Here Endeth a Beautiful Woman

Among those who comment regularly on my blog, I have a bullpen of sorts, made up of astute volunteers, who are good and faithful readers of what I write. In the enormous comment thread that broke out under my Cinder Block post, I wanted to highlight one of them. This is from Gianni, who gets — exactly — what all of this talk about beautiful women is all about.

Let's be honest with ourselves now. What makes this joke work?
Let’s be honest with ourselves now. What makes this joke work?

“People, don’t miss the point. Keep notes on who is saying what. All this is really about whether the Christian faith makes any waves in the actual physical world. It’s really about culture, sports, art, politics, astronomy, legislation, poetry, economics, geology, moviemaking, journalism, jurisprudence, music, and why not, fashion.

Pastor Wilson keeps shooting down, from any angle he can . . . any incarnation of the widely popular but biblically inept and eschatologically-impaired assumption that what we have here is all a state of mind, an invisible spiritual aura hidden between heaven and your heart, which you are supposed, like that Eleanor, to keep home in a jar by the door, and at church events only, and which refuses to intersect, by design, at any point with the actual world between your home and your church. You are really watching a war on the practical denial of the doctrines of regeneration and of progressive sanctification. And it’s a marvelous thing. So pay attention.”

As I am fond of saying, theology comes out your fingertips. And to apply it to the case in hand, some of those fingertips should be adorned with fingernail polish, those little red markers that are as much as to say, “here endeth a beautiful woman.”

The issue before us is a simple one. Does the Lordship of Jesus Christ extend over absolutely everything? And, if it does, does it make any difference to the good?

Now I am not asking if the name of Jesus Christ can be extended to any topic by any party. All kinds of people want a divine imprimatur for what they were wanting to do anyway. That would saddle us with Osteenian best-life-now-ism or lame critiques of free markets from the current pontiff.

Since we don’t need that kind of thing, we should rather ask if the widespread embrace of a genuine, robust orthodoxy necessitates a robust way of being human, in all the areas where humans are humans. I mean the way we make boats, the way we compose poetry, the way we dance, the way our women adorn themselves, the way we brew beer, the way our men fight, the way we cook pancakes, and so on. Once we grant the salvation of an individual person, what actual difference does the Christian faith make in the outside world? How does his saved soul integrate with his body and his world?

Henry Van Til said — rightly — that culture is religion externalized. When the true religion takes on its cultural shape, what does it look like? Moreover, since this is a slow process, like yeast working through the loaf, what do the intermediate cultures during the intermediate centuries look like? If the process extends across centuries, as I believe it does, how can we distinguish the gold of Egypt that may be kept, the dumpster scrapings of Egypt that should not be kept, the new work of the Spirit that is still immature and needs to be nurtured along, and the completed work of the Spirit that is to be defended and preserved?

Ironically, one of illustrations that the early fathers used for this kind of cultural engagement was from the Mosaic law, concerning a beautiful pagan woman taken captive in war.

“When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife” (Deut. 21:10–13).

Of course there is the problem of how the Israelite men could possibly have found out which captive women were in fact the beautiful ones. But Scripture is full of mysteries . . .

But that aside, the image for cultural engagement was this. There are things worth preserving from every human culture. The gospel is not coming to tribes of orcs. By God’s common grace, unbelieving nations and tribes were capable of producing truly beautiful things. So when the Christian faith supplants the older, idolatrous faiths, how much stays, and how much goes? The beautiful woman stays, but she must put off that which pertained to her old way of life.

Now I do not want to pretend that all the details of this are simple. It really can become a complicated problem. But the larger task is not complicated at all. Jesus said to disciple the nations, not most of the nations. He said to teach them all that He commanded, not some of what He commanded. And He said that it would be a long, slow process, which means that patience is required.

But abandonment of the task is not the same thing as patience. Compromise with the Egyptians is not the same thing as plundering the Egyptians. A retreat to a very committed ghetto existence is not what the Great Commission required.

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Aquila Aquilonis
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Aquila Aquilonis

Can one of the more astute biblical scholars of the group explain to me how the Deuteronomy passage is different than that of what ISIS is reported as doing?

momof3
Guest
momof3

Consent?

Laura
Guest
Laura

Where in the quoted passage do you see consent?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Where do you see permission to violate the standing laws against rape?

Consent isn’t in the quoted passage, but it’s embedded in the law these people were bound to. It doesn’t seem reasonable to say that it must be present in the quoted passage in order to be functioning in the situation.

Laura
Guest
Laura

The laws against rape weren’t much like our laws now. If a man and a woman had illicit sex, either she didn’t consent and he was punished, or she did and they both were. That wasn’t anything like a man being attracted to a captive. With all of the detail here about her looks, and his feelings, and her hair and nails, a simple phrase like “and she consents” would have been thrown in if her consent was at all relevant.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

“either she didn’t consent and he was punished, or she did and they both were.”

Correct. Rape was illegal. Thank you.

So it wouldn’t need to be specified in regulations about specific situations.

I’ll bet in OSHA regulations, which can be very specific, it also doesn’t say “and you may not deliberately cut your employees’ limbs off with any part of the machinery,” either. So I guess we can assume that aggravated workplace assault might be legal?

Laura
Guest
Laura

Jane, you’re applying today’s standards to a culture that simply didn’t have them. In that culture, there was no concept of marital rape. And illicit sex was always illegal. It’s not that a man caught having sex with a virgin not betrothed to him in the countryside was punished for rape. He was punished for illicit sex, and she wasn’t because she got the benefit of the doubt, that she was forced. But for a man to have sex with a captive wasn’t illicit. Do you think that Sarah and Rachel and Leah and all those other wives got their… Read more »

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

The situation with Sarah predated this, or any, law. And it is not known whether consent was involved or not. You presume lack of consent from lack of explicit statement of consent. We do not know. And in the case of Rachel and Leah, the servants were given as concubines, which means they had rights — they weren’t simply raped and discarded. Yes, the concept of marital rape was different, but that doesn’t mean that the concept of rape a la ISIS was condoned. Consent was not required within marriage, but it was required outside marriage. And that’s what we’re… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

Consent was required outside of marriage? Chapter and verse, please?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

The very existence of a rape law implies it. You don’t need to say “consent is required” if you have laws to punish men who take women against their will.

Laura
Guest
Laura

Jane. They didn’t have rape laws like we do. To them, rape was a man taking a woman he wasn’t entitled to. What she did or didn’t want was never at issue.

antexw
Member

Laura (and KarenJo), Women “crying out” (Dt 22:24,27) when forced to have sex (and thus sparing them from judgment for doing so per Dt 22:24) shows in contradiction to what you wrote above “that it was never at issue what women did or didn’t want.” Besides the witness against rape or forced sex in Scripture (see also Dt 22:26), the Bible additionally teaches that women are not to be forced to have sex, as Rebekah is also asked according to her will or what she wants (Ge 24:8,57,58). And, Rebekah’s personal will to marry is in the context of her… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I think people could agree with others or disagree, this relates to what we mean by consent. But I think the concept of consent as it relates to 20th century culture, especially consent to sexual liaisons, is somewhat foreign to the ancients.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

The difference is that it is all okay and explainable if it threatens the positions of those who would follow the old testament.

David
Guest
David

Laura,

Before commenting on the meaning of that Deuteronomy passage, I want to ask you firstly if you accept that the passage above is an inspired passage. What I mean is, do you view that passage from a higher critical concern, or do you accept that this was, at least at one time, a word from God?

Laura
Guest
Laura

David, I view these things with a liberal helping of Matthew 19:7-8. These laws took into account culture, common practices, and people wanting to do wrong things, and were an attempt to at least ameliorate the resulting damage. They were not at all supposed to be held out as ideals for us to emulate.

Monte Harmon
Guest
Monte Harmon

That’s a good line to make visible. Now that we know where the real disagreement is we can cease wasting time talking about consequent details.

David
Guest
David

Laura, Sure, I also agree that there were definitely some laws that were not meant to be in perpetuum in human history. Of course, like you, I would want to be non-arbitrary in how I determine which laws are no longer kept in the way they were to be observed in the old covenant, having been fulfilled in Christ (which is how you and I being in Christ actually, in a sense, keep them today). You might agree, but I would suggest that the New Covenant Scriptures would have to be our guide as to how the law is kept… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

Yes, as we’ve said earlier, taking at least some of these women as wives (even against their will) beat killing them outright or leaving them to starve. So in that way it was fair treatment. Still not God’s perfect will.

David
Guest
David

Laura, I have been reworking through the Torah with some study aids (JPS series, Anchor Bible commentary, Word Commentary series). I would say that the treatment was not simply “better than a stick in the eye”. It was not pleasant, but it was fair, in large part because of the issue of two nations at war, with the proviso that the kind of war in view here was supposed to be a righteous nation versus an unrighteous one. I think about these things in our current circumstances here in the US. I am still working through the theology of God’s… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

I really have trouble with the idea of punishing little children because they were born into an unrighteous nation. We don’t pick our parents and the nations we’re born into. I think that couple of verses in Matthew indicates that some of the Mosaic law took into account the receivers’ sinful natures and didn’t reflect what God really wanted. In fact, in the Sermon on the Mount, after the Beatitudes, Jesus talks about some aspects of Mosaic law and qualifies them to bring them more into line with God’s actual expectations. “You have heard it said, an eye for an… Read more »

David
Guest
David

Yes, I struggle with that also. Like I said, it would not have been my modus operandi, but admittedly, by nature, I am the bent one, and not the Lord, so even my sympathies can be tainted with unholiness. I think also, Laura, there are some things that are right for God which would not be right for you and me to do (unless God said “You do this”). I think God is providentially guiding the world through history into a place like you describe. Of course, that will also mean that men and women are taught to obey the… Read more »

Laura
Guest
Laura

Yes. I corrected (shock!) a minister once who taught a Sunday School class on the parable of the workers in the vineyard, the one where the workers worked different hours but all were paid the same. He said that he had learned at his (very liberal) seminary to read the Bible through the lens of what it has to say for the poor and the needy. (I think it’s a bad idea to read the Bible through any lens at all because it might not be saying what you assume it will.) And that reading it that way, it’s clear… Read more »

drewnchick
Member

“It’s a bad idea to read the Bible through any lens at all…”
Very true.
We should be looking at our lives, our culture, our government, our churches, and all of our thoughts through the lens of Scripture!

Unfortunately, this minister you encountered had it completely backwards…as so, so many people do.

holmegm
Guest
holmegm

Not only that, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. In order that God could show His glory by punishing the Egyptians and saving the Hebrews. Scripture is explicit about this.

Andrew Lohr
Member

Would ISIS improve itself by emulating them? IF so, was Israelite culture 1000+ BC better than ISIS version of Islamic culture today?

Laura
Guest
Laura

Yes.

AFAIK the Israelites weren’t putting beheading videos on YouTube.

Steve H
Guest
Steve H

David did display some foreskins to Saul…

mirele
Guest
mirele

I don’t accept it as inspired because it implies a system where women are property of men. I’m not property. I do see it as an attempt by a society to try and put down the rules of the road as far as their religion, but it’s a very poor attempt because of the aforementioned treatment of women as property. Rather like having rules on how to treat slaves.

–Deana Holmes

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

Deana — is it okay for a society to lay the rules of the road IF the God who made the road says to do it that way?

Who made you, Deana?

David
Guest
David

Deana, I think the challenge here is that if you, or I, or someone decides that a portion of Scripture is not the word of God because it does not strike us as being fair or just, that this presupposes that our judgments on such matters are trustworthy. The Bible would indicate that this is not always the case. I believe that to evaluate the claims of the Bible as an ultimate authority, any of us will need to be willing to accept things that we might at first find off-putting. As I type this, I want to be careful… Read more »

Darren
Guest
Darren

Laura,
I think the Jacob narrative is pretty clear that the situation is a mess. Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah (Leah seems complicit), then Rachel & Jacob have a “love” marriage. Concubines etc. although I think Jane is right below about their rights, is beside the point. they are showing doubt in God’s promise and not so concerned about them: it’s not held out as, “this is OK” – far from it. But, God nonetheless uses the situation and all the sons are the building blocks of Israel.

Laura
Guest
Laura

I agree with all of this except that the point Jane and I differ on is exactly whether the concubines had rights. I see no evidence at all that they weren’t being made to do as they were told. If either of the women had said “no I don’t want to do that” what would have happened?

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Don’t laugh, or at least not too hard, but a big part of the pro-gay marriage argument is that nowhere in anyone’s translation of the Bible is there a verse which explicitly says words to the effect of, “Neither may two men nor two women marry.” Since the Bible does not expressly forbid such marriages, there must not be any divine command not to perform them. But neither does the Bible forbid trying to swim across the Med without a boat, nor does it forbid running 50 mph.

KarenJo12
Guest
KarenJo12

OSHA regulations don’t prohibit deliberately cutting off employee’s limbs with the machinery because there is already a law against aggravated assault, and any employer who did that would go to jail. Where is the equivalent in the Mosaic law against sexual assault?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

That’s been discussed all over this thread.

KarenJo12
Guest
KarenJo12

Where do you see any acknowledgment that she had the right to say no? She was a captive, a slave. Can slaves reject their masters?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Can masters assault their slaves? I don’t see where that exception to the assault laws is created.

Ray D.
Guest
Ray D.

I am merely a dumb engineer, not an astute biblical scholar, but here goes: 1) ISIS warriors can immediately rape multiple women. The Israelite warrior cannot commit rape, and had to wait a full month to make a final decision of whether to marry the woman or set her free. 2) The captive of ISIS is a slave who can be sold to multiple men as a sex slave. The captive of an Israelite is either a wife or a free woman at the end of the one month. 3) The captive of ISIS can be killed at any time.… Read more »

mirele
Guest
mirele

You know why they waited a month, right? It was to make sure the woman wasn’t pregnant. If she was, she could be killed, you know, because she was violated property of another man.

Deana M. Holmes

Ray D.
Guest
Ray D.

That is not correct. If the woman was not killed in the initial battle, and she was not married to her captor, she was to be set free.

Bro. Steve
Guest
Bro. Steve

One important difference would be the authority under which things were being done, as well as the end purpose. That won’t satisfy folks who don’t realize that all morality derives from authority, but it’s at least part of the answer.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

A good parallel would be the Sabine women, the women captured as wives for the Benjamites or Briseis in the Iliad. I don’t see any reason to sugar coat things. This is how tribes obtained land, livestock and wives in the ancient world.

cduncster
Member

Hello, Aquila.

Would the following be a somewhat analogous question to the one you posited above? Would you, or have you thought of a question similar to the following when reading such a Psalm as Psalm 137:7-9?

“Can one of the more astute biblical scholars of the group explain to me how the [Psalm 137:7-9] passage is [essentially, substantially, or ultimately] different than that of what [abortionists are] reported as doing?”

Andrew Lohr
Member

Do the ISIS guys wait a month? Do they marry?

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Does the great commission not include shaking the dust off of sandles and moving on? The fruits of evangelism are salvation to some but condemnation to many more. Martin Luther didn’t reform the Catholic church, he chose exit. The puritans founded a new world.
Glad to hear talk of embracing the worthy facets of pagan culture. It’s time to rediscover the heroic. Slave morality may be a true description of Christianity but surely it’s more than that.

Nord357
Guest
Nord357

I am going to have to disagree with you here Barnabas.
My reading persuades me that Martin Luther was in fact engaged in attempting to reform the the R>C> church. The cardinals weren’t having any of it. He did not choose to leave he was excommunicated and put under a death sentence.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

It is a complex topic to address in short, blog comment form but declaring the papacy to be the antichrist would seem to indicate a decision to exit the Catholic church. However, you are correct, my use of the word “chose” is probably not completely accurate. Regardless of his intentions, he did not reform the church. He built a new one.

RFB
Guest
RFB

“Of course there is the problem of how the Israelite men could possibly have found out which captive women were in fact the beautiful ones.”

Now you have gone and done it.

Laura
Guest
Laura

That’s not so hard, but then the question is, what was to happen to the ones who weren’t beautiful. Slit their throats? Leave them to starve?

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Kept them as slaves rather than wives, which is better than the alternatives, as you say.

KarenJo12
Guest
KarenJo12

And you consider keeping them as slaves admirable? Something to be emulated?

timothy
Guest
timothy

How do you read what you said into what Jane Dunsworth said? You have turned missing the point into an art-form.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Nothing as pedestrian as that. No, they became embittered, burned their bras and became vegans.

Laura
Guest
Laura

Good for them, then.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

About time Gianni gets some of the credit around here. :-)

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

The alternative to the ghetto may have been presented and I missed it. I hope that it would be a response informed by a clear-eyed understanding of civics and an understanding that history should be read as a data set and not as a romance novel. If governments derive power from the consent of the governed then there is the problem that consent is manufactured with a giant megaphone and the men wielding the megaphone hate you. The outlook is similarly bleak if political power grows from the barrel of a gun. The idea that the church can successfully negotiate… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Well, if God blesses me with lot’s of cash, I will be funding “working class” colleges where a town like Moscow Idaho and Christ Church would teach men (and women) how to build the infrastructure of civilization.

A Christian engineer in my neck of the Appalachian Redoubt has stories about what I have in mind: https://youtu.be/yYGKn12Weu4

John Robb and his work (mostly theorizing) gives examples of local currencies, tool libraries, seed banks,etc.

I agree with you on the rejection of techno-pathologies. They are vectors that blind and confuse.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

timothy I am praying for your god to give you a lot of cash, so you can start the dropping out of society process. This is an excellent idea.

timothy
Guest
timothy

God heard your prayer years ago. I am not of your society; we are not the same people.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Pray that He gives me time and means to re-up my engineering skills I have let atrophy and learn new ones that will be useful to Him. I am ordering my life to accomplish that and to up my math skills to engage at the PhD level. Think Nassem Talib or Roger Penrose or working from first principles the probability for amino acids to spontaneously become a proto-RNA and then the calculations to determine the mass needed is greater than the mass of the earth. That is cool stuff. I will then ‘retire’ as a teacher and train (at sustenance… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Go and do my friend. I think that is a great idea. I like the dropout, eschew tech angle. Although I will miss our internet chats.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Way too much talk people. Not enough action. Start dropping out.

Katecho
Member

Barnabas wrote: The idea that the church can successfully negotiate with the culture is proving to be false. Compare with 1Cor 5:9-10: I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. There is a distinction between building an alternate culture, with trowel in one hand and sword in the other, and simply abandoning the current culture. It is God’s prerogative to exercise His scepter… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Katecho, if you have the bandwidth, spending 15 minutes on that other thread will reward you with a fascinating intellectual turn of events. At the last comment open the link and go to the unmoderated blog. Then check out comment 47 and then the discussion starting at 80 (the thread is only at about 110 comments now).

I am amazed at what I am reading and now quite confident the defense of the Faith will stand. For you theological types, it appears it will be a feast of a discussion.

Giovanni Maresia
Member
Giovanni Maresia

Pastor Wilson, thank you, and God bless you. : )

duellsquimby
Member

Gianni, you succinctly summed up the whole purpose of Dougs blog. I’ve copied it away to refer to in future conversations. ????

adad0
Member

So…….the proprietor up voted Gianni……..right?
Sometime those of the phylum; Lumumox Technologicus, benefit from a gentle reminder! ; -)

PerfectHold
Guest
PerfectHold

“a long slow process” = on the way to dispensational postmillenial utopia?

And when we get there, we’ll acknowledge:

(1) those past centuries & millenia & generations were chock full of hell on earth and won’t be able to participate in or experience the earthly nirvana

(2) that future civilization will still continue to have hell-bound, Jesus-hating folks, despite the largely good and godly culture surrounding them.

This is the great postmillienial hope we all yearn for and work toward?

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

1. “. . . what we have here is all a state of mind, an invisible spiritual aura hidden between heaven and your heart, which you are supposed, like that Eleanor, to keep home in a jar by the door, and at church events only, and which refuses to intersect, by design, at any point with the actual world between your home and your church.” Yes; EXACTLY. Are “church” and “religion” and “faith” things which only occur 1 hour a week only campus? Believe it or don’t, but Gianni’s point is EXACTLY the hinge of the dispute between Kennedy (pg… Read more »

katie
Guest
katie

To your nail polish suggestion, I venture Lewis’ opinion on the subject:

Lady, a better sculptor far
Chiseled those curves you smudge and mar,
And God did more than lipstick can
To justify your mouth to man.

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

Perhaps this bit will survive moderation? http://www.andrewrilstone.com/2005/11/lipstick-on-my-scholar.html

C.S. Lewis, not Lewis Carroll. And why Susan doesn’t get into Heaven led a blogger (Rilstone) to this sequence, derived from how the Serpent twisted God’s instruction to Adam and Eve:

Lewis: “She’s interested in nothing except nylons and lipstick and invitation.”

Pullman: She’s become far too interested in nylons and lipstick and invitations.

Rowling: She’s lost to Narnia because she likes lipstick

Times: She’s excluded from paradise because she likes nylons and lipsticks and invitations.

Independent: She’s interested in evil snares such as nylons and lipsticks and invitations.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Of course there is the problem of how the Israelite men could possibly
have found out which captive women were in fact the beautiful ones. But
Scripture is full of mysteries . . .

funny. Very good and funny. thx.

bethyada
Member

When we consider the Mosiac Law we need to identify not just what it commands but why. Mainly of the laws seem hard or strange to us because we do not belong to that culture, nor do we think like them; that is, our assumptions we bring to the world diifer from theirs. In considering marriage we need to understand how they thought. Starting with the Law, it is clear by other passages, including some in proximity to Deut 21, that the laws are to protect the vulnerable, not excuse the powerful or guilty. The law allows a man not… Read more »

DC Moody
Guest
DC Moody

Isn’t it odd that what most people are upset about in this post are the words of God? Maybe instead of criticizing God’s Word, we should try to understand what God was doing. I will admit that to sinners the words of God are usually quite offensive.

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

This is a beautifully idiotic argument, DC Moody. What people are upset about is one man’s interpretation of the words of God. There are also people that may not be as in to the theory of inerrancy–which means they don’t understand what you mean as “the word of God” in the same way that you do. But even if we agree that the Bible is inerrant, we can still disagree with a demagogue’s bullish and potentially harmful interpretation of it.

DC Moody
Guest
DC Moody

Spike, actually it’s not an argument. It’s an observation. And, if you have a problem with inerrancy, then, yes, your problem is with the Word of God, not some man’s interpretation of it.

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

Everything is an argument, DC. Your observation makes this argument: anyone that questions Doug Wilson’s point in this post is actually questioning the word of God. No two ways around it: you made an argument. As to inerrancy, you are talking about a man-made theory. Maybe it’s the right theory, but there are other theories–other theories that many Christians over the years have accepted. Having an issue with inerrancy does not mean I have an issue with the Word of God; it simply means that I define the Word of God differently than you do. I have no problem with… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Talking about inner beauty affecting outer beauty, I didn’t see anyone quote the story of Johnny Lingo’s Eight-Cow Wife? I don’t think that caused such a negative response at the time. Perhaps it was because it was written in a different time. But it is not uncommon for people to think that inner qualities can affect outer qualities over time. True, we should seek inner beauty, but is it impossible to believe that inner beauty can affect how we present ourselves? how we dress? our demeanour? and, over time, our physical appearance?

And can God not create such inner beauty?

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Unbelievers raise a host of indictments against God from scripture. Apologetics will never them all, certainly not to their satisfaction. Man may not sit in judgement over God.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Its funny how Reason can lead us to the water but cannot make us drink. At least I have never read of an account where somebody deduced their Christianity. In every instance, the faith is an act of meeting a Person.

Take your mirrior-image namesake–Sabanrab–I cannot deduce my way to knowing the guy. I can learn about him, and deduce things about him, but until I meet him, I cannot know him.

Do you agree with my take on that?

timothy
Guest
timothy

Barnabas, there is a downright fascinating turn in the discussion on polygyny that you will enjoy reading.

Hit the link at the last comment and go to the unmoderated blog. Then check out comment 47 and then the discussion starting at 80 (the thread is only at about 110 comments now).

I think you will enjoy the perspectives; I find it mind-blowing.

adad0
Member

Question: “a genuine, robust orthodoxy necessitates a robust way of being human, in all the areas where humans are humans. I mean the way we make boats, the way we compose poetry, the way we dance, the way our women adorn themselves, the way we brew beer, the way our men fight, the way we cook pancakes, and so on. Once we grant the salvation of an individual person, what actual difference does the Christian faith make in the outside world? How does his saved soul integrate with his body and his world?” Answer: John 10: 9 I am the… Read more »

Benjamin Bowman
Guest

For anyone wanting to hear a great song on beauty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HccUJfTQVzo

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

“Of course there is the problem of how the Israelite men could possibly have found out which captive women were in fact the beautiful ones. But Scripture is full of mysteries . . .” Doug, this is not so mysterious. The men looked and said, “Them girls is hot. I’m a gonna take them for my own.” The notion that any kind of subjective, aesthetic beauty is tied to following Christ is utter rubbish. It’s the kind of nonsense that gets your readers posting things like, “I always thought those pro-choicers were ugly”. That’s not a direct quote, but it’s… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

You are really watching a war on the practical denial of the doctrines
of regeneration and of progressive sanctification. And it’s a marvelous
thing. So pay attention.”

beautiful.

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

Let me get this straight. As a result of regeneration and progressive sanctification, people grow physically better looking. And their pancakes (generally speaking, of course, lest I assist you in again needlessly impugning Dr. Trueman’s mum, who probably makes a killer shortstack) improve in quality.

Then why is praise music so tacky?

timothy
Guest
timothy

As a result of regeneration and progressive sanctification, people .. the entire person is changed. This change permeates everything about them. The change takes a lifetime (at least) and continues until God is done and He has the person God intended that person to be pre-fall.

Pastor Wilson used the example of appearance for rhetorical effect; it worked, you are here discussing sanctification and regeneration lured by the downright Classical Greek rhetoric of Pastor Wilson.

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

You’re right about one thing. Wilson is a delight (often a blast) to read, rhetorically speaking. And that does keep me coming back. It doesn’t make some of the things he believes less wacky, though. For instance. I have a scar on the underside of my right index finger as a result of a knife wound received in my youth. It hasn’t gotten better since the day God regenerated me. And my eyesight has gotten worse. Also in my youth, my wife tells me, I was fairly good looking. 21 years later, not so much. What am I doing wrong?

timothy
Guest
timothy

How about your inner man? Are you a Christian?

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

I have reason to believe I am. But we are talking about fingernail polish and physical beauty, no?

Point being, there is a lady in my church who is one of the sweetest saints I’ve ever known. She’s also a bit south of plain. I think she’s a beautiful person, but she just isn’t physically pretty. And rarely wears nail polish.

I think Wilson comes dangerously close to giving our girls another standard of physical beauty to feel bad about not meeting.

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

Not to mention standards of pancake quality.

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Member

Which possibly, leaves open a suggestion that, thine pancakes art more holy than mine.

1 Peter 3:4,
You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

People at peace with God, generally do look more peaceful.
People at war with God, often look worse for the battle.

Would you really eat an ungodly pancake? Ruh-roh!

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

He mentioned nail polish so he is coming dangerously close to the devil’s standards? What about that which is his whole point: Christian women having had something happen on the inside which makes them more beautiful on the outside. Which it does.

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

to apply it to the case in hand, some of those fingertips should be adorned with fingernail polish, those little red markers that are as much as to say, “here endeth a beautiful woman.” So let’s parse. One’s theology makes a difference in every area of one’s life, including, we are being told, the aesthetic qualities of one’s physical body. Wilson above includes polish on the nails as part of that beauty, at least in the case of females (hence his “some of those fingertips”). But the fingernail polish is not my main point. If he only means that a… Read more »

Nopussyfootin
Guest
Nopussyfootin

A person can read anything how ever he wants to if context is ignored.

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

True, but impertinent.

Laura
Guest
Laura

+++++

Thank you.

<3

timothy
Guest
timothy

But we are talking about fingernail polish and physical beauty, no? No, see Gianni’s comment in the blog post that Pastor Wilson quotes. That is the subject. The rhetoric got us on topic by using the emotionally laden fact of beauty. Your friend from church is exactly what Pastor Wilson is talking about–the sanctification of the person by God leads to a beauty that is more than skin deep and to an attitude of reverence for the gift of life God has given us. Look at the hatred for Down’s syndrome children by the ungodly culture and contrast it with… Read more »

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

Thanks timothy, for your take. I may go back to reread Wilson’s post to see if I think you get him correct.

No response on the praise music question?

timothy
Guest
timothy

No response on the praise music question?

heh. I am a jazz/classical man and don’t do pop or rock. When I have tried to listen to praise music, I admire the musical depth and instrumentation. For some reason the lyrics usually don’t jibe with me. I do not talk to God the way they sing to God.

Allistaire Begg’s radio program used to have a beautiful rendition of The Old One Hundredth (Doxology?) however, he has transitioned to a guitar version which I do not enjoy.

God Bless and I look forward to tussling in the future on another topic.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

The reason pop praise music lyrically fails is that the narrative focus of the songs is too narrow. Classic songwriting that sticks to the ribs rides the dramatic line. Simply put, there is no longing in praise music. You’re already at the party. No dramatic emotional tension. Nothing to struggle against. Nothing really at stake. At best you can reference some past hardship. Also the grafting of christian themes onto the sleek delivery system of the modern pop form is a mismatch. The music and groove is sexy, the lyrics not so much. On the other hand, older forms (mid… Read more »

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

So if we’re all supposed to be prettier, why doesn’t our music get more beautiful as well?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Lack of appropriate faith?

Don’t fret though, you guys still have Handel. So don’t grieve pop music. More unfortunate for you however is the sad fact that jazz is off the table… sorry.

But you know, Brian Wilson’s ‘God Only Knows’ on Pet Sounds is a melancholic top 5 masterpiece. Capital ‘H’ him gets a solid shout out there…

timothy
Guest
timothy

More unfortunate for you however is the sad fact that jazz is off the table.

Coltraine, A Love Supreme.is praise music.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

timothy.

I cannot believe I am actually going to agree with you.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Also Duke’s sacred (edit spelling) concerts, but not necessary his best stuff.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Sorry, with the weird threading I didn’t see this before I posted mine.

But “not necessarily his best stuff” doesn’t mean we don’t “get” him. And it’s not only the “Sacred Concerts” that were ours — he was one of us, so it’s all ours — or more properly, it’s all Jesus’.

timothy
Guest
timothy

1940’s 1950’s black culture was Christian; jazz one of its fruits.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Jazz was born in the juke joints and dance halls- more Saturday night then Sunday morning, sorry.

Also the Dukes influential era was 20s, 30s especially. Though he was creative and iconic for his entire career. True American genius.

But back to the point: modern praise music is garbage from an artistic standpoint.

timothy
Guest
timothy

You are right on the dates.

Jane Dunsworth
Guest
Jane Dunsworth

Even sadder is your lack of knowledge about jazz. Duke Ellington would be really surprised to hear that he wasn’t “one of us,” if he was still in a position to care about what people say on the Internet.

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Jane, I’ve missed you so. Duke Ellington was a mercurial genius of American music. He was a true ladie’s mans, rascal, never stayed put, living on the road and in hotels and was perhaps one of the main architects after Pops of what we know today to be the sophisticated side of American music. If there’s no Duke then there is no Bird, no Trane, No Miles, No Gil Evans, No Wynton Marsalis. No jazz. And inarguably his most important work as a transitional musical creature contributing to the american artistic gene pool was done in the late 1920’s thru… Read more »

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

I would circle my xtian music wagon train around country music if I were you. Specifically from the 50’s and early 60’s. Clearly the gospel was being assimilated more efficiently then in those pre-progressive liberal days and the music glowed with the resultant fervor. A great example being ‘Satan Is Real’ by The undersung country duo, The Louvin Brothers. While it boasts one of the most campy (and awesome) covers of all time, the LP has some of their most beautiful recordings and heartfelt performances- all sacred themed but from the heart. Top-shelf brother country from the 50’s. What the… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Hi David,

Do the math. You see the effect, can you deduce the cause? You are conflating American 501(c) churchianity with Christianity. What do we infer when the fruit isn’t of Him?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I find some of it downright embarrassing. It might be lovely for use in private devotions, but some of the lyrics are too personal, too confessional in the literal sense, for congregational singing. And way too touchy-feely. I have often wondered if this kind of song keeps some men away from church. If they make me feel a little bit queasy, how would they strike an ex-Marine?

RandMan
Guest
RandMan

Too literal yes. Not sure about the last part. I think all men are capable of being moved my music. It’s that there is nothing musically or poetically transcendent about praise music, especially lyrically. And dressing it up in modern production just highlights the problem. I think, the problem may be praising god directly in music. The direct part may be the problem. Like all good art, the game is: show, not tell. I think the most effective praise in song comes from studying the lowest rungs of the ladder and telling the story- not the moral, because that is… Read more »

Kelly M. Haggar
Guest
Kelly M. Haggar

FYI only; here only because original topic is closed.

ref: Communion in Methodist churches

Got back w/pastor this am. Our table is “open.” All who ask will be given both elements. We have no ID check nor any restrictions. If you get in line you will be served when you reach the rail – – no questions asked.

Now back to our regular programming. ;).

DC Moody
Guest
DC Moody

In Biblical times, where pagan nations roamed the earth, rape was part of war. If you conquered another nation, you subjected their women to be used as slaves in every way possible, including sexually. God offered a different plan for His people. God did not banish the conquered people to a stage where they could never become a believer and enter His temples with praise. So he did not refuse that His people could marry the women they conquered, but he did refuse that they could rape them, use them, and force them to serve them forever. The pagans offered… Read more »

Charlie Zulu
Guest

This is post-mill gone completely haywire. Looking for antitheses in all the wrong places.

katie
Guest
katie

This analysis seems compelling to me, that of multiplying antitheses to the nth degree.

Jason Pearson
Guest
Jason Pearson

Um, Doug honey, could we not reduce our standards to that of a few Middle Eastern Neanderthals from thousands of years ago, please? And if you can’t do so, then please be prepared to be treated like a Middle Eastern Neanderthal from thousands of years ago. Thanks, Doug baby.

Tom©
Guest
Tom©

In a paragraph including the term “Middle Eastern Neanderthal”, I would expect to see mention of the burning and beheading of Christians. Just how exactly should a “Middle Eastern Neanderthal” be treated?

Pascal
Guest
Pascal

How dare you! Neanderthals were far more chivalrous. Oh sure, monosyllabic, but still gentlemen.

PS- Doug prefers ‘pumpkin’. Don’t ask.

timothy
Guest
timothy

ooga ooga

Pascal
Guest
Pascal

It’s so amusing to read the comments here and see Christians contort their rationalizations and perform logical gymnastics in order to come to terms with the fact that ancient cultures took livestock and women as spoils of war. But why comment only on this one passage? Deuteronomy 22:28-29 mentions that the penalty for rape (not called a sin) is the payment of 50 silver pieces and the man must marry the woman he raped (consent?) Judges 5:30 declares that, after a victorious battle, men can take one or two ladies as his own (consent?) Deuteronomy 22:23-24 clearly states that if… Read more »