The Film Title Is Now Doubly Ironic
It looks like Amazon removed ‘Free Speech Apocalypse’. Is that correct?
Garrett, that would appear to be the case. Anyone who would entrust our liberties to people like this is out of their mind.
I have read much recently in regards to your and Toby Sumpter’s “take” on the mob and I thought I would just add this:
Sexist, racist, homophobe is mob speak for faithful (See Prov. 29:27).
That is all.
Andrew, thanks miuch.
Loved the Trumpslide post, but I wish I could be more optimistic that COVID fatigue will work for the GOP. An awful lot of our fellow citizens (think of how many you see driving alone with a mask on) are still panicked and looking to our overlords to keep them safe.
Ken, yes. It is disheartening to see those who not only conform mindlessly, but who also go way beyond what is required. The disease that afflicts us extends throughout the populace, and it not just a matter of what those at the top are doing. But at the same time, I also see that the leftist politicos are doing a whole lot of preemptive damage control.
From Trumpslide: “Although if Trump carries New York, California, and Great Britain, we may want to call it a Trumpalanche.”
Don’t be silly. You know British citizens don’t vote in US elections.
But I’m very interested to see if Trump carries Mexico.
Keith, yes. I think we need to keep a close eye on that.
I’ve voted (D) almost straight down the line for most of my life. This year is going the other way, I think. That this can happen to me is really saying something.
Having attempted to engage with incoherent progressives on a number of blogs (who simultaneously justify the riots while attempting to explain them away as the machinations of Russians trying to throw the election), I can tell you that these folks are beyond reason at this point.
Facts don’t matter to them. Details don’t matter. Put a picture up of a kid in a red hat, and they will fill in the backstory all by themselves. They have nothing to offer but destruction. Destruction of homes, of businesses, of any trace of America’s heritage (no matter how benign) . . . all to be swept away in their nihilist vision for some new utopia where (I assume) they will be free from the patriarchal, white-supremacist cis-heteronormative empire they’ve imagined themselves to be living under.
No thanks! I do not like Trump as a person. He’s impulsive and crass, and he lacks self-restraint. He’s undignified. However, if I have to choose between an infant leader who just irks me and a populace that would love to see me lose my job and my home, I don’t see much of a choice here.
Tobias, thanks for writing. In line with your comments, I don’t believe that you are the only one in this position.
Love your writing, Doug,
In 2012 you used the word “bloodbath” to describe how badly you thought Mitt Romney would win the Prez election. Does that make you pause with your Trumpslide in 2020?
Paul, no, actually not at all. Several reasons. Back then I am pretty sure I qualified everything I said, just as I have this time. There is a wide gap between “take it to the bank, Romney takes this in a bloodbath,” and “it seems to me that if the American people come to their senses, as I think they might be doing, this could be a bloodbath.” And second, unlike 2012, the issues today seem to me to be standing out in much higher relief. The country appears to me to be on the brink of civil war, meaning that more things are visible than just “the pollsters.” And third, while is wrong to be in sin, it is not a sin to be wrong. Always budget for that!
The Crime of Abortion
I enjoy and learn from your work. I am curious why there is always the emphasis on the sins of the country in their permitting of the crime if abortion which is indeed horrific and damnable. Why is there no emphasis on the fact that women are murdering their own children on a scale unknown in human history and that they are the drivers of the phenomenon? We, as western nations (I live in the UK), or possibly all nations, have lost the ability to point the finger at Hitler’s holocaust in my view. We are doing something much worse and not holding the culprits to account.
Stephen, several things. First, it is not exactly on “a scale unknown.” Infanticide was normal in pagan societies, and was only eradicated through the influence of the gospel. Second, the reason for emphasizing any society’s complicity in the sin is because that is what brings the society as a whole under judgment. But third, you are exactly right that the crime of murder primarily involves the mother and the abortionist.
And Now for a Little Eschatology
I am writing to inquire about the Partial-Preterist, Postmillennial view of eschatology that I believe you hold to. You see, I am a former Hyper-Preterist and have been making my way out of the movement–along with other teaching errors–for a little over five years. I have read materials, listened to audio, and watched videos from former Hyper-Preterist Sam Frost. I have watch a number of Jeff Durbin’s videos concerning the issue of eschatology as well .I have also watched the Evening of Eschatology you and others did with John Piper a number of years ago.
As I’m sure you can guess, I am familiar with all of the time texts and Jesus’ teaching that he would return to the first-century Jewish audience he was addressing in his Olivet Discourse. I believe all of that. But as I mentioned, I no longer believe the Hyper-Preterist version of eschatology either. I am struggling to understand the absolute scriptural proof of the physical resurrection and what the “official” Second Coming of Christ is, or if I should even expect one. How does the Kingdom of God play out since the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70?
I’m seeking any further information or resources that you can provide that would help me to further understand the outworking of the present Kingdom and what a future Coming of Christ entails.
And please pray for me and my family. My husband is still caught up in the Hyper-Preterist movement, and it is causing problems in our ability to join the church we’ve been attending. I understand the elder’s concerns. Please pray the Lord will remove this error from our household.
Thank you so much for your time.
Jen, the key is to recognize that the resurrection of Jesus, and the associated events of the first century (like the destruction of Jerusalem) constituted an editorial adjustment to the Jewish hope, and not an abrogation of that hope. When Jesus is talking to Martha about Lazarus, she confesses what all pious Jews of that time believed, which is that there would be a resurrection at the last day (John 11:28). Jesus modifies what she believes, but does not erase it. Paul refers explicitly to this same widespread Jewish hope (Acts 26:6-8). The fact that Jesus rose from the dead in the middle of human history was the first fruits of the Last Day. It was not the abolition of the Last Day.
How would you respond to the following amillennialist critique of postmillennialism?
“The New Testament nowhere suggests that the church of Christ will ever achieve earthly power and dominion such as that of Old Testament Israel. Instead, like its Master, the pilgrim church can expect a cross of persecution and suffering. The New Testament does not recommend virtues that lead believers to conquer the world but rather patiently to endure its enmity. John’s Apocalypse assures the suffering church of all times that it shares the certainty of Christ’s victory even in the face of terrible anti-Christian apostasy, lawlessness, and persecution. Revelation 20, when compared with the rest of Scripture, confirms this conclusion rather than lending support to chiliast dreams of world rule . . . When human apostasy and wickedness reach the apex of power and the world is ripe for judgment, Christ the king will suddenly appear to bring about the end of world history. Jesus’s disciples are to be watchful of the signs but they are also forbidden to calculate. All believers ought at all times to live as though the coming of Christ is at hand” (Herman Bavinck).
If you already have a book, lecture, or article that already addresses the above quote, please don’t waste your time writing a response. Please let me know where I can find it.
Also I’m taking your advice from our last exchange regarding my church leadership’s compliance to our governor’s mask decree by respectfully pressing the issue rather than being belligerent. I shall not burn any bridges. Thank you.
Brent, no, I don’t know of any place that addresses that quotation. But here would be my reply in a nutshell. The quotation begins by saying that “the New Testament nowhere suggests . . .” This is a testimony to the power of paradigms. Nowhere suggests? Every thought captive? All nations discipled and taught obedience? The meek shall inherit the earth? The Lord will remain at God’s right hand until all His enemies are made His footstool, and then He will return? Even if we grant that such suggestions could be erroneous, and might need to be answered and explained, they are still there. They cannot be waved away.
More on the Masks
Coming to the Moscow area to visit our daughter, gave my wife and I time and opportunity to do some homework regarding a comment of yours quoted on a YouTube channel. This led to re-acquaintance with your ministry. Thank you for the breath of fresh air and clear critical thinking! As far back as April, the smell of a rat in the kitchen was becoming evident regarding virus actions and orders. Yet, why was the evangelical world was silent? Leaving us to wonder, are we the only ones questioning the legality of orders being handed out? Or, how persecution of the church in the form of public health is acceptable by Christians? Listening to your blog, beginning in July to present, I commented to my wife . . . “Wilson gets it!” Truthfully, your understanding far exceeds ours. Count us as two believers who have benefited greatly from your ministry. Again, thank you!
Tim, thanks much.
I have no quarrel with what you have said. My quarrel is with what you have not said. In particular, the following two points. I do agree that too many politicians are making C19 decisions with politics in mind, rather than with health in mind. But the following two issues are foundational, regardless of what those in authority decide.
Quarantine the ill. That was my go-to thought when all of this first started. Nice and neat, until you learn that you cannot know with certainty who all of the ill are. Some are obviously ill, so quarantine them. But others can go many days, or forever, without showing symptoms, all the while being infectious. There must be a defense mounted against being infected by these folks that does not include quarantine of the ill only — because we do not know who all of the ill are.
Coming together to worship God. Where two or three are gathered together in his name, God says he is there. I think church leadership is wrong to insist that the only spiritual way to worship God is for all to come to a particular sanctuary. That is not anything that God says he requires. So neither should the church leadership. I think those who encourage their congregation to meet privately in small groups for their time of worship, and be mindful of the local authorities recommendations on good health practices, are more on target.
But then, how does one collect the offering? A serious question, not snark. Churches cannot operate without funds, and so that also is a legitimate thing to keep in mind when fashioning a solution in these C19 times.
Richard, the idea of asymptomatic spread of a respiratory illness like this is highly problematic to begin with. But the issue really is “probable cause,” not whether an individual is diagnosed. Say that there was a massive outbreak in a small town, where half the inhabitants came down with it. I would have no problems with the authorities cordoning off that town. But there would be a reason they could point to, and which we could all see.
“On Leaving a Church over Masks”
Hi Doug. Love your writing, has given our family much food for thought over the years.
This letter is not directly on topic but closely related to what you wrote.
Our church council has asked that we wear masks, posted signs stating that masks are required as per the local bylaw. Recently, a letter was sent out to the congregation with a sentence about mask wearing as a matter of conscience. We were happy to read that. The elders are obviously not policing the reasons why people are not wearing masks (and they shouldn’t be). We would like to see our church remove the signs from the front of the building (even our children realize the word “required” is the wrong word. Perhaps better would be the word “permitted” or “encouraged”.) If masks are really required, then why is our family permitted to attend each week without masks? If it is actually a matter of conscience, change the signs. This has not stopped us from attending church, and has been a doorway into great discussions with our children. Yet it seems hypocritical to me. Are they required or not? I realize stores have to post these signs. But our building is not a store, it is where the body of Christ meets . . . there is a difference.
Real issue: the signs are robbing some joy away from the worship service. We’ve written a letter. The signs are staying. We are so tired. And lonely. At what point do we “give up”? I don’t think it is a matter of pride . . . just that our consciences tell us that this is not the best way of doing things! Actually, I would argue further that the signs are inconsistent with what is actually happening, therefore leading in the direction of bearing false witness . . .
Not sure that you can even reply to this note. But it was helpful to write it down anyways.
Jessica, if they have allowed room for your conscience, I would urge you to thank the Lord for it, and then to make room for their conscience. I agree with you on the wording of the signs, but I can also see why they think they have to say “required.” Stand strong, and be gracious to them as they have certainly made room for you.
Concerning your attempt at discouraging people from leaving a church over trifles, there’s something I wish you’d add. Just as there’s a deeper right than being right, so there’s a deeper wrong than merely being wrong. Too many American Christians look upon church as fundamentally a consumer choice. One reason people are willing to jump ship on a church for lightweight reasons is that they come for lightweight reasons in the first place. I pick Burger King over McDonald’s because the fries are better at BK. But if the line at BK is longer, I can easily hop over to McDonald’s and be content with their skinny fries. When folks are doing something similar to a church, the problems are going to end up running way deeper than spotty attendance and quibbles about masks.
Bro. Steve, amen.
I’m an elder at a church in Des Moines, Iowa. Our mayor has recently imposed a “mask mandate.” Both the governor of Iowa (a conservative Republican) and the state attorney general (a liberal Democrat) have stated that local governments do not have the legal authority to institute such a mandate.
How does the doctrine of lesser magistrates apply in situations like this?
Do you have any general advice for churches in communities that have tried to impose a mask mandate?
Joshua, my general advice could be to make your own decisions as a session. But if the session decides to conform to the masking mandate, you should do so in a way that leaves room for those believers who have a conscience issue with it. And secondly, you should not volunteer to do the state’s policing for them.
I have been following your blog for years with delight and have been blessed by your teaching and humor. I have been confused, though, about your decision to make masks your hill to defend. I haven’t seen anywhere in Scripture that says wearing a mask, even pointlessly, is a sin. In fact, it was often custom in biblical cultures for women to be veiled. But I do see clear teachings throughout the New Testament to submit to every institution of man. The early church did so, and it was this that made their civil disobedience on the point of not worshiping Caesar so powerful. I’ve been trying to understand your point about the importance of masks, but fail to see how the teaching that our faces reflect God’s glory (an indicative, not an imperative) means that we can disobey human institutions and therefore God who appointed them (a biblical imperative).
Also, we will be and already are in places called upon to disobey in order to gather for worship, or teach our children God’s Word. Will our testimony be weakened if we did the same thing over masks, which we cannot tell the culture is based on a mandate from God?
I heartily applaud and rejoice in what John MacArthur is doing, but wince down deep in my soul when he gaffes hugely by claiming the deaths due to COVID are actually 9000. It seems to me anyone who takes a moment’s thought would realize that the other deaths due to co-morbidities are mostly people who still would not have died this year if it weren’t for COVID-19, like people with diabetes. His testimony is probably weakened greatly in the eyes of secular people because of that, sadly.
My point is that I believe we need to stand boldly and speak boldly for God’s Word, and not our opinions, which are secondary and take away to one degree or another from our testimony.
Jessica, thanks for the questions. It is not that masks by themselves are the hill to die on. If we lived in a biblical republic that honored God as much as it is possible to do in a fallen world, and this particular panic swept through that nation, I would hope that I would be in the resistance. But I would think that the resistance would take a very different form. We are being played, and C19 is just one of the maneuvers going on. As far as the issue of co-morbidities is concerned, while I agree with you that it “ain’t that simple,” I don’t think MacArthur wrecked his testimony at all. The entity that needs to be concerned about testimony is the CDC, even with the complications of co-morbidity acknowledged.
An Honest Atheist?
I was listening to your podcast episode ‘Round Squares and Honest Atheists’ and you made the statement, “an honest atheist is not a possibility.” No offense taken, but I’d like to have a crack at that one. I’m a Calvinist Atheist. By that I mean when I read the scriptures the Calvinist interpretation is clearly the correct one to me. I sometimes wonder if I were to flip through an Arminian’s Bible ‘would I find a hole where Ephesians 2:8 used to be?’.
So, time to test my honesty.
I don’t believe God exists, and the reason I don’t believe God exists is because I have not been indwelt by the Holy Spirit causing a repentant faith in the saving blood of Jesus Christ. I can’t choose to have this faith on my own, but if the Holy Spirit comes I would be helpless to resist it. And (assuming Christianity is true) if I were to die without this faith I would spend eternity in Hell . . . because I deserve it . . . for God’s Glory.
How’d I do?
Also, I own the book and DVD of ‘Collision’ and enjoyed them both very much. And, if the Bible is the greatest book ever written, the second greatest must be ‘Leave it to Psmith’.
Across the pale parabola of joy,
Dan, you did pretty good. B plus or so. But the thing you are leaving out of your (technically correct) formulation is that if you deserved damnation for the glory of God, you really would deserve it. And the reason you would deserve it would be because of the dishonesty involved. Honest mistakes don’t come under judgment. So, if the God who will judge you actually exists, your current atheism is not honest — however much you and I might get along as we chat over a beer. But if God does not exist, neither does honesty, so you can’t achieve honesty by that route either.
I’m writing to ask a question not about your blog, but about your new book Ride, Sally, Ride.
In Chapter 4, Narnian Snow Dance, Thomas enlightens Ace on the reality of the sexual revolution in the blue states. You seem to be showing that true liberation, for both men and women, happens when sex and sexuality is restricted to God’s design. This all I understand and agree with.
I’m having trouble connecting this reality to Filostrato’s quote from That Hideous Strength. He says “There will never be peace and order and discipline so long as there is sex.” My question is: why not? What is it about sex In particular that makes men unconquerable and ungovernable?
Preston, keep in mind that Filostrato is defining “peace and order and discipline” in an ungodly way. He is talking about his kind of peace and order — where he wants the earth to be scraped clean of all biological organisms. That kind of order requires the elimination of sex. A godly order requires that sexual desire come under the authority of Christ. Then it becomes powerful, like hydraulic fluid in the hoses of powerful engines, the way Ace was arguing in his talk.