April Letters Bring May Debtors

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NB: the headline may not make sense, but it rhymes.

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Milton and All

You present via Milton one inference of the way in which Adam sinned —and the conclusions you make I believe are all real principles about sin—but I’m not convinced it was empathy with Eve that was Adam’s temptation and sin. Another way to read the story is to have Adam present and observing the entire interaction between Eve and the serpent. In this reading, Adam knows the command and fails in several other ways —not only does he utterly fail to protect his family from the serpent’s threat, he selfishly uses Eve as a test subject to see if eating the fruit really does result in death, and he does so all the while by remaining passive in the whole entire thing. There are quite a few other real principles about sin that can be drawn from this telling.

Ian

Ian, yes. There are alternate takes, and yours is one of them.
Re: Empathy, Effeminacy, and the Fall of Man.
I ordered Joe’s book last week and am looking forward to digging in. Your post this morning stopped my day in its tracks. I’ve always viewed Adam eating the apple as simple passivity, with which I struggle as well. But now seeing it as untethered empathy casts a whole new light on the matter, and that new light penetrates into my soul and leaves me standing convicted. This is an area that God has been working on in me for several years, and he has dialed up the intensity in the last few months. Your post is being used by Him to continue refining me. May He graciously continue piling it on until I get the message (Joe’s book arrives soon). Pray I get the message soon. My wife needs me to get the message. I wish the “Moscow Mood” critics would read ALL of your material. (heavy sigh).
God bless you, brother

John

John, thanks very much.

Tech Question

Some people’s bodies aren’t big enough to hold all the adrenaline . . .
Hello, what are the best books or resources you have found on the topic of technology, and specifically how Christians can think of technology in a biblical manner? Also, what are your overall thoughts on AI and the future changes it is likely to bring about?

Joel

Joel, for a biblical treatment, I would look at my Ploductivity. Other books you might find valuable would be Life After Google and Knowledge and Power by Gilder, and The Future and Its Enemies by Postrel.

On Being a Dad

I recently became a father. Would you be so kind to give me an ordered list a few books that are must reads to be a good father?
Sincere gratitude,

J

J, I would look at my Father Hunger, and Standing on the Promises. I would also recommend Bill Mouser’s Five Aspects of Man.

On Depression

I am curious about your thoughts about depression from a Biblical point of view. It seems to me that there are two different types of depression that are commonly talked about in the secular word and while I have heard a number of pastors address the topic of depression, they seem to always address one type and not the other. One idea of depression (depression A if you will), is when a person feels great sorrow and grief as a result of a traumatic event that has happened. A person may lose a loved one, have a painful relationship, be diagnosed with a terminal illness, etc. It is easy for me to see how a person in this situation could feel depressed and it seems to me that there are ample examples in Scripture of sorrow and grief in response to these sorts of events. This idea of depression makes perfect sense to me as a Christian, and this is the idea of depression that I typically hear pastors address.
Another idea of depression (depression B if you will) is more difficult for me to make sense of and that I have not heard addressed from a Biblical point of view. This idea of depression is when a person is depressed, but there is no traumatic event. While no one’s life is perfect, there has been no major negative event, and in fact there has been no major objective change in this person’s life at all. This type of depression is supposed to be entirely internal, but somehow different from a sinful attitude like discontentment. A person might say that they are depressed and when you ask why, they say that there doesn’t need to be a reason.
What I’m wondering is whether this is a legitimate concept Biblically, and if so, how this can be distinguished from the sins of ingratitude or laziness. What I mean by this is that I have heard a lot of people use the word “depression” to describe what would normally sound to me like either laziness or ingratitude. For example, a person who has a very blessed and fortunate life with no major negative events might suddenly say that they don’t feel like going to work and say that they think they might be depressed as a result of this. Ordinarily, I would think that a person who just doesn’t feel like going to work with no real reason is being lazy. Is depression of this sort a legitimate concept that is distinct from laziness? Likewise, when a person who has a very blessed and fortunate life with no major negative events is nonetheless not happy or grateful for their life, I would think that this would be a case of taking one’s blessings for granted and being discontent. Could a person in this type of situation have depression B and therefore this not be a contentment issue?
While I see numerous cases of depression A in Scripture, I don’t see anything like depression B. All the times in Scripture that I can think of when someone is unhappy or unproductive without there being any outward reason, it is attributed to some sort of sin, usually laziness or discontentment. Am I missing something here? It is also easy for me to see how this could be a subtle shift meant to avoid dealing with our sin. If I say that I am discontent, then there is an issue with my attitude and I need to pray to God to give me the grace to be more grateful and content. However, if I say that I am depressed, even if there is no outward objective reason, then I am a victim and not responsible for my situation.
thanks,

Will

Will, there are a few more distinctions, I think. The first kind you describe seems to me to be better described as grief. For the second, I want to distinguish the physiological element (what your body is doing) from your response to that reality. The discontent, when it comes in, would come in to the second part. I would recommend Lloyd-Jones’ book, Spiritual Depression.

More Moscow Mood

Some who criticize the Moscow Mood seem like deaf fire chiefs en route to a scene they don’t understand. “It’s a sixty car pileup,” the first responders are screaming, but they’re saying. “now, there’s no need to shout at the poor pussy cat!” Others understand the sixty car pileup perfectly well, but unaccountably want those who are shouting “bring the jaws of life!” to talk in the soothing tones of the undertaker.

Douglas

Douglas, yes, something like that.

Advice from a Distance

This is a request for advice, not in response to any specific post. I am a young woman in college, currently being pursued by an upstanding young man, who is already working. He has not proposed yet . . . but the relationship is clearly heading in that direction. We are both under 21. I have two years left until I can graduate college. However, I know that he would not be able to pay for my tuition, nor would my parents consider it their responsibility to continue to pay for it once I am married. I am not open to taking on any student debt. In summary, once I get married, I cannot continue with college. With this in mind, should I wait until I have graduated to get married (this idea isn’t exactly pleasant to either of us, especially to him), or should I not worry about finishing and just marry him once he asks? Am I missing something obvious? Over-thinking it? Should someone other than me make the final decision on this? Any advice or additional factors to consider would be appreciated.
PS. I have been periodically rereading both your Letters to a Young Woman In Need of a Husband and your Letters to a Young Man in Need of a Wife. They and Eve in Exile have been very helpful in this past year or so. Much thanks.

Z

Z, yes. I would seek the counsel of your parents, your father especially. If he leaves it up to you, then you should make as wise a decision as you know how. A good education is a good thing, not to be dismissed lightly. I would at least try to game out a way to do both. At the same time, for my money, a good man is better than a good degree.

But It Does . . .

In trying to think through and hopefully personally resolve the “credo vs. paedo” baptism issue, I have wondered why the Apostle Paul didn’t respond to the circumcision party simply by saying that under the new covenant baptism has replaced circumcision. It seems to me that this would have addressed both the Gentile believers issue as well as the recipients of baptism issue. Can you shed some light on this for me?
Thank you,

Ken

Ken, yes. I think he does exactly this, in two places. “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:11–12). The way their heart circumcision was accomplished was by means of (heart) baptism. And then, in Galatians 3, he says this: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:27–29). If you are baptized into Christ, you are baptized into the Abrahamic line, the mark of which was circumcision.

The West as Original Sin

I always enjoy and greatly benefit your podcasts. Thank you.
Anyway, I just recently picked up ‘Jesus and the Powers’ by NT Wright and Michael Bird. Started out good but it’s heading downhill fast. Thus far it seems progressively partisan with relatively simplified making simplified and sweeping assertions like: ‘The riches of the west were acquired through the exploitation of African and Asian colonies.’ and ‘ The west was responsible for the crusades, war zone, religion, peasant, uprising, debtors, prison, persecution of the Jews, violent revolutions in France and Russia, two world wars, land, clearances, and stock. Market crashes.’ Like I said, simple and sweeping. Would enjoy your review of the book at some point.

Greg

Greg, yes. There is Western self-loathing, and then there is Western self-loathing in the name of Jesus.

Prosperity Gospel Summed Up

A pastor explained the Prosperity Gospel in this very helpful way: God gave man two initial commands: 1) work the ground, and 2) fill the Earth with Image-bearers.
To work the ground man needed strength, and that comes from food. So God gave man every green plant, save one. To fill the Earth with Image-bearers man needs woman.
God’s gifts are given for MINISTRY, and so we can fulfill our purposes by serving Him. Is food good (think French Gourmet) Yes! But the pleasure is not the main point, strength for service is the point. Is a wife good? Oh Yeah! But the blessing comes to us for the purpose of producing what God wants—Godly seed.
So any time we desire the gifts for the pleasure ONLY, and fail to acknowledge that we receive them so they can be used for serving Him, then they become idols (Hence, Jas 4:3)
Incidentally, the best definition of the word “good” I have heard (and it’s a hard word to define) is “Perfectly able to perform the function for which it was created.” This combined with the above explains why it was “not good” that man was alone—he was not able to perform an intended purpose without her.

Craig

Craig, thanks.

Candace . . .

I wondered if you might be aware of going on at The Daily Wire. Candace Owens has been fired having been accused of antisemitism. They seem to mostly hold Zionist views if that’s what you would call it. This is downright ugly amongst conservatives. I wonder if you could speak to this problem, especially since we typically are united against the enemy as conservatives. The Israel Gaza war is creating Ritz amongst conservatives at this point. Thank you very much for checking into this controversy!

Cynthia

Cynthia, as the saying goes, you can’t work for McDonald’s and sell Wendy’s burgers. And as far as the Gaza war is concerned, the humanitarian disaster there is terrible, and provides a compelling reason why Hamas should surrender.
This is about the “Christ is King” thing. What bothers me about all of this, is that if some “fringe groups” are using this as a slur, why should we care if someone says something evil about us on the account of Christ? Why do those “fringe groups” determine what our sacred confession of faith means. The “fringe groups” aren’t the ones steering faithful Christians to stand on their heels and qualify a statement that is simply and absolutely true. Groups like Daily Wire and other people with big microphones are steering that discussion. Daily Wire has already been riding the gay train and this just raises more warnings that conservative Christians should distance themselves from the group that doesn’t seem to be conserving much. It all makes me want to say Christ is King louder.

Josh

Josh, yes. We do not stop confessing what we believe because of bad actors, or because of what others are saying about those bad actors. But because we are in the business of communication, it should be possible to do both—confess the truth and at the same time put daylight between ourselves and those bad actors.

So Then

Hey Doug. THIS IS NOT A TRAP. It is a sincere question. Also, I apologize if this question is too PG-13 for your common blog thread (though I suspect you are a man who is not prone to shy away from much). If so, feel free to throw it in the dump. I’ve been “hovering” over your blog for about a year, have read several of your daughters’ books but admittedly have not read Fidelity, or the like. I do plan on reading it, but just haven’t gotten there yet.
First, I want to be clear-I am fully on board with the idea that marriage vows do include the promise of sex.
But what about extenuating circumstances? What if the husband deals with pornography, or if there’s been infidelity in the past? Does the call to “perform” still fall on the wife? While I am not the type to immediately unholster the T-Word (trauma) and apply it to every sin that a woman may deal with, sexual sins in particular tend to leave some very seriously deep wounds in people.
Another example would be a woman who’s been sexually abused in the past and who might be triggered by the very act. In many cases, a mental sexual scar can cause sex to be physically painful.
What have or do you say to women in counseling in these circumstances, and how might you encourage a woman to step up to face 1 Cor. 7 without trembling or shame? What then is a husband’s responsibility?

BB

BB, nothing is more calculated to put me at my ease than a letter that begins “THIS IS NOT A TRAP . . .” That said, apart from short periods of time for stipulated and reasonable reasons, being married brings with it an ongoing sexual relationship. If someone is not up for that because of trauma, per your example, this is a strong argument for that person not to marry. If problem arises in the course of the marriage (e.g. infidelity, extreme porn, etc.), then the offended spouse has the option of divorce. But the only way to walk away from a sexual obligation is to walk away from the marriage entirely. There is no problem with calling a couple to abstain during the time when a decision is being made.

Postmill and Then Some

Postmil and Arminian —Doug, thanks for everything, just know thanks is an understatement. That aside, I’ve grown up in your extremely cliche scenario of a premil, evangelical-and don’t let me lose you here, free will baptist church. All glory to God we have been blessed with faithful leadership, whether it is cultural issues today, or good orthodox preaching. As strange as it may seem to you, we, unlike many modern day “evangelicals” who are nominally “baptist/nondenom”, consider ourselves to be of the reformed tradition. Without needing to get into this hairy jump scare of the term “Reformed Arminian”(AH!)-for a further explanation, seek a very short 2016 article of TGC featuring J Matthew Pinson, President of Welch College—let’s get to the meat of the matter.
Seeing as I have been very well brought up to search good reformed teaching, from the Puritans to MacArthur, I’ve encountered many a Calvinist preacher whom I dearly, dearly appreciate, (enter Doug Wilson)
After some surface level mentions of this crazy new idea called “postmillennialism” presented to me through Jeff Durbin, I came across a cheerful Presbyterian chap I’d never heard of, through Piper’s ‘Evening in Eschatology’
Boy, between you and Durbin, I just want to say that, I do not change my mind lightly on biblical things, lest the text speak clearly, and man has it jumped out at me, and spooked me senseless with this one. I’ve heard you recount your story of not being able to plant a hedge the same and nothing rings true to me more. I’ve bit down on postmillennialism hard, and while I do my best to be ecumenical with regards to eschatology, it’s one of the most foundational things to me now, and if I may be crass, very clearly scriptural.
All of that being said, I came across your post from a while back ‘THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR’ and of course now know you were once, exactly in my shoes, an evangelical, baptist, postmil, Arminian, and as you said in that post: pretty lonely. Anyway, I’ve brought postmillennialism to my pastor, who is open minded and a brilliant man with accolades under his belt, and he’s very ecumenical about it, and interested.
All that aside, now to my need for advice, finally. Me being in that position that you were in, what to you (if anything) seems unreconcilable in regards to me holding to both a postmil stance and an Arminian theology(think Arminius himself, not the junky fake nominal Arminians of today)
Doug, thanks again for everything. Your books, and teaching, and life’s work that is Moscow Idaho is having an affect on young men down here in Tampa

Logan

Logan, the place I would look for inconsistency would be in God promising things (postmill success) that Arminian theology says that God doesn’t do.

Yes, But . . .

Should single women/men (without the gift of singleness) consider fostering or adopting if they cannot find a spouse well into their 30s? What are some guiding principles and would you say that it is a matter of wisdom as opposed to a clear scriptural mandate (for or against the matter)?

Joe

Joe, I would think that such a choice would be lawful in principle. But I would urge such a woman to make sure she is called to it. It would be too easy to adopt as a means of addressing the “lonesomes.” But as with many of these things, the question should be, “compared to what?” A two-parent home is ideal, but a single parent home could be far preferable to an orphanage.
I am curious what your opinion is on embryo adoption. God bless,

Candace

Candace, I would answer this in a similar to the previous question. I am inclined to think it could be lawful, but to make sure you are called to it, get counsel from multiple people you respect, and make sure you are thinking of it as a rescue, and not as a mild participation in the “designer baby” phenomenon.

Book on the Way

You mention earlier some place that your son i law, Ben Merkle, was writing on a book about education. Will the book be published soon?
Best wishes for Norway

Rune

Rune, he continues to chip away at it. It looks like another year.

Results May Vary

Thank you for the thought-provoking content, and please keep it up. In response to the question of whether we (a) ‘win down here’ or (b) ‘lose down here’, what would you say to the suggestion that the answer to that choice is . . . ‘yes’. In other words, is the choice of ‘optimism’ vs ‘pessimism’ really ‘both/and’, rather than ‘either/or’. In Revelation 13, the beast is given ‘authority’ to ‘conquer’ the saints, yet in chapter 12 it is precisely as the saints ‘loved not their lives even unto death’ that they in fact conquer the dragon. In other words, is life found in death? Is victory found in defeat? I praise God for the burgeoning Geneva over there in Moscow, and I praise God for indomitable faith of our brothers and sisters martyred in Nigeria. In short, are both gloomy pessimism and rose-tinted optimism ditches to avoid?

Jonathan

Jonathan, yes. It is all in Hebrews 11. Some stop the mouths of lions, and others are eaten by lions.

Two Things

I had a rough childhood growing up…father’s death, stepfather abandonment. Every single one of my aunts and uncles are also divorced. Basically, literally my entire family both immediate and extended is a panorama of broken lives. I myself am twice divorced. Christ found me over a decade ago, but how do I escape this cycle? It seems like my entire family, me included, is destined to be stuck in this endless loop of shattered families, and believe me it’s no way to live.

AR

AR, I would just mention two. things. The gospel is designed to break cycles exactly like this. That is one thing. There is hope. But the second is also important. It is important not to kid yourself. Make sure that the gospel gets applied to the roots, and not to the twigs. Gospel deliverance is not a facile thing.

Prostitution and Marriage

It’s been a while since I have complained about something you wrote, so here goes. The biggest difference between marriage and prostitution is that marriage is founded on the existence of a COVENANT. So, covenant is right there at the core of it. The relationship between Christ and His church is covenantal all the way up and down, front to back, and probably diagonal. I mean, I thought you covenant theology dudes would have been all over this distinction. Now, covenant includes faithfulness to provide, and our Redeemer certainly has done this for us fat Americans, but the covenant also comes with the expectation that we’re going to be faithful for better or for worse. Just looking at the passing scene, it occurs to me that a season of not-quite-so-fat-city might be about to pay us all a visit. We’ll need to remember to be faithful then, too, just as Christ was faithful when He, being richer than the whole universe, became poor for our sake.
Carry on.
Yours in Christ,

Bro. Steve

Bro. Steve, you just thought you were disagreeing . . .

Lig Duncan

Lig Duncan and that Infamous Clip Making the Rounds”
Thank you for writing about this. Having taken the long path at RTS (Hybrid), I watched it morph into the Social Justice/war on conservatism center it is today. And I could name names of professors who felt perfectly justified and mocking (maybe even slandering) but never of Catholics, unbelievers or Muslims. Only of the real enemy—evangelicals who still use the term the way it was used in the 80’s. But it’s not like there is a clip of how bad the direction got. I’d send you the video of that class to show you the direction RTS has gone . . . but I respect your need to not be too disheartened.
As a side note, I’m always uncomfortable when good people, like John Frame, stay at these places. They give credibility to people they shouldn’t . . . the average Christian will think “Such and such teacher seems off, but if Someone I trust (Frame, Piper) works with them they must not be that bad”.

Luke

Luke, thanks. It is probably worse than either of us might think.
Thank you from the cheap seats in Memphis. I am a graduate of RTS and am embarrassed that Lig and Kevin will not engage with you. Both of their takes on the Moscow Mood are bad, though Lig’s is much less substantive and worse. I can imagine that the slander must be difficult, but I am thankful for you. The responses and “engagement” ring quite hollow, if not clangy. Here’s to hoping the engagement will come. Press on in your work.

Chris

Chris, I trust that there will be some engagement sometime.

Great Idea But . . .

The Scofield Reference Bible was hugely influential in forming the mind of dispensationalists for generations. The Geneva Bible also shaped a generation. Would you ever consider editing a Canon Study Bible that would cement a Postmillennial, Reformed, General Equity Theonomonic, and Covenantal, understanding of Scripture for the next several generations?

Joshua

Joshua, great idea, really. It is merely an “hours in the day” problem.

Go For It

There is a new Christian school opening in our area and my wife and I are strongly considering sending our kids there. I recently re-read your chapter on the home school option in Rediscovering the Lost Tools of Learning (and I think this school will check a ton of the boxes outlined in your book). We’re honestly pretty convinced we ought to go for it. Our biggest hesitation at this point is about whether it may be too hard on our kids. They’ve been homeschooled from the start, and are 10, 10, and 9 now. They are very used to Mom being their teacher, having a fairly relaxed schedule (though plenty of rigor in their schooling), getting done with school well before they see the public school bus come by our house, being comfortable being around each other, etc. One of them in particular gets very nervous being away from us and struggles with understanding audible instructions. I told my wife that we probably need to plan on them not liking it, at least initially, and that we should commit to at least 2 years before reconsidering the home school option again. I’m inclined to think it would be a good, challenging, and toughening experience for them. And I’m aware that the tendency in most of us right now in our parenting is to avoid anything that would be hard on our kids. And all the potential benefits of this school option seem great. Do you have any thoughts regarding being prepared for and preparing our kids for the transition? I’m wondering how miserable they would have to be for us to seriously consider going back on the decision.

Nick

Nick, we have been around a lot of kids who have made this transition, and it generally goes well. Not always, but usually. Kids are pretty adaptable. I would hold on to your options, but I would keep them between you and your wife.

Online Ministry

I trust everything is well over there in Moscow, Idaho. I’ve been following you on the Blog & MaBlog YT channel. It’s been suggested that I ask here. From what I’ve seen of this blog site, I’d say it would be a good fit.
I am doing some research for a potential upcoming video for my YouTube channel, Christianity Explained. One of my areas of interest is giving advice for Christians who have a heart to do online ministry on YouTube and other platforms. Though my background is limited, it doesn’t stop me from seeking to contribute to the Body of Christ.
How does the illustrious Doug Wilson fit into this? Because Doug started a school and has his own online ministry, it makes sense to ask questions of a brother who has been at it longer than I. I am hoping that you’ll be able to provide some extra insights.
For me, I have been involved doing my own writings through a couple of blogs, an audio podcast, and a YouTube channel since 2009. Unlike Doug, I did not get a seminary education. I simply learned on my own and shared insight into what I’ve learned. It’s done through the lens of overcoming adversity. I’d never recommend someone with this background get into apologetics and other such online ministries. I must give God the glory and credit for guiding me.
However, I have also seen plenty of Christians who rush into something that they were not prepared for. I’ve also seen some of the same mistakes that I’ve made. Mistakes that only made things harder for me. That’s why I invested in tools like Logos Scholar’s Library and have used it to help with my gap in understanding.
I’m sharing this for a simple reason. It’s to let you know what you’re dealing with. It’s also why I’m not afraid to ask someone who’s been in the trenches; even if you’re not the same denomination.
Here’s the questions:
1. With the advent of the Internet, everyone wants to be Bible teacher of one type or another. What advice would you give to Christians who feel like God is calling them into such a ministry?
2. Online ministries mean different things to different people. For those who see themselves as Bible teachers, what should be the starting point? Should they even consider things like the so called “heresy hunters” or discernment ministry? How about apologetics or related areas?
3. Should new Christians be jumping on to this? If so, what should be the right way to go about it? Feel free to add warnings. You’re not the only one. :)
4. What areas of online Christian ministries should Christians consider besides teaching Scriptures? Hey, I know that not everyone is able to teach. Feel free to surprise me. :)
Thank you for your time and have a blessed day!
Sincerely,

Barry

Barry, just a few quick answers. 1. Does the church agree with this feeling of being called? An internal call is insufficient. Does anyone else, not counting mom, agree? 2. I would discourage beginning with heresy hunting or “discernment” stuff. Cultivate a positive message first. 3. No. Paul says not to lay hands on a neophyte. 4. I would address how they relate Scripture to an area of their expertise outside biblical studies.

A Woman Pastor

Praise God for all you do
My question is . . . a pretty sad one. For 2 years, I attended a church in Orange County, California. It was a Pentecostal church. Well, the church had 2 female pastors that would sometimes preach if the main pastors were out of town or on Mother’s Day.
I have since left because I moved to Dallas, Texas but I still talk to some of the women that go there. I’m a bit torn because . . . the Bible is very clear about women pastors and that role is not to be so. Which I’m afraid because I attended this church with a woman pastor and I got very close to one of them. I just love and adore her.
But I am nervous for her now that I have a clear understanding of Scripture on this issue. Is she going to hell…?

Shannon

Shannon, this is a very serious error, but not necessarily a soul-damning one. If she otherwise is exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in her life, then I would not write her off. But I would pray for an opportunity to talk with her about it.

A Hard One

A lot of the homeless in my area are schizophrenics. What do you make of schizophrenia? How should it be treated? Should we attempt to cast demons out of schizophrenics? Do you have any recommendations on resources to deal with this issue.

Eric

Eric, I would refer you to the work of Ed Welch, particularly Blame it On the Brain?

A Reactionary? Me?

Ref: An Apple Core With Ants All Over It
Yes there is that explanation of Christian Nationalism—the status quo some or another ante. The thing is, that doesn’t make you a Christian Nationalist. It makes you a reactionary. And I don’t say that like it is a bad thing. If previous generations weren’t calling their the way it is Christian Nationalism, there is no reason we should either. I also can’t help the squinty-eyed suspicion when I hear that “this is all we mean.” One reason I can’t is some of those 57 different things I’m hearing, I’m hearing from self-identifying Christian Nationalists. One of the things I’m hearing, for example, is dissatisfaction with our Constitution because of the things it doesn’t say. Christian Nationalists seem to want to go beyond even amendments to a new Constitution one that ordains and establishes Christianity as the official and favored, if not only tolerated, religion; something the Constitution we have manifestly does not. I believe you have mentioned something about a pan-Protestant country (or world?), one in which even Roman Catholics, not to mention non-Christians, might be tolerated but not quite comfortable. Now even if I thought a pan-Protestant national polity that did better than mere cultural Christianity was tenable, the point is that is a variance with “We just want what our great-grandparents had”. It is possible I am erroneously conflating your Christian Nationalist vision with your postmillenialist vision. It is also possible you (and/or some others) are intentionally conflating the two.

John

John, I actually think that the United States actually did have an informal establishment that was pan-Protestant in nature. And that is what I want to get back to.

Now Here’s a Stumper

A girl I’m interested in checks all the boxes. Here’s the kicker, she dresses modestly. So modestly that I actually can’t tell what her body looks like at all. We’re talking really baggy clothing. I know she’s not overweight, but I honestly can’t determine if she’s even shaped like a woman. I absolutely don’t want to be surprised on my wedding day in that regard. What should I do? How can I respectfully and honorably go about finding an answer to my question?

Ben

Ben, ask her mom. Because it is her mom, she will know, and because it is her mom, you will ask in the most respectful manner possible.

An Eternal Sin

I have a question in regards to your “Ask Doug” video titled “The Unpardonable Sin.” I am a Christian who struggles with OCD, and have from time to time been plagued with constant fear that I have committed the unpardonable sin. I wanted to know how you came to the conclusion that this sin is not one sin, but is a state in which, as you say, where the cement has hardened? I like this interpretation, for if true would relieve me of my fears, but due to some of Jesus’ words (saying Blasphemy of the Father and Son will be forgiven, but not of the Holy Ghost), it seems to present it as a sin which can be committed in space and time.
I know you are a very busy person, and can’t answer everyone who messages you, but would be very grateful for your response. Thanks.

Andrew

Andrew, the ESV and the NASB both translated Mark 3:28-29 as saying that the. person who is never forgiven is a person who is guilty of an “eternal sin.” That construction makes good sense of a number of aspects of this subject. The forgiveness never comes because the repentance never comes.
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Neil
Neil
12 days ago

Schizophrenia is often connected to drug abuse.
Unfortunately, we see this a lot in our area…

ABCD
ABCD
12 days ago

Doug, there is no way that kid is going to ask that girl’s mom. He needs to talk to her friends. They will know.

Laurel
Laurel
11 days ago
Reply to  ABCD

I think the point was he needed to be discreet… friends might not be discreet…. and if he’s serious, if he really wants to be a man, asking her mom is a good way to make him think first about how he will ask and why it’s important.

Rob
Rob
10 days ago
Reply to  ABCD

Good chance her mother will steer her away from this guy if he asks her mother about her daughters figure. If she is female and she is not overweight then any concerns he has about her figure might be cause for concern with his overly high standards. That might cause me to steer my daughter away. I really think a carefully worded question to the girl herself regarding her modest dress style might be more in order. Of course, in todays standard, any dress that does not follow any and all contours of the female anatomy would be considered modest.… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Rob
ABCD
ABCD
10 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I suppose it could be a sign that the guy is overly particular. But I don’t think it is crazy to want to know what she looks like before marrying her. I do wonder why she would wear such baggy clothes, though. That could indicate a self-image issue. But what is really crazy is sending a suitor to a girls Mom to ask about her body. That fruitcake advice. I think Doug was trying to make sure he was appropriate in how he asked, but that will never happen. The boy needs to talk to her friends. Girls know these… Read more »

Rob
Rob
10 days ago
Reply to  ABCD

Will he become repulsed after her first child birth or with the middle age bulge? I think he is the one with the self-image issue. Again, a question about her “overly” modest image is in order, although he might not get an honest reply. I would court her and try to get to the bottom of it first. Courtship is not engagement but the process of getting to know what makes the other tick.

Last edited 10 days ago by Rob
ABCD
ABCD
10 days ago
Reply to  Rob

What he may or may not do in the future regarding her looks is a different topic than whether he has a vested interest in ascertaining what she looks like before he marries her. Looks and attraction matter in selecting a mate. That is a key part of the courtship process.

Rob
Rob
9 days ago
Reply to  ABCD

ABCD,
An overly idealistic man (or woman) will most likely remain an overly idealistic man (or woman). Idealism, no doubt, has ruined more than a few marriages. I mentioned I’m all for ascertaining what is behind the overly baggy attire. There may be some underlying psychological issues, as you mentioned. I would not entertain a woman who wants to advertise all her stuff with immodest dress for just the same reasoning. There is something going on in that kind of person that is not conducive to a healthy relationship.

Zeph
12 days ago

Will, there is a third possibility to depression. The person may not be saved. Doug’s father, Jim, wrote a booklet called How to Be Free From Depression. Community Christian Ministries press.

Chris
Chris
12 days ago

Fresh comments, fresh insanity! Where’s Barnabas the N**i and Cherrerrerra to swoop in with the InfoWars level analysis?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
12 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Its early

Cherrera
Cherrera
10 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

The fact you’re simping for a God-hating, admitted troll who’s probably a sodomite as well is…odd.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
10 days ago
Reply to  Cherrera

lol In what manner am I simping for anything? I did not compare you to infowars. Chris did. I simply denoted that early on a Tuesday is bit fast to declare that neither you nor Barnabas were coming. Was I wrong? Barnabas has kind of earned that insult anyway, at least, debatably so, and I’m not even sure you would consider an Infowars comparison an insult. I don’t recall your opinion on that sector of the right. If you thought I was insulting you, sorry I suppose. I don’t see how even the most uncharitable interpretation of my two word… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Justin Parris
Cherrera
Cherrera
10 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Nah, I’m not offended easily. I just don’t understand why anyone feeds the Chris troll. He has nothing but snark and doesn’t attempt to defend his positions or explain his ethical system. Literally all he has is “racist,” “Alex Jones,” “homophobe,” etc. Meanwhile he thinks it’s funny if his political foes are murdered. I don’t think he’s worth a single keystroke and he’s done enough to be banned if it were my blog.

Kathleen Zielinski
Kathleen Zielinski
10 days ago
Reply to  Cherrera

And yet you just devoted many keystrokes in two separate posts to him. Odd.

Chris
Chris
10 days ago
Reply to  Cherrera

🤡

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Robert
Robert
12 days ago

Hello Andrew, If I may, you might also find some help with your fears of the Unpardonable Sin, in the book: “The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification” by Walter Marshall (1628-1680) https://www.heritagebooks.org/products/the-gospel-mystery-of-sanctification-marshall.html (just to get your interest…it is reported that John Murray said of this book “The most important book on sanctification ever written”.) Don’t let the title mislead you, it deals with all aspects of “sanctification” including saving faith and assurance. Pages 147-149 (in chapter 11 on Saving Faith) he directly addresses fears about the unpardonable sin. I have gotten much help from this book over the years. May God… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by RobertandVicki Wood
Ken B
Ken B
11 days ago
Reply to  Robert

I think a good rule of thumb on the unforgivable sin is that any believer who is concerned about having committed it hasn’t. If it is possible for a Christian to commit this sin it would have to be by deliberate, known renunciation of the faith and a return to unbelief. It would then of course no longer bother them. Something really evil like abortion is not the unforgivable sin, but continuing to maintain it is a moral good would be an example of it. It is swapping goodness for moral wickedness, truth for a lie, so that even when… Read more »

Robert
Robert
8 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

Hello Ken,

When you said: “Something really evil like abortion is not the unforgivable sin, but continuing to maintain it is a moral good would be an example of it.”, I assume you mean that they would hold determinedly to this belief for the rest of their life… Because surely the Grace of God is powerful and bountiful that it could change the heart of even such a person as you describe if God so choose, right? Look at Saul/Paul, right?

Robert

Kristina
Kristina
12 days ago

Is Ben’s gal confusing “modestly” with “messily”?

Jennifer Mugrage
12 days ago

Will,
From my observations, Depression B can come on to a person due to a prolonged period of a variety of losses and stressors, but then take on a life of its own that can be very difficult to shake. This often happens to pastors and overseas missionaries. Certain personality types are more susceptible.

There can also be physical causes. Women can get Depression B during pregnancy or postpartum, and people who have had dengue fever, for example, can become fatigued and depressed for a year or more afterwards.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
12 days ago

I went through a phase for a time.

What shook it in the end was actually listening to destransitioners who had ruined their bodies for life under the mistaken impression of being the wrong gender.

Really makes you feel silly for being downtrodden about normal problems like not being as productive as you feel you ought.

Jennifer Mugrage
11 days ago
Reply to  Justin Parris

Thanks for your testimony.

I have been close to folks who took years to get thru it. Sometimes a big insight will do it maybe, but sometimes they are in an altered state where they really cannot think straight unless the grace of God intevenes, like with Nebuchadnezzar.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
11 days ago

Well and who’s to say my turnaround *wasn’t* the grace of God? Something something mysterious ways. But at the time, during the phase, it did not physiologically feel like there was any choice or proper response. I would just be going about my day, happy as a clam, and it would hit like having a bucket of water thrown on you. No rhyme or reason, just sudden misery. It was a difficult problem to deal with, both as a Christian and as someone who is usually very cold and rational. As a Christian, when you confide in someone, they’ll usually… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
12 days ago

So, as per previous posts Adam was free (or required) to take the blame. Could he have acted to physically restrain her from picking or eating the apple? Would it be acceptable were he to strike it from her hand?

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
12 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Too many unknowns to give the kind of specific answer for which you are asking. We know virtually nothing of what daily living, or even what relationships were like, before the fall.

Barnabas
Barnabas
11 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

“ The only consistent thing for a federal head to do in such a situation would be to do what the second Adam in fact did do for us. Adam should have gone to the Lord and confessed that his wife had eaten the fruit, and to plead with the Lord to take him instead.”
A creature cant off propitiation for the sins of another creature. This makes no sense.

Laurel
Laurel
11 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Is the issue more that this is what Adam’s response should have been, not whether it would have been sufficient? And since he would have been sinless at that point in time, would it not have been sufficient? I don’t know, just thinking “out loud”…

Barnabas
Barnabas
11 days ago
Reply to  Laurel

I don’t really mean to imply that Adam could have acted in a manner to prevent the fall. I think the fall and redemption of creation was baked in to the devine plan.
I’m just pointing out how Wilson shoehorns in his take of father as fall guy rather than a leader who might act against preventable evil.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
11 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

You list these as alternatives to one another, rather than necessarily linked roles.

Being the leader also makes you the fall guy.

Chris
Chris
11 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Dude, just join a karate class or something to hit all the women you want. Or start one on your little compound where you rolled back the 19th or some other cringy stuff the women in your life will forget when you are dead or senile.

Jennifer Mugrage
12 days ago

Kristina and Ben,
I am considering pitching a book to Canon Press that is aimed at helping young women with the emotional and logistical difficulties of dressing “modestly, but beautifully.” That can be a real puzzler, and I hope my book would be a resource for confused and reluctant young ladies.

Kristina
Kristina
12 days ago

you need only look to historical fashion! :)

Jennifer Mugrage
11 days ago
Reply to  Kristina

Depends upon your lifestyle, budget, and build.

Jane
Jane
10 days ago

And the era! Historical fashion is far from universally modest OR genuinely beautiful.

David Anderson
11 days ago

Quoting Colossians 2:11–12 and Galatians 3:27–29 when asked for texts that show that circumcision and baptism are essentially the same thing sounds like a damaging concession to me. If those are the *best* texts for that demonstration, then it would seem that the cupboard is not very well stocked. Here we merely have two texts in which baptism and circumcision are mentioned sequentially – but on any fair, open-minded reading in context, the connection between them that understands Paul as desiring to get across the teaching point “one has essentially replaced the other” has to be supplied entirely from the… Read more »

Ken B
Ken B
11 days ago
Reply to  David Anderson

To be consistent infant baptism should presumably only be administered to males.

Ryan
Ryan
11 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

To be consistent, credobaptists should stop bringing their kids to church.

Ken B
Ken B
9 days ago
Reply to  Ryan

That doesn’t follow. Whatever the status of very young children is in the sight of God, it will not be changed by infant baptism. In practice it confuses institutional church ‘membership’ with being a Christian, and is imo a relic of Catholicism, being a church tradition. I have in my time carefully considered this and studied the arguments brought in favour of it, as I have baptised several people who were ‘done’ as infants and who came to regard this from reading the NT as not being a legitimate baptism. I believe in baptismal salvation (not regeneration) and it is… Read more »

Ryan
Ryan
9 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

Neither does your comment about infant baptism. That’s all I was after. God bless.

katecho
katecho
9 days ago
Reply to  Ken B

“Whatever the status of very young children is in the sight of God, it will not be changed by infant baptism.” True. Neither the ritual of baptism nor circumcision changes the status of the infant. They are either part of God’s covenant family, or they are foreigners to it. The ritual is God’s way of glorifying and sealing the reality, not of creating a reality that wasn’t there before. Abraham wasn’t circumcised in order to change his covenant status. God had already entered covenant with Abraham. So infants of even one believing parent would be baptized, not to make them… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by katecho
Ryan
Ryan
11 days ago
Reply to  David Anderson

If you want a fuller treatment of those texts from the paedobaptist view, there are plenty of resources out there. The question for you, David, is why Paul would mention baptism and circumcision together at all.

Jane
Jane
10 days ago
Reply to  David Anderson

deleted

Last edited 10 days ago by Jane
Barnabas
Barnabas
11 days ago

If you don’t have a problem with another man’s embryos growing in your wife you are disgusting.

Nicholas
Nicholas
11 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

I mean, from the pro-life perspective, we ought to treat the unborn and the born child as morally equivalent. I expect you wouldn’t have a problem with “another man’s” infant breastfeeding from your wife, and yet that’s also a pretty intimate act of care. I’d be interested to hear Joseph’s perspective on the issue, given that another man’s embryonic Messiah once grew within his wife.

Justin Parris
Justin Parris
11 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

I’m not making this argument, but there is an argument to be made that in order to be pro-life, one need not treat them as morally equivalent, merely morally valuable. People disagree on the precise moral worth of dogs and cats, but pretty much everyone agrees that they don’t have a moral worth of absolute zero. You shouldn’t torture them or kill them needlessly. You could take a similar position on the unborn. To quantify the unquantifiable, if on a scale of moral value of 1 to 10, 1 being of no value and 10 being a born baby, a… Read more »

James
James
11 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas

It was not “another man”, in any normal use of the word. It was unique, truly unique, and is a mystery to be left unexplained except that no earthly human was the father. (I’m not sure if you would consider God the Father a human or not, though it appears he might look like a man, though probably a more majestic one than we could imagine. ) I certainly would not want my wife to adopt embryos, and would only resort to IV as a last resort for biological children, as almost all Christians who use IV do it as… Read more »

Barnabas
Barnabas
11 days ago
Reply to  James

Like adoption, if the kids look like you people are going to assume they’re your biological kids and you don’t get the same social clout payoff.

Barnabas
Barnabas
11 days ago
Reply to  Nicholas
James
James
11 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

That is Abominable with a capital A.

Chris
Chris
11 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Uh oh, the N**is only weakness, the cuck.

Joel
Joel
11 days ago

How on Earth is Ben supposed to ask her Mom about this? I cannot think of a way he could ask without seeming like a creep.

Laurel
Laurel
11 days ago
Reply to  Joel

Maybe that’s the point? He has to spend time figuring out the how and thereby deciding if it’s really that important?

Jane
Jane
10 days ago
Reply to  Laurel

But ultimately, the correct conclusion is that it *is* really that important. Not knowing whether you find your potential wife’s body at all attractive is a bad position to be in.

Zeph
11 days ago

Craig, that was a pretty broad brush. Eventually, everyone gets to the point in life where they know that sex will not produce children. Your reasoning takes away the simple fact that God made us to enjoy sex with our spouse even when it won’t make a baby. You should reconsider your position,

Jane
Jane
10 days ago
Reply to  Zeph

But coming to the point where we know children will not be produced, does not require failing to acknowledge that the overall purpose is procreation to the glory of God.

Barnabas
Barnabas
10 days ago

Israel bombed the Iranian embassy in Damascus a few days ago. I can’t recall such a brazen act. When Iran and Syria inevitably respond in self defense we can expect Doug Wilson to wax indignant and genocidal.

Chris
Chris
10 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Just become a progressive, we have been right about this the whole time and you can be done with this gin soaked sot.

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Barnabas
Barnabas
10 days ago
Reply to  Chris

I DO always root for Ivan Drago…

Chris
Chris
10 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

When he fights Rocky or Creed?

Barnabas
Barnabas
9 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Both, but the display of American decadence leading up to the Rocky fight was really something.

Chris
Chris
9 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

I too envied the housekeeping robot. Another tragic reminder we are living in the wrong timeline.

Dave
Dave
10 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

For the readers who didn’t catch the news, the Israeli attack on the Damascus Iranian Embassy was an immediate response to the Iranian missile fired from the Iraqi border hitting the Eliat Israeli naval base. It was not just a brazen attack but a directed response against an Iranian attack on Israel.

Barnabas
Barnabas
10 days ago
Reply to  Dave

No it was an assassination of an Iranian general.

Dave
Dave
9 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Was the attack on the Israeli naval facility by Iran a terrorist attack?

Barnabas
Barnabas
10 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Attacking an embassy is the act of a terrorist.

Dave
Dave
9 days ago
Reply to  Barnabas

Was the US attack on the Belgrade Chinese Embassy a terrorist act?

Barnabas
Barnabas
9 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Probably, could have been incompetence.
Another parallel would be the Trump assassination of Qasem Soleimani. A cowardly act that would justify retaliation against the US but at least not perpetuated at an embassy.