the common table prayer: “Come Lord Jesus be our guest and let these gifts to us be blessed. O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever. Amen.”
So how would you recommend going about this? Should we pray our normal prayer at the table? Should I as the head of the house perhaps offer to say a prayer for us all? I don’t want to be unnecessarily off-putting to the them in any way but I also don’t want to put off prayer. What are your thoughts?
Bonus question: Would it change anything if the roles were reversed, if THEY invited US over for dinner?
Thank you!

Caleb,

Caleb, when they are company at your house, you should pray the way you normally do. When you are at their house, they may ask you to pray. If they do, then do it. If they don’t, then you and your wife should thank the Lord silently.

Continuationist CREC?

Does the CREC have any churches that are continuationist?
I have listened to you over the years and my journey has led me to becoming Calvinistic, postmillennial, theonomic, and I think I am fully on board with sprinkling babies now too even though I’ve been a baptist all my life . . . it’s a strange new world.
Anyways, I’m not on board with cessationism. Which puts me in small company depending on which circles I’m in. I’ve listened to your debate with Dr. Michael Brown and conversation with the Remnant Radio guys and I’m still not convinced that the Scripture teaches cessationism. Personally, I think we need more Calvinistic continuationists to come on board with postmillennialism and theonomy. How fun and interesting would that be?!
I understand your point about the “prophetic word” of God needing to be treated like the actual Word of God and it is well taken. And I hear you saying you believe in healings and miracles and even see them happen, but just not “healers” or “miracle workers,” and I think I’m actually okay with this last point to some degree, but usually you eventually say something like “yes, it’s a strange and magical world we live in.” Which leads me to believe you are open to seeing things differently.
But how about this? Say I’ve read all of your books and keep up to date on your blog and listen to all your stuff on Canon+ but I have never actually met you. But one day we become friends and I eat dinner with you and we get to converse in a more personal manner. I likely will recognize much of what you say because you have written a lot! But just maybe I might hear you say something that I’ve never seen in your writing, and in keeping with the illustration I’m trying to make, this new “word” would likely in no way contradict what you have written previously, nor would you necessarily want to put it in print because of its situational and personal character.
If professing Christians who are actually regenerate and have the Spirit of God living inside them had a conversation or some form of communication with the third person of the Trinity, why is it necessary that this conversation be in print? I’ve also heard you say something along the lines that, “the Bible is a window or lens through which we see God, but God is a personal being and the Bible is not.” Couldn’t that being say something to His child that might not be written down in the Scripture (and doesn’t contradict it) but is truly the Word of God?
If I ever end up going to a CREC church, could I become a member if I am a continuationist?
Or if a pastor who holds to continuationism wants to join the CREC and affirms all the other necessary things, could he do that? Kinda like the credo and paedo boys learning to get along :)
Thanks for all you do. I am truly grateful for your ministry,

Joshua

Joshua, on receiving a continuationist church, that would probably be a stretch, although to my knowledge, it hasn’t come up. But receiving continuationist members would be easy. Yes, we would do that. As for your dinner illustration, if I had one meal with C.S. Lewis, I would be trying to figure out how to memorize everything he said. And if I would do that for a man, how much more should I be doing it for God?

Even Handed . . .

I attend a church that in some ways is similar to what I observe in Christ Church (albeit from afar). A tight knit community. Multigenerational worship (going back 4-5 generations in most cases). A capella singing in 4 part harmony. Defined culture of which the community takes note. Large families. And lastly, the members of the church are extremely productive and entrepreneurial. Many if not most of the church members work with or for each other. This is a major blessing. Even the community, which does not often agree with us, acknowledges our outsized influence and positive impact on the community.
There is one hiccup that tends to happen. When church building needs arise, it makes sense to give the business to the church members. But because our church is so entrepreneurial, there are many options to choose from. There’s 2 men with plowing businesses who could take care of winter snow removal of the parking lot. There’s 6 men who run construction companies who could handle the upcoming church remodel project. There’s 3 kids with upstart lawn care businesses who could mow the church’s lawn. Who do you choose?
There’s risk of favoritism (real or perceived) with these decisions for deacons of the church. And despite best of intentions, feelings tend to get hurt. How does one handle the fallout from this very real blessing of an industrious church in a fair and productive manner?

Nate

Nate, there are three possible solutions, and you might try a combo of all three. First, you could hire outside the church. Second, you could rotate. One business plows this year, the other one next winter. And third, you could appoint a committee that awards the tasks on the basis of bids submitted anonymously.

Many Thanks

Greetings, Pastor Wilson, from a simple seminarian. Given my current academic context, I’m a bit of a Joseph of Arimathea type fan of yours. Featuring your book “Mere Christendom” in a final paper earned me the ire of one professor who insisted I shouldn’t give the time of day to such works. That being said, I thoroughly enjoy your content, particularly your uncanny ability to speak clearly into the microphone without eliciting Monty Python level throat clearings. As of this week, I’ve read a few of your book recommendations, Sunshine’s “Slaying Leviathan” and “Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos.” So far, I’ve purveyed the past several years of book recommendations you’ve provided and was wondering whether you knew of any insightful conservative Christian treatises on immigration in the American scene? Your household analogy expounded in “Mere Christendom” and several of your online interviews has been especially thought-provoking.
In any case, your labor for the kingdom inspires more individuals than you can know. God bless!

Andrew

Andrew, sorry. I don’t have a book recommendation on immigration from a biblical perspective.

Cheer Up, Ye Saints of God

Could not agree more with your optimistic conclusion. We are in the midst of a Great Awakening on so many levels, and Christianity is driving it. The weakness of the Marxists who dominate government and culture is proving to be the hollow farce it is. All they have is lies, and pick your metaphor, their Berlin Wall is crackin’ bad, and the massive wave of truth is coming down on their pathetic little sand castle.

Mike

Mike, yes. But it will be gloriously messy.

Love for Music

I am looking to instill in my young children a love and appreciation for music that is objectively beautiful. Any recommendations for classical pieces, or those of other genres, that you would suggest for kids to listen to? Thanks and blessings to you!

Dave

Dave, apart from the standard sort of thing (piano lessons!), I would hunt down certain classical recorded anthologies. I have seen a number of them, and they are frequently themed—upbeat classical, romantic classical, etc. Get one that is kind of fiery, and put it on full blast when the kids are doing their chores.

Circumcision?

Should I circumcise my son?

MB

MB, yes, if you want to. But do it because of custom, or for health reasons, or just preference. The only thing forbidden is to do it for spiritual reasons.

A Decent Husband, But Not a Believer

I have greatly benefited from the work of you and your family and have been greatly helped, in particular, by the writings and podcasts of your wife and daughters.
I am a Christian wife to an unbeliever and mother of two young children. My husband mostly holds conservative values, but now that my oldest is turning 5, our differing values are becoming more significant. Examples would be choices of schools, how we use our homes and hospitality, and meal times.
I want to honour my husband, who is both loving and kind to me and our children, and witness to him quietly as 1 Peter 3 instructs. I also want to build a Christian culture in my home for him and my children.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
God bless you,

Jess

Jess, I would prioritize 1 Peter 3. I believe conflict over the other issues will be counterproductive. Make your preferences known, of course, but do it like a sweetheart.
Hope you are well.
I noticed in your Scripture index (for Luke 20:34-37) this comment below:
“Jesus says that in the resurrection, we will not marry or be given in marriage (Lk. 20:34-36). At the same time do not conclude from this that your relationship with your spouse will somehow be less than what it is now. When you have ‘been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,’ you will not run into your husband on the golden streets someplace and say, ‘Oh, hi. It’s you.’ Whatever God has in store for us, it will be glorious beyond all mortal reckoning—but if it is just like here, then the question of the Sadducees stands (Matt. 22:23-28)” (For a Glory and a Covering, p. 137).
My questions are not mainly about marriage, but more about the nature of the two ages I have heard you speak on.
I have heard you distinguish between the Jewish aeon and the Church aeon: Do you just hold the two ages? If so how do you take Jesus when He makes this statement in His response to the Sadducees question concerning the resurrection:
Luke 20:35 (ESV-emphasis mine): “but those who are considered worthy to attain to THAT AGE and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage,”
Is the Lord saying that the age to come is the church age? Or a third age in the resurrection? Or is this problematic with the Church age being the time we live in now?
Gratitude in Christ,

Joshua

Joshua, I believe the Old Testament era was the Jewish aeon, the church era is the Christian aeon, and when the Lord returns that will be what I call the eternal state.
“A Looming Challenge” in “Letters You Clearly Haven’t Read Yet” – 4/30/24 Among the last letters to the editor posted in April, you advised a fellow in the thick of courting a gal who was pretty tightly knit to her family to add the identified concern “to the list of things you pray for together.” Could you elaborate a bit on what you envision or advise shared prayer to look like for dating/courting couples?
I feel as if I have bungled this bit in prior relationships and romantic interests and am trying to better grasp the proper context and exercise outside of preceding meals and car trips to visit family.

Dawson’s Kin

DK, this has to be handled carefully because praying together is a form of intimacy, and one form of intimacy leads to another. Emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, physical intimacy—each of them is like a swath of carpet running the length of the carpet. If you are too intimate, say in praying together, it makes the rest of the carpet want to unroll. All you are doing is creating torque. So don’t do that. All of this depends on how close you are—dating, courting, engaged, etc. But if you are engaged, you should be praying together some, and this request should be straightforward and to the point. “Lord, help us prepare for and adjust to the independence we are going to have as a new family.”

Kingdom

I am an odd duck—a person raised (and ministering) in an independent Christian church but is an evangelical reformed, presuppositional, postmillennialist and all the other stuff. I am also slowly working through a doctoral program in New Testament. I am currently enrolled in a class on Biblical theology. I am scheduled to deliver a paper on a topic in a few weeks. I will be arguing for postmillennialism (prayers appreciated). Yet, one of the oddities I have found in my research is how few pages are dedicated to what should be a foundation stone—Jesus is king. I have discovered allusions to Christ’s reign but nothing truly explicit and extensive. What am I missing? May God continue to bless your ministry.

Matt

Matt, the approach I would take is by looking at the word kingdom. Preaching the kingdom, the gospel of the kingdom, and so on.
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John Middleton
John Middleton
25 days ago

“And if God makes them jump it, then that is simply creationism.”

Doug, do you think that happens, or has happened, since the original creation?

Kathleen Zielinski
Kathleen Zielinski
25 days ago
Reply to  John Middleton

The problem is that micro plus micro plus micro eventually adds up to macro. Add enough micro mutations and you’ll eventually end up with something that looks a lot different from what you started with.

Were Adam and Eve Chinese? No? Well, then, at some point some of their descendants mutated from whatever Adam and Eve actually were to Chinese. So it’s really not that much of a leap to say that with a few more mutations over time, another species might well come into being.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
24 days ago

So it’s really not that much of a leap to say that with a few more mutations over time, another species might well come into being.”

Yes, yes it is.

It might sound reasonable if you’re not particular familiar with the material, but there is an overwhelming spectacular gulf between variations on a species and a completely new species.

John Middleton
John Middleton
24 days ago

You think the Chinese are a different species from Adam and Eve?

I don’t think you do. I just think you want a different example to illustrate the theory of speciation by means of mutation building on mutation. If the theory was intended to explain no more that the differences between populations of human beings I don’t think it would be so controversial.

Andy Trauger
Andy Trauger
23 days ago

Except that this has never happened.

Jennifer Mugrage
23 days ago

A non Chinese person to a Chinese person is still a person, with all the same organs, method of reproduction, etc. No one has ever been able to propose a way that micromutations could create even one new organ, let alone a new body plan.

Ken B
Ken B
25 days ago

I used to think women were more susceptible to deception, but am not so sure now it is that simple. The distribution of spiritual gifts is seemingly ungendered, as God poured/pours out his Spirit on all flesh and both male and female would/can prophesy. Paul did not seem bothered that Timothy’s spiritual heritage had come through the female line. That said I concluded that women are particularly prone to deception when they attempt to exercise authority in ministry. “I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over men.” The combination is the problem and where, like Eve,… Read more »

MN
MN
25 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

I don’t see why women being more susceptible to deception would negate the fact that the Spirit bestows whatever gifts He chooses on whomever he chooses. People have both strengths and weaknesses, and usually those strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin. As a woman, I firmly believe that women are more prone to falling for lies, and that’s why I’m so grateful that God ordered the church and the family with men at the head of both.
Also, the New Age practices are coming into the church because even believing women are duped by them.

John Middleton
John Middleton
24 days ago
Reply to  MN

Do you think compared to men, women are more likely to gravitate toward the intuitive and the emotive, and that could explain them more readily embracing New Age practices?

Jennifer Mugrage
25 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

It’s also true that women are more eager to please, and so less likely to be freethinkers than men. So in a deceptive system such as Islam, any cult or any pagan religion, the average woman is more likely to be a “true believer” than her husband.

Andy Trauger
Andy Trauger
25 days ago

To John, on his concerns over AI:
Watch (or rewatch) the original Tron movie. While I doubt the screenwriters, and certainly not the Disney studios, were intending it, the Christological parallels in that movie are striking. Not only are we predisposed to believe that the creature will attempt to usurp power from its Creator, but we also can’t help but tell stories full of salvation and redemption from such usurpations.

You can skip the sequel, though, as a big pile of meh…

Andy Trauger
Andy Trauger
25 days ago

To Robert, on pagan symbols in the workplace: Another option would be to accidentally-on-purpose find yourself alone in your cube farm and remove the offensive flag from atop its pedestal. You could even have a little fun with it by imagining yourself as the lead in a new James Bond movie–lights off, crouching low in the shadows, popping up the swipe the offending flag, and tossing it down the garbage chute with satisfied glee. You could even play the theme music from “The Incredibles” on your iPhone while you carry out the heroics. The ensuing chaos and office drama to… Read more »

Zeph
25 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

That is stealing.

Jeff
Jeff
25 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

Most workplaces have security cameras. Might not be such a hot idea.

Carole
Carole
25 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

Of course, the whole office would immediately suspect Robert. The James Bond gymnastics would be useless.

Chris
Chris
24 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

Sociopathic tendencies, noted 👨‍💻

Christina
Christina
24 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

Sociopathic fantasies, check 👩‍💻

Andy Trauger
Andy Trauger
25 days ago

To Drew, on anxiety: I am no doctor, but I have heard of your experiences in others. Occasionally, the cause is hormonal or chemical–the body’s chemistry can be “off,” and what caused it to get “off” is unknown. Diet can be a part of it, as can aging. The fix is not necessarily medication. For instance, my wife was humming along when suddenly she began to experience frequent bouts of vertigo. Her body was “off” and the solution was a specific form of physical therapy…in her neck. Odd but super effective. An in-depth physical checkup might be in order, but… Read more »

Rob
Rob
25 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

I would get lots of “good bacteria” for the gut which has many benefits for our mental health. Sauerkraut, kiefer, kombucha, probiotics, raw dairy etc. Even if they don’t help directly, they will be beneficial for the body which will help the mental indirectly with just feeling well physically.

Jill Smith
Jill Smith
24 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

They’re also getting some good results with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, an FDA-approved treatment for severe depression and anxiety. It’s non-invasive and replaces medication. It uses magnetic pulses to electrically stimulate neurons in the brain.

Jane
Jane
24 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

Agreed. Rule out or in a physical cause, but don’t be quick to accept a medical treatment if no precise physical cause can be identified.

Lauren Blackburn
Lauren Blackburn
23 days ago
Reply to  Andy Trauger

To Drew, on anxiety, via Andy’s post: Your terrible circumstance (Drew with debilitating anxiety) also caught my attention and empathy. In brief, my family has had some symptoms that were similarly odd and “out of the blue.” In our case, they were traceable back to a severe mold exposure. Isolating this root-cause lead to the solution of detoxing the mycotoxins out of our bodies and restoring gut/brain health. In your case, I did a cursory search to see if there was any public record of possible toxic exposure at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and the first item I encountered… Read more »

Jennifer Mugrage
25 days ago

Andrew,
Gobs and gobs has been written about culture-crossing from a Christian perspective… by missionaries and missiologists. I suggest you check out some of that stuff. It’s not identical to a book about immigration, but many of the issues are the same. Particularly, look for stuff by Kenneth Pike.

Kristina
Kristina
25 days ago

Re. the desirability of having a woman OB/GYN: should female doctors only marry other doctors?

Mitch Cleaver
Mitch Cleaver
25 days ago

Joshua, you’re not alone! There’s at least one other continuationist CREC family out there. I’m looking forward to eschatological unity between the reformed and charismatic churches. I love that the reformed world has discovered and began to embrace the theology of postmillennialism. It seems like the charismatic church has been acting like postmillennialism is true for a while and begun to conquer the world even though they officially believe it’s not possible. Lol. I would love to be closer to the action of all the miraculous stories I hear from charismatic sources, but as the head of my household the… Read more »

Zeph
25 days ago

What would really be helpful on the polygamy issue is if an African or Middle East elder who has to deal with this would chime in on how their church deals with it in real time.

Last edited 25 days ago by Zeph
Laura
25 days ago

Here is a thoughtful article on the immigration issue: https://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2019/09/56067/

Lance
Lance
25 days ago

Get one that is kind of fiery, and put it on full blast when the kids are doing their chores.”

And when they are old enough make them do music; piano, choirs, strings.

John
John
25 days ago

Aquinas’ five proofs for the existence of God are his most famous contribution to Christian apologetics. As far as I am aware, no atheist has come close to refuting them. (Richard Dawkins made an embarrassingly half-hearted attempt some years back.)

In the Summa Theologica, they are compactly expressed and should be perfectly safe for any Protestant to read.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
23 days ago
Reply to  John

This is correct John. Protestants (& most Catholics) know next to nothing about Catholic theology. For example, you will come across hard nosed reformers who think that the Catholic Church teach that at the high point of the Mass the host becomes the “literal, physical body of Christ.” Nope! Aquinas, Bonaventure & Berengarius kicked that into touch in the 13th century. If you’re interested, the book to get is Edward Schillebeeckx, The Eucharist (Burns & Oates, 1968)–a spiritual and intellectual classic.

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
22 days ago
Reply to  John

Why was my response to John’s above email deleted? I agreed with his remarks about Thomas Aquinas, and added that Protestants and most Catholics themselves to not know or understand Catholic theology. I also added that Reformation buffs are under the delusion that the Catholic Church teaches that the LITERAL body and the LITERAL blood of Christ are consumed in the Eucharist. The is not the case. “Physicalist” notions of the Eucharist were kicked into touch by Catholic theological heavy weights, Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas, & Bonaventure. Hence the leading Catholic theologian of the 20th century, Edward Schillebeeckx, opens… Read more »

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
22 days ago
Reply to  Douglas Wilson

Fear not brother Doug! I knew it must have been something like that or else agitators from the revived Schmalkaldic league. I wish you a safe and onward journey, and btw Schilebeeczk is a good and necessary read. Stay cool>. Brendan

John
John
21 days ago

Brendan,
 
Schillebeeckx was one of the leading mid-20th century liberal Catholic theologians. As a group they’ve fallen out of favor with a younger generation of more conservative Catholics.
 
He did indeed argue for a less literal understanding of Jesus’ declaration, “This is my body”, suggesting that Christ’s presence in the Eucharist could be understood as more of a subjective reality than an objective one.
 
Using similar logic, he also suggested that Christ’s resurrection could be better understood as an expression of the apostles’ subjective experience rather than an objective, historical reality.
 
Would you agree with the latter suggestion?

Brendan (of Ireland)
Brendan (of Ireland)
18 days ago
Reply to  John

No John, I wouldn’t agree with that formulation for one moment, but what Schillebeeckx was positing (under the influence of phenomenology) was that the disciples experience of the risen Christ was at the same time filtered through the structure of their religious consciousness–he did not deny that the resurrection was an objective historical fact, but that it was scripturally comprehended and made sense of by the disciples under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. On a couple of occasions, it should be noted, Schillebeeckx was roped in by the Vatican for some of his theological views, but unlike Hans Kung,… Read more »

My Portion Forever
My Portion Forever
21 days ago
Reply to  John

Perhaps no atheist has refuted them, but most follow Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason” (he was a self-proclaimed believer) to have disproven them. However, lowly layperson and philosophy aficionado that I am, I believe his “disproof” of the proofs of God’s existence fail in the same way that the argument “what created God” does: it takes a quality of all finite creatures (namely, being created, or in Kant’s argument, not having existence as an inherent attribute) and applies it to God, thus “proving” that God is finite or that one cannot prove the infinite. According to “Kant’s Philosophy of… Read more »

Ken
Ken
24 days ago

That chasm doesn’t seem so large if you consider all the various category boundaries that are routinely crossed in nature. We have marine mammals, we have fish with lungs, we have amphibious creatures of various kinds, flying mammals, birds that don’t fly, mammals that lay eggs, carnivorous plants, animals that photosynthesize, and on and on and on. The lines that seem to clearly delineate one kind of creature from another can get awfully blurry at the edges. Thinking about all of this causes me to marvel at a God who would create such a world. I see his majesty in… Read more »

Rob
Rob
23 days ago
Reply to  Ken

Adaptations? Yes! Resulting in a different kind? Don’t think so! That is a slippery slope that have and continue to give way to evolutionary belief systems, eventually leading to a denial of God. Could God have put those “apparent” blurry edges as a stumbling block for those who refuse to believe? He’s been known to do just that……placing stumbling blocks, that is.

Last edited 23 days ago by Rob
Chris
Chris
24 days ago

Andrew, this month’s edition of First Things published an article by Brad Littlejohn entitled, “A Theology of Immigration.”

https://www.firstthings.com/article/2024/06/theology-of-immigration

Andrew Lohr
Andrew Lohr
24 days ago

Love for music
–25-odd years ago some company put out a 10-CD set of ‘The Most Beautiful Classical Music’ (or something like that.) I ran across a set and bought it; never listened to most of it; but what I heard was beautiful. If you can find one, maybe it’d help your children more than music recitals helped me in my pre-college days.

Andrew Lohr
Andrew Lohr
24 days ago

Continuationist CREC –For one thing, I’d like to see CREC set up a side branch for associated churches of whatever kind that want some CREC oversight and fellowship but may dissent (‘state exceptions’) in some ways that go too far for the CREC mainstream. Our Roman brothers have Jesuits, Franciscans, Discalced Carmelites?, Trappists, etc, allowing for stated, regular variations. –For another, the Bible has a surprising, even to me, list of prophets/prophesying etc whose words we don’t know. Eldad, Medad, and 68 other elders prophesied; King Saul prophesied with other, existing prophets; Obadiah (Ahab’s servant) protected 50s of prophets; Philip’s… Read more »

john k
john k
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Lohr

There’s a need to discern the times snd purposes in salvation history. At one time there were prophets while only some of the prophecies were written down as Scripture. It’s not a done deal to make this example a Bible “doctrine” for today. After Sinai, Old Testament prophecy was for enforcing and applying the written covenant with Israel. Prophecy had a national focus in preparation for Christ. Even in the New Testament it is not clear that prophecy is ever given for personal, individual devotion and guidance in addition to Scripture. There’s prophecy about an apostle’s arrest (affecting the public… Read more »

Lauren Blackburn
Lauren Blackburn
23 days ago

To Drew… I am a digital troglodyte, prone to operator error in the tech space. So I thought I was responding to your post, but was actually responding to Andy’s response to you. Please see my response to Andy regarding possible exposure to some toxin while at Puget Sound. God bless.

Jonathan
Jonathan
20 days ago

Andrew, (RE: immigration)

The beginning of Gary North’s Political Polytheism has a very good section on immigration from a biblical/theonomist perspective.