Name That Tune
Who sings the intro (Blind Willie Johnson’s, God Don’t Never Change) to Blog & Mablog?
Would you please forward a link of the entire song to me?
Thanks so much!
G, the singer there is Ashley Cleveland. The song is below.
Now to the Real Business at Hand
I believe I can hear the bellowing from the calves of all the sacred cows you just slaughtered all the way down here in Alabama. Steaks are on the grill.
BJ, thanks. Sacred cows do make good hamburger though.
It is apparent that others are observing the same trajectory that you elaborated upon. Andrew Branca, in reaction to the murders in Waukesha last night: “A government unwilling or unable to defend its citizenry from demonstrably insane criminals has lost the privilege of sovereignty.”
Gray, I believe that this is just right. And whether or not it passes muster with elite opinion, at some point in the proceedings the people will come to accept it as self-evident (“this is a failed state”) and act accordingly.
The problem with the Rittenhouse trial, and the Chauvin trial, and the ongoing Arbery trial, is that at this point we have become so tribalized that facts almost no longer matter. If you are a conservative, you think that all three defendants should have been acquitted; if you are more to the left, you think they should all be convicted. It’s child’s play to then use confirmation bias to muster the facts necessary to support your position, and of course all the misinformation the Internet teems with throws gasoline on the fire. I personally think the Chauvin and Rittenhouse juries both got it right, which may just mean that I don’t really feel at home in either camp at the moment.
Mike, you are right about the tribalization, which is how nations on the brink of civil war behave. But also keep in mind the destructive fact that tribalization makes it easy to accuse others of acting from tribal loyalties, when they are not doing so, simply because they differ.
Re: “This Carnival of Dunsical Folly,” your comment about the spineless leadership in Evangelical circles reminded me of the problem with the biblical injunction to “obey your leaders and submit to their authority.” For the vast majority of people in the world, they look around at the morons who hold positions of authority and say, “Wait a minute. You can’t mean these guys.” I pursued this issue in a little more depth here.
The Slave Traders of Old Charleston
“So if any of your children have ever been sold by Planned Parenthood, in lucrative pieces, then the slave traders of old Charleston will rise up and condemn you at the last day.” My breath caught as I read that line. Powerful words, Pastor. Thank you.
Not Sure What to Say
What do you say to a more or less composed guy . . .*very* rarely weeps in public . . . in his late 60’s yet he cannot read the Chronicles of Narnia—much less aloud (e.g. to his little grandson)—without sobbing almost uncontrollably when he starts reading some of the parts about Aslan (e.g. the last pages of Voyage of the Dawn Treader . . . first chapters of The Silver Chair with Jill Pole) . . . Most anytime there is serious “spiritual” interaction with or about Aslan this guy starts sobbing almost uncontrollably like an adolescent school girl (no offense to adolescent school girls).
Jonathan Edwards has said somewhere there is often much of pride in (e.g. what appear to be humble) tears.
What would you say to such a guy . . . especially if he wanted to read the stories aloud with some composure?
Robert, I have to say that this is a question I have not encountered before. But with that said, the price of reading good literature aloud is that you will sometimes get choked up. The thing you want to resist is the “uncontrollable sobbing” part. And the only thing I can suggest is prayer and practice. Pray about it specifically, and then practice in private. When your wife is off at a baby shower, read Aslan to the bedroom mirror, and in a loud voice.
Do you have a recommendation for a book on interpretation of Scripture? I have heard various principles e.g., “Interpret hard to understand scripture by those easily understood,” and the related one, “Let Scripture interpret Scripture.”, but haven’t seen a guide as such.
Russel, try starting with Milton Terry’s Biblical Hermeneutics.
Obeying Your Husband
Re: Obey Your Husbands and Other Transgressive Ideas You should license the spelling of akkchully to The Riot and the Dance people. I can see a bunch of t-shirts (the really soft kind, please) with “Akkchully”, I was CREATED by the DESIGNER with a cute pencil drawing of a platypus or a black widow spider, etc. Usually, misspellings make me itch, but this one made me smile: a big accomplishment, if you ask my kids.
I am glad that you addressed this topic of wives obeying their own husbands. Most of the time one hears teaching on this subject it amounts to read-the-passage-real-fast and get to the (much longer) disclaimer section of the sermon/teaching with a few awkward jokes that nobody thinks are funny OR always read the wife-husband admonitions together, but only concentrate on the part of the passage addressed to husbands. Rarely do you hear someone really dig into all of the times that wives are told to obey their husbands. It is a command and Jesus tells us that His commandments are not burdensome. Blessing always follows obedience. The obedience in cheerfully cooking dinner, training the children and washing the clothes of the husband that went back to grad school even though she disagreed on the move. The blessing of living in the house (her husband bought for too much money) that was 5 minutes away from church, Costco, the library and 4 parks when there were 4 kiddos 5-and-under. Years after the fact, the Holy Spirit convicted my husband that he was acting out of fear in these and many other situations. He’s asked forgiveness now for what he believes were sinful responses to our circumstances. But, during the years of life before he came to see this, it was Tough! I didn’t need the encouragement to keep looking at his sin, to do whatever it took to “take care of me” and to get out of the situation. What I needed was blinders. Blinders of Scripture to keep me on the path. The psalmist says that the Shepherd’s “rod and staff” comforted him. What are rods and staffs used for? To rescue the sheep when they wander off, to fend off predators, to bonk the sheep in the side if they start veering too far off the path. So, “wives obey your husband as to the Lord” was one of the “staffs” that kept me on the road. It wasn’t my job to lead my family. It was my job to create a home even when I disagreed with the direction my husband had led us in. I didn’t need a glass of wine and an hour of Netflix. I needed Jesus and His commandments. All of them.
Keep teaching, Pastor Wilson.
Wendy, this is wonderful. Thank you.
May I humbly ask you for your brief interpretation of Revelation 17:10-11? “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”
When it says, “and the other is not yet come” (v.10), wouldn’t that be an argument for the futurist position on the book of Revelation?
Tom, thanks for a great question. This is my understanding. The five are the emperors prior to Nero, starting with Julius—Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius. Nero was the sixth. Then there was the tumultuous time, where Galba, Otho and Vitellius all reigned for periods best reckoned in weeks. That’s the short space. And then “the eighth” should better be rendered an eighth, and is referring to the somewhat indistinct Flavian house—Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian.
I think I might be turning postmill. However, I still have a lot of studying to do on it, and in my meditation I have found a problem.
If the postmill position is true, and we begin to see the fruits of the gospel reaching the world and the world is being won to Christ, how do we reconcile that with the narrow way of Mathew 7? In those days, won’t it be the way to life that everyone else seems to be on? “. . . the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it” (Matthew 7:13). Shouldn’t it then be, “broad is the way to life, and many find it”?
I would appreciate a correction if I am mistaken.
Gary, thanks for a good question, and it is probably at the top of the FAQs for postmillennialists. My understanding is that the narrow way is referring to how many first century Jews were going to be saved. For more, go here and look at the section tagged Narrow the Way?
I am a somewhat recent convert to the Postmil position. I am not sure if I am a Postmillennialist “in my bones” yet, but I see the arguments as persuasive. I am certainly no expert on the position, but a thought occurred to me and I thought I would share it, see if it sticks when proposed to other PMs.
I am not a geopolitical expert, nor the son of a geopolitical expert, but I have come to provisional assessment of the situation with China. I don’t want to underestimate the amount of damage that China is doing, and can still do, but I think the Chinese dictatorial regime is not long for this world. I am basing this on two main observations. First, the principalities and powers behind the scenes have been largely denuded. The strong man’s house has been broken into and cleaned out. So whatever power lies behind the brutal Chinese government is much more fragile than it looks, or would have been in say BC 50. Second, as many of us know, Christianity is exploding in China.
The situation is not entirely dissimilar to that of the Roman empire fifteen minutes before the ink dried on the Edict of Milan. Given those two realities, I believe it is quite possible that the Chinese dictatorship may actually be just as close to its death rattle as it is to its apparent ascendancy. Sometimes I think something like, “What if China becomes the next gigantic super power and is then surprised to wake up shortly thereafter and find itself the seedbed of Christendom 2.0?” The Serpent appeared to learn nothing after the episode between Haman and Mordecai. The Cross does not seem to have taught him much of value, either. Will he be hoisted on his own petard yet again?
Andrew, you are right about this much of it. The advance of the kingdom of God is not to be equated with American interests. Ultimately the growth of the kingdom will be in everyone’s interests, including Americans and including the Chinese. But there is no need for America to be the top dog at every stage of this process.
Women and Political Office
Thank you for writing back last time about women magistrates and Knox. My followup question is: given Isaiah 3:12 and the deeper implications (creation-tied) of 1 Timothy 2, should not Knox have kept on with the new protestant Queen? Deborah happened, but ideally should not have. In the same way, Knox and we should strive for leadership to be masculine in our civil sphere, and call it a shame when we see it.
Tyler, it is a question that concerns when precisely a line of compromise has been crossed. When a church has a woman pastor, for whatever reason, they are already fatally compromised. When a nation has a woman leader in the political realm (like Deborah, or Elizabeth I), they may or may not be compromised. But I do agree with you that when female leadership in the civic sphere is routine, then something is seriously off. That is what I take to be the import of the Isaiah passage.
Faith or Presumption?
I greatly appreciate your advice and wisdom as it has greatly improved my understanding of God and the bible. I would love to hear your thoughts about a topic I deal a lot with as a critical care health provider for newborns. From time to time I have the most unfortunate situation of a brain-dead baby with a grim prognosis. There is very little hope for less than total care of a vegetative child. I frequently encounter in this situation that the family rejects factual knowledge about the prognosis and instead expresses that if they pray hard enough their child will be perfectly fine. That God will heal the baby and perform a miracle. I have had them claim that throughout history God has raised many people from the dead and he’s going to do the same for their child. It makes my job very difficult to give factual information for decision-making because they believe that only positive word should be spoken to bring about healing. It causes burnout amongst the medical team as well. How do I be both loving and a faithful Christian and yet be truthful? How does a Christian respond with biblical truth about healing, suffering, and death in this situation. I hope I am explaining myself well. I know this is a narrow subject but maybe could be extrapolated to when people in the community believe similar things. Thank you for your time!
Lindsey, thanks. This is a tough one. I would try to divide these families into two groups. The first would be ordinary Christians who have just received very bad news, and are going through a very ordinary time of denial. One means of engaging this denial is by wondering if earnest prayer might resolve it. I would be patient here, and walk with them through that period. The other situation would be where the people come from a dogmatic tradition that says that all illness is from the devil, and all that is needed is sufficient faith to “raise the dead.” This would be much more difficult, because they are losing a child, and if they listen to you they might lose their entire community. In this kind of situation, I would try to bring in another pastor or chaplain who is really well-versed in Scripture.
Humorous, Not Glib
I appreciate you and have benefitted from reading your blog for around five years. I enjoy your insight into the culture and am edified by your exhortations, and find guilty pleasure in your wit.
I occasionally find out that a friend doesn’t appreciate your wit so much, because your glibness and sarcasm do not seem like a Christ-like attitude to them. They may compare you to other Christian teachers with a gentler or more serious mien. I tell them that different men are doing different things, and that your cultural commentary is meant to fight against the wolves. Then I found this article by James Lindsay and wonder if it is what you are consciously (or just unconsciously) doing. Is this what you call Chestertonian?
MPF, thanks. What Lindsey is talking about here is very much what I am seeking to do. And yes, we are seeking to cultivate a Chestertonian Calvinism. When we get it figured out, I think it will be potent.
Ride, Sally as Amateur Prophecy
I don’t know how many years you expected it to take until “Ride, Sally, Ride” became non-fiction, but I saw this article of “Serious Scientific Research” (TM) that indicates we are close.
The opening sentence reads: “If you have sex with an android doll and then knock it around the room, are you being abusive?”
You will be both shocked and stunned to hear that this research comes from a bioethicist from the University of Washington AND that it blames “Abrahamic religions that have taught humans that they are superior to the rest of creation.” Apparently this bioethicist does not understand biology or ethics, but I digress.
While not quite openly condoning sex and marriage with robots, if does finish with, “If Western thought stays locked into seeing social robots as nothing more than tools or slaves, we do ourselves a disservice, closing off the adventure and possibility of forming highly valued social relationships with them.”
Yes, just think of the adventures and possibilities that await. . . . You might as well have the Canon Press move your book over to the Non-Fiction section today.
Dale, I can only quote the great Chryostom here . . . crikey.
The Inescapable Bell Curve
This quote reminded me of a truism I heard years ago: “Somewhere out there is the objectively worst doctor in America, and someone has an appointment with him at 9am tomorrow.”
I greatly enjoy your weekly email. Thanks for all you do.
Lewis, thanks for the encouraging word . . .
Good News from Old Virginny
Much has been made, and you have commented upon, the recent election here in the Commonwealth, the mother of presidents. While I am cautiously optimistic, with a big foreboding of Dreherism mixed in, I should add, at least for a few years we are no longer naked and cutting ourselves, but certainly not “clothed, and in his right mind.” I think we’re more like “wearing yoga pants and a necktie, and a blue surgical mask, moderately confused.” As you have pointed out, the problem is not primarily a ballot box problem, but rather “sitting at the feet of Jesus.”
The rumor is, and what is making the progressives as mad as hornets, is the that there isn’t just one yearbook picture, but a stack of photos and videos of the conservative lieutenant governor elect brazenly in blackface. Sincerely,
Preston, the cynicism is fine, just so long as it is sunny cynicism. And as for your lieutenant governor elect, that sounds like it promises to be the scandal of scandals.
Belated Note on the White Babies Thing
Re: the incoherent white baby antichrists article, I know I’m late to the conversation, but count me among among the critics of your “white babies” comment. I usually track with everything you write, and your blogging has taught me so much, so first of all thanks for all you do. But I think you took the serrated edge in the wrong direction here.
The humor comes from reading it and going, “Ha! This’ll trigger some libs,” which is loads of fun, but you’re triggering them with . . . milquetoast white supremacy? But that’s not why I’m writing. Mainly, it’s not funny because it’s not true, at least if my experience generalizes. I’m a white man and conservative Christian, and so I’m automatically sexist and racist according to screen people I don’t care about. I can’t count the hours of sleep I’ve lost over it, because how do you count to zero when counting starts at one? But when my wife, who is black, once told her grandma she liked George W. Bush (George W. Bush!), her beloved grandma replied by telling my wife she was stupid and that no black person should ever vote Republican. So I’m all on board with believing in Jesus, finding a cute girl, marrying her and having babies. I did that. But insofar as race affects the edginess of it all—and does it really, once you’ve pulled your kids out of government school?—having brown babies is the edgier move, measured by how much you get attacked and by whom, often family. And I do think my wife’s experience generalizes, based on recent media coverage of black Christian conservatives (and whites who’ve adopted black children).
A functioning military *will* be far more ruthless to traitors than to the enemy. And your joke says, “yeah, but married Christians having *white* babies are the really edgy ones.” Generally speaking, you’re wrong.
Eric, first, being wrong is not the same thing as being incoherent. I would want to defend myself on that point. And of course I grant that different contexts will make different behaviors edgy. There have been (and still are) many places where a white father with brown or black children really is edgy. Fully granted. But we live in a time when we are at the tail end of a full generation of unrelenting propaganda celebrating diversity in all things, and we are now entering a time when whiteness itself is being tagged as inherently sinful. So my joke was not dependent on the fact of white babies being an example of white supremacy, but rather on the notion that white babies are . . . okay.
Moving Seamlessly On to Nathan Bedford Forrest . . .
Regarding Nathan Bedford Forrest, I came across this article that indicated that not only was he not the “founder” of the KKK, but only a member, he also repented of that association and became a person who was concerned with racial reconciliation later in his life.
I’m not an expert on him, but I’m fairly confident we mostly get our impression of who he was from the beginning of Forrest Gump . . .
The “fact” that appears to underlie the claims of “systemic racism” is that the median person in the black community has had more disadvantages or negative experiences growing up than the median white person. Some of the disadvantages or negative experiences might plausibly have been motivate by dislike of the “race”.
But we all have bad things happen to us, many of which are unfair and there’s millions of white people who have a bad situation growing up and are treated badly, both for racial and other reasons.
It seems like we could commiserate over shared experience of unfairness and evil done to us by sinful man and sympathize with the hurtful comments or nasty behavior that someone has had to endure. But when “racist” behavior and comments are raised to some level of special evil that outshines evil done for other reasons appears to be unbiblical. A vague plea to “historic injustice” is all that seems to justify this elevation of the seriousness of the offense. But I see no biblical warrant that “crimes that remind someone of past crimes are worse than the same crime if no one is reminded of anything in particular”.
Really it seems like we’re catering to a special kind of psychological pre-occupation with past events. People use the evils of the past to amplify the evils of the present in seriousness. But isn’t this just a “root of bitterness”? If each current hurt has to be understood through the lens of all past harms, isn’t that just the opposite of forgiveness?
Jason, thanks. I had read something similar with regard to Forrest also.
The Cult of Nice described the situation in my church over the course of the last 18 months. When my wife and I pushed back against the Authorities(CDC, Local County, A Doctor in our congregation) being cited by the Session to justify masking wearing, social-distancing, cancellation of certain church activities(including Communion), etc.—we were threatened with church discipline for rebellion against the Session’s authority. Thank you for writing on this subject and reassuring some of us that we are not crazy!
May God have mercy on His Church.
Ben, thanks. Stay strong.
Maybe, Maybe Not
Good Afternoon Sir, When do you plan to write “Doug Wilson: The Autobiography (or, How I Done Wrote it)”?
Andrew, I have written “autobiograhical fragments” from time to time, a tag on this blog, but whether an autobiography is ever warranted, we shall have to wait and see. I think I should try to accomplish something first.