I have a question regarding the pride flags. Would you support a business that displayed pride flags? It seems every coffee shop, restaurant, and locally owned boutique has the pride flag on display. How should Christians interact with local businesses?
Kara, I don’t believe it is morally necessary to separate ourselves from businesses that defy biblical norms. But I do believe that there are times when it is tactically advantageous to do so.
Some Natural Law Pushback
I’ve been reading and watching you for the last several years now and I have to say that your “Power, Escape, Dominion” post was perhaps the best, most penetrating analysis of anything you’ve presented to date. Well done and keep it up. Would that Christians across the U.S. and the West understand and heed the wisdom, insight, and knowledge embodied therein.
I have a quibble, however, which is also not a quibble, concerning your (dare I say it) condescending comments about natural law (“endearingly”? Really?). It’s a quibble because my criticism and your comments do not detract from the overall truth and thrust of your argument, but it also is not a quibble, but something more serious, because your comments reveal a foundational blind spot in your philosophy, which will have detrimental knock-on effects for your proposals for turning the culture toward God. I know it is foundational because I’ve heard/read similar misunderstandings in your presentations in the past. And all reasoning based upon false premises leads not only to invalid argument but, ultimately, failure in the practical realm of action.
Before you criticize or dismiss natural law again, you should engage in a more searching understanding of what natural law is. You write: “What is this ‘nature’ you speak of? Is it created nature, as we read in Genesis, or is it the Big Bang nature that we read about everywhere else?” This betrays your misunderstanding. It is the wrong kind of question. I just “happened” to be reading John Finnis’s “Natural Law and Natural Rights” this morning and here’s a quote to get at what I mean:
“Thus, it is simply not true that any form of a natural-law theory of morals entails the belief that propositions about man’s duties and obligations can be inferred from propositions about his nature. Nor is it true that for Aquinas good and evil are concepts analysed and fixed in metaphysics before they are applied in morals. On the contrary, Aquinas asserts as plainly as possible that the first principles of natural law, which specify the basic forms of good and evil and which can be adequately grasped by anyone of the age of reason (and not just by metaphysicians), are per se nota (self-evident) and indemonstrable. They are not inferred from speculative principles. They are not inferred from facts. They are not inferred from metaphysical propositions about human nature, or about the nature of good and evil, or about the function of a human being; nor are they inferred from a teleological conception of nature or any other conception of nature. They are underived (though not innate). Principles of right and wrong, too, are derived from these first, pre-moral principles of practical reasonableness, and not from any facts, whether metaphysical or otherwise. When discerning what is good, to be pursued (prosequendum), intelligence is operating in a different way, yielding a different logic, from when it is discerning what is the case (historically, scientifically, or metaphysically); but there is no good reason for asserting that the latter operations of intelligence are more rational than the former. . . . In other words, for Aquinas the way to discover what is morally right (virtue) and wrong (vice) is to ask, not what is in accordance with human nature, but what is reasonable. And this quest will eventually bring one back to the underived first principles of practical reasonableness—principles which make no reference at all to human nature, but only to human good.”
And that also helps explain how C.S. Lewis was operating in The Abolition of Man, whose argument did not depend on the presupposition of the truth of Christianity or the existence of God. The Abolition of Man is an exercise in moral reasoning built upon the premise that the natural law (the Tao) is. Without the natural law, the Abolition of Man makes no sense, is in fact a complete mess and incoherent. To reject natural law is to cut C.S. Lewis off at the knees—and not just Abolition of Man but almost all of his writings.
I know that is not something you, or any right-thinking Christian, would ever want to do.
Lee, okay. To get clear on one thing at the outset, I believe (heartily) in natural law, although I prefer to call it natural revelation. And I love Lewis’s Abolition, and have read it multiple times. However, the thing that I cannot make any sense of is one of the last statements you make here—”whose argument did not depend on . . . the existence of God.” But everything depends on the existence of God. If the materialistic atheist is correct, there is no such thing as a natural law that I would be willing to pay any attention to. I have no interest in any system of ethics that does not reside in the character and nature of the living God. And I don’t think this is misunderstanding on my part. I think it is a disagreement with certain natural law formulations.
A Courtship Question
I am courting a godly woman who loves Jesus, has serious potential to be a Proverbs 31 type of wife and mother, and I am really attracted to her and we get along really, really well. Bad news is that she goes to a modern non-denom church with a squishy non-repentance gospel and women “pastors.” She won’t leave this church I don’t believe, saying that she believes God “called” her there. I want to join a PCA church. Can a husband and wife go to separate churches? Am I setting myself up for marital catastrophe? Any brief thoughts would help. Blessings!
Johnny, yes. Marital catastrophe is one phrase that comes to mind. The big issue is not the church selection, but rather whether she is willing to follow your spiritual leadership. If she is not, then I would not go ahead.
What would you say are the biggest weaknesses of the Christian community in Moscow?
Erik, one of them would be organization, like publishing a feature like these letters without answering your question, as I did here earlier this morning.
Seriously, I think that our biggest weakness is that we are not adequately prepared for the next generational hand-off. We are very aware of this challenge, but have not yet figured out what we are going to do exactly.
What are the sexual bounds within the context of marriage? Are anal and oral sex permissible biblically?
Which Verb You Use
Your ministry, as well as that of your entire family, has been instrumental in the learning and growth of my wife and I over these last couple of years. It is an everyday occasion to share something new and helpful that we learned from either a Wilson, Jankovic, or Merkle. I don’t know how many more things in our marriage, parenting, or walk with Christ we would be fumbling around about without all of the help.
I write to ask for more help. Maybe a book or content already published you could point me to if not new content to create. Here is my question: How do I faithfully admonish my wife? We have been married nearly 5 years and I have noticed a pattern in my leadership of what I have presumed to be encouragement but is actually working the opposite. I had thought that this would provide the support needed when dealing with the problems of interpersonal relationships, homemaking, and childrearing. I have come to see that I have failed to admonish her to rise to the occasion that the Lord has placed her in. When I thought by doing all the laundry and working at home more to help with the kids would be a support to her, it has become a crutch, or possibly more a crux.
How would you advise that I begin to admonish my wife in her duties as a wife, mother, and child of God generally and specifically as a young seminarian, married to a pastor, and raising 2 toddlers and Lord willing a few more.
David, I would encourage you to have a series of talks with her about your life together, schedule, responsibilities, work load, future expectations, and so on. Don’t think of it as encouragement or admonition yet, because it sounds to me like you don’t know enough yet about what’s going on. And it certainly sounds like she doesn’t know your expectations. And you need to have this conversation before adding a couple more toddlers to the mix.
Messiah ben Joseph
My favorite Bible story is Joseph’s, and it has always grieved me that his line seems to fizzle out of the story in favor of Judah’s (nothing against Judah, of course). So my ears perked up exceedingly at that section of “The Anvil and the Hammers” where you point out that Jesus was descended from Ahab, king of Israel, and Israel is often called Ephraim, and Ephraim was one of Joseph’s sons. Off I scurried to dig into that. Alas! Ahab is Omri’s son, and nowhere does Scripture tell us Omri’s tribe. And we do know that not all of the northern kings were Ephraimites (Baasha, for instance, was from the tribe of Issachar). So while the likelihood is high that Ephraimite blood ran through Omri’s line simply because he was from that part of town, I couldn’t find any solid evidence of it. Would love to hear more if you had some that didn’t make it into the sermon. In the meantime, I’ll console myself with the clearer evidence that the spirit of Joseph’s story is strong in the gospel genealogies: What Ahab, Jezebel, Athaliah, and the rest of those rotters meant for evil, God meant for good in bringing the Messiah out of their lineage.
Kyriosity, I believe that you would greatly enjoy David Mitchell’s books—Messiah ben Joseph, and Jesus: The Incarnation of the Word.
A question popped into my mind recently. I know that you accept people into membership at your church who differ with you on the issue of infant baptism. Would you be willing to accept someone who believes in baptismal regeneration? Would it be a straight yes or no? Or would it be “maybe” depending on the particulars? Why or why not?
Curious in Wisconsin
Curious in Wisconsin, while the answer is “it depends,” it would probably be yes for a person who wanted to join our church. Our confession is the Westminster, which members are not bound to hold—but they are agreeing to be taught in terms of it, and to not be disruptive with their disagreements. That said, there are Lutheran forms of that doctrine that get along okay in our midst.
Not Up for Grabs
The Image of God and Life Between the Sexes
You have stated: “Our sexual ethic is positive.” If someone were to say, “It is just as good to remain single as it is to be married,” would this be a form of moral relativity? Or is this merely cowardice? Or is marriage an optional lifestyle choice?
Justin, marriage is not one option alongside singleness. Most people are supposed to get married. If someone is gifted with celibacy, and called to it, then celibacy is better than marriage—for them. But for most, marriage is the normal state. Undesired singleness, as I have written elsewhere, is an affliction, not a gift.
I consider myself a reformed baptist, and have a very hard time putting down anything I read/listen to from you, the rest of the Moscow guys, and Canon + in general. I’m also the father of two beautiful boys, one a toddler, the other not even crawling yet.
My question is this: how do I handle my toddler when he throws a tantrum? The “wisdom of the age” seems to be ignore them until they calm down, but this doesn’t seem to comport to the idea of shepherding the child’s heart. And since I don’t expect a full treatise on the subject just from my silly question, do you have recommendations of books (yours or from elsewhere) that would address this more fully, from a biblical/exegetical/theological perspective?
Thank you again for your work and ministry!
Brandon, I would recommend that you dive into our family books—Standing on the Promises, Why Children Matter, and so on. But the short answer is that if you don’t discipline the tantrums, the tantrums are disciplining you.
My husband and I are members of Cornerstone Reformed Church in Carbondale, Illinois. Carbondale is very similar to Moscow and that it is a university town run by leftists. My husband is running for mayor and the election is April 4. I would like to ask your church to be in prayer for this election. Carbondale has also become the abortion headquarters of the Midwest. A year ago there were no abortion services offered in our city, and now there are multiple clinics open with more planned to open.
We are greatly in need of prayer that the Christians in our town and those who care about the pro life position would show up for the election on April 4. I was also wondering if there was anyone who would be willing to donate to our campaign, since we are down to the last week of campaigning and need enough money to send out the mailer to hit mailboxes just before the election.
Erica, thanks very much.
I wanted to ask if you have changed your previous take on the resurrection of saints in Matthew 27:52. In your recent blog on Jenga and Hyper Preterism, your take was that many saints were raised, but that it couldn’t be all because at Pentecost, Peter explained that David was still in his tomb. This all seems clear to me.
But I recently used the scripture index on this site to see what you had said about the same verse earlier, and it seems like (and I find this clear and reasonable too) your take was that this paired with Paul’s, statement of Christ leading the captives from captivity into paradise with Him. And that before the ascension those saints rose before ascending with Christ to paradise (Paradise being where Jesus is). This would seem to imply (doesn’t have to, I suppose) that all the saints would rise to go with Him. But if that were the case then David would have left His tomb.
I am aware that the writings on the blog are not likely to be the sum total of every reflection you had on the verse, but wanted to see if there was a change in your interpretation, or if you maintain both takes are not necessarily in conflict.
Thank you for the
Jacob, yes. There has been a slight change. I still believe that Christ in His ascension transferred Paradise from the realm of the dead below to Heaven. But I don’t believe that this entailed a bodily resurrection for all the Old Testament saints.
In “Theological Jenga & Full Preterism” you say this: Now it makes no sense to say that the firstfruits rose from the grave in this particular way, but then to have the harvest show up in a completely different way. As my friend Jared Longshore put it, “If the firstfruit rose in manner A, will the lump rise in manner B? If the root in manner A, will the branch in manner B?”
I’ve always been taught my resurrection body will be me, but just a perfected version of me without spot or blemish. However, Christ’s resurrection body still bore the scars from his crucifixion. Based on your logic here, should I expect the scar above my right eye from hitting myself in the head with the racquetball racket will be present in my resurrection body?
If not, then there is not a one-to-one correlation between Christ’s first fruits resurrection body and ours. Obviously, this doesn’t negate the whole shooting match on bodily resurrection by any means but is an interesting data point to consider when we talk about the similarities and differences between Christ’s resurrection and ours.
Doug, I believe that the Lord used His wounds to prove to His disciples that it was in fact He. I don’t believe that He carries those wounds now, or that we will have to enter the resurrection maimed if we were maimed here.
I have been trying to think through the term “age” in the New Testament. I’m a partial preterist, but there is a lot of disagreement in that camp, as you know, over this issue. Is it at all possible that the term “age,” because it means period of time, could refer to either a Jewish age, Christian age, or a future epoch that begins post-Second Coming? In other words, is it proper to slap a systematic definition on the term and force it to refer to one particular period of time (such as the Jewish age) every time it appears? And if that is impossible and the phrase “age to come” refers only to the current Christian age, could texts saying “in the age to come eternal life” simply mean that it’s in this current age that the Lord Jesus appears in His Second Coming to raise the dead and give eternal life?
Austin, yes, if everything depended on the word age alone. But there are many other data points.
In Power, Escape, Dominion, I was tracking your argument until ” . . . and we cannot have Genesis without Christian nationalism.” Please expound because it seems to read that God’s word is dependent upon Christian nations which I presume is not what you intended. Thank you.
Christian, you are right. That is not what I intended. I meant that if we insist that nations should conform their policies to the teaching of the book of Genesis, then we should admit that we are also insisting that they should be submitting to the rest of Scripture as well.
The State of Higher Ed Today
I’m sorry I am not referencing a specific post. I was hoping to hear your thoughts about education and whether or not to pursue a college degree. I’m a 33-year old male, unmarried (though I’m putting forth my best effort to remedy that), who works in the oil refining industry. Recently I decided to go back to school since I have never been able to attain a college degree. I enrolled online in a local community college to finish my Gen-Eds and hope to transfer to a 4-year institution studying English. I had hoped that studying English would help me in serving as a lay-person at my church. God has blessed me with a few young men whom I am able to meet with regularly and serve as they learn to navigate college and careers while growing in the faith.
I’m halfway through the semester now and I haven’t learned a thing. I understand that this sounds like hyperbole but it is the truth. So far most of my assignments have been about systemic racism, police racism, healthcare racism, and racist racism. I’ve done my best to thoughtfully interact with the class and have had a few opportunities to present either the gospel or gospel answers to worldly concerns. Despite my best effort to be winsome but explicitly Christian, I have received no interaction from the class when discussing topics. I even asked our communications teacher directly in our class chat channel what all these assignments about racism have to do with a communications class to which he provided no response.
All this said to say I’m having trouble discerning whether college is a worthwhile pursuit. Is finishing what I started good enough reason to use my time in this way? Will things get better after I make it through the associates degree and transition into a 4-year degree? I thought when I started pursuing an English degree that the worst I would deal with was filtering through critical analysis while reading Shakespeare or Thoreau. However now I’m just wishing the teacher would reference any author from more than 30 years ago.
I understand that God has used and does use the faithful not necessarily the educated to accomplish His purposes. Is education worth it if it is getting in the way of serving, fellowshiping, and reading challenging authors? Do I need to strive to just find the time and plod my way through without dropping any of these obligations?
Yours in Christ,
Tim, you need to ask yourself whether you are pursuing a diploma (which can open doors) or pursuing an education. Both are fine, but they are not the same thing. If you want an education, you must realize that most colleges are not the place for you.
And Here Comes a Dad Joke
Letters Keep the Gears Turning,
The Short Answer While there may be Bacon Trees in the resurrection, you must be wary of other porcine shrubbery. I’ve heard tales of men seeking the fabled Bacon Tree only to stumble upon foes lying in wait. It was a Ham Bush!
AD, we can only pray that your children and grandchildren love you a lot.
I have found your favouring of the Psalms to be encouraging. I have a complete set of the Sons of Korah’s albums of psalms, I am writing to encourage you to have a wee listen. They are based in Australia. A single refrain in one of the tracks goes something like as follows, “break their teeth, break their teeth, break their teeth . . .” I sing along most days.
Donna, thank you.
Job and Girard
On Man Rampant Season 1 episode 1 (I know I am way behind), what books (outside the Bible) should I read about empathy vs sympathy?
Also you referenced a Girard, who spoke about Job. What is the author’s name and what books do you recommend?
Jon, here is Girard’s book on Job. And Joe Rigney wrote some follow-up pieces on the empathy thing, which I believe are at Desiring God.
Well, if “Erik” is the biggest weakness in the Moscow Christian community, that might actually be easy to fix. 😉
Then again, the biggest weakness might be lost text. 😏 🔥☀🕊
And behold, the lost text was found!
Speaking of Pride flags…
@doug re: the state of our resurrected bodies…
While this was not (at all) the greater point in your question, it smacked me upside the head. You hit yourself with a racquetball racket and now have a scar above your right eye? What??? I did that EXACT thing myself! I fell out of my chair with laughter and joy as you brought back decades-old memories! Finally–FINALLY–I now know I am not the only one to have bludgeoned myself in a grand display of gangly awkwardness. I can now depart this world in peace. LOL!
Pastor Wilson, when will you stand corrected that the Apostles Creed does not say Hades, but that it says Hell, which comes from Anglo-Saxon paganism; a hollow, depressing place of torment, etc. (it meant this when the Creed was translated to English)?
The Apostles Creed was not written in English. Neither the formulation in Latin or the received Greek translation include the name of the place, it simply says “descendit ad inferos”/”κατελθόντα εἰς τὰ κατώτατα” (he descended into the lower regions). Doug also has a nice video on the issue. The point being that Jesus descended into the realm of the dead, the Old Testament Sheol, both to deliver the Old Testament saints and proclaim his victory to the spirits of the damned.
goodness guys…The Apostles Creed was translated into English at some point. We recite the Apostles Creed in English in our churches. The Creed first shows up in Synod of Milan (latin, not greek). Inferos, at the time, translated directly in hell and hades. There was no distinction at the time in latin as to what part of the underworld that word meant. In a reply in another post, Pastor Doug responded to me and says that the creed says hades. Well, his church says hades but that’s not the word used in the vast majority of the English translations of… Read more »
Furthermore, let’s say everything you and Doug have said is accurate, is using hell in our churches helpful when we recite the Creed? The majority of conservative reformed and Presbyterian churches say “He descended into hell”. Why suffer through a long explanation that the Creed doesn’t really mean that (as I don’t believe the Creed is trying to say that Christ went to hell) when you can swap the statement out, as Doug has done at Christchurch, with a much more accurate word or line? Or would that make you a heretic?
I wouldn’t mind saying “hell” or “hades”, the anglo-saxon concept of “hell” is really besides the point. The real distinction that matters in that case is: Did Christ descend to Sheol or Gehenna? I prefer using the word “Hades” to mean “Sheol” and “Hell” to mean “Gehenna”, I believe it makes communication more clear. Unless you’re defending the point of view that Christ descended into the realm of the damned to suffer the punishment of hellfire. Is that the case?
Actually, it doesn’t have either Hell or Hades. The word is κατώτατα which means lower ones, or ones below.
The Creed wasn’t written in Greek. It was written in Latin. See my above response. The previous versions of the Creed that were used to help shape the Apostles Creed may have been in written in Greek, but they make no mention of a descent, only that he was buried.
The German version of the creed reads “hinabgestiegen in das Reich des Todes” meaning descended into the realm of the dead.
This surprised me the first time I heard it having otherwise only ever heard the English descended into hell.
Looks like the German version got it right!
Donna, when you sing about breaking teeth, remember, when this was written there was no dentistry. This verse is a serious verse requesting long term torture. I am not saying don’t sing it, just be aware of what it means.
Teeth can also be broken by blunt force very quickly. Ask any boxer or MMA fighter.
Without wanting to shade or soften the force of the verse, I think it’s talking more about the long-term (and metaphorical) effect of breaking teeth rather than the degree of pain or trauma associated with it. A predator that has his teeth broken is no longer a threat, and is on the way out of the picture. The point isn’t so much “make them suffer,” although if God acts in that way they will suffer, it’s “render them no longer a threat to those You watch over.”
If marriage and celibacy are considered as optional lifestyle choices, regardless of ones capacity, is this not taking a positive ethic and making it neutral, is this not moral relativity?
“Therefore, when in our day there is a great tendency to neutralize marriage, it is not because celibacy is regarded as more perfect, as in the Middle Ages, but it has its basis in cowardice and self-indulgence in enjoyment. “-Judge William (Soren Kierkegaard), Either/Or.
Justin, is it your view that not interfering in other people’s moral choices is essentially the same thing as approving of what they do? For example, if abortion is legal but not state subsidized — we won’t tell you that you can’t have one but we’re not going to pay for it either — does that mean the state has given its moral approval to abortion, just by virtue of not criminalizing it, or may it simply mean that the state has chosen not to make other people’s moral choices for them? I heard that debate when my state repealed… Read more »
Mike Freeman, let me try to rephrase my question. Is it good for a young man, who does not have the gift of celibacy, to remain unmarried? My answer would be, no it would not be good. Would a moral relativist be able to give an answer? Or could they only say that singleness is just as good as marriage?
I’m not sure all moral relativists would give the same answer. My intuitive answer (not that I’m a moral relativist) is that “good” depends on your goals. You first have to tell me what the young man wants to accomplish with his life, and only then would I be able to give an answer. The next question then is whether some goals are more “good” than others. If he doesn’t want a family because it will give him more disposable income, or because he wants to make major life decisions without needing to take anyone else’s needs into account, is… Read more »
If I understand you correct then I think we are essentially saying the same thing. The moral relativist has no objective standard by which to judge. In Matthew 19 the disciples reaction after hearing Jesus’ teaching on divorce, say it is then better for them to remain unmarried. Jesus does not answer them and say, “do whatever you want”. He says, “not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it has been given.” “By this he means, that the choice is not placed in our hands, as if we were to deliberate on a matter submitted to… Read more »
I think we probably are mostly in agreement, though having thought about it for the past few hours, I think a moral relativist would probably disagree with your premise that the decision to marry is a moral issue rather than a personal choice. Not all decisions are moral decisions. If you and I go to lunch, and you order the beef and I order the chicken, neither of us has made an immoral choice. It’s purely a matter of personal taste. Likewise if I paint my house red and you prefer blue, or you drive a Ford and I drive… Read more »
My concern is when Christians and pastors talk like there are no Biblical standards or guidelines on this issue. Or, as Tertullian would say, “as if the God of nature were some other than our own.” I think Mr. Wilson’s clarification on the ‘gift of singleness’ showed that a lot of people misunderstood what was meant. On one hand you had the young man mistakenly thinking he had the ‘gift of singleness’, and on the other the Christian who married out of preference rather than as an ethical task. I do think Jordan Peterson has made an ethical case for… Read more »
Justin, in case you don’t know, Mike isn’t a Bible-believing Christian who’s discussing this in good faith with you. His positions on sodomy, abortion and other sins aren’t based on God’s law. He’s more like the guy here.
Okay, thanks for the heads-up.
Actually, what I am is someone who hates bad arguments, which Cherrera is famous for making. If you look up “logical fallacy” in the dictionary, you’ll find a picture of Cherrera.
What happens if we look up “ad hominem”? 😉
Saying that someone makes bad arguments is not ad hominem. Saying that someone makes bad arguments because he’s not a Bible believing Christian is a closer call, although in this context it probably isn’t either. And if you want an example of what I’m talking about, look no further than Cherrera’s contribution earlier in this thread about mass shooters who are trans. I went on line and looked up the actual numbers. Of the previous 300 mass shootings, four of them — 4 out of 300 — were carried out by people who are trans: https://www.newsweek.com/mass-shootings-transgender-perpetrators-1790854 Yet Cherrera thinks that… Read more »
Mike Freeman, who hates bad arguments, said this:
Strawman fallacy. The argument Cherrera posted is: “One thing is VERY clear: the modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists.”
If you really hate bad arguments, then you’ll issue a mea culpa without qualification. But you won’t, because that would require humility, a quality sorely lacking in Democrats.
Go ahead. Prove me wrong.
FP, funny that you should think that *anybody else* has a humility problem; oh, the irony. Or, given that Trump is the GOP’s standard bearer, that you would think it’s Democrats with a humility problem. You really aren’t very self aware, are you? You are technically correct that Cherrera did not say, word for word, that mass shootings are a trans problem. But that statement necessarily follows from what he did say, and drawing fair inferences is permissible. (By the way, do you actually dispute that Cherrera believes that mass shootings are a trans problem?) If I were to find… Read more »
“Technically correct” is still correct, and you’ve issued no mea culpa. Calling your strawman a “fair inference” doesn’t make it so, and it certainly doesn’t make it any less of a strawman.
But it is so much more convenient to knock down the argument you wish Cherrera made, isn’t it?
So no, you haven’t proven me wrong in the slightest, your puerile “I know you are, but what am I?” routine notwithstanding.
For one who hates bad arguments, you sure do make a lot of them.
OK, I’ll bite. Why isn’t it a fair inference?
Mike Freeman: “Why isn’t is a fair inference?”
Cherrera’s argument is qualitative; your strawman is quantitative.
Also, it’s, you know, a strawman. A bad argument. From the guy who says he hates bad arguments.
Quoting you: You really aren’t very self aware, are you?
fp, even if I agree with you that one argument is qualitative and the other is quantitative, which I’m not sure I do, that doesn’t mean that one can’t necessarily follow from the other. And in this case it does. Cherrera’s original posting implied that shootings are a uniquely trans problem, which they are not. Otherwise, why mention the trans angle at all? Again, apply the same standard to an anti-Christian statement: X, who is a Christian, did a bad thing. The clear implication is that X being a Christian is somehow connected to the bad thing that he did.… Read more »
Mike Freeman: “Cherrera’s original posting implied that shootings are a uniquely trans problem…” Literally no one believes this. This is you strawmanning. Which is a bad argument. “Otherwise, why mention the trans angle at all?” *facepalm* Mike, just this once, would it be too much to ask for you to pull your head out of your ample rear end? The argument was, and I quote, “The modern trans movement is radicalizing activists into terrorists.” The examples were given to illustrate that so-called “transgenders” committing mass shootings is a new phenomenon. This literally never happened before 2018. Sentient human beings get… Read more »
“If I were to find four examples of mass shooters who identified as Christian (which there probably are), and then said that Christianity is radicalizing activists into terrorists, you’d have no difficulty seeing through the fallacy of that argument. Cherrera’s argument is no better.” Have there been 4 devout, church-going Christians who have done mass shootings since late 2018 in the U.S.? Even if true (highly unlikely), it’s an invalid comparison since there are a LOT more Christians than trans. It wouldn’t be 0.6% of the population doing those murders. I’ll give you one other chance–when is the next “Christian… Read more »
They’re pre-2018 but without even bothering to do a google search, off the top of my head, I’ll give you Paul Hill, the Phineas Priesthood, Eric Rudolph and the person who shot George Tiller. All devout, Bible believing Christians who engaged in murder to further their religious and political agenda. See, Cherrera, every movement has its radicalized nutcases who think their beliefs give them the right the engage in violence. The problem isn’t that they are Christian, or trans. The problem is that they’ve embraced violence as a political tactic. It’s easy to blame ideologies you don’t like, while ignoring… Read more »
Except 4 murders in less than 5 years for a group making up a very small percentage of the population is far different. You’re going back to 1994 with Paul Hill, when at least 80% of the U.S. population considered themselves Christian and 64% attended religious services. Unchurched Population Nears 100 Million in the U.S. – Barna Group Phineas Priesthood and Rudolph are a bit of a stretch as they’re affiliated with Christian Identity which almost all Christians (even Kinists) reject. I believe Rudolph was a lapsed Catholic and only loosely associated with CI. He also said of people trying… Read more »
OK, you’re now doing “no true Scotsman.” You’re seeking to define your group in such a way that it excludes people who make you look bad. That’s not the way it works. Every movement has its fringe. Republicans do, Democrats do, Christians do, the trans movement does. That fringe is a part of the group, even if most of the rest of the group wishes they would go away. You asked for Bible-believing Christians; the Phineas Priesthood was made up of Bible-believing Christians. There are large parts of the trans movement that I disagree with. I don’t think people with… Read more »
I think evangelicals need to own that there will always be some who badly let the side down when it comes to sinful behaviour. It is pointless not to do so as the watching world sees right through it. However, there are lists in the NT of behaviours that if persisted in will disqualify a man from inheriting the kingdom of God – 1 Cor 6 being an obvious one. The works of the flesh. The apostle John excludes absolutely those who commit murder – He who does not love abides in death. Any one who hates his brother is… Read more »
Mike, instead of admitting that you made a glaring false analogy between Christians and trans (committing your own fallacies and citing awful “fact checking” articles and dubious statistics in the process) you again bring up a complex fallacy which doesn’t apply. Instead of 3 paragraphs of meaningless word salad, just be a man (or woman if you so identify) and admit it. You sound like a parody account with your projection, doubling down and over explanation.
Mike Freeman: “There are large parts of the trans movement that I disagree with.” No, you don’t. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here trying to justify their violence. And, by the way, thanks for showing us that you don’t understand how No True Scotsman works. It’s seeking to redefine a word to ignore a valid counter-example. Christianity already has a definition, under which it already excludes those who murder others, as Ken B pointed out. Funny how you’re not addressing anything he said at all. So many bad arguments, Mike. And so little mea culpas. But I really don’t mind that… Read more »
Mike Freeman: “If I were to find four examples of mass shooters who identified as Christian…” According to the Gun Violence Archive, the definition of a mass shooting is an incident in which four or more people are shot or killed, not including the shooter. Paul Hill: Shot only two people. Not a mass shooter. Eric Rudolph: Bomber, not shooter. Killed only two people. Not a mass shooter. The Person Who Shot George Tiller: Unless Tiller had multiple personality disorder, he’s only one person. Not a mass shooting. Phineas Priesthood: As far as I can tell, “they” (and I use… Read more »
fp, don’t you have a house to haunt, or Jews to inquisition, or something?
I said that I was giving four examples of Bible believing Christians engaged in violence, not necessarily mass shootings. Sorry that whooshed right over your head.
But you know what? You have to find quibbles because you can’t address my major point, since it’s a losing issue for you. So fine, continue to make quibbles. If you have a response to my major point, get back to us.
“fp, don’t you have a house to haunt, or Jews to inquisition, or something?”
Ok, I’ll bite now. Where can we sign up for your “Use Good Arguments and Not Ad Hominem” class? I really hope you’re a troll, because you’re getting worse with every comment.
Mike Freeman: “I said that I was giving four examples of Bible believing Christians engaged in violence, not necessarily mass shootings.” What Mike Freeman actually said: “If I were to find four examples of mass shooters who identified as Christian (which there probably are), and then said that Christianity is radicalizing activists into terrorists, you’d have no difficulty seeing through the fallacy of that argument.” Moving the goalposts. That’s called a bad argument. Now you have two unqualified mea culpas to issue, but you’ll never issue them, because it’s (D)ifferent when you make bad arguments. That you stooped to lying… Read more »
Pearls before swines.
Mike, I can’t tell you much I have enjoyed your attempts to bring Curly and Moe, two of Doug’s most knuckle headed guys back to something that resembles the real world. But sadly, Doug World is a fun house of mirrors where the Kool-Aid is dispensed ad nauseam.
Mike, you’re digging your own grave here. “I went on line and looked up the actual numbers.” No, you almost certainly used a popular “search engine” (which have been controlled by biased algorithms for years, at least on politically-sensitive issues) and found a typical intelligence-insulting “fact checking” article in the curated results. Even that shoddy piece says “4 shooters out of over 300 mass shooters since 2009 are transgender or non binary. That’s just 1.3 percent of all shooters…According to the Williams Institute research center, around 0.6 percent of Americans over the age of 13 identify as transgender.” So 0.6%… Read more »
Projecting again? Using an ad hominem to accuse someone else of making bad arguments? Your positions on here have aged like year-old buttermilk. You’ve also made enough fallacies on here to use as examples in several textbooks. And as usual, you missed the point. You never gave the standard you use to determine morality on issues like marriage vs. singleness, abortion and “Trans Days of Vengeance” (ignored along with the recent shooting by the politicians you support while they were celebrating trans evil yesterday).
The question of how Christians should conceive of and relate to the natural law is worthy of careful consideration. It seems to me that the term “natural revelation” is an attempt to make confessing God as creator a prerequisite to discussion of the natural law. While I sympathize, it’s not the tactic I would prefer. In the first place, the word revelation simply doesn’t mean the same as law. Revelation refers to knowledge given. Law means action compelled. If we really want to talk about law, it’s awkward to keep calling revelation. Also, as you’re aware, natural law is a… Read more »
To Tim’s question, Depending on what part of the education that should come with an English degree you want, you might consider International Relations at a school that focuses on intelligence. These programs have you read (a lot), teach pretty intense objective research, and have you write (a lot), since those are the skills an intelligence analyst needs. If you want to read classic literature, or are just interested in arguing with professors about politics obviously it doesn’t fit (the classic literature is usually things like the art of war and the Peloponnesian war in IR, and then you mostly… Read more »