Responses to That Really Long Post
Sir, can you please unpack the 1992 costume party blackface reference? Thank you.
Trey, sure. The point was that the left is not just imperious in their demands, but inconsistent with them. And the glaring and obvious inconsistencies are part of the point. They are flexing. They can make you do this and then make you do that. They can ruin your career today for having gone to a costume party in blackface (which is different, mind you, than drag queens going in girlface), but they reserve the right to be completely arbitrary and ruin your career for having not gone in blackface.
“The gods of civil unrest and Jesus mob”
I just read what might be your greatest blog post (in my opinion) aloud for my wife in our living room. Thank you for your continued encouragement Doug! We are praying the Lord continues to bless you and your ministry. God bless.
Wes, thanks for the kind words. But it could be that the picture is just enhanced by the frame—that frame being our tumultuous times.
You conclude “The Gods of Civil Unrest and the Jesus Mobs” with an exhortation to engage, inter alia, in sabbath dinners. I’m a Baptist with strongly sabbatarian inclinations—an unusual thing in my tribe. What books might you suggest (written by you or others) that would nourish this inclination?
CS, I would start with Stuart Bryan’s book, A Taste of Sabbath.
Amen! Jesus is LORD! The word of the LORD is fire and those that are tinder will be consumed. Praying in a new way. I appreciate your long view. We are so prone to underestimate the time required for great revelations of truth to take place, and the cost of those revelations, and how our very lives are a part of how that cost is measured. God bless and keep you.
So here we come to it. The left wants a mob riot and they got what they wanted. I like how you compare the factions of today to the factions of 1st century Judea. My question is, without being too conspiratorial, do you believe that we have modern day Romans here? “The Cabal, the Rothschilds, the CCP” or all of the above pulling the strings? It looks to me that the Romans wanted to divide and conquer so they could justify coming in and razing Jerusalem to the ground. I agree that in some ways, America represents Jerusalem, but I am tending to think that we are, as many pre-millenialists point out, very representative of mystery Babylon, and maybe our fall has bee prophesied and the true saints will rejoice when it has fallen. Our evil secular baby-killing, anti-Jehovah state must be destroyed to make way for the Jerusalem that will come down from heaven. It may be that Satan in his angels are doing God’s work unintentionally.
Actually, isn’t that what they always do?
Sam, it is what they always try to do. In my thinking, we don’t need a cabal behind Rome. Rome is just Rome. And our establishment is just our establishment, and they know how to fight dirty.
The gods of civil unrest:
O, the thousands of things I want to say. The gamut of emotions swirling through my soul—many joyous, but not all, and some that I haven’t experienced before. It’s all good though. I am stirred, and I pray that when the blender stops, the smoothie is not just edible but delicious. Also, I think you used top-shelf rum . . .
Malachi, thanks. Make sure to savor it.
PLEASE Mr Wilson believe me. I don’t write very well but can I just try and tell you what saw with my own eyes? My three daughters and two sons were there in DC with a church group Wednesday morning and into the afternoon. I’m just an old grandma that loves the Lord Jesus, her family and church, and country. I know what I saw and experienced. There are MANY false reports going out! MUCH hype and exaggeration! WHY would anyone believe main stream media now?! Or even some of our compromised Christian leaders who weren’t even there?! Please, I submit this for your consideration.
Maria, God bless you.
I hope that you’re doing well despite the the tumult of these whirlwind days. When considering the recent happenings with the MAGA crowd at the capitol, it’s clear that there was definitely sin involved. Vandalism and violence against capitol police come to mind. However, if you were a person who simply walked onto the capitol as protest, but didn’t damage anything or attack anyone, would that be legitimate protest?
The reason I ask is because generally I lack knowledge as to how to conduct a godly protest, and I was wondering if trespassing on public property could be part of such a protest.
I wasn’t involved in any of the stuff in DC, by the way. But I feel constrained to try and learn something from all of this.
Luke, no, I don’t believe that it is necessarily a sin to disregard trespassing laws in a legitimate protest. But if it is to kept its legitimacy, there needs to be strong hand leadership to keep it veering off into counterproductive ways.
In a fraternal and collegiate spirit, and with the presumption that you understand the dynamic, I will mildly differ in you choice of using the term double standards. I do not think that the charge can be sustained due to one fundamental reason: they are really not violating their standard. Their standard was concisely expressed by L. Beria: “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” Their standard is pragmatism, and I saw it in living color, being well illustrated on tee shirts with an arm holding an upraised rifle with the slogan “By Any Means Necessary.” And that was before there was small talk at 125th and Lenox.
I think that they are imposing their standard of total and absolute control. (They are not Arminians; they will allow nothing to resist their sovereign authority.) That is not a double standard, it is the yardstick of Kafka: “Your guilt is always beyond doubt.”
Nonetheless, well done sir!
Gray, you are correct. In their system, this is not a double standard because their system is the standard. But as they interact with Normal World, what they are doing is a double standard (according to us), and they know that, and they are using that.
The Gods of Civil Unrest. . . . Yes and Amen!
This is particularly helpful as I continue to disciple my sons 18 and 21.
I want them grounded in the gospel and fighting the good fight in the culture.
So many pastors of churches are giving them the, “that’s too political” speech. Accusing them of idolatry if they talk about cultural issues.
This snuffs our a young man’s instinct to fight and points them to a Mr. Rogers red sweater vest, effeminate Christianity that is nauseating and powerless.
I really believe the hideousness of two kingdom theology (Horton, Dever, etc.) is being exposed.
PJ, I would certainly agree that the impotence of that theology is being revealed.
I half expected you to disappear, leaving nothing behind but a sour smell after that tirade. I know that you know your Bible, but I’m glad to be out of your pharisaical influence. You might label my pastor a Rev. Rabbitheart (he’s PCA), but I’m blessed to sit under him because he does not (as far as I can tell with my human limits) need to proclaim his superiority over other Christians in order to feel justified. If I’m right, you’re too blinded to see that’s how you are, but I pray you see it some day.
Rob, thanks for the prayers. But you should at least budget for the possibility that you are not right, and have not been for a long time. And if you are not right, then did you not write this letter in order to proclaim your superiority over other Christians? But I thought that was bad.
Tu quoque is a logical fallacy for a reason. Even if someone is a hypocrite it doesn’t mean they’re wrong on the point that they’re making. And the fact that your first instinct was to use the events at the Capitol to bash the left rather than condemn the riot at the Capitol is, well, troubling.
You’re a parent. How persuasive did you find the argument “but he started it” when one of your kids made it?
Kathleen, ah, but you missed something. Bashing the left was the second thing I did. The first thing I did was condemn the lawlessness of the protest itself. And as a parent, if a kid uses “he started it” as a reason for why he should not be punished at all, then that doesn’t fly at all. But if everyone in the brawl gets disciplined, then the fallacy of tu quoque has not been surrendered to. But I would make sure that the kid who really did start it gets something extra.
I’ll have to hand it to you Doug; your boy DID have some aces up his sleeve . . .
BA, but not sure yet if it was six aces or three.
Big fan of the blog. Earlier in Trump’s presidency you shared the comparison with Trump to Samson. Not really knowing how to handle him, I really benefited from that analogy and this past week made me rethink of it. How it appears to have come full circle nearly completing the analogy by almost pushing down the Capitol on his way out. Maybe some repentance will come without having his eyes gouged out. Thought you might like to revisit that analogy and expand on it. Thanks for all you stand for and keep writing.
Brett, thanks. I may revisit that. Let’s see what happens.
A comment in response to “Coming This Summer.” Now that the “red necks” are demonstrating aggression, suddenly violence is wrong and does not work. That’s nonsense. The actions of BLM and Antifa prove that violence does work. Many, including members of the police force across the nation were literally on their knees submitting to the mob. Moreover, this country would not exist had many of the founders had not backed their words with action. It seems when action is required to preserve morality, suddenly violence is wrong and must be condemned by everyone. Some have seen the recent political events as they truly are. Further, every peaceful avenue has been exhausted attempting to stop the decadence. The radical perverted progressives did not follow the rules of engagement which they insist the moral majority follow. Now they have gained control of the entire political system. However, even before doing so they warned everyone what was coming. Trump should not bear sole responsibility for the actions of those desperate to preserve morality.
Joel, I think you are correct. But I don’t think they have gained as much control as they believe they have.
I have appreciated your thoughts throughout the entire Trumpercoaster these past four years, and I continue to appreciate them now. I share your content very often with my family members and they often tell me how helpful it is. I believe it was on your Plodcast that you said something about Trump’s pride, the need for him to repent of it, and warning that God might see fit to humble him if he continued in his pride. Do you think that may be what is happening in light of the events at the Capitol, and now the whole party turning against Trump, and even his ardent supporters turning on him after he denounced them?
Nick, we may be at that moment, but for some reason, I don’t believe it is here yet.
Just finished listening through your sermon “The State of the Church 2021” and found it tremendously helpful. This past week, I dialogued with a fellow Christian over Twitter who supported the idea that President Trump fit the Biblical definition of “an anti-Christ”. I am not oriented as well as I should be on how the Bible defines “an” anti-Christ (as opposed to “the” anti-Christ). Could you comment on whether or not President Trump fulfills the Biblical definition of an anti-Christ? What would your recommendation be for a Christian attending a church where the preaching started to include descriptions of Trump as an anti-Christ? And how do the Christians who supported President Trump meaningfully engage with and love their Christian brothers and sister who hold to the view that Trump’s supporters are enabling an anti-Christ? Thanks for your ministry and God bless!
Nick, in Scripture, a “beast” and an “antichrist” are very different. A beast is a civil ruler who persecutes the church. An antichrist is a false teacher within the church, one who denies the incarnation. So in illustrative terms, a beast would be someone like Stalin, while an antichrist would be like a liberal Methodist bishop. Trump has his problems, but fitting with either one of those patterns is not one of them.
I have greatly enjoyed many of the resources you share online— Grace Agenda talks, Blog and Mablog, Ask Pastor Doug, as well as having watched Collision. I was especially impressed with the grace of God given to you and put on full display in the sex and sexuality Q&A—after watching Free Speech Apocalypse, I watched the full Q&A.
More recently I watched ‘winsome tartness’ and it has really given me food for thought. On that note, when I saw the article linked here, I almost immediately imagined a post in reply titled ‘how feminism shot itself in the bare foot in the kitchen’
Enjoy—depending on your mood it could be good for a laugh or a cry.
Steve, thanks much.
My main question for you is related to the theme of living in “Illegitimate Times.” As a future member of a profession dominated by secular leftism and leftist thought, what should the Christian’s main considerations be when choosing a place of work? Should Christians avoid firms or companies who seem to hold mainly leftist ideals (or are made up primarily of secular leftists)? Is there a Christian responsibility of some sort to fight the rising forces of secularism directly, as through some sort of explicitly Christian or conservative group?
I’m currently a second-year law student who is trying to decide where I should start my career. While the traditional wisdom would dictate that I try to get a job at a prestigious large firm, I am more and more skeptical as to whether it’s worth applying for a job working among the leftist elite who staff such enterprises. The other main alternatives I have thought of are either a) working for an explicitly conservative/Christian organization as a sort of legal activist or b) working in a small firm doing generally non-political standard fare legal work.
I have also thought about whether living a more quiet (or less blatantly political) life in a small town would be best, as I plan to raise a family someday. However, I worry that there may be a need for more direct political confrontation with the corrupt turn our government has taken. If that is the case, is there a moral obligation to “do something” about it in a more direct way than simply being a faithful small-town lawyer? Perhaps the answer to these questions would be very fact specific (salary/pay is obviously a big factor in these decisions for example), but I would love to hear your general thoughts on these issue.
P.S. I only recently found your blog and have really enjoyed your writings! NQN provoked a lot of thought among my family and friends, as have many of your books which I (and many friends) have since read, so thank you for the enlightenment (and entertainment) the past few months! One last thought—as a young man in my 20s, I was very grateful for your work on “Singleness as Affliction.” I’m glad that someone is telling the truth about celibacy and marriage (also loving Man Rampant), so thank you again!
John, it is obviously not possible to determine the right path for somebody else at this distance, but for my money, I would knock on all three of those doors, but would prioritize them as 1. Christian activism, 2. small town lawyer, and 3. big firm.
I agree that this was probably not the right move, but I have to know when does it become the right move? What I am asking is when does it become our duty as citizens to stand up to serious government tyranny? I think we can all agree if this election was stolen, which I think it was and so do you, then what should we be doing to stop this? Should we be protesting? Where exactly is the line where the government becomes so egregious that we have no other choice but to do what our ancestors did in the revolution? If the election was stolen, then we no longer as citizens are represented by a government that makes laws and enforces them against us. How is this not getting closer to the context of the American Revolution and when does it get to that level?
Grant, I believe we are already at the point where resistance is lawful, but I would hasten to add that it needs to be effective resistance. It has to be the kind of resistance for which they have no countermeasures. And the first step in that resistance needs to be churches full and overflowing.
Re: Illegitimate Times.
You say that many Christians consider a Biden presidency fraudulent, and many other Christians consider that a second Trump term would also be fraudulent. You would be closer to the truth if you simply said that many Christians “feel” the one or the other. Of course, it doesn’t matter what we privately “consider.” In all cases of dispute, Christians begin with the teaching of Scripture that (a) cases are decided based on evidence and (b) the lawful authorities (in this case, federal judges, many of whom were appointed by President Trump) are the ones to decide the cases based on the evidence. Woe to the man who disregards that judgment (Deut. 17:8-13). That and, “Don’t shout ‘Conspiracy!’ every time this people shouts ‘Conspiracy!’ Don’t fear what they fear. Don’t be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of Hosts, and let him be your fear and your dread” (Is. 8:12-13).
Gabriel, what you say is very true as far as it goes.
When other commenters point out to you the fact that Trump’s fraud claims have melted before State and Federal judges across the country (yes, on the merits), that Wood & Powell are demonstrable liars, and that everything from hand recounts in Georgia to ballot audits in Arizona have found no evidence of substantial fraud in any state, much less many states, your responses have been frustrating to me as someone who has greatly benefited from your blog, bought your books, and so on.
Two months or so ago, you accused fraud skeptics of equivocation on “evidence,” since what we were asking for is admissible evidence in a court of law that made fraud more likely than not. That’s a really bad claim, since we were being assured by Trump’s lawyers that there *was* such evidence.
Then you say, /of course there is evidence. Just look at how many votes Biden got with such small rallies!/ With due respect, your incredulity is not well founded.
1. The voting population is bigger now than in 2016.
2. There were record voter registration campaigns for this election.
3. Because states (including red states like Texas) increased opportunities for absentee voting, turnout was always going to be high this year.
4. High voter turnout historically assists Democrats in national elections.
5. Judging voter turnout or enthusiasm based on rally size is a terrible metric, given that Biden’s “soirees” were intentionally limited in attendance and many Democrats were convinced that any large gathering other than a BLM protest is a great way to get the coronavirus. Remember how pathetic turnout was at Hilary’s rallies—and she still won the popular vote.
By the way, it is not true that those storming the Capitol were just antifa people.
You have frequently “floated” claims like this since the election, and then not done any public fact-checking yourself. This is sad, because after a while you have a tendency just to assume that you were right about what you initially floated as “someone should look into this.” Please stop.
James, there have been a few places where something I passed on turned out to be bum dope, and I have happy to correct the record at those places. But on things like my turnout argument, I am afraid you have not understood what I am arguing—for example, I know the population has grown. That issue is the very irregular nature of the growth. But right now the pressing issue is this one: if the election was on the up and up, then why the fierce levels of censorship in every direction? That entire world is certainly acting as though they have a naked adulterer in the bedroom closet.
“The military, given its nature, has a greater capacity for mandatory social engineering, and I am afraid that a lot of the brass is woke.” Can confirm. I was part of “the brass” (well, middle management anyway); I got out; this is one of the reasons why. The military is increasingly more concerned with “diversity and inclusion” (and promoting those who march in lockstep) instead of being good at killing people who need killing (and promoting those who demonstrate proficiency and leadership acumen.)
Tithing During Lock Down
I am going through your Lewis Lectures on the Canon App – they are truly amazing! I am finding the lecture on “That Hideous Strength” to be especially helpful during these times. Thank you for your good work on them.
I have a question regarding tithing. I have recently left a church that ordained a woman pastor right before COVID and then went to hard lockdown after COVID. I am now (nominally) attending a PCA church that limits attendance to 60, requires masks, pre-registration for contact tracing, and social distancing. The liturgy is pretty tepid, but the preaching is sound. Because of attendance limitations, I am worshiping at home again.
This church is the most faithful church in my area and I definitely want to financially support the church. Since the church I am attending is almost non-existent, what tithe should I be giving? If I faithfully want to tithe, where should my money go?
Worshiping at Home
WaH, while you are worshiping at home, I would continue to send money to the church (if you are not planning on leaving it), but send just a portion, say half. The other half I would send to missionaries, or to Christian organizations that could use the support. I would pro-rate your tithe in other words, which I believe that the tither has the authority to do.
A Question on Lewis
It has been a blessing to hear your many lectures and thoughts on Lewis’ books, however I do not think I have heard much from you on Till We Have Faces. Is there a reason for this?
I’m sure there are many of us who would love to hear what you think of that book, or perhaps you have a lecture somewhere.
Thank you for your continuing commitment to preaching the Word! (2 Tim 4:2).
Ian, I have lectured on it, and believe it will be available at some point on the Canon App. But it has not been an emphasis. Great book though.
A Pre-Mill Question
I write today as a Pre-Millennialist in tradition only. Growing up in an Independent Baptist Church, educated in a Baptist College and aside from a brief stint in a non-denominational church (which probably believes an eschaton is something you put on a coffee), I have only been a part of a Baptistic fellowship. Pre-Millennial, Pre-Trib rapture has been engrained in my head for almost 30 years. Only recently have I even been made aware that there are any other views in the eschatological realm and have since started to question my tradition.
My first issue has been that I have never placed much priority in eschatological beliefs. From my completely uninterested perspective, each believe that Christ is coming for his bride to rule and reign in the greatest “happily ever after” eternity—Christ is exalted, God is glorified. The disagreements seemingly along the lines of the “when” and “by what method” variety. Not exactly Augustine and Pelagius differences that affect salvation. My second issue: being converted later in life, my priorities shifted for finding a wife. 10 years post-college, I do feel ready to lead a family; only the dating pool for a Baptist holding to Calvinistic beliefs is remarkably dry at 30 (especially when the world is trying to mandate people stay away from each other). While I am praying and hopeful God will bring a godly helpmeet one day, eschatology just does not seem like a priority to devote much time to study.
Since my conversion at 22 years old (even if I did not realize it), I have striven to live by semper reformanda. I knew that growing up in the Independent Baptist Church I would have traditions coming out of my ears. Whenever I am faced with a particular belief, I strive to look at it in light of what Scripture says rather than what I have been taught. However, eschatological issues have been different from other traditions I have been lead to tackle. I hear the same passages of Scripture used in defense of both positions and I cannot help but read those passages without my Pre-Mil brain interpreting them for me. It makes it difficult to grasp what is being said from another perspective.
From passing comments made by yourself and the gents over at Crosspolitic, AOMin and Apologia, I have yet to fully grasp the Post-Mil view. My question is simple: What would be a good resource for a questioning Pre-Mil Baptist with a tough tradition?
Thanks for the consideration and encouragement.
Bryce, for someone in your position I would recommend that you either 1. meet a really cute postmillennialist, and have a series of awkward conversations with her dad, or 2. get and read Ken Gentry’s He Shall Have Dominion.
The Classical Christian Downgrade
This is a late response, and much more of a long autistic rant, but I had to write in response to “The Coming Classical Christian Downgrade” if only for my own catharsis. have never been as emotionally impacted by a post of yours. Let me state first my positive affirmation of how you said things, and then the frustration I experienced.
First, I am not a young-earther, being “undeclared” since I think the science for a young earth is forced as much as is the exegesis for an old earth. I appreciated how you did not throw old-earthers into one category but distinguished between people those who hold to a historical Adam and Eve and theistic evolutionists. The Old Earth position with its strained exegesis can take force away from the doctrine of inerrancy, but it is not as impactful on doctrines as denying that God began the human race with one couple. If imputation of guilt does not require historical reality, we couldn’t insist imputation of righteousness done. Well played in clarifying who is only having some unhealthy things (Old Earth) and those that are dangerous to a believer’s assurance. Thank you for seeing a difference, a classical school using, say, Stephen Meyer’s work is far different than using Biologos.
Secondly, using anything advocated by men like Keller and Horton is disturbing for reasons beyond which you mentioned. You have been adamant that Christian kids need a Christian education based on how education cannot be neutral, which is excellent. You have not written as much (though things you have said allude to your support of it) if the state by collecting taxes for education is going beyond her duties the same way the church would if it was putting criminals to death. I took for granted most people who have read the Bible and thought about the role of the church, state, and family would be firmly against state education strictly because they are usurping a role given by God to others, and therefore by collecting money for it are stealing. It is distressing to me that perhaps I was mistaken, I believed most people in the private Christian school system understood not only that education ought to be Christian, but that it ought to be paid for by students and/or their parents, not having their neighbors forced to pay for it. I thought part of the passion for Christian education, especially among Classical schools, which I joined largely because I thought it was more conservative than other Christian schools. (pedagogy is not a big deal to me). Well prior to 2021, public education was not simply wrong in 2021 because it’s content had become so immoral, but simply because “public education” is as unbiblical as an “eclectically firing squad.” Governments pushing the church and family out of their primary role in personal formation and taking money by force for something they have not biblical warrant to do. The state does have the right to take life and take money by force but not for any reason they desire. If taking life by force beyond it’s justified use is murder, than taking property beyond it’s justified use is stealing.
My point is this is not simply choosing as theological leaders men who have some theological problems (Keller more than Horton) but who are directly opposed to what we are doing in the first place. To look to men not only justify public education, but even advocate that a Christians duty is to support (in addition to the money already taken from them by force) this secular education, is a travesty. By letting men like this be influential in our movement, they are not only siding with men who will make Christian schools only technically Christian while teaching pagan ethics, history and worldview, but leaders who are against the whole premise that education is not the job of the state. This is nothing less than suicide. It is like John Calvin using Cajetan to support the reformation. Men who explicitly support the states right and responsibility to take money to educate kids, and call on Christians to join in that support, are the greatest detriments to freedom of education. And as President Trump said, educational choice is the greatest civil rights issue of our generation. This is opposed to Keller, who said that Christians should donate money to public schools in poorer neighborhoods, and if they don’t help the poor they are stealing. It is stranger for a pastor bound by the great commission to advocate Christians to support institutions that “undisciple” people and make them less Christian, let alone those whose existence subsists on stealing.
Your co-worker in keeping classical education Christian,
Luke, thank you for your letter, and may God really bless your future studies.
This letter is connected to no particular blog post. I have a question about divorce and I’d like your answer from a pastoral perspective.
Is it permissible for a woman to get a divorce if she has been physically abused? Let’s say she’s married to a guy who claims to be a Christian who does not want a divorce. The church intervenes following Matthew 18 and despite clear evidence of abuse he refuses to admit it or repent. Let’s say the church even excommunicates the bum.
Could the wife divorce her husband and still be considered an obedient Christian? Would she be considered an adulteress if she remarried because there was no sexual sin on the part of the husband?
I am considering returning to pastoral ministry and this is a question I’ve been thinking about but cannot resolve. I want to see how you think through this as a pastor.
The Bible appears to be silent. The silence may also be the answer.
I greatly respect your opinion and look forward to your response.
Joel, this would be my response (in a nutshell). The two conditions for lawful divorce and remarriage (for the innocent party) are adultery and desertion. The case you describe could possibly fit in the second category, if the elders who disciplined the husband determined that the husband had in effect abandoned his wife, even though they were still under the same roof. That is not common, but I have seen it.
I have benefited from your ministry for many years now. Thank you for all that you do. What are your thoughts on bitcoin, crypto generally, and DeFi? I bought a BTC in late 2013 on a whim (I was strong in the Libertarian camp back then), then sold it a month later for (what I thought was) a tidy profit. Alas, wish I had seen the long game.
Fast-forward to today, and I confess to snatching up bitcoin at the current lofty price level. What has surprised me is finding a strong Christian presence within the bitcoin community. For example, Jimmy Song is a big name in the movement—and a professing, unapologetic Christian. There are a host of other Christians with whom he is aligned in the movement. Perhaps you will read and review his recent book, Thank God for Bitcoin.
I work by day as a financial advisor, so I’ve been noting the institutional crowd getting on board with Bitcoin (hedge funds, Blackrock, Fidelity, etc.). This thing might really be here to stay.
Mike, three things. First, I am not nearly well-read enough on it to say anything truly valuable. Second, what I have read (Gilder), I liked very much. And third, I am generally a fan of things that the establishment (governmental or corporate) can’t control. So I am supportive and hopeful.
The Post that was Not
If you haven’t already, I think you’ll find reading this to be a worthwhile use of your time:
Thanks for fighting.
I have two fine daughters of marrying age (21 & 22), but they are without prospects. As it has been Providentially determined, our church has zero young men of marrying age. We love our church and have no other issues, so moving is not desirable. But my wife and I are becoming ever so slightly concerned about the possibility of watching our girls suffer through a lack of suitors. I recall from a couple of decades ago that Pastor Steve Schlessel once hosted something like a Reformed eHarmony, but that seems to have evaporated into the ether. Are you aware of anything that has taken its place? Are there any young men who would like to move to East Texas to court my daughters? (just kidding—kinda)
I see our options as 1) they start going to a different church on their own, which means it won’t be Presbyterian and Reformed; 2) they move to different cities where there IS a P&R church, preferably with single young men; 3) they join eHarmony, with P&R as one of the criteria, or 4) they remain single.
For now, they are filling up their time with additional college and pursuing careers, as they have nothing else to do with their time. Do you know of ANY other options?
Malachi, I would say #3, and then suggest an additional #5. Write a line into your household budget for enabling your girls to begin attending conferences. Live at home, but travel frequently to places where large numbers of P&R congregate.
I’m reading your book To a Thousand Generations and am slowly being convinced of Infant Baptism, but there are still 2 areas which stand out in my mind:
1) Paedobaptists claim that heart religion was present in the old covenant and new. So then what was the purpose of Pentecost falling of the Spirit if not heart religion?
2) Paedobaptists claim that in the new covenant you will keep your children, but numerous Presbyterian denominations have run away from the faith, splitting off and splitting again. What happened to their children? This doesn’t seem to accord with personal experience.
Thank you for previous interaction on this forum and God bless.
Tyler, great questions. The giving of the Spirit at Pentecost was not to make heart regeneration possible, but rather to make it widespread. In other words, the trickle was to become a flood. And infant baptism does not guarantee any kind of automatic faithfulness. Baptism is a sacrament, which means that the blessings connected with it are activated by faith. When it is combined with evangelical faith, it is glorious. When such faith is absent, the sacraments and other forms of religiosity just make everything worse.
Take Me Down a Few Pegs
I have read your writings for some time and have decided to challenge your ideas openly. Without referencing you by name, I take aim at your eschatological-cum-political-theology in this essay. I am not nearly as experienced a writer as you are, but nonetheless I am persuaded that at this momentous time to remain silent would be cowardly on my part. I am a sinner and cannot justly condemn any man. My interest is simply to persuade as many as possible that the opinions you promote—chiefly that the Christian ought seek power after the pattern of this world—is wrong, and that they ought rather turn to the incorruptible truth of our God and of his Christ, proclaimed by his holy apostles through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Henry, getting taken down a few pegs would probably be good for my soul, and so good luck to you. But be careful with that goal of persuading “as many as possible.” If you succeed, you might find yourself in charge of something, and then you would have to figure out what to do with your right hand. We agree that left-handed power is where the heart of true spiritual authority lies. But in this life, there is a right hand, and our Lord will take a dim view of worthless servants who keep that hand in their pocket all the time because they believe He is a “hard master.”